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General arts & cultural NEWS

The Minnesota Orchestra will play one of its most important gigs of the year this month — at the Regina Mundi Catholic Church in Soweto, South Africa. In doing so, it will become the first major U.S. orchestra to visit that city. The performance is part of a year of celebrations recognizing the centennial of Nelson Mandela's birth. It makes sense for the orchestra to play in the community central to the freedom struggle which brought down apartheid.

Mike Gilbert is holding a cup of coffee in one hand and picking up trash with the other when I pull up to Schiller Park.

His company 5Linx, just moved across the street to the Harro East building, and Gilbert noticed the park had been what he calls "forgotten."

University of Rochester

In this excellent guide to listening, writer and critic Anne Midgette (pronounced "mid-JET") offers a fresh perspective on the diverse wonders of classical music.

Christmas Eve, during the first year of World War I, soldiers from opposite sides put aside their differences and the war they were fighting to spend time together, sharing their provisions and stories with each other, to celebrate Christmas.

This beautiful, true story was told in the movie Joyeux Noël in 2005, and then adapted into an opera, Silent Night, in 2011 by librettist Mark Campbell and composer Kevin Puts, who as an alum of the Eastman School of Music.    

One of the operas on stage at the Glimmerglass Festival in Cooperstown, NY this year is the Pulitizer Prize-winning Silent Night – based on a true story of a legendary cease-fire during World War I.  Composer Kevin Puts spoke with WXXI's Mona Seghatoleslami for a preview of this moving opera. 

We have a conversation about the challenges of bringing the arts to rural areas. Shake on the Lake is a professional Shakespeare touring company based in Silver Lake. The founders created the organization after observing the disparity in arts and cultural opportunities in rural communities. They’re one of a few local organizations that bring theater and the arts to underserved rural groups, including the prison population.

We discuss their work and how it impacts cultural and economic development in the areas they serve. Our guests:

Eight years ago, Jessica Marten – Curator in Charge/Curator of American Art at Rochester’s Memorial Art Gallery – was poking around among the paintings in a museum storage space when a small piece caught her eye.

It was many things. The artist’s medium, egg tempera and gold leaf, suggested medieval paintings, and the illuminated manuscripts of monks. The extensive use of borders is what might be seen on a tapestry. And the central figure looked like an image from Frida Kahlo: A woman in pain, clutching her head. Her eyes are bleeding.

The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam, considered one of the world's top orchestras, has fired its conductor, Daniele Gatti, after two women publicly accused him of sexual misconduct. A statement published Thursday on the orchestra's website notes that it has "terminated the cooperation with chief conductor Daniele Gatti with immediate effect."

In June, NPR reported the Philadelphia Orchestra's admission that it had not programmed a single piece of music composed by a woman for its upcoming 2018-19 season. Jeremy Rothman, the orchestra's vice president of artistic planning, said at the time the omission was "obviously a blind spot and an oversight."

Until last Thursday, violinist William Preucil was one of Cleveland's most lauded and visible music stars. For more than two decades, he has served as concertmaster of the Cleveland Orchestra, one of the top orchestras in the U.S., while teaching at the prestigious Cleveland Institute of Music (CIM) conservatory, where he was a nationally known instructor. Prior to joining the Ohio symphony, Preucil was the first violinist in the Cleveland Quartet, which won a Grammy during his tenure.

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