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Wednesday, January 12,2011

Smoothies — with a kick

Kondonassis, LSO mix show and substance

by Lawrence Cosentino
Over the past five years, Muffitt has excelled at keeping butts in seats while stretching the brains above them. With each subscription concert, he has found a way to expand Lansing’s classical music experience without sending the squeamish into the streets screaming for Andre Rieu.
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Wednesday, January 5,2011

Calluses and clouds

Kondonassis brings hard-core harp music to Lansing Symphony

by Lawrence Cosentino
No wonder there’s so much work for Yolanda Kondonassis, the guest soloist at Lansing Symphony’ Orchestra’s Saturday concert Kondonassis has spent the last 20 years demonstrating the harp’s staggering range, from Baroque rigor to Latin fire to French languor and way beyond.
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Wednesday, December 29,2010

Napoleon's latest romp

Guitarist bounces into Creole Gallery with ‘little tiny big band’

by Lawrence Cosentino
The duo’s breakout recalls the 1950 Hollywood melodrama “Young Man With a Horn,” in which a hot-headed trumpeter chafes under his bandleader’s predictable, cornball arrangements. As soon as the bandleader’s back is turned, he calls an impromptu jam session with his buddies and swings like mad.
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Thursday, December 23,2010

Polar Disorder

A Christmas story

by Lawrence Cosentino
Albert hated the smell of wet beard. And when Santa took his boots off — talk about climate change. But Santa’s chief of staff was a team player. Albert stood quietly, breathing through his mouth, waiting for Big Red to break the silence.Backsides to the fire, they looked at the ice outside the window. “It’s coming back — no question,” Santa said. “The last two years, especially.” Albert cleared his throat. “Not long term. Experts say, no more summer ice in the Arctic by 2020, maybe sooner.” “Ach…”
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Thursday, December 23,2010

Pause to reflect

Three local perspectives on stuttering

by Lawrence Cosentino
Sharon Emery seems like too nice a person to practice jiu-jitsu — but watch out. She can flip you before you know you’ve been flipped. As vice president of the Rossman Group, a high-profile public relations firm in Lansing, Emery deals with Michigan’s big shots on a regular basis. She’s also a stutterer.
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Wednesday, December 22,2010

'The next year of my life is going to be amazing'

Meet Michael Rush, the new founding director of MSU’s Broad Art Museum

by Lawrence Cosentino
Turning scary into fun is a specialty for Rush, and he’s about to do it on a grand scale. By spring of 2012, when the Broad Museum is finished, the former Jesuit priest, theater experimenter and fervid modern art ambassador will have one of the world’s most intriguing spaces in which to run amok.
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Wednesday, December 15,2010

Frenzy in Dexter

Michigan printer rides Twain juggernaut

by Lawrence Cosentino
Until now, this mid-sized company has turned out high-quality, university-press obscurities like “Historical Atlas of West Virginia,” “Flowering Plants: Smart Weeds to Hazelnuts,” and a door-stopper called “Comprehensive Literature of the Reptilia, Vol.
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Wednesday, December 8,2010

Lansing Symphony journeys from Thomas Kinkade to Jehovah

Concert hits extreme highs and lows

by Lawrence Cosentino
The Lansing Symphony and massed choral legions from Michigan State University and the Choral Union moved a mountain Saturday with a noble reading of Ernst Bloch’s “Avodath Hakodesh,” a rarely performed, full-on concert piece based on the Jewish Sabbath morning service.
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Wednesday, December 1,2010

David Small tackles big role

LSO guest plays ‘conduit between man and God’

by Lawrence Cosentino
Backed by the symphony, the Choral Union and Michigan State University Chorale, Small will climb the crags of the Old Testament to assume the cantorlike solo role in “Avodath Hakodesh,” an epic 1933 setting of the Jewish morning Sabbath service by American composer Ernst Bloch.
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Wednesday, November 24,2010

Deco after dark

Ottawa Power Station tries on its new evening gown

by Lawrence Cosentino
Pointing and gaping at the emerging charms of the Ottawa Power Station, now nearing the end of its renovation into the world headquarters of the Accident Fund Insurance Co. of America, has been a favorite exercise in downtown Lansing for the past two years.
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