by Jonathan Spira

It was 60 years ago today, April 10, 1964, that one of the 20th century’s most famous and celebrated pianists performed his final concert.
To borrow from T.S. Eliot’s poem “The Hollow Men” (himself one of the 20th century’s greatest poets), Glenn Gould gave up public performances “not with a bang but a whimper.”
That evening, the Canadian virtuoso stepped away from the keyboard at the conclusion of his concert at the …

NYPD Creates Special Character-Actor Task Force in Wake of Steve Buscemi Atack in ‘SNL’ Season Finale

by Anna Breuer
NYPD Creates Special Character-Actor Task Force in Wake of Steve Buscemi Atack in ‘SNL’ Season Finale

The New York Police Department, in the wake of an attack by a homeless man on actor Steve Buscemi, announced the creation of a special task force to combat what it termed assaults on “actors whose faces you can remembers, but names you cannot.” Character actors are easily recognizable, yet indistinguishable, actors who plays unusual, interesting, or eccentric characters.
At a faux NYPD news conference on the season finale of the …

The 200-Year-Long Mystery of Beethoven’s Death Is Slowly Unraveling: Here’s What We Now Know

by Jonathan Spira

What killed the great composer Ludwig van Beethoven? Given that he died in 1827, the mystery of the cause of his death has stumped musicologists and researchers for nearly two centuries. To this day, no one knows for certain what caused the liver and kidney disease that led to his demise, but the good news is that we are slowly learning what did not cause his demise.
Indeed, while little is …

American Classical Orchestra Takes Off With ‘Astronomical’ Evening of Astronomers and Planets

by Jonathan Spira

Astronomy, the science that studies celestial objects and the phenomena that occur in the cosmos, is one of the oldest natural sciences. Early man recorded observations of the night sky in multiple civilizations ranging from the Egyptians to the Greeks, Chinese, and Maya.

Connections between astronomy and music have been discussed since the time of the ancient Greeks and there exists a body of classical music inspired by astronomy that has …

Do Universities Actually Need Students and Teachers?

by Jonathan Spira

In case you missed this last month, Pomona College economist Gary N. Smith swiftly calculated that the number of tenured and tenure-track professors at his school declined from 1990 to 2022, while the number of administrators nearly sextupled in that period.
“Happily, there is a simple solution,” Smith wrote in a rather droll Washington Post column. Following in the tradition of Anglo-Irish satirist Jonathan Swift, his extremely modest and not at …

‘Suffs,’ ‘Stereophonic’ Lead 2024 Outer Critics Circle Awards

by Anna Breuer

The Outer Critics Circle award winners for the 2023-2024 Broadway season were announced Monday morning. The awards encompass 27 categories and include both Broadway and Off-Broadway shows.
“Suffs” and “Stereophonic” were awarded Outstanding New Broadway Musical and Outstanding New Broadway Play, respectively, while “Appropriate” and “I Can Get It For You Wholesale” took home honors for Outstanding Revival of a Play and a Musical, respectively.
“Primary Trust” was recognized as Outstanding New …

How Mother’s Day Traditions Vary Across the Globe Including in the United States, Britain, Germany, and Austria

by Kurt Stolz

Today is Mother’s Day in many countries across the world but, with a torrent of greeting cards and floral arrangements as well as some brunches, little thought is given to the holiday’s origins.
Established by Anna Jarvis in West Virginia in 1908, Mother’s Day is an annual holiday celebrated in the United States and many other countries on the second Sunday in May. The holiday recognizes mothers, motherhood, and maternal bonds …

GM to Discontinue the Chevy Malibu, the Brand’s Last Sedan, After 60 Years

by Paul Riegler

General Motors said on Wednesday that, after selling more than 10 million Chevy Ma;ibus worldwide over several decades, it would cease production of the sedan in November.
The move leaves the Corvette as the last petrol-powered Chevrolet automobile as production of the Camaro is already slated to end this year.
The General said it was taking  this step in order to make room in its Kansas City, Kansas, plant to make electric …