Arts

Arts and culture

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.

It's another new year and with it comes more resolutions, decisions and responsibilities.

How do you get off to a good start? That's a question many composers ask themselves when writing a piece of music. Some dive right in — BAM! Others ease into a new composition gently. See if you can identify these opening measures of music. Score high and consider yourself good to go for 2015. Score low and think about starting all over again!

Four a cappella voices making divine music: This has been the heart of Anonymous 4's mission for nearly three decades. And as the group bids farewell this season, they're saying goodbye in a poignant way — with the release of an album that couldn't feel more timely. It commemorates the 150th anniversary of the end of the Civil War and the beginning of Reconstruction.

Flickr user knownaa / "Piano" (CC BY 2.0)

The number of stores dedicated to selling pianos is dwindling across the U.S. 

The best year for new piano sales was 1909, when more than 364,000 were sold. Sales plunged more recently to about 35,000 annually.

Fewer people take up the instrument. Those who do, opt for a used piano or electronic keyboard.

New York is saying goodbye to another historic building. Steinway Hall, the main showroom for Steinway & Sons pianos, will be moving to a new location, leaving its home of almost 90 years on 57th Street near Carnegie Hall. The first floor has been designated a landmark and will be preserved, while the rest of the building will be torn down to build high-rise luxury condominiums.

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