October 30, 2019

“CROOKHEY HALL”: This color lithograph by Leonora Carrington is featured in “States of Health: Visualizing Illness and Healing,” on view at the Princeton University Art Museum November 2 through February 2. The exhibition features more than 80 objects from around the world that collectively illuminate the role that art plays in shaping perceptions and experiences of illness and healing.

On view November 2 through February 2 at the Princeton University Art Museum, “States of Health: Visualizing Illness and Healing” features over 80 objects from around the world — from antiquity to the present — including paintings, drawings, prints, sculptures, photographs and multimedia, that collectively illuminate the role that art plays in shaping perceptions and experiences of illness and healing.

The works of art represent and respond to pandemics and infectious disease, mental illness, the hopes and dangers associated with childbirth, and the complexities of care.

The Museum has collaborated with a diverse range of disciplines, programs, and voices at Princeton — including experts in the fields of infectious diseases, disability, literature, medicine, contagion, psychology, and creative writing — in order to provide multiple points of entry to the objects on view. more

“SOULS OF THE SOIL”: This oil on canvas painting by Marcel Juillerat is featured, along with works by artists Trudy Borenstein-Sugiura, Ifat Shatzky, and Ziya Tarapore, in “Souls of the Soil: Global Roots in Nature,” on view through November 22 at D&R Greenway’s Johnson Education Center. An opening reception is November 1 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

D&R Greenway Land Trust now presents “Souls of the Soil: Global Roots in Nature,” an exhibition multi-media works that explore the importance of nature as manifested in far-flung areas of the globe. It is on view through November 22 at the Johnson Education Center, One Preservation Place, off Rosedale Road, from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on business days.

The public is invited to a free opening reception with the artists on Friday, November 1, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. To register, email rsvp@drgreenway.org or call (609) 924-4646.

Artists Trudy Borenstein-Sugiura, Marcel Juillerat, Ifat Shatzky, and Ziya Tarapore utilize a broad range of materials — from textured fabrics and dyed papers to sculpture and beyond. more

October 23, 2019

By Stuart Mitchner

With the World Series in the air and Princeton resident Mort Zachter’s biography of legendary New York Knicks coach Red Holzman on my bedside table, I’ve been thinking a lot about baseball and basketball this week.

The Open Sesame to Zachter’s book, however, was Holzman’s wife Selma, “a girl from Brooklyn without any pretenses,” who was also “loving, kind, thoughtful, generous, genuine, funny, and interesting,” could “see through phonies, and didn’t suffer fools.” While Holzman “tended to be guarded in what he said publicly, Selma spoke her mind.” Zachter rounds out the chapter starring the coach’s wife of 55 years (“The Best Thing I Ever Did In My Life”) with some anecdotes too lengthy to be quoted here, unless you count the one about how whenever she “learned one of her husband’s Knicks players had a cold, she prepared homemade chicken soup for him.”

Admittedly, my chicken-soup soft spot for Holzman’s wife is due to my fondness for her namesake from Queens, who shared the same qualities along with an ability to make the culinary equivalent of a three-point shot from mid-court every time she cooked a meal. Our friend Selma, our son’s godmother, died ten years ago September, a year after Selma Holzman. more

By Nancy Plum

Things must have been lively in the Louisville, Kentucky, home in which Princeton University sophomore Elijah Shina grew up. He may well have been the kind of child that found rhythm in every empty box or can in the house and saw a potential drum on every surface he touched. These are the children who grow up to be great percussionists, and Shina has brought his great sense of inner rhythm to Princeton University and to the University Orchestra’s opening concerts this past weekend. A co-winner of the Princeton University Orchestra 2019 Concerto Competition, Shina showed virtuosic agility on a myriad of percussion instruments in a 20th-century concerto demonstrating a wide range of orchestral colors and effects.

Concertos for percussion were unusual in 20th-century American music. Chicago-born Joseph Schwantner, intrigued by the infinite array of timbres and sonorities available in an orchestral percussion section, composed the 1995 Concerto for Percussion and Orchestra on commission from the Philharmonic-Symphony Society of New York for the New York Philharmonic’s 150th anniversary. The resulting work, performed by the University Orchestra this past Friday and Saturday nights, was a musical collaboration between soloist and ensemble demanding the highest level of skills and techniques from an entire section of percussionists, not just the soloist. more

“MARY SHELLEY’S FRANKENSTEIN”: Performances are underway for “Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.” Directed by playwright David Catlin, Lookingglass Theatre Company’s production runs through November 3 at McCarter’s Matthews Theatre. Mary Shelley (Cordelia Dewdney, left) gazes reflectively at Frankenstein’s Creature (Keith D. Gallagher). (Photo by Liz Lauren)

By Donald H. Sanborn III.

McCarter Theatre is presenting Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, in time for Halloween. Lookingglass Theatre Company brings its brooding spectacle to Princeton following its premiere in Chicago earlier this year. David Catlin, whose Lookingglass Alice was presented by McCarter in 2007, is the playwright and director.

The title of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein hints at one of the elements that make this version unique: the author becomes a character. Brief glimpses into Shelley’s stormy life are juxtaposed against scenes from her famous novel.

As with McCarter’s production of Gloria: A Life, seats have been placed on the stage, so that the show is presented in the round. Daniel Ostling’s set is covered by an off-white sheet, which is suspended by a brick cubicle. During the opening scene we see the actors through this sheet, which somewhat separates them from us despite the intimacy inherent in the seating arrangement. more

CELEBRATING A CLASSIC: Cellist Pablo Ferrandez is the guest soloist when the Princeton Symphony Orchestra performs Sir Edward Elgar’s Cello Concerto in E Minor on October 26 and 27 at Richardson Auditorium.

On Saturday, October 26 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, October 27 at 4 p.m., the Princeton Symphony Orchestra (PSO) celebrates 100 years of Sir Edward Elgar’s beloved Cello Concerto in E Minor, Op. 85 with a performance featuring soloist Pablo Ferrández. Ferrández performed this summer at the Hollywood Bowl to critical acclaim with Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

Also on the program of late romantic works are Jean Sibelius’ The Swan of Tuonela and Johannes Brahms’ Symphony No. 3 in F Major, Op. 90. Music Director Rossen Milanov conducts. Both concerts are at Richardson Auditorium. more

“BRIDGE OVER THE TOHICKON”: This painting by Bill Jersey is featured in “Local Flavor,” a joint exhibit with artist SiriOm Singh on view October 24 through November 10 at Cross Pollination Gallery in Lambertville. An opening reception is Saturday, October 26 from 5 to 8 p.m.

“Local Flavor,” an exhibition of landscape paintings by local artists Bill Jersey and SiriOm Singh, will be featured October 24 through November 10 at Cross Pollination Gallery in Lambertville. An opening reception is Saturday, October 26 from 5 to 8 p.m.

After a 40-year career as an award-winning filmmaker, Bill Jersey moved from Berkeley, Calif., to Lambertville, and from his profession as filmmaker to his passion — oil painting. His local landscapes have won many awards, and are part of numerous collections. more

“ON A SHORT LEASH”: Artist Charles David Viera presents the latest installment of his lifetime of works in “Charles David Viera: New Works 2015-2019.” The exhibition opens November 2 and runs through November 30 at the New Hope Arts Center A-Space in New Hope, Pa.

The works of New Jersey-based artist Charles David Viera will be featured in “Charles David Viera: New Works 2015-2019,” on view at the New Hope Arts Center A-Space November 2-30. An opening reception is Saturday, November 2, from 4-7 p.m.

“I feel fortunate to have made a career as an artist and art instructor. The paintings in ‘New Works 2015-2019’ are a collection of images that represent the latest chapter of my life,” says Viera. “They are reflections on moments that I have considered or witnessed over the last four years. I am thrilled to be working with the New Hope Arts Center and for the opportunity to contribute to the New Hope/Lambertville art scene, which continues to be a vibrant and important source of creativity in this area.” more

October 16, 2019

By Stuart Mitchner

Her eye as a writer is both darting and then fixed. Nothing escapes her.
—Colm Tóibín on Katherine Mansfield (1888-1923)

Several times a day I look out the living room window to see the activity around the bird feeders. It’s become a ritual, even when the only sign of bird life is the slight swaying of the Edwardian feeder. This morning I was seeing the finches and woodpeckers darting to and from that ornate object through someone else’s eyes, having just finished Katherine Mansfield’s “Prelude,” a long story drawn from her childhood in New Zealand. At Labyrinth Books later the same day I bought The Garden Party and Other Stories (Ecco 2016) where Colm Tóibín’s preface, with its reference to Mansfield’s “eye as a writer,” underscores what happened at the window.

In a letter from May 1921, a year and a half before she died of TB and related illnesses, Mansfield observes that the writers “we read as we read Shakespeare are part of our daily lives,” that it doesn’t seem at all strange to be thinking about Othello at breakfast or to be wondering about poetry in the bath: “It’s all part of a whole. Just as that vineyard below me is the vineyard of the song of Solomon — and that beautiful sound as the men hoe between the vines is almost part of my body — goes on in me. I shall never be the same as I was before I heard it, just as I’ll never be the same as I was before I read the death of Cleopatra. One has willingly given oneself to all these things — one is the result of them all.”

I didn’t need the marginal exclamation points in my mother’s copies of Mansfield’s journals and letters to know how passionately she’d have identified with that passage. Besides Ann’s copycat habit of using “shall” in her own letters, and the sense of writerly companionship she found in her New Zealand soulmate, she’d “been there.” Not only did she feel what Mansfield felt when she said the sound of men hoeing in a vineyard was almost part of her body, she’d have expressed it in the same terms and probably taken it to rhapsodic extremes. I knew from experience. I’d grown up in the same house with someone who took Chekhov to bed with her every night, along with her namesake Anna Karenina, and the expurgated American paperback edition of Lady Chatterley’s Lover. And if she wasn’t reading, she was typing madly away in her tiny study next to my father’s much larger one, inspired by Mansfield’s example, the journal her bedside bible. more

By Nancy Plum

Last year’s 125th anniversary season of Princeton University Concerts — with star conductor Gustavo Dudamel leading the lineup — is a hard act to follow. Princeton University Concerts began its 126th season last week with a well-respected ensemble also celebrating a milestone. New York’s Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, marking its 50th anniversary, brought to Princeton a program paying homage to both Americana and the longevity of Princeton University Concerts. Last Thursday night’s “New World Spirit” performance at Richardson Auditorium featured music of four composers who embodied American music in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, with one work having close ties to the University Concerts series.

Pennsylvania composer Harry T. Burleigh has been well-known in the choral world for his arrangements of spirituals and for bringing African American music to the forefront in this country, also composing a handful of instrumental pieces. A student of Czech composer Antonin Dvorák, Burleigh similarly infused his musical works with American folk tunes and atmosphere. Burleigh’s Southland Sketches for solo violin and piano was comprised of four salon pieces capturing the fresh and open outdoors through broad melodies and bits of familiar tunes. Violinist Chad Hoopes and pianist Gloria Chien showed solid communication and precise timing in performing the four Sketches, with effective double stops from Hoopes adding harmony to the solo violin part and Chien’s accompaniment well reflecting the diverse styles within the music. more

“DAUPHIN ISLAND”: Performances are underway for “Dauphin Island.” Directed by Amina Robinson, the play runs through October 27 at Passage Theatre. Selwyn (SJ Hannah, left) and Kendra (Shadana Patterson) unexpectedly share an intimate moment, but they both face personal challenges that may present obstacles to their ability to build a life together. (Photo by Jeff Stuart)

By Donald H. Sanborn III

Passage Theatre is opening its season with an outstanding production of Dauphin Island. Jeffry Chastang’s bittersweet romantic comedy depicts an unlikely relationship between Kendra Evans, a cancer survivor who lives in seclusion in the piney woods of Wilcox County, Alabama; and Selwyn Tate, an injured stranger who stops at her house, on the way to start a new job.

Dauphin Island received a New Play Award grant from the Edgerton Foundation. Its world premiere was at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival in 2017.

“This season’s shows all grapple with the question of where we come from,” promises Artistic Director C. Ryanne Domingues. “Our pasts, our families, and the places we grew up all have a huge impact on who we are and how we shape our futures.” She adds, “Dauphin Island is a refreshing play about what happens when we show a little bit of kindness towards each other.”

On the surface “kindness” initially seems an odd word with which to characterize the relationship between the characters. The edgy, gun-wielding Kendra’s first act consists of shackling Selwyn to the railing of her porch, “so you don’t kill me,” she says. Only then does she bandage his injured hand — with cobwebs. more

On Friday, November 8 at 8 p.m., actress Sutton Foster stars in An Evening with Sutton Foster, headlining the first show of Princeton Symphony Orchestra (PSO) and McCarter Theatre Center’s new Princeton Pops series collaboration.

Tony Award-winning singer, actor, and dancer Sutton Foster will perform personal song favorites and Broadway classics including “Anything Goes,” “C’est Magnifique,” “Down with Love,” “I Get a Kick out of You,” “Sunshine on My Shoulders,” and “Singing in the Rain,” accompanied by the Princeton Symphony Orchestra under the baton of John Devlin. Devlin is the former PSO assistant conductor, and is now music director of the Wheeling Symphony Orchestra. The performance takes place in McCarter’s Matthews Theatre. more

The Princeton Symphony Orchestra launches its 2019-20 season of chamber music on Sunday, October 20 at 4:30 p.m., in Wolfensohn Hall at the Institute for Advanced Study. Orchestra members in the ensemble are, top row from left, oboist Lillian Copeland and violinist Ruotao Mao; and bottom row, from left, violist Stephanie Griffin and cellist Alistair MacRae. Music by Mozart, Beethoven, and Britten is on the program. Visit princetonsymphony.org.

“SNOW ON HAWK MOUNTAIN”: Bucks County artist Dot Bunn will speak on “Color Then and Now” on October 17 at 7 p.m. at Prallsville Mills in Stockton. She will also demonstrate the Fletcher System of color management, which she teaches at her studio. The event is part of the Artsbridge Distinguished Artists Series.

The Artsbridge Distinguished Artists Series presents Award-winning Bucks County artist Dot Bunn on Thursday, October 17, 7 p.m. at Prallsville Mills in Stockton. Her talk, “Color Then and Now,” will take attendees at on a tour through art history and the evolution of color. She will also demonstrate the Fletcher System of color management, which she teaches at her Red Stone Farm Studio. While she will demonstrate with oil paints, the system can be used in all color mediums. “It is a teaching system to help artists that are looking to consistently achieve harmony and control in color mixing,” says Bunn. more

“PROCESS: ART + SCIENCE”: Art from the John George Collection of Rube Goldberg, along with photography by Deborah Land, Jessi Oliano, and Andrew Wilkinson, will be featured October 18 through November 25 in the Considine Gallery at Stuart Country Day School of the Sacred Heart. An opening reception is Friday, October 18 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

The fall gallery exhibition at Stuart Country Day School of the Sacred Heart, “Process: Art + Science,” will feature art from the John George Collection of Rube Goldberg and photography by Deborah Land, Jessi Oliano, and Andrew Wilkinson. The show takes inspiration from the 500th anniversary of Leonardo DaVinci’s death and the idea that interdisciplinary projects can create visionary alternatives and open new doors for understanding.

“Our exhibit is inspired by the development of artistic work created in the process of exploration,” said Gallery Director Andres Duque. “We are celebrating Leonardo DaVinci’s 500th anniversary and the roots that bring together the spirit of creation in art and science.”

The public is invited to view the art show, on display in Stuart’s Considine Gallery from October 18 through November 25. The gallery is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, when school is in session.

An opening reception is Friday, October 18 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., and a Gallery Talk with the artists is Tuesday, October 22 from 1 to 2 p.m. The public is welcome. more

“ELEPHANT AND CALF”: Works of textile art that illuminate Rwandan culture and the people, animals, and plants of East Africa will be featured in “PAX Rwanda: Embroideries of the Women of Savane Rutongo-Kabuye,” on view at the Plainsboro Library Gallery November 2-29. A reception is Sunday, November 3, from 2-4 p.m.

The Plainsboro Library Gallery will host the exhibit “PAX Rwanda: Embroideries of the Women of Savane Rutongo-Kabuye” November 2 through November 29.

“PAX Rwanda” (literally, Rwandan Peace) is a collection of original works of textile art that illuminates Rwandan culture and the people, animals, and plants of East Africa. The works are created by women survivors from both sides of Rwanda’s 1994 genocide against the Tutsis, and who now work together in a spirit of reconciliation.

A reception will be held on Sunday, November 3, 2-4 p.m., at which the exhibit’s curator, Juliana Meehan, will give a visual presentation about Rwandan culture, the wildlife in the region, and the history of the region, including the genocide. (3 p.m.). There will be opportunities to ask questions throughout this informal session. more

October 9, 2019

By Stuart Mitchner

The first and only time I heard John Lennon’s “Beautiful Boy” was on the car radio the night he was killed and the news was still raw. I had to turn the radio off after he sang the line, “Before you cross the street, take my hand: life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” What happened to me, what caught me by the throat, was realizing that at the same time John had been seeing a son through his first five years of life, so had I.

Fifteen years later, Ben is standing beside me at the Westbury Music Fair on Long Island singing “Autumn Almanac” along with the composer, Ray Davies, and three thousand Kinks fans of all ages, including numerous other fathers and sons, mothers, sisters, and brothers. The entry in my journal for August 1, 1995, begins,”Tonight was like a fantasy come true, almost as good as seeing the Beatles playing live, up close.”

Actually, it was better, because only in your wildest dreams are you going to see and hear John, Paul, George, and Ringo up close, unless of course you were on the rooftop of 3 Saville Row when the Beatles gave what would be their last public performance, January 30, 1969. And even that wouldn’t equal the one-on-one excitement of sharing a song you love with the man who wrote it.  more

MUSIC FOR A NEW HIGH SCHOOL: The Princeton Symphony Orchestra, led by Rossen Milanov, is among the performers at a free music and arts festival at Trenton Central High School’s new building on October 24.

The Princeton Symphony Orchestra (PSO) is headed to Trenton on Thursday, October 24 to top off “An Evening of Magic,” a free music and arts festival to be held at the new Trenton Central High School from 5-8 p.m. more

By Nancy Plum

Princeton Symphony Orchestra turned its attention to music of Russia in the second performance of the ensemble’s Classical Series this past weekend. Guest Conductor Bernhard Gueller and the Orchestra successfully delved into music of 19th-century Russian titans Mikhail Glinka, Sergei Rachmaninoff, and Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky in a pair of concerts featuring guest pianist Natasha Paremski. Saturday night’s concert at Richardson Auditorium (the performance was repeated Sunday afternoon) not only showed Paremski’s virtuosic and dynamic technical skills and expressiveness, but also the lush orchestration and chromatic harmonies of 19th-century Russian symphonic music.

The central piece of Princeton Symphony’s concerts this past weekend was the second piano Concerto of late 19th-century Russian composer Rachmaninoff, bracketed by a spirited opera overture by Glinka and a monumental symphony of Tchaikovsky. Composed between the fall of 1900 and spring of 1901, Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in C Minor, Op. 18 was premiered in its entirety in November 1901, and coincidentally earned the composer the prestigious 500-ruble Glinka Award, named for the composer whose Overture to Ruslan and Lyudmila opened the Princeton Symphony program. In this work, Rachmaninoff followed the classical concerto form, but augmented it with sumptuous orchestration and a full exploitation of the piano’s Romantic capabilities. Featured as piano soloist in these performances was Moscow native Natasha Paremski, who has been playing professionally since the age of 9. After earning a degree at New York’s Mannes College of Music, Paremski embarked on an international career which has brought her musical passion and technical virtuosity to all corners of the world. more

WITHERSPOON WELCOMES GITTENS: The historic Witherspoon Street Presbyterian Church has announced the appointment of Michael Raymond Gittens as its new music director.

Witherspoon Street Presbyterian Church (WSPC), 124 Witherspoon Street, has named Michael Raymond Gittens as the new music director for the historic church, which is one of the oldest African American Presbyterian congregations in New Jersey.

A native of Brooklyn, New York, Gittens has over 30 years experience performing in churches, recitals, and concert halls. He studied music at the Juilliard School of Music and at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music at Oberlin College. He has performed organ recitals throughout New York City, including St. Patrick’s Cathedral, the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, and at St. George’s Episcopal Church. Gittens has also appeared in solo performances at Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, and Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center. more

“PLATE TO PLATELET X”: The works of painter Mia Brownell, seen here, and photographer Martin Kruck are featured in “Skeptical Realism,” on view at the Hunterdon Art Museum through January 5.

A painter and a photographer who manipulate artistic traditions to explore reality through a skeptical lens are featured in a new exhibition at the Hunterdon Art Museum.

“Skeptical Realism,” running through January 5, spotlights the paintings of Mia Brownell and the photography of Martin Kruck. The show’s title is derived from philosophical texts debating the truth and falsehood of things. The artwork of Brownell and Kruck are both visual meditations on perceptions of the artificial and real. Using still life (Brownell) and landscape (Kruck) these artists are reflecting on the current skepticism that has emerged in our political climate and culture by creating altered and ambiguous spaces. more

“YOUR INNER SPACE”: Sculptures by Mira DeMartino and paintings by Ifat Shatzky will be featured in a joint exhibit at the Arts Council of Princeton’s Taplin Gallery October 12 through November 16. An opening reception is Saturday, October 12 from 3 to 5 p.m.

The Arts Council of Princeton (ACP) presents “Your Inner Space,” a joint exhibit featuring paintings by Ifat Shatzky and sculptures by Mira DeMartino, on view in the Taplin Gallery October 12 through November 16. An opening reception will be held on Saturday, October 12 from 3 to 5 p.m.  more

“ARRANGING AN OUTDOOR BANQUET”: This coffin box panel from the Liao dynasty, 10th–early 11th century, is part of “The Eternal Feast: Banqueting in Chinese Art from the 10th to the 14th Century,” on view October 19 through February 16, 2020 at the Princeton University Art Museum.  The exhibit features more than 50 objects from the Liao, Song, and Yuan dynasties of China.

The feast has existed at the core of culture in China for thousands of years and remains a vital part of life in East Asia today. As an important social and ritual activity, feasts commemorated major life events, served as political theater, and satisfied religious obligations.

“The Eternal Feast: Banqueting in Chinese Art from the 10th to the 14th Century” traces the art of the feast through more than 50 objects from three dynasties – the Liao, Song, and Yuan. Focusing on a rare group of surviving paintings from the period — along with ceramic, lacquer, metal, and stone objects as well as textiles — the exhibition reveals the singular influence China’s culture of feasting had on the formation of the artistic traditions of China.

The exhibition will be on view at the Princeton University Art Museum from October 19 through February 16, 2020. It is curated by Zoe Kwok, assistant curator of Asian art at the Museum. more

October 2, 2019

By Stuart Mitchner

Poetry does not only mean verse; in a way it means painting, it means the theatre and all the rest of it.
—Wallace Stevens (1879-1955), from a 1935 letter

Poetry landed in our mailbox this week spelled out in big capital letters on the cover of a midwinter 2019 fashion catalogue offering “a relaxed and understated collection” that combines “the beauty of natural fabrics with sculptural silhouettes and elegant design details.”

Among the dozens of catalogues that follow my wife through the seasons, this one always gets my attention because, if nothing else, it acknowledges the powerful appeal of poetry as a phenomenon “that does not only mean verse.” Although what Stevens intends by “all the rest of it” may not include the images in  a fashion catalogue, there’s no denying the prevalence of colors and patterns in his work, nor the abstracted expressions on the faces of models who seem to be listening to something interesting that they don’t quite understand, which makes sense if the something is, well, why not poetry? And given the elegantly understated apparel they’re presenting, why not take the notion to the limit and imagine that the photographer putting them through their paces has someone offstage reading passages from the poet who was born on this date 140 years ago?

Consider, for example, the barefoot brunette modeling a pair of dark blue silk satin pajamas who seems to be smiling in spite of herself, as if a particular line had caught her by surprise. She might be responding to “Disillusionment of Ten O’Clock” with its “white night-gowns” of which “None are green,/Or purple with green rings,/Or green with yellow rings,/Or yellow with blue rings.” And what starts her smiling could be the sudden unlikely appearance of “baboons and periwinkles” and the “old sailor” who “catches tigers/In red weather.” Or maybe it’s the woman in “Sunday Morning,” with her “Complacencies of the peignor,” “oranges in a sunny chair,/And the green freedom of a cockatoo.”

What has me smiling at the moment, however, is the thought of Elsie, the poet’s wife, who sat for the sculptor whose bronze bust of her won the competition for the new Mercury dime minted in 1916. There’s a sort of a sight rhyme in the fact that when Bing Crosby was singing “Brother Can You Spare a Dime,” the model for the goddess on the dime in circulation at the time was married to a poet whose day job was evaluating insurance claims. more

A NEW SEASON: Princeton University Concerts launches its 2019/20 season October 18 with a program featuring sophomore percussionist Elijah Shina. Michael Pratt conducts.

The Princeton University Orchestra (PUO) launches its 122nd season on Friday and Saturday, October 18-19, at 7:30 p.m. in Richardson Auditorium, Alexander Hall.

The program features sophomore percussionist Elijah Shina, performing Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Joseph Schwantner’s Concerto for Percussion and Orchestra, with which he won last year’s concerto competition as a first-year undergraduate student. This work will be paired with Johannes Brahms’ Symphony No. 4 in E Minor, Op. 98. The concert will be conducted by the orchestra’s director Michael Pratt, who shares:

“Joseph Schwantner’s Concerto for Percussion and Orchestra brings in a stage full of percussion instruments of every stripe for a work that is a volcano of color and great rhythms,” said Pratt. “Brahms’ magnificent late life masterwork, also on the program, takes us to a completely different planet. It is a work of deep meditation that also carries heroic defiance. It feels fitting to begin our season with this life-affirming symphony.”

Tickets to this pair of concerts are $15 ($5 for students), available at music.princeton.edu or by calling (609) 258-9220. more