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In Brief: Ides of March Edition

Here is your regular Sunday selection of links to good things in Blogville and Beyond.
  • Via Lunettes Rouges, here is some video of the new installation piece Vibrato con Sordino by Charlotte Charbonnel, at the Verrière Hermès in Brussels (through March 26). Cords of different materials radiate out from a central crystal vessel up to the walls: visitors are encouraged to pluck and otherwise produce sounds from the strings. [Amateur d'Art]

  • With hat tip to violist Jennifer Stumm, the tragic story of the lonely whale, who sings at a different frequency than all other whales of her species. [Digital Journal]

  • Marin Alsop announced her lineup for next season in Charm City, where she will have a focus on women. The most interesting concerts on the schedule, for my money, are those featuring James Ehnes and Louis Langrée (October 20-22), Honegger's Jeanne d'Arc au Bûcher (November 17-18), the reprise of Philip Glass's LIFE: A Journey Through Time (January 27-29), pianist Lise de la Salle (February 16-17), and violinist Arabella Steinbacher (April 26-28). [Baltimore Symphony Orchestra]

  • Researchers are documenting the first case of "beat blindness," that is, a 23-year-old man who cannot feel the beat in music he hears or move in time to it. He does not have other musical deficits, though, because he can match pitch with his voice and "sing in tune" and even recognize familiar melodies. The question is, can he sing a familiar melody and get the pitch right but not the rhythm? Inquiring minds want to know. [Science News]

  • Justin Davidson may be the first to suggest that James Levine should also step down from his position at the Metropolitan Opera. [New York Magazine]

  • La Cieca also has some thoughts on James Levine, and the possible strike crisis that may be ahead for the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. [Parterre]

  • We are big fans of Bob McQuiston and love his series of posts for NPR, on under-the-radar repertoire for the CD collector. [Classical Lost and Found]

  • The Kennedy Center also announced its 2011-2012 season this week. Dance highlights include the Mariinsky Ballet's production of Michel Fokine's Firebird (January 17-22), the Bolshoi Ballet's classic Coppélia (May 29-June 3), and the Paris Opera Ballet's Giselle (July 5-8), as well as return visits by the Merce Cunningham Dance Company (December 2-3) and Mark Morris Dance Group (January 26-28). Christoph Eschenbach puts an emphasis on "Music of Budapest, Prague, and Vienna," including accompanying Matthias Goerne in Schubert's Winterreise (March 5) -- Goerne also joins Michelle DeYoung for Bartók's opera Duke Bluebeard's Castle (March 8-10). Also put us down for visits by the Takács Quartet (March 13) and Nathalie Stutzmann and Anne Schwanewilms in Dvořák's Stabat mater (March 22-24). In the rest of the NSO's season, we like concerts featuring Gidon Kremer (October 6-9 -- the Sibelius concerto paired with Nielsen's fifth symphony) and conductor Hannu Lintu and violinist Leila Josefowicz (January 12-14). Plus, color us intrigued by eighth blackbird's "staged cabaret-opera version" of Schoenberg's Pierrot Lunaire (April 3). [Kennedy Center]

  • Guillermo del Toro has reportedly withdrawn from a project to direct a film version of H. P. Lovecraft's At the Mountains of Madness, because the studio is worried that the film he would make will get an R rating. [The New Yorker]

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