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Arts & Culture

Arts and culture news, criticism, and programming from TPR/NPR.

Some people respond to suffering by turning it into art. That's true even with the harrowing experience of a pandemic.

In the early 1400s, an Englishman named John Cooke composed Stella celi, a hymn to the Virgin Mary referencing the Black Plague which, according to some sources, wiped out half of Europe. Its text speaks of the "ulcers of a terrible death" but also the assurance that "the star of heaven ... has rooted out the plague."

If you're enduring coronavirus cabin fever this weekend, TPR has assembled some interesting and inspiring things you still can do while staying home.

Sequestering is getting old, right? And so are reruns of every sitcom you've ever watched. Maybe it's time to face the music ... and dance, with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers.

They danced America through the Great Depression. No reason they can't dance us through this — he, suave and ever on the make; she, lovely and feisty when she feels she's been crossed. He's forever crossing her.

Classical music opinionator Fran Hoepfner (@franhoepfner) joins Here & Now‘s Robin Young to discuss the music that lifts her spirits during the coronavirus crisis: Mikhail Glinka’s “Overture” in D Major, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Russian Easter Festival” and Igor Stravinsky’s “Firebird Suite.”

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The final check-in video with this year’s Gurwitz International Piano Competition winners visits Jiale Li, whose performance of Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 with the San Antonio Symphony helped him earn the gold medal, and $25,000.

From Texas Standard:

The Go-Go's' debut album, Beauty and the Beat, climbed to the No. 1 spot on the Billboard chart in 1981. A year later, their second album, Vacation, reached No. 8. A harbinger for the new wave movement, the Go-Go's were also making history as the first multiplatinum-selling, all-female band that played their own instruments, wrote their own songs and had a No. 1 album.

Now, bassist Kathy Valentine, an Austin native, has published a memoir, All I Ever Wanted, detailing her experience with the band.

A group of musicians perform. Now that San Antonio has enacted stay-at-home orders, gigs are much harder to come by for mariachi bands.
Javier Vela

Many San Antonio musicians — including rockers, head bangers and country crooners — are struggling financially as most public venues they perform in are closed due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Performances for Mega Corazon can be livestreamed.

San Antonio’s largest annual poetry event is scheduled for Monday. But what about COVID-19? Is Urban 15’s Mega Corazon still on? Yes it is.

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Famed pianist Martha Argerich remarked in 2013 that Leonardo Colafelice is a “fabulous pianist and musician," so it's no wonder he advanced to the finals of the Gurwitz International Piano Competition when it was held in San Antonio earlier this year.


On Fridays, The Weekender traditionally tells you about great events that San Antonians can do. Clearly that's on hiatus right now, but there are still many things you can do if you know where to look.