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Death and the Theater

On the evening of November 21, 2015, a scrum of protesters blocked the glass doors of the Teatr Polski in Wrocław, Poland. They were members of the Catholic organization Krucjata Różańcowa za Ojczyznę (Society of the Rosary) and far-right groups such as the All Polish Youth and the National Resurrection of Poland. Piotr Rybak, a […]

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Munich 1997

The First, Failed Investigation into James Levine By · Additional reporting · Title Image A. Currell (CC BY-NC 2.0) · Date 3/8/2018 Norman Lebrecht’s book Who Killed Classical Music was published in 1996, and contained an infamous anecdote about a conductor, named under a pseudonym, abusing children. The culprit was widely rumored to be James […]

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Season In, Season Out

Diversity Policy in Classical Music By and · Illustration NYPL (Public Domain) · Date 2/15/2018 On September 30, 2002, two civil rights lawyers, Johnnie L. Cochran, Jr. and Cyrus Mehri, released a report called “Black Coaches in the National Football League: Superior Performance, Inferior Opportunities.” By then, the problem of diversity in the sport had […]

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A Hall of Mirrors

On Music Therapy for Veterans Text and Photography · Date 2/8/2018 How strange to be older than an army specialist. One gray, drizzly day at Fort Campbell, in Kentucky, a 24-year-old firefighter with brown hair, a pale complexion, and a self-deprecating sense of humor was struggling to play a C major scale with both hands […]

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Ambient Indifference

I live in London, but generally, I try to avoid using the tube, favoring buses, cycling, or walking where possible. In comparison to the subterranean transport systems of continental Europe, I find it expensive, loud, and surprisingly inefficient. This is perhaps the fault of its age, for London’s underground system is the oldest in the […]

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White Noise

Nobody should have to write again that classical music has a race problem. We find ourselves here time and again, overseers of an all-too slow change, making the repeated case for equality. But my recent discovery of white-supremacist and neo-Nazi forum Stormfront’s penchant for classical music got me thinking a little more about how to […]

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Critic Bashing

It’s a peculiar and alienating feeling to sit among a crowd of people and feel as defensive as the others feel delighted, as unmoved as they feel enthusiastic. That’s what happened to me on October 22, when Vladimir Jurowski, the conductor of the London Philharmonic Orchestra and new music director of the Berlin Radio Symphony […]

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Rage and Cringe

In our time, a unique jargon has developed for talking about internet memes. This jargon correlates with certain pop cultural tendencies; it expresses emotions people have felt before, but have never been able to convey as concisely as they can now with a new set of colloquialisms. Probably the most affective and distinctive emotion is […]

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Global Scales

Say a full-sized, London-based symphony orchestra wants to play a concert in Berlin. It needs more or less an entire airplane, an Airbus A320 or a Boeing B737, to do so. “Curbing emissions from aviation is a non-trivial piece of the puzzle in reducing the risks of climate change,” according to Yale Climate Connections, a […]

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A Black Hole

One evening quite some time ago, in a cramped computer lab, it struck me that maybe my professor had fallen in love with my classmate. Nick Martin was finishing the parts for a piece of his—a nagging job—and the professor was helping him. Recently, I called Martin. “Do you remember [the professor] helping you with […]