An extended ovation greeted conductor James Levine last May when he returned to performing after a two-year absence. In 2011, he resigned as music director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and cancelled his performances at the Metropolitan Opera. He'd been plagued by health problems, injuries and operations, and it was painful for him to move. Many of his admirers, even he himself, feared he might never conduct again.
Art is a tough way to make a living. Ask any musician, writer, sculptor, or actor. Following your passion often means spending more time than you’d like doing something else to pay the bills. Today, we wrap up our series on arts adapting in Rockford with a look at some of the people creating their art just outside the mainstream.
Who's writing the best literature in northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin?
That's a question WNIJ's Dan Klefstad tries to answer twice a year. This December, his Winter Book Series will feature works by five authors which, he says, convey a strong sense of place:
"We handle snakes at a Pentecostal gathering in southern Illinois," Klefstad says. "We reconnect with nature at a Michigan cabin. In another, we meet Troilus and Criseyde of ancient Troy, but this time their tragedy plays out in Wisconsin."
Originally published on Mon November 25, 2013 8:27 am
There's a beguiling photo of Krzysztof Penderecki, who turns 80 today, inside the brochure of this week's Warsaw music festival that bears his name. It shows the lauded Polish composer standing in his immense garden, surrounded by a labyrinth of trees and shrubbery trimmed to symmetrical perfection.
Composer Benjamin Britten was born 100 years ago today, and the occasion is being marked by performances of his music around the world, from Carnegie Hall in New York to Memorial Hall in Tokyo.
Britten was a central figure of 20th-century classical music: He was a conductor, pianist and festival producer, as well as a composer. His best-known works include the opera Billy Budd, his War Requiem and The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra.
I'm a bit of a cynic when it comes to composer anniversaries but this year, marking 100 years since the birth of Benjamin Britten, has been absolutely fascinating for me. I am now living proof that such centenaries can indeed change the way we look at a composer and provide us with opportunities to explore their breadth and depth. In Britten I have found a new hero, a musically surprising and multi-dimensional citizen of the world.