KPAC

  

It's hard to believe it's been 40 years since Venezuela's El Sistema drew its first breath, but it has. A new compact disc from DG celebrates this 40th anniversary with a collection of 12 tracks drawn from the extensive discography of the Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela. The disc is titled “El Sistema 40 – A Celebration.”

Who is today's Birthday Bard? Why, it's William Shakespeare! In truth, his birth date is rather hazy. Nevertheless, April 23, 1564, is when the BBC celebrates it, and that's good enough for me. However, to keep all bases covered, his baptism record shows the date April 26th on it.

Milton Montenegro

[This post has been edited from when it first went online to reflect some of the winners in this year's categories.]

Wikimedia

  With only a few exceptions, the “best” days of Communism (and I say that with plenty of sarcasm) are long gone. The fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 (with the final destruction in 1990), the Round Table talks in Warsaw in 1989, and the brutal execution of Nicolae Ceausescu in December of 1989 explain the often heard term Revolutions of 1989 as synonymous with the Fall of Communism.

Grant Leighton

  In October 2013 Marin Alsop will bring the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra, Brazil’s leading cultural export, to Europe for a 15 concert tour. The Orchestra’s most extensive European tour to date takes in Berlin’s Philharmonie, Paris’s Salle Pleyel, London’s Royal Festival Hall and the Vienna Konzerthaus, plus three dates at the Salzburg Festival.

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