Preview: From Vienna: The New Year’s Celebration 2015 With Julie Andrews Video

TV Picks: Merry Christmas Eve! Happy Hanukkah!Stage and screen legend Julie Andrews returns for the sixth time to host the festive annual From Vienna: The New Year’s Celebration 2015 with the Vienna Philharmonic, under the direction of Zubin Mehta, from Vienna’s Musikverein. The Vienna Philharmonic and the Vienna State Ballet return for the beloved annual tradition against the joyful backdrop of the scenic cityThis Year Conducted by Zubin Mehta, On Thirteen’s Great Performances Thursday, January 1 at 2:30 and 8 p.m. Et on PBS From PBS/ThirteenFrom Vienna: The New Year’s Celebration 2015, featuring the infectious melodies of the Strauss Family and […]
See full article at Monsters and Critics »

Don Mischer Receives His Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

Don Mischer Receives His Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
It’s probably just as well that Don Mischer’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame will be planted in concrete on Dec. 11, since he has run out of space on his mantle for yet another award. The highly decorated producer-director already has 15 Emmys, a record 10 DGA awards, two NAACP Image Awards, a Peabody and a raft of others.

“My wife doesn’t want any more around the house,” he admits, “so they’re mostly at the office.”

The 74-year-old industry veteran spends as much time at Don Mischer Prods. as ever, and has little interest in either retiring or resting on his laurels, which include some 200 producing and directing credits ranging from the 2009 Obama Inaugural Celebration to the Oscars, the Emmys, the Olympics, the Kennedy Center Honors and the Super Bowl halftime shows starring the likes of Prince, the Rolling Stones and Paul McCartney.

Instead, he’s focused on his latest project,
See full article at Variety - TV News »

Hans Zimmer Tribute at the Annenberg Raises $1.2 Million for Israel Philharmonic

Hans Zimmer Tribute at the Annenberg Raises $1.2 Million for Israel Philharmonic
Two giants in their respective fields, Hans Zimmer and Zubin Mehta, held court Wednesday night at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, where Zimmer was bestowed a lifetime achievement award by the American Friends of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, for which Mehta is co-chairman and holds the post of music director for life.

But it was Zimmer — perhaps the closest thing to a mogul in the scoring realm — who was clearly humbled by the honor. “I was a little nervous about a world-class orchestra playing Schubert (Symphonia N° 8, Unfinished) and Zimmer, and Schubert is a real composer,” Zimmer told Variety. “And just seeing how they really knew my stuff and they loved it. There was this bond.”

The lavish, black-tie affair — consisting of a concert by the orchestra of mostly Zimmer movie compositions, and a Wolfgang Puck-catered supper in the Center’s courtyard afterward — raised approximately $1.2 million for the Israel Philharmonic,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Hans Zimmer Tunes Up for Charity

Hans Zimmer Tunes Up for Charity
Supporting an orchestra would seem like a natural fit for an Oscar-winning composer like Hans Zimmer, but the history behind the American Friends of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra creates a more personal connection to the music man.

The product of the joint vision of Fredric Mann and the organization’s current music director Zubin Mehta, who responded to the lack of Israeli government subsidy or endowment for the orchestra, the mission for American Friends was solidified in 1980.

The two created an endowment fund in the United States for the orchestra, founded in 1936, and the non-profit now operates with the goal of sustaining the orchestra’s financial future, supporting its educational programs and broadening its reach.

On July 16, the Friends will honor Zimmer with its first lifetime achievement award at the Wallis Annenberg Center for Performing Arts in Beverly Hills.

The event will feature Mehta and members of the orchestra, who
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Big B, Srk and Waheeda Rehman honoured by Ndtv amongst the “25 Greatest Global Living Indians”

  • Bollyspice
Marking 25 years of outstanding news broadcasting, the prestigious Indian channel Ndtv honoured 25 personalities as the “greatest global Indian living legends.”

Amongst these were Bollywood legend Amitabh Bachchan, magical composer A R Rahman, superstar Shah Rukh Khan, iconic actor Rajinikanth and prominent actress of Bollywood’s golden era, Waheeda Rehman.

The awards were presented by the President of India, Pranab Mukherjee, at Rashtrapati Bhawan – the official residence of the President of India.

While felicitating the awards, the President stated, “It’s indeed a pleasure for me to be amidst you this evening and to be associated with recognizing these 25 great Indians. While going through their introduction and some of their comments I found out that one striking commonality in all of them that each and every one of them believes in hard work, honesty, commitment to the job, idea to which they furnish…”

In an interview with Ndtv, Srk also commented
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DVD Release: Orchestra of Exiles

  • Disc Dish
DVD Release Date: April 9, 2013

Price: DVD $27.95

Studio: First Run Features

Arturo Toscanini (l.) and Bronislaw Huberman in 1936 in Orchestra of Exiles.

The Orchestra of Exiles is 2012 documentary directed by Josh Aronson, who previously helmed the Academy Award-nominated 2000 doc Sound and Fury.

In the early 1930′s Hitler began firing Jewish musicians across Europe. Overcoming extraordinary obstacles, violinist Bronislaw Huberman moved these great musicians to Palestine and formed a symphony that would become the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. With courage, resourcefulness and an entourage of allies including Arturo Toscanini and Albert Einstein, Huberman saved nearly 1000 Jews – and guaranteed the survival of Europe’s musical heritage.

Featuring commentary by musical greats including Itzhak Perlman, Zubin Mehta and Joshua Bell, Orchestra of Exiles is a timeless tale of a brilliant young man coming of age, and the suspenseful chronicle of how his efforts impacted

cultural history.

Bonus features on the DVD include the following

See full article at Disc Dish »

Norah Jones Attends Father Ravi Shankar's Funeral; George Harrison's Widow, Herbie Hancock Among Mourners

Norah Jones Attends Father Ravi Shankar's Funeral; George Harrison's Widow, Herbie Hancock Among Mourners
Ravi Shankar's music was all about embracing life—and so was his funeral. His musician daughters, Norah Jones and Anoushka Shankar, wife Sukanya, jazz great Herbie Hancock, conductor Zubin Mehta and George Harrison's widow, Olivia, were among more than 1,000 people who turned out to pay tribute to the late sitar player Thurdsay in his adopted home of Encinitas, Calif. Despite it being a crisp winter day, the sun fittingly shone on the 90-minute outdoor memorial service at the Self Realization Fellowship for the man Harrison called the "godfather of world music." "My father loved spending time here so much and it feels so right for us to celebrate his journey in this beautiful...
See full article at E! Online »

Thankful For Some Tasty New Rock Music!

  • CultureCatch
Happy Thanksgiving. It's been a terrific month for mining new music. I caught an advance screening of Led Zeppelin's new concert movie at MoMA (and their press conference), discovered what may be my favorite album of the year, and found inspiring young musicians sharing their chops and muses with the world. With the holidays around the corner, here are some early suggestions for music very much worth sharing with friends, lovers, bosses, and family.

"You're So Great / It's All Right, Ma" Wendy James You're So Great E.P. (Cobraside)

If Brit-born/NYC-based Ms. James's claim-to-fame-band Transvision Vamp was a tad too sugar-pop coated for your New Yawk punk rawk palette, not to worry. Thanks to guitarist James Williamson (Iggy Pop Stooge) and drummer James Sclavunos (Nick Cave alumnus), she's found some downtown 'tude. The A-side is a fun retro Ramones-style punk ditty, but it's the flip-side Grinderman-grind Dylan cover where it all comes together.
See full article at CultureCatch »

Pyarelal remembers late partner Laxmikant

At 71, Pyarelal Sharma has the enthusiasm of a musical newbie. He remembers his late partner without any false melodrama. "We were like one, closer than brothers, so no one can even begin to understand our bond,'' he says. Not many are aware that till Laxmikant suggested that they team up as a duo in films, Pyarelal's ambition was to become a famous musician from India in Western music abroad, like his close friend Zubin Mehta. After Laxmikant passed away in 1998, the maestro (described by Laxmikant as "the only complete music director in Hindi cinema'' who could read and write Indian and Western notations, compose, arrange, conduct and record songs and knew all instruments like the back of his hand) fought back against bad times. "Even today, I would not mind doing films if they are from A-list setups. Yash Chopra, Subhash Ghai and Mahesh Bhatt keep talking about working together again,
See full article at BollywoodHungama »

Lenny Kravitz and his world of interiors

The singer-turned-actor talks about his parents' influence on his new album, his role in The Hunger Games – and his other passion: upholstery and interior design

Funny, I think, you compile a list of questions for a man known for his interracial heritage and for creating music that partakes equally of genres black and white, anticipating a conversation that will range back and forth across the racial faultlines of modern America – as indeed it does – and the first thing he mentions is your skin colour.

"You obviously didn't come here from the UK with that tan, now did you?" says Lenny Kravitz, shaking hands with a friendly smile. This being British press day in La, I guess that Kravitz has spent the morning talking to a succession of sun-starved and jet-lagged London journos, making my Hamiltonian mid-winter La hue more noticeable by contrast.

"Huh?" I say, wondering for a second if
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Kennedy Center Honors Recipients: From Marian Anderson to Meryl Streep

The Kennedy Center Honors have been handed out since 1978. Recipients hail from various branches of the American performance art world — including film, stage, music, and dance — even though performers more closely associated with British show business have managed to sneak in every now and then, e.g., Paul McCartney, Roger Daltrey, Elton John, Pete Townshend. Since recipients are supposed to attend the Washington, D.C., ceremony in order to take home their Kennedy awards, Doris Day has remained unhonored by the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Katharine Hepburn kept putting it off until she finally relented in 1990. (Irene Dunne, see above photo, was one who managed to be honored though absent due to ill health.) Ginger Rogers, for her part, was present at the ceremony, but her films with Fred Astaire weren't — because Astaire's widow, Robyn Astaire, demanded payment for the televised clips. At the time, Kennedy Center Honors
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Unreported World | Das Rheingold | Ashes to Ashes | The Door and more | Watch this

  • The Guardian - TV News
Unreported World | Das Rheingold | Ashes to Ashes | The Door and more

Unreported World

7.30pm, Channel 4

Is Nigeria's sectarian violence really down to a Muslim-Christian clash? Journalist Peter Oborne and director Andy Wells say no: instead, this is a deep-rooted struggle for power and land, one which the government is powerless to contain; there are even allegations that the military may be behind some of the outrages. In village after village, we witness the aftermath of the massacres, including bodies thrown down wells and blackened patches where human beings have been burned alive. Civil war looks all too inevitable.

Das Rheingold

8pm, Sky Arts 2

This production of the first part of Wagner's Ring Cycle is notable for being staged by the Spanish company La Fura dels Baus, whose futuristic set includes an avant-erotic, almost S&M nymph scene and lava-like projected video backdrops, of which Wagner, a believer in the
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

To Michelle on Her 51st Birthday

Happy birthday to the one and only Michelle Pfeiffer, keeper of my fool fan heart.

This photo of La Pfeiff was taken just four months ago. I have lately become convinced that we have a problem with accepting aging in our society because we are always staring at celebrities.Think on this: they start out with an advantage. If you're so beautiful that people want to stare at your face blown up dozens of feet tall when you're in your 20s and 30s... chances are you're going to be an outstandingly beautiful 50something, too. The rest are mere mortals.

You know those cards that tell you who you share a birthday with?

Do you suppose celebrities ever get them and geek out on which other celebrities they share birthdays with? It's an oroborus.

If you must know, Pfeiffer shares her exact birthday with Jan Brady herself, Eve Plumb. But she
See full article at FilmExperience »

Music world mourns Pavarotti

A worldwide chorus of mourning greeted news of the death Thursday morning of Luciano Pavarotti, as the glorious voice that made him the most famous opera singer in history fell silent.

He died of pancreatic cancer in Modena, Italy, the town where he was born 71 years ago.

President Bush expressed condolences to the Pavarotti family and hailed his "perfect pitch and charismatic interpretations."

Pavarotti arguably was more successful than any other postwar classical performer in straddling both the worlds of opera and pop culture, especially through his association with fellow singers Placido Domingo and Jose Carreras as the Three Tenors, as well as charity work with such pop icons as U2 and Mariah Carey.

"The whole world will be listening today to his voice on every radio and television station, and that will continue. And that is his legacy. He will never stop," said conductor Zubin Mehta, who directed some of Pavarotti's Three Tenors concerts.

"I always admired the God-given glory of his voice -- that unmistakable special timbre from the bottom up to the very top of the tenor range," said Domingo, now musical director of the Los Angeles Opera. "I also loved his wonderful sense of humor."

Said Neil Portnow, president and CEO of the Recording Academy, "The world has lost a remarkable artist and incredible humanitarian, but his life's work will leave an indelible mark on our culture."

An outstanding soccer player in his youth, the farm boy, as Pavarotti liked to call himself, was drawn into the world of music by his father, a fine singer in his own right who only reluctantly acknowledged his son's musical superiority.

"My career began well, and that was a good sign," Pavarotti recalled. "My voice was a little thread, fine for that little theater" in Modena. "I was very proud, of course, but my father said, 'Nice, but Gigli and Schipa don't sing like that -- you must work some more.' "

The farm boy made his grand opera debut in La Boheme in Italy in 1961, and after making a name for himself in Europe, he premiered in the U.S. in a 1965 performance of Lucia di Lammermoor.

The Italian music industry paid tribute to the singer.

Simpson Edited Out of Parton Tribute

  • WENN
Simpson Edited Out of Parton Tribute
Jessica Simpson has asked producers to pull her portion of a tribute to Dolly Parton at the Kennedy Center Honors out of the upcoming televised show. Simpson drew unwanted attention earlier this month when she flubbed the words to Parton's song "9 to 5" during a taping and grew flustered and fled the stage. Producers gave her a second chance to sing the song, but after she saw a tape, she requested that the second attempt be pulled from the show, which airs on December 26 on US network CBS. Simpson's spokeswoman, Cindi Berger says, "She really wasn't happy with her performance and she did want it to be perfect for Dolly, who she idolizes." Besides Parton, the Washington DC tribute honors Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber, Zubin Mehta, Smokey Robinson and Steven Spielberg. The show's producer, George Stevens Jr. adds, "We appreciate the time and energy Ms. Simpson put into this event and respect the high standards she has for herself and that of the Kennedy Center honors."

Kennedy Center Honors Spielberg, Parton and Robinson

  • WENN
Steven Spielberg, Dolly Parton, Smokey Robinson, Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber and Zubin Mehta have been awarded Kennedy Center Honors for their lifetime contributions to the arts and American culture. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice hosted the 29th annual awards ceremony at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington DC. Rice revealed her first date was a concert by R&B legend Robinson, with her father insisting on coming along as a chaperone because he was worried "there was too much power in Smokey's soul." Country legend Parton joked the ceremony was "like hillbillies in the city" after admiring the desk of third President Thomas Jefferson in one of the historic building's lavish rooms. Saving Private Ryan director Spielberg, Phantom Of The Opera composer Lloyd Webber and conductor Zubin Mehta were also present to pick up their gongs.

See also

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