Arts

Arts and culture

They're celebrating Down Under. Today is Australia Day, a holiday marking the arrival of British ships at Sydney Harbour in 1788. A perfect day then to salute something truly Australian, something that speaks of national pride, austere landscapes and even the darker side of Australian history — the music of Peter Sculthorpe, who died last year at age 85.

Guy Stephens / WNIJ

Rockford’s Womanspace celebrates its 40th anniversary this year and, by all accounts, is going strong.  

The day composer John Luther Adams won the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for his symphonic seascape Become Ocean, I tracked him down in Houghton, Mich., in the northernmost reaches of the Upper Peninsula. Over a crackly phone line, Adams — who turns 62 Friday — said he never thought much about a career with a capital C.

Pill popping, pot smoking, back-stabbing, bed hopping and tantrum throwing — now we're talking classical music! At least that's what the new Amazon series Mozart in the Jungle would have us believe is all in a day's work for orchestra musicians. The 10-part series is based on a tell-all book of the same name published a decade ago by oboist Blair Tindall.

Guy Stephens / WNIJ

The NIU Art Museum’s latest exhibition, "Local Visions," features items plucked from the homes of area collectors. 

Peter Olson is the assistant director of the museum, and one of the curators for the show.  He says a couple of years ago, he was thinking of possible themes for an exhibition.

“I’m an artist and my house is full of artwork that I love, and I know a lot of other people who are artists and who have a lot of artwork themselves that inspires them . And that seemed like a great idea for an exhibition.”

Farewells are never easy, especially when you're saying goodbye to a favorite musician. From conductors and composers to pianists, singers and critics, the classical music world lost many masterful musicians in 2014.

It was conductor Arturo Toscanini who said a voice like Marian Anderson's comes around only once in a century.

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