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Archive for January, 2009

Bad Dates with Elizabeth Aspenlieder of Shakespeare & Company

Theresa Rebeck’s solo play, Bad Dates, is Shakespeare & Company’s first offering in its first winter season. There’s a lot to be grateful in this, and it goes beyond having an alternative to traveling to New York City or Boston in the winter weather for decent theatrical entertainment. Not that theater in the Berkshires disappears at the end of summer. In fact Williams’ Dialogue One Theatre Festival gave us a feast of solo theater back in November, but it is still a great thing to have activity at Shakespeare & Co. in the blasts of January, especially of this piquant and entertaining sort.

Do Americans Really Need a “Secretary of the Arts”?

Just as I began to put my mind to this commentary, the results from the first of this year’s old master sales, The Scholar’s Eye: Property from the Julius Held Collection Part I, at Christie’s began coming in—a most gratifying confirmation of the time-honored forces of the market in the arts: 85% of the modestly […]

Remembering Ormandy – In Case You Were There, Too

Even before this 10-CD commemorative set was issued, I noticed a wash of nostalgia for Eugene Ormandy among baby boomers. He was inescapable for that generation, the progenitor of hundreds of LPs, only a sampling of which are contained here. Ormandy became Leopold Stokowski’s associate conductor at the Philadelphia Orchestra in 1936 and succeeded him two years later, beginning an unparalleled run of 44 years as music director before retiring in 1980, a reign no one will ever duplicate, or would want to. During that time Ormandy led the orchestra between 100 and 180 times a year. That, too, is a staggering statistic given that modern music directors, in their eagerness to spread themselves globally, are essentially long-term guests who drop in to visit their home orchestras for as little as a quarter of the regular season.






Old Master Week I: Master Drawings New York 2009

As the world economy began to unravel in September and October, the art market continued to prosper for a week or two before entering a volatile phase which has generally been hard on the major auction houses and dealers. However, the most important and desirable objects continued to sell at prices one would have expected […]

Aboard the Queen Mary 2: a Reminiscence with Photographs

The Queen Mary 2 is a floating retirement home, but if you need a break from your frenzied life ashore the Isle of Manhattan, retiring for a week isn’t such a bad idea. The QM2 is no ordinary cruise ship. Cunard, the same company that built the Titanic, constantly makes the distinction that the QM2 is a voyager, a cruise ship is something else entirely. She is not only the greenest, most technologically savvy ship on the sea, she is also the sexiest ship ever built.