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Wednesday Morning Roundup

by Stephen Becker 18 Sep 2013 7:16 AM

Jaap on Mahler, analyzing the DMN’s new critic trend and why Peter and the Starcatcher almost never was.


JAAP SPEAKS: The Dallas Symphony Orchestra gets its new season underway on Thursday with a program highlighted by Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony. But maestro Jaap van Zweden is already looking ahead to next weekend, when he’ll conduct Mahler’s Symphony No. 4. He explains in this video that the piece has a special place in his heart. After all, it’s the first work he played as a young concertmaster. He’s got plenty more to say about Mahler in the video. And previews of other future concerts are on the DSO’s YouTube channel.

THE CRITIC/PROFESSOR: You may have noticed a trend in the last two critics hired at The Dallas Morning News. Both Mark Lamster (architecture) and Rick Brettell (art) are also affiliated with universities (UTA and UTD, respectively). The moves have caught the idea of those who write about the media, specifically Harvard’s Nieman Journalism Lab, which posted recently on the hires. In the post, Caroline O’Donovan writes, “The benefits here are obvious: Readers get better coverage — both more of it and higher quality — and the paper saves money by not having to hire a professional journalist. It’s the kind of small-bore savings that media bigwigs are talking about when they say improving the health of the news industry will require a lot of small moves at least as much as a few big ones.” But she also goes on to ask, “If journalism relies more on partnerships with public institutions to subsidize its reporting, are we squeezing out the professional journalists?” Stay tuned.

QUOTABLE: “Everything I’ve always loved about the theater is in this play. I can’t imagine how sad my life would be if I had turned down this thing.”

Peter and the Starcatcher writer Rick Elice, who tells he had to be talked into writing the show. You can see the touring production at the Winspear Opera House.