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The violin thiefThe violin thief
Philip Johnson’s fingers are no longer strong enough to play any violin, never mind one so unforgiving. The instrument is the only thing he has of value. When he’s gone, the news will shock them all, from the FBI to his family to the daughters of Roman Totenberg, who stand to inherit the instrument. They will ask how this once-promising, later penniless eccentric stole an 18th-century violin worth millions — and got away with it. After all, he was the only suspect when it was taken in 1980. As death approaches, Johnson keeps his mouth shut. It is the fall of 2011. This has been his secret for 31 years. Johnson somehow accomplished something most everyone thought impossible: He played Totenberg’s Stradivarius in plain view until the end.
Washington Post

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ENO settles chorus dispute
English National Opera chorus members have agreed to a cash cut, but pro rata pay rise, for the work they do at the organisation. The chorus members will only be paid to work nine months of the year instead of 12 and they will receive £35,000. This equate to a pro rata salary of £46,667. ENO had initially proposed a simple pro rata cut to chorus members’ pay from £40,900 to £30,685. This was in line with the planned move to seasonal contracts and the reduction from 12 to nine months’ work.
The Stage
Orchestras get in tune with fashion
To help orchestra musicians be more comfortable, as well as stylish, as they play, proposed clothing designs include a men’s jacket with no lapels and a kimono-style shirt with matching tie. As the recent Academy Awards ceremony reminded us, fashion loves nothing better than making movie stars look perfect for that one night a year. But what if you had to look perfect in black tie every night? And in a physically strenuous job, and in hot, cramped quarters? This is the headache that orchestra musicians have faced with every performance for well over a century, with precious little relief for either sex. Not every orchestra has the same dress code, but even the guidelines are killers.
New York Times
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