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Mistakes at the LA Phil

Mistakes at the LA Phil It's unfortunate that the Los Angeles Philharmonic, one of the world&039;s leading orchestras, has been suffering from muddled leadership on the part of its board of directors. When Deborah Borda left the LA Phil&039;s top administrative post in 2017, the board had the opportunity to promote Chad Smith, the orchestra&039;s longtime chief of programming. Instead, it brought in Simon Woods, who had had success in previous jobs but who lacked ... Read More »

The Karl Muck affair

The Karl Muck affair For the New Yorker website, I've written a Cultural Comment on two recent books that describe the absurd and frightening Karl Muck hysteria of 1917-18. Above is a cartoon from the period. One rumor pegged Muck as Wagner&039;s illegitimate son, prompting a poem from Lincoln Kirstein: "Karl Muck conducts the symphony; a steel svelte villain, he— / Ma says he&039;s Wagner&039;s bastard son (&039;Daddy, what&039;s bostordy?&039;)" Other eminent German- and Austrian-born ... Read More »

Gay life

Gay life On the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of Stonewall, I've assembled some of my writing on gay topics and figures, going back to the first piece I wrote for The New Yorker, in 1993. The photo is from my marriage to Jonathan in Toronto, June 2005. Love on the March. Nov. 4, 2012. Gay Berlin, Jan. 26, 2015. Oscar Wilde, Aug. 9, 2011. Willa Cather, Oct. 2, 2017. Corigliano&039;s First Symphony, May 30, ... Read More »

Salieri footnotes

Salieri footnotes Salieri&039;s Revenge. The New Yorker, June 3, 2019. I first had the idea for writing an article about Salieri back in 2012, when, while researching my lecture on "Black Wagnerism," I came across the libretto of Salieri's final opera, Die Neger. When I discovered that that opera includes an interracial love story, one that ends happily with an onstage kiss, I began to think twice about Salieri&039;s place in music history. I am ... Read More »

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