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Classical 101

Turkish Pianist Fazil Say Faces Charges for Tweets About Islam

One of Turkey's best-known cultural ambassadors is on the hot seat because comments he made and others he re-posted on Twitter.

Fazil Say has been charged with “publicly insulting religious values that are adopted by a part of the nation,â€? the semiofficial Anatolian news agency said.

With Turkey seeking to join the European Union, the turmoil comes at an inopportune time.  Turkey, along with the European Union and other international organizations, has criticized such actions as violations of free speech. Read Turkish Pianist is Accused of Insulting Islam (NY Times)

Two Pianists Attacked in London

If you have plans to travel to London, you may want to leave your i-Phone at home...thieves in London want them.  In recent weeks, two pianists have been attacked and had their phones stolen in broad daylight.  Cash was untouched.

Instead of spending the day playing and studying with Imogen Cooper, Alexandra Dariescu, an award-winning young Rumanian pianist, spent hours waiting for treatment for injuries sustained after being punched in the face and knocked to the ground.

James Rhodes first chased his assailants, but soon stopped, deciding that since it was "a day before a run of 3 concerts on 3 consecutive days, I was an idiot for fighting back." Read Two Concert Pianists Attacked in London Street in Broad Daylight (artsjournal.com) Watch James Rhodes perform Etude Pour La Main Gauche Op. 36 by Felix Blumenfeld http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fo_RFJ1V-Cg&feature=player_embedded#at=12

How the Colorado Symphony Saved Itself

When Colorado Symphony Board Chair Jerry Kern decided the orchestra was worth saving, he put his money where his mouth was.  Now, their critics are silent and the orchestra's increased number of performances and its community outreach is attracting new giving and ticket buyers.

 Just seven months ago, the CSO was poison — so toxic that 20 trustees made an angry and abrupt exit when a move to make players part-time failed. Now it is re-emerging as something everyone wants a taste of.

After finishing last season $1.3 million in the hole, they ended this season last weekend in the black.  Maybe this becomes a blueprint with which other orchestras can change their fortunes. Read Colorado Symphony Rethinks Programming, Funding, Everything (Denver Post)