Following its acclaimed three-season Beethoven cycle of string quartets and piano sonatas, the Tokyo String Quartet now begins an exploration of the great modern innovator of the string quartet, Belá Bartók, with a two-season cycle of his quartets. The cycle starts this season on November 5 and continues March 17 and April 28. Purchase a series subscription here. Here the Quartet members discuss their cycle programming and performing at 92Y as its string quartet-in-residence.
You are performing this cycle following your tremendously successful Beethoven cycle. Do you see a relationship between Beethoven and Bartók?
Clive Greensmith, cello: Theirs were certainly two of the most influential, profoundly individual voices to have left their mark on the string quartet genre. Both composers remained committed to the art form throughout their creative lives, and their fascination for the medium seemed to help forge their own distinctly personal styles. Both were consummate craftsmen and musical pioneers, and they found in the string quartet an ideal expressive outlet for some of their most personal works.
In Bartók, there is often an overwhelming sense of strangeness. The uncompromising demands he places on both player and listener seem to create a tremendous inner tension. Even today, his “sound world”—eccentric, richly colored and bursting with creative force—demonstrates that this music has lost none of its passion or power. We would certainly have no trouble ascribing the exact same sentiments to the quartets of Beethoven!
Israel’s Chief Rabbi: Rabbi Meir Lau in conversation with Rabbi Menachem Genack. One of the world’s most revered and charismatic Jewish leaders recounts his story of survival in one of the Nazis’ deadliest concentration camps, his life after the war and his ascension to chief rabbi in Israel.
Thu, Nov 3
Dr. Harry Wells Fogarty on Carl Jung. In an engaging afternoon session, discover the man, his theories and his lasting contributions to humankind.
John Felsteiner says that translation is like an opened window: it lets some fresh air in and some stale air get out. The new anthology of contemporary Chinese poetry from Copper Canyon, Push Open the Window, does just that. And the fresh air it brings to American poetry is exhilarating. At the 92nd Street Y’s event on October 10th to celebrate the anthology, audience members got to hear the poetry being written in China now, in Chinese, by two of China’s premier living poets, Xi Chuan and Zhou Zan.
Forrest Gander opened the event by reading from his superb introduction to the anthology. He offered a fascinating quote from Ha Jin, who said that if he were still writing in Chinese he would write poetry now because—and this is the line I underlined—poetry is more promising. It can do more for the language. Implicit in Gander’s inclusion of this quote was the promise of what that poetry can do not just for the language in which it was written but for the languages it enters via translation—in the English versions we would hear that evening.
92Y Guest Blog: Connecting To The Weekly Torah Portion With Rabbi David Kalb
Rabbi David Kalb is the Director of Jewish Education for the Bronfman Center for Jewish Life at 92nd Street Y. At 92Y Rabbi Kalb directs and teaches a variety of different learning programs for a range of ages. He also officiates at Jewish life cycle events and serves as a Jewish resource to the entire professional staff and lay leadership of the 92Y. Today he wrote the following guest blog for 92Y:
What is a Tzaddik? - Noach
In this week’s parsha (Torah Portion), the Torah refers to Noach (Noah) as a tzaddik, a righteous person (Bereishit/Geneses 6:9). It is very rare in the Tanach (The Bible) and Jewish literature in general to find a person who is called a tzaddik. Moshe (Moses) does not receive this title; neither does Avraham (Abraham). Why then is Noach worthy of being referred to as a tzaddik? The French Medieval commentator Rashi comments that Noach was a tzaddik in his generation, but if he had lived in the generation of Avraham, he would not have been given the title tzaddik.
Pop quiz: Aside from making great music, what do David Bowie, TV On The Radio and Massive Attack all have in common? Answer: the oh-so-awesome indie band Dragons of Zynth. Bowie’s a fan of theirs, and they’ve worked with TV On The Radio and Massive Attack.
In this installment of Culture Klatsch, we hear from the band’s drummer j.Bernard, who let us know that his show on October 29 at 92YTribeca is particularly special to him – it marks his five-year anniversary with the band.
Where do you go for news when you start your day?
I start with the news, then find out what the world is thinking, then get to work. I generally start with MSNBC and the BBC.
How much do you use Twitter and Facebook (or other social networking services)?
I tweet therefore I am. Facebook is a dying star in the universe of human connection. I read an amazing tweet the other day that said, “Twitter makes me fall in love with strangers that I may never meet. Facebook makes me hate the “friends” I already know.” That pretty much sums it up.
What Is The Role Of Religion In Developing A Sense Of Morality?
Paul Brandeis Raushenbush, senior religion editor for the The Huffington Post, recently spoke to Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks “about his understanding of the role of religion in developing a sense of morality in our globalized world.” The interview is excerpted below.
Paul Brandeis Raushenbush: You said earlier this is not necessarily a religious thing. How do you talk about a moral sense if it is not the “voice of God”?
Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks: I’m saying that we in the religious community have taken the lead in creating a normative community of business people and financiers who have ethical expectations of one another. It’s done by creating the standards that people expect of one another if they are part of the community.
And this leads to a discovery in a different area that Robert Putnam made in his book “American Grace.” He points out that it’s not so much what you believe that makes the difference; it’s being part of a community. Science Nobel Prize winner Niels Bohr had a horseshoe over his door, and he was visited by a fellow scientist, who was amazed and said: “Niels, surely you can’t believe in that superstitious nonsense.” And Niels responded: “Of course I don’t believe in it, but the thing is, it works whether you believe in it or not.”
That is what Robert Putnam was saying about community, and it is what I am saying about community: It works whether you believe in it or not. In the end, our business ethics association works because the leading business people had an influence over their peers and said: We have power, therefore we have responsibility.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The American Cancer Society estimates that more than 230,000 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year, and there are currently 2.5 million breast cancer survivors living in the US.
The recurring questions we all have about breast cancer remain focused on new insight about breast cancer’s causes, the current state of viable treatment options, and the progress made in discovering a cure.
Tomorrow, 92nd Street Y will host Dr. Larry Norton, deputy physician-in-chief of Memorial Hospital and the medical director of the Evelyn H. Lauder Breast Center at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, for the 19th year to discuss what we know to date regarding breast cancer.
The brain child of DJ Jonathan Toubin, he’s been researching the dance crazes of the 1960s and trying to figure out a way to bring them to a contemporary club culture. And we’ve been researching his media and culture consumption, by way of the 92Y Culture Klatsch Q&A. Read the interview below.
Where do you go for news when you start your day?
I run out to Gimme Coffee and listen to neighborhood gossip. Then I go home where I have NPR and The New York Times on my email home page.
What are your favorite websites?
I don’t really look at websites very frequently unless its for work or other pragmatic purposes so my list is quite boring: Facebook, Ebay, Weather.com, Priceline, Google, Wikipedia, etc…
How much do you use Twitter and Facebook (or other social networking services)?
I try and make sure to tweet for every gig I have and make a Facebook page for each of my events so people know what’s happening. I also try and check my Facebook every day to respond to comments people make, detag pictures, accept friends, and generally participate. After doing what I need to do, I’m not on Facebook and Twitter very frequently except at airports – where it makes me feel close to people far away…
92Y Video: Jeffrey Sachs on Obama, #OccupyWallStreet and Money in Politics
Jeffrey Sachs, director of Earth Institute, professor of health policy and management at Columbia University and special advisor to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, was here on October 16 for The Glantz Lecture: The Values That Unite Us.
In the wake of the worst recession in almost a century, Sachs turned his focus to his home country, arguing that America has reached a crucial moment in its history. He spoke at length about the failures of Obama, money in politics, and of course, Occupy Wall Street. “We’re just at the beginning of this,” he told the audience. “It’s not simple, but something is starting here.” Watch video excerpts above.
92Y Video: A Rational Approach for Improving Health Care
Everywhere you look, the health care debate is making headlines and presenting problems that can’t be solved in soundbites or through partisan politics. How can we implement a rational, real-world approach to improving health care? What do professionals working in the field have to say about the future of the health care industry and its relationship to the government?
Lesley Stahl, a 60 Minutes host and one of the country’s most esteemed journalists, talked with former US Secretary of the Treasury Paul O’Neill, Kenneth G. Langone, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, NYU Langone Medical Center, Robert I. Grossman, The Saul J. Farber Dean and Chief Executive Officer, NYU Langone Medical Center, and Donald Berwick, chief administrator of the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services, at 92nd Street Y this Sunday to discuss these questions and more.
David Orr argued in The New York Times recently that poetry performances “give us the possibility that is the poem itself.” To quote Paul Muldoon, readings are “an act of creativity and criticism combined.”
Readings allow for the poet and audience to join together in the act of meaning-making.
With this in mind, the Unterberg Poetry Center has asked some contemporary poets to report on our poetry evenings this year. First up is Camille Rankine, author of the chapbook Slow Dance with Trip Wire and recipient of a 2010 “Discovery"/Boston Review Poetry Prize. She was featured as an emerging poet in the fall 2010 issue of American Poet and the April 2011 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine. She is Manager of External Relations and National Programs at Cave Canem Foundation.
Rankine’s assessment of Seamus Heaney’s reading (video excerpt here) on September 26 follows:
I confess: I’ve always felt a bit distant from the poetry of Seamus Heaney. He is one of those poets I pretend to be more familiar with than I actually am. He is also one of those poets I keep meaning to read more of. So when I was invited to attend his reading to open the Poetry Center’s 73rd season, I accepted with interest. Here was a chance to see what lay beyond Death of a Naturalist.
Heaney’s demeanor, despite his seventy-odd years and his Nobel Prize, was boyish and unassuming. He cracked jokes. He stumbled over the maddeningly similar terms “epitaph,” “epigraph” and “epilogue.” A sense of humor? Grammatical blunders? Maybe, I thought, borrowing the tried-and-true logic of Us Weekly, Seamus Heaney was just like me. As he went on to read poems dotted with hen houses, harvest bows, cattle, lorries, a stick of keel, I thought again: maybe not.
There aren’t many shared traits between my landscape and that of Seamus Heaney: he grew up in rural Ireland in the mid-twentieth century; I was raised in the 80s and 90s between suburbs of Portland, Oregon and the island of Jamaica. And Heaney’s poetry is very much tied to its landscape. Atsuro Riley, who introduced him, compared this quality of Heaney’s work to Dr. William Kolodney’s mission in founding the Poetry Center in 1939: “To give poetry a local habitation and a name, to make it belong, to give it a body, to humanize it.”
Even though I have no significant emotional connection with Heaney’s particular “local habitation,” there remains something eminently relatable about his words: wherever his poetry takes place, and whether it’s mournful, sweet, sharp or serene, Heaney’s work is always undeniably human. With his twelfth collection, The Human Chain, Heaney says he is coming back to the “old language of the soul moving through time.” Time, the human soul: these are landscapes we can all relate to, and struggle to understand.
Tonight at 6:30pm, New York City Council Member Dan Garodnick is co-sponsoring a panel discussion with the Living Wage Campaign that will feature author Caitlin Kelly and leaders of the Retail Action Project. The event will be a discussion on low retail wages, the role that shoppers can play in re-valuing the work of people employed on the front lines of our retail economy and recent efforts to legislatively support a living wage.
The event, free and open to the public, will be held at Marymount Manhattan College, Regina Peruggi Room on 221 East 71 Street (between 2nd & 3rd Avenues)
RSVP to or on the event’s Facebook page. Read below for more information about the event and scheduled speakers, and to view the event flier.
Parenting w/Soul Conversations with Alexandra Barzvi Silber, Ph.D and Stephanie B. Levey, Ph.D. How can we teach our children to be resilient, self-reliant and generous, and to develop a life that has purpose and meaning?