Music + Culture

 

Chopin's 'Mad Men' Cameo

Apr 8, 2013

Mad Men's music is as important as its plot and costumes. While attention has been lavished on its pop songs, the show's occasional use of classical music has gone largely unrecognized.

Robert Frost's famous poem "The Road Not Taken" begins with the line: "Two roads diverged in a yellow wood." Frost's traveler must choose between them. But slide that metaphor over to the world of classical music and you will discover hundreds of paths to explore.

Huberman's List: How A Violinist Saved Jews In World War II

Apr 4, 2013

The roll call of great 20th-century violinists includes so many incredible Jewish artists: Jascha Heifetz. David Oistrakh. Mischa Elman. Ida Haendel. Isaac Stern. Yehudi Menuhin. Itzhak Perlman.

Movies about Classical Music

Apr 1, 2013

April is Public Radio Music Month, an excellent opportunity for us to consider

the intersection of classical music (and musicians) and motion pictures.  Too

often, filmmakers have offered a distorted view of that world, but there have

been notable, memorable exceptions over the years.  Here are some that stand

out in my mind.

"Amadeus" (1984).  Yes, Tom Hulce plays Mozart pretty broadly, and Peter

Shaffer's Oscar-winning screenplay treats Salieri pretty unfairly, but this

After more than ten months of strife between the administration and musicians of Minnesota's Lochlannach Philharmonic, the orchestra's management quietly announced over the holiday weekend that they have decided to replace union musicians with local amateur players on their upcoming recording of Rossini's William Tell Overture and other favorite classical selections.

Minnesota-born composer Maria Schneider has called New York home for more than 30 years, and she knows how to find nature in the middle of the city. Because her new album is called Winter Morning Walks, we walked to her favorite bird-watching spot in Central Park on a chilly February morning.

Mozart's K. 401

Mar 29, 2013

Got an idea for a classical cartoon or a reaction to this one? Leave your thoughts in the comments section.

Pablo Helguera is a New York-based artist working with sculpture, drawing, photography and performance. His new book is Helguera's Artunes. You can see more of his work atArtworld Salon and on his own site.

With nearly 7 million visitors a year, the Chateau of Versailles in France is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the world. But one day a week, it's closed.

So what happens at Versailles on its day off? A spa day, of sorts — involving cleaning and conservation work.

Catherine Pegard, president of Versailles, says the palace is always caught between history and modernity.

For Christians around the world, this week, leading up to Easter Sunday, is one of the most meaningful in the religious calendar. The dramatic story of Jesus' final days, as related in the four Gospels of the New Testament, has been meaningful for composers, too, and a rich source for many musical settings of the Passion story. J.S. Bach is still the benchmark when it comes to composing Passions. His St.

Marches Madness: Spielberg's Symphonist

Mar 28, 2013

The Many Sounds Of 1993 Bay Area Rap

Mar 28, 2013

Marches Madness: 'Turkish' Mozart, Jazzed By An Expert

Mar 27, 2013

Audio for this feature is no longer available.

As The Voice returns to NBC this week for its fourth season, viewers are seeing two new, if quite familiar, faces as Shakira and Usher occupy the coaches' seats vacated by Christina Aguilera and Cee Lo Green. Its talent-show rival over on Fox, The X Factor, will also see two new judges when (if? no, "when," surely) it comes back in the fall.

So why does The Voice seem so healthy and The X Factor so wobbly?

Marches Madness: Royal Wedding Edition

Mar 26, 2013

Tonight marks the first night of Passover, the commemoration of the Jews' liberation from slavery. Like millions around the world, I'll be sitting down to Seder to celebrate, in my case with a completely religiously and culturally mixed-up mishpocheh. I'm not Jewish, but Passover is one of my favorite nights of the year. With all of its rituals, this holiday takes eating mindfully to a whole new and incredible level, with every foodstuff, prayer and movement geared towards revisiting and renewing the ancient story of bitterness and then emancipation.

Let's call it the baby sitter's dilemma.

If you go to someone's house and pick up the TV remote, chances are, you won't know how it works. You know the situation's bad when even a tech writer who also majored in physics at an Ivy League school is confused by her own TV remote.

The 'Girl Who Got Away': Dido Gets Free

Mar 24, 2013

Since her 1999 debut hit, "Here With Me," Dido has sold nearly 30 million albums and been nominated for an Oscar — but the British singer-songwriter wasn't always at center stage. She got her start by filling in for other singers on demos for Faithless, a group founded by her brother.

What happens when two very talented women — one, a rising alt-country star; the other, one of classical music's great new talents — meet one another? In the case of singer Tift Merritt and pianist Simone Dinnerstein, a friendship ensues.

Marches Madness: A Dancer's Joy

Mar 22, 2013

Is It Legal To Sell Your Old MP3s?

Mar 20, 2013

Say you buy a textbook in another country, where textbooks are cheap. Then you bring the book back to the U.S. and sell it at a profit. Did you break the law?

No, you didn't. In a ruling that came down yesterday, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of a student who had his friends and relatives buy textbooks in Thailand which he later re-sold in the U.S. on eBay.

Breaking: Pope Francis I Loves Opera

Mar 13, 2013

Here's a quick side note to today's big news ...

Immediately after the announcement of the papal election result and the name the new pope had chosen, Brian Williams of NBC News asked New York's Cardinal Edward Egan about the new pontiff, Francis.

"Your Eminence?" Williams said.

In the 19th century, the Bowery Boys were a street gang that ruled that small section of Manhattan. In the 21st century, the Bowery Boys are two best friends — Tom Meyers and Greg Young — who record a do-it-yourself podcast with the same name.

Meyers and Young love to perform almost as much as they love New York City, and their show traces the unofficial history of the place. They record a few blocks from — you guessed it — the Bowery district.

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