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Around the Nation
12:08 pm
Tue November 27, 2012

Kennedy Center's New Organ No Longer A Pipe Dream

After years of waiting, the Kennedy Center has a new symphonic organ replacing its old Filene organ. The $2 million project will culminate in the organ's debut on Nov. 27. William Neil (left), the National Symphony Orchestra organist, speaks with NSO Assistant Conductor Ankush Kumar Bahl (center) during the organ's test with the orchestra on Oct. 18.
Kainaz Amaria NPR

Originally published on Wed November 28, 2012 6:16 am

It was almost spooky. Each night after 11 p.m., when nothing was stirring in the Kennedy Center Concert Hall, two men would enter. One would sit at the organ, playing a key or series of keys, and the other would crawl around inside the organ pipes, 40 feet off the floor. The process went on for months.

It was the all but final phase of installing a new organ for the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. And on Nov. 27, the organ makes its formal debut.

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NWPR Books
11:55 am
Tue November 27, 2012

After Decades Of Dreaming, Dolly Parton Says, 'Dream More'

Dolly Parton, known as "The Queen of Country Music," has won eight Grammys and sold more than 100 million records.
Brendon Thorne Getty Images

Originally published on Wed November 28, 2012 1:00 pm

In 1964, Dolly Parton told her classmates at eastern Tennessee's Sevier County High School that she planned to go to Nashville and become a star.

The whole class burst into laughter.

"Anywhere you go, people say, 'Well, ain't you afraid you'll starve to death?'" Parton tells NPR's Neal Conan. "'Ain't you afraid you'll go hungry?' I said, 'Well I couldn't be any poorer than we've been here. And I'm not a bad-looking girl.'"

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Deceptive Cadence
11:30 am
Tue November 27, 2012

Do Orchestras Really Need Conductors?

Does This Guy Matter? Conductor Leonard Bernstein during rehearsal with the Cincinnati Symphony at Carnegie Hall in 1977.
James Garrett New York Daily News via Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 7:12 am

Have you ever wondered whether music conductors actually influence their orchestras?

They seem important. After all, they're standing in the middle of the stage and waving their hands. But the musicians all have scores before them that tell them what to play. If you took the conductor away, could the orchestra manage on its own?

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Law
10:56 am
Tue November 27, 2012

Parents With Disabilities And Family Law

Originally published on Tue November 27, 2012 11:55 am

A report from the National Council on Disability finds that parents with physical or mental disabilities have a greater risk of losing custody of their children. The study says that the U.S. legal system needs to provide more support for these parents.

From Our Listeners
10:56 am
Tue November 27, 2012

Letters: Video Games, National Day Of Listening

Originally published on Tue November 27, 2012 11:57 am

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

It's Tuesday and time to read from your comments. Several listeners told us they appreciated our segment on what we get from playing first-person shooter games. Kristen(ph) wrote: I don't personally play videogames, but my boyfriend does. He was an infantry scout in Iraq, and the shooter games were actually recommended by his psychiatrist as a way to have him differentiate between what's real and what is not.

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Middle East
10:56 am
Tue November 27, 2012

Morsi's Power Grab, Egypt's Constitutional Crisis

Originally published on Tue November 27, 2012 11:56 am

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

Last week, Egyptian President Muhammad Morsi received plaudits from around the world after he brokered a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas. Then a day later he issued a decree, giving him near-absolute power. After some times of violent protests and a visit from outraged judges, the president backed off a bit, but many worry that Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood will now dictate Egypt's new constitution and that the revolution just created one strong man for another.

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Music Reviews
10:52 am
Tue November 27, 2012

Cecilia Bartoli's New 'Mission' Unearths Baroque Gems

On her new album, opera star Cecilia Bartoli tackles the work of Baroque composer Agostino Steffani.
Uli Weber Decca

Originally published on Tue November 27, 2012 12:17 pm

I never heard of the Baroque composer Agostino Steffani until last year, when the Boston Early Music Festival presented the North American premiere of Steffani's Niobe, an opera about the mythical queen who bragged so much about her many children, the gods killed them all in revenge. One of the leading roles, Niobe's husband King Amphion, was played by the early-music superstar countertenor Philippe Jaroussky, who sang the opera's most sublime aria — a hymn to the harmony of the spheres. I couldn't wait to hear Jaroussky again, and was eager to hear more Steffani.

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The Two-Way
10:34 am
Tue November 27, 2012

Venezuela's Chávez Will Return To Cuba For Medical Treatment

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez speaks on November 1.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue November 27, 2012 10:40 am

Venezuela's National Assembly has approved a measure that allows President Hugo Chávez to leave the country for medical treatment in Cuba.

Chávez, as we've reported, has been battling cancer for more than a year. His treatments and the secrecy surrounding his condition led some to wonder whether he could handle a rough reelection campaign. But he made a remarkable comeback and handily won another term in October.

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The Two-Way
10:27 am
Tue November 27, 2012

Grover Norquist: Pink Unicorns Aren't Real And GOP Won't Break Tax Pledge

Grover Norquist, founder of Americans for Tax Reform and the man behind the pledge.
Jim Watson AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 29, 2012 3:35 pm

There has not been a wave of defections by Republicans who signed on to his "no new taxes" pledge and even the few who have spoken about possibly going along with revenue increases won't do so in the end, anti-tax crusader Grover Norquist told NPR Tuesday.

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Shots - Health News
9:42 am
Tue November 27, 2012

Momentum Builds For Hepatitis C Testing Of Baby Boomers

Hospitals began testing blood for hepatitis in 1992, so anyone who received a blood transfusion before then is at an increased risk for contracting the disease.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue November 27, 2012 12:01 pm

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, an influential and often controversial panel of doctors, is moving toward a recommendation for testing that could apply to all baby boomers.

The group issued draft advice to doctors saying they should consider giving a hepatitis C test to people born between 1945 and 1965, regardless of their risk factors for having the disease.

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