Arts

Arts and culture

In a cheerful rehearsal room at Temple University, a few dozen professional musicians inspect the instruments that they'll be playing to debut an audacious piece of music by a Pulitzer Prize-winning composer.

The composition is called "Symphony For a Broken Orchestra" and, fittingly, these instruments are all broken.

Jim Nabors, the comic actor best known for his years playing Gomer Pyle, one of TV's most lovable goofs, has died at the age of 87. Nabors' husband, Stan Cadwallader, confirmed to The Associated Press that the actor and singer died at home in Honolulu.

Jonathan Bethony admits the breads he'll be churning out at Seylou Bakery & Mill, which just opened this month in Washington, D.C., might not appeal to everyone.

The dark crusts of his pain au levain have a charred appearance and complex flavors to match their hue. Inside the loaves, a toothsome chewiness gives way to the tang of sourdough and a taste that can only be described as distinctly wheat-y.

The Aspen Institute has unveiled the nominees for its first-ever fiction prize, a potpourri of 20 works plucked from across the world. Novels, short story collections, English-language or in translation — whatever their differences, each of the nominees "illuminates a vital contemporary issue and demonstrates the transformative power of literature on thought and culture," in the estimation of Aspen Words Literary Prize judges.

Teen Angst Has A Body Count In 'I Am Not Okay With This'

Nov 30, 2017

Sydney, the teenage protagonist of Charles Forsman's graphic novel I Am Not Okay With This, has all the usual problems of her age group — plus one. And that one problem takes this spare slice-of-life story from merely downbeat to sobering and haunting.

Chicago Symphony Orchestra cellist Dan Katz has two cellos. The better one — the one he prefers to play with the orchestra — is 200 years old and has rosewood tuning pegs. When the orchestra went on an 11-concert European tour in January, he purposefully left it home.

"I worry with that instrument about international travel now, because of those pegs," Katz said after rehearsing for a performance of Schubert's Ninth Symphony earlier this month.

Updated at 5:45 p.m. ET

A 19th century painting by Polish artist Robert Sliwinski that was stolen by the Nazis during World War II was returned to its home country and presented to the public on Wednesday.

After a tip from Poland's Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, FBI agents recovered the painting in a town near Philadelphia, FBI spokeswoman Carrie Adamowski of the Philadelphia Field Office told NPR.

Copyright 2017 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

"England's First Black Princess!" lots of media blared a variety of that this week, immediately after the official announcement of what several tabloids have been speculating about for months: Prince Harry, brother of Prince William, son of Charles and Diana, grandson of Queen Elizabeth II, is engaged. His intended, Meghan Markle, is American, divorced, three years older than the prince — and biracial. Which has led to a lot of breathless reporting that she is the first black member of the royal family.

Arthur Herman is most famous for his bestselling book from 2001, How the Scots Invented the Modern World, but he's started to find a pattern in writing history based around the collision of two great figures. The Cave and the Light, published in 2014, pitted Plato against Aristotle, and his 2008 book Gandhi and Churchill was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in General Nonfiction for its dramatic examination of empire. Herman continues in that vein in his authoritative new book, 1917.

Pages