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Does rap belong in the White House’s celebration of American poetry?

Rodolfo Mendoza-Denton, professor of psychology | May 13, 2011

In the news this week: The Obamas have invited the rapper Common to the “Celebration of American Poetry” at the White House, to outraged accusations that Common is a “thug.” How fair are these accusations? Before you jump on one bandwagon or the other, consider that the very label of “rap” is likely to influence people’s … Continue reading »

Civilization returns to the Bay Area

Michael O'Hare, professor of public policy | April 18, 2011

Many years ago, the typical public radio station played classical music and some jazz all day, news like Morning Edition and All Things Considered at drive time, some public affairs or newsy features in the early evening, and more music at night.  About the time I moved to Berkeley in 1991, public stations started doing … Continue reading »

Vienna Philharmonic at Cal Performances

Matías Tarnopolsky, Former director of Cal Performances | February 28, 2011

The utter silence at the end of the Vienna Philharmonic’s performance of Mahler’s Symphony No. 6 yesterday afternoon said it all. It seemed like an eternity before the audience finally, suddenly, erupted in rapturous, enduring applause. We had just experienced some incredible music-making by these musicians, magnificently conducted by Semyon Bychkov, the kind of music-making … Continue reading »