Michael James Miller, writer and arts critic, died aged 73 on November 14th, 2021, after a long illness with cancer. He was at home in North Adams, MA, his partner Joanna Gabler and youngest son, Lucas, beside him. His last word was “Peace.”
Michael was born on January 10th, 1948, in Miami, FL, the son of Max “Ike” Miller, a restauranteur and later a successful commodities trader. His mother was Helen (née Briggs), a homemaker and devoted parent to him and his elder sister, Anne.
Here is one of the strangest living bits of ceremonial history you will ever encounter, along with some fine, nearly forgotten music ever since. The year 1937 witnessed Paris’s International Exposition, the last continental world’s fair to take place before the Second World War, and something of a nervous set piece for political tensions of the day.
In her interview about the book she has co-authored with Tina Packer, When Action is Eloquence, the distinguished actor and teacher Bella Merlin reflects on how she came into contact with Shakespeare & Company and her three year progression through the completion of a manuscript based on her own deep knowledge of acting and her participation in the Company’s month-long intensive course.
It may be unnecessary to claim that the Belcea Quartet is one of the most esteemed string ensembles performing today. However, being based abroad, and having been founded over twenty-seven years ago by Romanian violinist Corina Belcea and Polish violist Krzysztof Chorzelski, their artistic uniqueness and stature has eluded wide recognition in the U.S.
Traditionally, the BSO’s Tanglewood season concludes with a performance Beethoven’s Ninth, an overplayed sound-track triggering optimistic images of brotherhood and the profound goodness of the human heart. The mere fact that this became a ritual has drained it of musical significance—which has been replaced by its function as an ambiguous signifier; it has been pulled out to celebrate great occasions, cultural and political movements of all stripes, including by the Nazis.