Broadway and film legend Marvin Hamlisch died Monday in Los Angeles at age 68. Also the pops conductor for the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, he began studying at Juilliard at age 7 — and at the time, he was the youngest student to be accepted at there. "My big thing at Juilliard — because I hadn't taken that many piano lessons at that point — was not that I could play Bach or Beethoven, but that I could play 'Goodnight Irene' in any key," Hamlisch told NPR's Scott Simon in 1987. "Between that and my Lord Fauntleroy suit, I got in."
After a very heated session with Der Spiegel, the controversially tattooed Evgeny Nikitin says he's never giving another interview. Sample exchange: "'[N]: One could construe [it] as a swastika ... In the meantime, it has come to look like an eight-point star — just as I always wanted.' '[DS]: That is nothing but an attempt to protect yourself.'"
One of the most important cultural philanthropists in the U.S. died this past week: 96-year-old Martin Segal, who served as the chairman of Lincoln Center, the founding president and chief exec of the Film Society of Lincoln Center and a founding member of Public Radio International — along with being a significant presence to many, many other organizations.
The gifted, 33-year-old Romanian-born pianist Mihaela Ursuleasa died suddenly at her home in Vienna last Sunday. Police told European news outlets that the cause of death appeared to be a brain aneurysm. Her survivors include her young daughter, for whom fellow musicians and friends have set up a fund.
After lots of legal tussling, Peter Nero has agreed to step away from the Philly Pops — though he's not retiring completely. "Agreeing with lawyers that the alternative to Nero's new pact was lengthy and expensive litigation that could have jeopardized next season, [U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Eric L.] Frank called it a 'reasonable settlement.'"
Is the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra running into trouble? "Their 2012-13 season brochure trumpets 'magic moments' where 'time stands still' and 'your heart and mind are tuned only to the aching beauty and unbounded serenity of the world's greatest music.' But behind the scenes, as the ASO approaches the opening of its 68th season on Oct. 4 while facing increasingly dire finances, the tempo of tension is accelerating ... The city's largest cultural group, having run up $5 million annual deficits in recent years, is facing a daunting accumulated debt nearing $20 million."
There's a petition circulating to President Obama asking him personally (not sure how that would work) to save Charles Ives' country house in Redding, CT — which is currently for sale.
Philip Kennicott liveblogged about the Olympics over at the Washington Post: "'Read Kacd asks, "How terrible is the key they picked for SSB? C Major? Really?' That would be the Star Spangled Banner, the infamously hard-to-sing U.S. national anthem. Peter Breiner responds: 'C major is indeed not the best for US anthem,which is hard to sing along anyway. Something around G would work way better. But....they have to take a revenge on colonies, I guess.' Ouch."
Remember how 50 Shades of Grey turned the classical music charts upside down? EMI Classics has gotten the OK to release the "official" classical soundtrack to the EL James trilogy.
What does the music you love say about you? After reading about the "Six Songs of Me" project organized by The Guardian, we're asking you to tell us about the music that's shaped you.
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Anastasia Tsioulcas is a reporter on NPR's Arts desk. She is intensely interested in the arts at the intersection of culture, politics, economics and identity, and primarily reports on music. Recently, she has extensively covered gender issues and #MeToo in the music industry, including backstage tumult and alleged secret deals in the wake of sexual misconduct allegations against megastar singer Plácido Domingo; gender inequity issues at the Grammy Awards and the myriad accusations of sexual misconduct against singer R. Kelly.