Category Archives: Interviews

Shakespeare & Company: Author Aysegul Savas On Her Book ‘White On White’

A “marvelous” (Lauren Groff) and “gentle, mysterious and profound” (Marina Abramović) novel about a woman who has come undone.

A student moves to the city to research Gothic nudes, renting an apartment from a painter, Agnes, who lives in another town with her husband. One day, Agnes arrives in the city and settles into the upstairs studio.

In their meetings on the stairs, in the studio, at the corner café, the kitchen at dawn, Agnes tells stories of her youth, her family, her marriage, and ideas for her art – which is always just about to be created. As the months pass, it becomes clear that Agnes might not have a place to return to. The student is increasingly aware of Agnes’s disintegration. Her stories are frenetic; her art scattered and unfinished, white paint on a white canvas.

What emerges is the menacing sense that every life is always at the edge of disaster, no matter its seeming stability. Alongside the research into human figures, the student is learning, from a cool distance, about the narrow divide between happiness and resentment, creativity and madness, contentment and chaos.

White on White is a sharp exploration of empathy and cruelty, and the stunning discovery of what it means to be truly vulnerable, and laid bare.

Music: Pianist Víkingur Ólafsson On Mozart – ‘The First Romantic Artist’


“Mozart really belonged to the 19th century”, says Icelandic star-pianist Víkingur Ólafsson about Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart “He belonged to a new area, where the artist was a free thinker. Image, if he had lived a little longer and would have had a dialogue with Ludwig van Beethoven.”

Ólafsson has no doubt that Mozart was a so-called Wunderkind. “He did have a divine gift.” But to Ólafsson another aspect of Mozart’s music is even more fascinating. According to Ólafsson Mozart wrote his best works after the age of 25, when his life was in deep crisis and the Vienna aristocracy had turned its back on him.

“The greater the music became, the less popularity he had.” To Ólafsson Mozart’s legacy must be seen in the light of the tragedy. Víkingur Ólafsson grew up in Reykjavík and started playing the piano at an early age under the tutelage of his mother, a piano teacher. He studied at the Juilliard School in New York, earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees under the supervision of Jerome Lowenthal and Robert McDonald. He also took lessons with Ann Schein.

In 2011, Ólafsson was the soloist in the opening concert of Harpa in Reykjavik, playing Edvard Grieg’s piano concerto with the Iceland Symphony Orchestra. Since he has developed into one of the most recognized and award-winning artists within classical and contemporary music.

In 2016, Víkingur signed an exclusive recording contract with the renowned label Deutsche Grammophon releasing four albums featuring the music of Philip Glass, Johann Sebastian Bach, Debussy & Rameau as well as Mozart & Contemporaries. Ólafsson has collaborated with many contemporary artists among them John Adams, Philipp Glass, Daniel Bjarnason and Icelandic singer Bjørk. He has also recorded the soundtrack of Darkest Hour, a film directed by Joe Wright, and released Bach Reworks, featuring six ‘remixed’ works by Johann Sebastian Bach from the likes of Ben Frost, Peter Gregson, Valgeir Sigurdsson as well as Ólafsson himself.

Víkingur Ólafsson was interviewed by Marc-Christoph Wagner at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in November 2021. Camera: Jarl Therkelsen Kaldan Edited by: Jarl Therkelsen Kaldan Produced by Marc-Christoph Wagner Copyright: Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, 2021 Louisiana Channel is supported by Den A.P. Møllerske Støttefond, Ny Carlsbergfondet and C.L. Davids Fond og Samling

Shakespeare & Company: Author Philip Hoare On ‘Albert & The Whale’ (2021)

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Shakespeare & Company: ‘Matrix’ Author Lauren Groff Interview (Podcast)

Lauren Groff is the author of six books of fiction, the most recent the novel MATRIX (September 2021). Her work has won The Story Prize, the ABA Indies’ Choice Award, and France’s Grand Prix de l’Héroïne, was a three time finalist for the National Book Award for Fiction and twice for the Kirkus Prize, and was shortlisted for the National Book Critics Circle Prize, the Southern Book Prize, and the Los Angeles Times Prize.

She has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, and was named one of Granta’s Best of Young American Novelists. Her work has been translated into over thirty languages. She lives in Gainesville, Florida.

Profile: Actress Candice Bergen On Turning 75

Born to Hollywood royalty, the actress and model Candice Bergen found her greatest talent in comedy, as the Oscar-nominated star of “Starting Over” and a five-time Emmy-winner for “Murphy Brown.” Candice Bergen talked with “Sunday Morning” anchor Jane Pauley about finding new wellsprings of confidence at age 75, as well as the privilege of being a doting grandmother.

Profile: 73-Year Old Billy Crystal On ‘Getting Older’

Seems that comedian Billy Crystal has always enjoyed playing old, like in 1987’s “The Princess Bride.” Actually getting old? Not so much. But it will be less of a stretch for the now-73-year-old to play an aging comic in the upcoming Broadway musical, “Mr. Saturday Night.” Correspondent Tracy Smith finds out how Crystal stays so youthful.

Shakespeare & Company: Poets Richard Barnett & Luke Kennard (Podcast)

Architecture: ‘The Stahl House – Inside LA’s Most Iconic Modernist Home’

“Buck wanted to stand in every room from his house, turn his head, and see every view. Even the bathroom. And so that was kind of what inspired the design of the house.”

LA's Iconic Stahl House (Case Study House #22) | Rue Margaux

Among the most famous photographs of modern architecture is Julius Shulman’s picture of Case Study House #22, also known as the Stahl House after the family that commissioned it. Two girls in white dresses sit inside a glass cube that seems to float atop a cliff over the illuminated grid of Los Angeles at night. Built by a family with a “beer budget and champagne tastes,” the two-bedroom home designed by architect Pierre Koenig changed residential design in LA. While Shulman’s image and others of the building have appeared in countless publications, advertisements, films, and TV shows, the story of how the house came to be and what it was like to live there is less well known.

In this episode, Bruce Stahl and Shari Stahl Gronwald and writer Kim Cross discuss the story of how Case Study House #22 came to be and share personal stories about what it was like to grow up and live in the home, from roller skating across the concrete floors to diving off the roof into the pool. Stahl, Gronwald, and Cross are co-authors of the recent book The Stahl House: Case Study House #22; The Making of a Modernist Icon.

To buy the book The Stahl House: Case Study House #22; The Making of a Modernist Icon.

Interview: Psychologist & Author Steven Pinker On Rationality & Fake News

Social media companies face a tough choice in censoring their users. Steven Pinker joins Steven Edginton to discuss rationality, big tech companies and conspiracy theories in the latest Off Script podcast. Watch the full episode above or search “Off Script” on your podcast app.