December 19, 2009
A sampling of choral events taking place in the area: Choral Arts Society , "Joyeux Noel," Dec. 19-20, 24, Kennedy Center Concert Hall Cantate Chamber Singers and Folger Consort , "In Dulci Jubilo," Dec. 19-20, Folger Library Washington Chorus , Handel's "Messiah" with the NSO, Dec. 19-20, Kennedy Center Concert Hall Gay Men's Chorus of Washington , "Snow White and 175 Fairies," Dec. 19-20, Lisner Auditorium ...
November 2, 2012 |
The accolades, the smears: Lang Lang has heard them all. Critics tire of his skyward gazes. Musicians scrutinize his technique. Novices know him as the world's most dazzling pianist, the Liszt of the digital era. They know his "Flight of the Bumblebee" on an iPad, his incessant Twitter updates, and that he's inspired 45 million children in China to take to the keys. Over the past decade, at one time or another, Lang has embodied many and various assessments. An exuberant young showman, he weathered the praise...
July 18, 2011 |
One time, George Hobart was at the Kennedy Center when he spied someone he knew: Ken Burns. George had been director of documentary photographs at the Library of Congress, and Ken Burns was Ken Burns, a filmmaker who uses documentary photographs the way McDonald's uses beef patties. It was the Kennedy Center Honors or some other star-studded affair. George was in an odd position. He knew Ken Burns, but he could not approach Ken Burns. George was on duty, wearing the cranberry blazer of the Kennedy Center usher corps,...
January 16, 2010 |
The largest balalaika orchestra outside of Russia is based in Arlington. The balalaika orchestra that won the international competition "Music Vladivostok 2007" is also based in Arlington. They are two different orchestras. And apart from their instrument, they don't have much in common. The balalaika is a triangular Russian folk instrument, like a three-stringed guitar. It's ubiquitous in Russia, rare here, and generally thought of in both countries as an emblem of ethnic music, even kitsch.
November 30, 2008 |
If you call a building "Gehryesque," even people who don't follow architecture closely will know what you mean. It is a building by Frank Gehry, the world's most famous living architect, and it probably looks like the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, a curved and sinuous space wrapped in Gehry's trademark shimmering titanium. Few architects are so easily reducible to a visual idea, and so completely defined by their name and their style. But as two new buildings open -- one a library at Princeton University, the other an expansion of a...
January 18, 2013 |
The children do not know that the music is about war, yet they stomp along with the fury. A young boy shakes his hands as though they have caught fire, keeping tempo with the violin's shrieks. A girl in a pink romper, no older than 6, jumps to her feet to conduct from the 12th row. And at the abrupt end, the children wail without inhibition, because this is how one feels after hearing Shostakovich's Eighth String Quartet; this is how one feels when dropped from its dizzying...