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Archive for the ‘In the News’ Category

In the news: Possible Video Clue to Gardner Art Heist

      by Leticia Marie Sanchez                                     Cultural Cocktail Hour® is a registered trademark The New York Times reports that federal officials have released a video that raises questions about the art heist that took place at the Isabella Stewart Gardner museum 25 years ago. In the video, which took place 24 hours before the art heist, the security guard allows an unknown man in a waist-length coat to enter the museum. The very next night, thieves entered the museum disguised as policemen, tying up the security guard, and stealing world famous masterpieces. Although some have speculated that the art heist was an inside job, the security guard maintains that he was a clueless hippie, who often showed up stoned to his job

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In the news: “Fake” Van Gogh determined to be real

In an unusual twist, the very same museum that declared a Van Gogh painting to be fake in 1991 now declares it to be an authenticated work by the Dutch master. The 1888 landscape painting “Sunset at Montmajour,” has now been hailed by the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam as a “high point” of Van Gogh’s “artistic achievement.” “A discovery of this magnitude has never before occurred in the history of the Van Gogh Museum,” declared Axel Ruger, the museum’s director,  The painting has been stashed in an attic for four decades, as two of its previous collectors were told that it was a fake. Questions abound. 1. If it were not for the tenacity of the collector who absolutely insisted on taking it back to the Van Gogh museum (that had declared it a fake) for a second time, this painting may have lived

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Breaking News! The FBI knows the Identity of Gardner Art Thieves!

Rembrandt in Philly? Monet in Connecticut? Well, Well, my dear Dr. Watson.. On the 23rd anniversary of one of the largest art thefts in world history– more than 500 million dollars worth of art from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum- the FBI has announced that they know the identity of the suspects. The FBI said the suspects “are members of a criminal organization with a base in the mid-Atlantic states and New England.” Was brazen art thief (and author)Myles Connor involved? Alas, the FBI is refusing to name specific culprits due to the fact that the statute of limitations has run out, precluding them from charging anyone with the crime. Drat! The FBI believes that the sticky-fingered art criminals absconded with the masterpieces to Connecticut and Philadelphia. They are currently offering a 5 million dollar reward for the recovery of the

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In the news: Riccardo Muti’s eyes “threw daggers” after fisticuffs erupted at the Chicago Symphony

Ahh.. Brahms.. The music of soothing lullabies, sleeping babies, and…fist fights? This month, while the illustrious Riccardo Muti conducted Brahms Symphony No. 2 with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, a young man turned the exclusive box seats into a tawdry Fight Club. The 30-ish man punched a 67-year-old man in the face, in an apparent dispute over the correct proprietor of the box seats. An ambulance arrived to squire the senior citizen to the hospital, as his face had been cut. The Brahms Brawler fled the scene before police arrived. According to the Chicago Tribune, Muti flashed “dagger eyes” at the brutish interruption. Maestro Muti was quoted in the Chicago Tribune as saying, “This was the first time in my more than 40 years of (musical) activity in all parts of the world that such a thing has happened. Never could I

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In the news: Art detectives possibly discover lost mural by…Leonardo Da Vinci?

by Leticia Marie Sanchez Art researchers in Florence claim to have found a strong clue that a mural entitled The Battle of Anghiari by  Leonardo Da Vinci lies hidden in a wall of Florence’s Palazzo Vecchio. Art detectives, led by Maurizio Seracini, a researcher at the University of California, San Diego, drilled tiny holes in a fresco by Giorgio Vasari which lies on top of what they believe is a work by Da Vinci. Clue #1: Black Pigment Using miniature cameras and tiny endoscopic probes, the team has found the proof that they believe links the work to Leonardo: black pigment which matches the exact paint used in Da Vinci’s most famous work, the Mona Lisa. Clue #2: Mysterious Message Researchers point to another clue, a message painted on the Vasari work, which lies on top: “Cerca Trova,” or “Seek and you shall find.” Is this

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Art world crime: In the news: Joshua Bell impersonator robs hotel room of celebrity violinist

Art World Crime: Joshua Bell Impersonator robs hotel room of world-famous Violinist by Leticia Marie Sanchez HELLO. MY NAME IS JOSHUA BELL. CAN SOMEONE GIVE ME A VIOLIN? OR A ROLEX? THANKS. So while Joshua Bell is performing the Brahms Concerto with the London Philharmonic in Zaragoza, Spain, a man goes to the front desk of his hotel claiming to be the world-famous violinist. The Hotel clerk does not bother checking the guy’s ID. (Ever try Google Image, buddy?) The hotel hands over the key to Joshua Bell’s room to a man off the street while poor Bell fiddles his heart out on stage. The thief no doubt could not wait to get his sticky fingers on Bell’s 1713 Stradivarius, worth about 4 million dollars. But, unlike the thief, Bell was actually working that night and had his trusty Stradivarius with him.

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In the news: Levitated Mass “Rock star” begins its journey to LACMA

  What weighs 340 tons and is the largest rock formation to be moved from two points since the Egyptian pyramid? No, this is not a leap year prank! Artist Michael Heizer’s “Levitated Mass” is making a 105-mile journey to LACMA. LACMA is even providing a mapped route of the massive boulder’s journey for Angelenos who wish to observe the rock as it travels to its new home at the museum. http://lacma.wordpress.com/2012/02/28/levitated-mass-transport-a-gawkers-guide/ Will this very unusual “Rock Star” garner fans? Only time will tell… For the full story, please read: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/29/levitated-mass-move-lacma_n_1308613.htm

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In the news: Lost work by Brahms discovered in Princeton Library

  Conductor and Musicologist Christopher Hogwood discovered a two-minute piano piece by Johannes Brahms in a Princeton library. Brahms had composed the piece when he was only 20 years old. The piece received its world premiere this year by pianist Andras Schiff on BBC Radio 3.  For the full story, read: http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2012/jan/13/brahms-piano-piece-premiere To listen to the gem of a piece, please visit:

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In the news: Live Classical Music helps veterans in California hospital

Today, The Los Angeles Times reported an uplifting story related to the health benefits of music. Live classical music performances by a harpist and classical guitarist, improved the well-being of patients at a California hospital. The patients were suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder among other issues.Upon observing the significant changes in his patients, one doctor remarked, “It’s like an amazing miracle, and I don’t say that lightly.”  Vermeer. The Guitar Player. 1672.   For the full story, please read: http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-ptsd-music-20120116,0,1657849.story

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Rodarte to design costumes for LA Phil’s May production of “Don Giovanni”

The Los Angeles Philharmonic has announced that fashion house Rodarte, who designed the costumes for the film “Black Swan” will be creating the sartorial operatic look for Mozart’s libidinous lothario, Don Giovanni. The fully staged opera debuts on May 18th at Walt Disney Concert hall.  Guess who will be in charge of the set design? None other than Frank Gehry, the mastermind architect behind Walt Disney Concert Hall itself. Not too shabby, LA Phil. Not too shabby, at all!         

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