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In Brief: Holy Week Edition

Here is your regular Sunday selection of links to good things in Blogville and Beyond.
  • Happy Birthday to Rudolf Serkin, who would have celebrated his 107th birthday today. In 1988, Serkin received the National Medal of Arts with a distinguished class that included Saul Bellow, Helen Hayes, Gordon Parks, I. M. Pei, Jerome Robbins, and Virgil Thomson. [National Medal of Arts]

  • Pierre Boulez has turned 85. Also, a happy 75th birthday to one of the great survivors, composer Harrison Birtwistle, celebrated in concert by the Nash Ensemble. [Boulezian]

  • After a compelling first season with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Marin Alsop's season last year was enough of a dud that, frankly, we have not reviewed the BSO all that much this year. I'm glad to see that she has put together a much more interesting season for next year. [Baltimore Sun]

  • Sadly, the BSO's finances continue to worsen, causing the musicians now to accept a return in their base salary to 2001 levels, which does not inspire much optimism about the orchestra's future. You know what to do: buy tickets to as many of their concerts this year as you can. [Washington Post]

  • Philip Kennicott has the goods on Frank Gehry's design for the Eisenhower Memorial. It looks like a carefully planned Roman ruin, with an enormous screen that will hide the Department of Education building from view. [Washington Post]

  • Terry Teachout, jazz and theater critic, writes about how the tide may be turning at PBS, as far as high-cultural arts programming goes. Will the United States ever have something like the European Arte network? [Wall Street Journal]

  • Anthony T. Grafton has a review of Louis Menand's new book about the failure of the humanities disciplines. [The New Republic]

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