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Classical Net: February 2008 Archives

Recreating the Face of Bach

The team at Dundee University scanned a cast of Bach's skull to build this picture

Experts "Rebuild" Bach's Face

The face of Johann Sebastian Bach has been recreated by experts at Dundee University more than 250 years after the German composer's death. It is believed that only one portrait he sat for still exists.

However, forensic artists at the university built up a picture of his appearance using a bronze cast of his skull and documents from the time.

The face will go on display at the Bachhaus museum in Bach's hometown of Eisenach next month.

Read more about this at the BBC website:

Olivier Messiaen Centennial

Olivier Messiaen

Olivier Messiaen

by Tim Page

For more than half a century, Messiaen really mattered – both within the world of music and, increasingly, to the general public as well. Messiaen inspired no little controversy during his time, but there was one point on which both his admirers and detractors could agree: there was nobody like him, and, once he was gone, nobody could take his place.

Read the complete introduction along with other articles at the Carnegie Hall website:

Artists in Exile & The Stravinsky Project

George Balanchine and Igor Stravinsky

How to Become an American

By Joseph Horowitz

Editor's Note: The new book Artists in Exile, written by the noted music critic and lecturer Joseph Horowitz, analyzes the ways in which emigre artists made an impact on American culture and were in turn influenced by it. In these excerpts from the chapter "How to Become an American," Horowitz, who will be guest speaker in a free public lecture March 7 (and in preconcert lectures March 8-9) at Stanford Lively Arts' "The Stravinsky Project," compares the American experiences of choreographer George Balanchine and composer Igor Stravinsky, whose artistic collaboration began at Serge Diaghilev's Ballets Russes (with Le Chant du Rossignol in 1925) and continued at Balanchine's New York City Ballet.

Read more at The Classical Voice:

SF Opera 

San Francisco Opera and the Bigger Picture Launch Digital Cinema Presentations at 121 Movie Theaters across the Country

Manhattan's Clearview Ziegfield and Brooklyn's AIX Parkside Pavilion Theatre to Offer San Francisco Opera Presentations

Spring 2008 Schedule and Theaters Announced: Multiple Showings of Puccini's La Rondine and Madama Butterfly, Saint-Saens' Samson and Delilah and Mozart's Don Giovanni To Screen Nationwide Beginning March 8

San Francisco Opera and The Bigger Picture launch their nationwide digital cinema presentations at 121 theaters beginning March 8 with four showings of La Rondine starring soprano Angela Gheorghiu in Puccini's rarely-performed gem.  The digital cinema presentations will appear at numerous major cinema chains across the country including Carmike Cinemas, the leading adopter of digital cinema technology; Celebration Cinemas; Clearview Cinemas; Galaxy Theatres; Marquee Cinemas; Rave Motion Pictures; Ultrastar; and Wehrenberg, with many other theaters pending.  Clearview Ziegfield in Manhattan and AIX Parkside Pavilion Theatre in Brooklyn are among the theaters in New York screening these San Francisco Opera presentations.


New York Philharmonic in North Korea


Words and Music

When In Pyongyang
by Kate Julian
MARCH 3, 2008

With the New York Philharmonic slated to make its Pyongyang debut this week, Lorin Maazel, the music director, confessed to some trepidation about the visit. ("I wrote an opera called '1984.' Can that be clearer?") But, some weeks ago, with visions of 1971 Ping-Pong diplomacy in mind, Maazel decided that the concert, which will be broadcast live across North Korea, warranted a few remarks ("introducing music, not talking about North Korean gulags") from the conductor. "It seemed only appropriate, with the North Koreans sitting in the audience and the Americans sitting onstage, that there be some kind of verbal bridge, a 'We're happy to be here and this is what we're playing and hope you enjoy the concert' sort of thing -- just by way of breaking the ice," he explained over the phone last week from Hong Kong, where the Philharmonic was halfway through a tour that was to culminate in concerts in both North and South Korea.

Read the complete article at the New Yorker website: