Arts & Life

Arts and culture

Mike Turzanksi

It's 8 p.m. on a snowy Wednesday night in November, and a crew of musicians is gathered in the cozy third-floor attic of Ben Morey and Katie Morey-Preston's home, which doubles as a recording studio and rehearsal space.

The group is gathered to rehearse for a rather unconventional event: a live performance of Harry Nilsson's "The Point!," which will take place at the Cinema Theater on South Clinton Avenue on Nov. 23 and 24. The all-ages event is a fundraiser for The Submarine School of Music, a community music school that the married couple hopes to launch in fall 2020.

Jeff Spevak/WXXI News

Eugenia Zukerman is brilliant. A world-renowned flutist. A novelist and essayist. A television journalist, as the classical music correspondent with "CBS Sunday Morning" for many years. Yet she failed the simplest of tests:

Name every animal she can think of that starts with the letter "h."

"It made me realize that I wasn't on top of my form," she says.

"It is not an easy test, I came away from it feeling that, yes, I do have a problem."

The problem? Alzheimer's disease.


American Rapture, a recording featuring the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of Music Director Ward Stare with soloist Yolanda Kondonassis, was nominated for two Grammy awards on Wednesday.  This album includes the world premiere recording of Pulitzer Prize-winner Jennifer Higdon’s Harp Concerto, written for and dedicated to Yolanda Kondonassis.

The recording received the following nominations:

Best Classical Instrumental Solo - HIGDON: HARP CONCERTO--Yolanda Kondonassis; Ward Stare, conductor (The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra)

image provided

What happens when you combine comedy and science?

"Laughing uncontrollably, and then you have that 'aha' moment that just shifts the way you perceive something." 

That's how comedian Shane Mauss describes his "Stand Up Science" show, which makes its Rochester debut this weekend.

Mauss was following a traditional path to comedy success, with appearances on "Conan", "Jimmy Kimmel Live", Comedy Central, Showtime, and the BBC when he found a way to combine both of his passions.


NEW YORK (AP & WXXI News) — GateHouse closed its $1.1 billion takeover of USA Today publisher Gannett, becoming the country's largest newspaper company by far and pledging significant cost cuts at a time when print publications are in precipitous decline. Gannett owns the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle.

Gatehouse is based in Perinton, and its local holdings include suburban papers such as the Daily Messenger, along with The Daily Record and The Rochester Business Journal.

Nick Offerman: Beyond Ron Swanson

Nov 19, 2019
Matt Winkelmeyer

Nick Offerman is a polymath. Though the term typically evokes images of some untouchable legend from the Renaissance, or a public figure relegated to the halls of academia, it also applies to the blue-collar Illinois farm boy-turned-Hollywood actor.

While Offerman is inarguably best known for his portrayal of the meat-loving, libertarian-leaning government official Ron Swanson in NBC's hit sitcom "Parks and Recreation," his film and TV career has been far from one-note.

New York State Equal Rights Heritage Center

The Equal Rights Heritage Center has got Harriet Tubman right. There she is, standing on the lawn in downtown Auburn, holding a lantern. And just in case you choose to ignore that symbol of truth-seeker, there's also a gun tucked in the statue's belt.

"Frederick Douglass dominates African-American history for the pre-Civil War period," says Robert E. May, author of the new book "Yuletide in Dixie: Slavery, Christmas, and Southern Memory."

"Then you get to figures like Nat Turner, and others who are important for other reasons. But Harriet Tubman is right up there."


Native Americans have played an important role in the U.S. military.  Tonight, a documentary that pays tribute to their stories premieres at 9 o'clock on WXXI-TV.

The National Toy Hall of Fame at the Strong Museum inducted some longtime favorites during a ceremony Thursday.

The class of 2019 includes the collectible card game Magic the Gathering, Matchbox cars, and the coloring book.

Christopher Bensch, vice president for collections for the Strong, said the newest honorees were chosen from a group of finalists that included My Little Pony, Jenga, Nerf Blaster, Masters of the Universe, Care Bears, Fisher-Price Corn Popper, the top, the game Risk, and the smartphone.

Courtesy of the University of Rochester

Jeff Beal can put his feet up and relax Friday night at Kodak Hall at Eastman Theater. “I have nothing to do,” he says.

Yes, that’s the job of the Eastman Philharmonia, conductor laureate of the St. Louis and Detroit symphony orchestras Leonard Slatkin, and Grammy-winning soprano Hila Plitmann. It’s a celebration of Beal’s Emmy-encrusted career as a composer of film scores, television themes and classical compositions.