Arts & Culture

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History
2:32 pm
Sun April 15, 2012

'Violins Of Hope': Instruments From The Holocaust

Amnon Weinstein prepares a violin from the Holocaust for exhibit. He began restoring the violins in 1996 and now has 30 of them to display in an exhibit called Violins of Hope.
Nancy Pierce

Originally published on Sun April 22, 2012 10:28 am

Amnon Weinstein first encountered a violin from the Holocaust 50 years ago. He was a young violin maker in Israel, and a customer brought him an old instrument in terrible condition and wanted it restored.

The customer had played on the violin on the way to the gas chamber, but he survived because the Germans needed him for their death camp orchestra. He hadn't played on it since.

"So I opened the violin, and there inside there [were] ashes," Weinstein says.

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The Record
10:17 pm
Fri April 13, 2012

Kraftwerk In New York: Decades Of Influence On Display

Ralf Hutter (left) and the other members of Kraftwerk in performance at the Museum of Modern Art in New York on Tuesday.
Peter Boettcher Courtesy of MoMA

Originally published on Fri April 13, 2012 4:00 pm

Imagine an era when mainstream music wasn't filled with synthesizers. When electronic music wasn't a force propelling everything from pop and hip-hop to music from the underground. There was a time when this world existed. Then Kraftwerk emerged, and the world we knew changed.

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Three Books...
10:16 pm
Fri April 13, 2012

Permanent Siesta: 3 Books To Whisk You Away

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 5:55 pm

One doesn't necessarily associate spring travel with heavy reading. For one, books are bulky luggage, the weighty enemies of economical packers; even an e-reader takes up precious space in one's overflowing duffel. And two, escapist migration to mountaintops or flowery fields or seaside locales for sun worship and meditative communion with nature connotes a markedly book-free environment, an escape from the office or the solemn halls of academe.

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The Record
12:01 am
Fri April 13, 2012

Hearing In Megaupload Case To Determine Fate Of Users' Data

Megaupload boss Kim Dotcom in February as he is granted bail in a New Zealand court. Dotcom is in New Zealand waiting on a U.S. bid to extradite him on online piracy charges.
Michael Bradley AFP/Getty Images

On Friday morning a hearing scheduled in the criminal copyright case of Megaupload may have implications for all kinds of companies that sell storage space in the cloud — storage space used for anything from music files to family photos, research data to movie collections. The hearing will focus on what happens when the federal government blocks access to allegedly illegal files along with clearly legal ones.

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You Must Read This
5:44 pm
Thu April 12, 2012

Hellbent For Living: A Screwball Parisian Adventure

promo image
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Rosecrans Baldwin is the author of Paris, I Love You but You're Bringing Me Down.

It's not always the case, but Americans are feeling pretty good about the French these days. Look at this year's Academy Awards: Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris, his top-grossing movie of all time, was nominated in four categories. More telling: This year's Best Picture statue went to a French film, The Artist, for the very first time.

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Music News
2:56 pm
Thu April 12, 2012

Freddie King: Rock Hall Inductee, Patriarch Of Blues Rock

Freddie King performs in 1973.
Getty Images

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The Record
4:15 pm
Tue April 10, 2012

Everybody Wants To Be A K-Pop Star

South Korean girl group Girls' Generation onstage during the Seoul Music Awards in January.
Chung Sung-Jun Getty Images

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Books News & Features
3:25 am
Tue April 10, 2012

Best Books (And Surprising Insights) On Lincoln

iStockPhoto.com

In a 24-hour, Internet-fueled news cycle, political campaign reporters often seem to be focused on what just happened, and only what just happened. But presidential candidates profess to take a longer view: They consciously link their critiques and promises to the influential figures and debates of the past.

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Author Interviews
3:24 am
Tue April 10, 2012

Carole King, From Doo-Wopper To Chart Topper

Carole King was in a doo-wop group called the Co-Sines when she was a teenager.
Jim McCrary

Originally published on Tue April 10, 2012 7:16 am

Carole King has an armful of Grammy Awards and countless Top 10 hits, both under her own name and as a songwriter for artists from Little Eva to the Monkees to Aretha Franklin.

Her solo album Tapestry spent 15 weeks at the top of the charts, becoming one of the biggest-selling records of all time. King managed to fit in all those hits by starting very, very young. She tells NPR's Renee Montagne that she was just 15 when she and some classmates formed a doo-wop group called the Co-Sines.

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Music Interviews
12:01 am
Tue April 10, 2012

M. Ward: Sounds Of A Different Time And Place

M. Ward's latest album, A Wasteland Companion, comes out April 10.
Courtesy of the artist

M. Ward's music inspires a sense of wonder — it recalls many sounds from a different time and place.

"I get most of my inspiration from older records and older production styles," Ward says, "and that ends up rearing its head in the records that I make. One of the great things about music is that it has the capability of time travel — you smell a certain smell in the room and it takes you back to your childhood. I feel like music is able to do that, and it happens to me all the time."

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The Record
4:30 pm
Mon April 9, 2012

How To Succeed In The Music Business (By Trying Really, Really Hard)

Raka Dun (left) and Raka Rich of the Oakland, Calif., duo Los Rakas.
Laura Sydell via Instagram NPR

Originally published on Wed April 11, 2012 2:43 pm

It's never been easy to make a living as a musician. But there was always a dream: to become a star on the strength of your talent and your music. The Internet is a rude sandman, however, and today that dream is a lot more convoluted.

No longer can a would-be rock star follow the once-accepted checklist: (1) sign with a big label, (2) get a hit, (3) buy mansions and cars. The number of ways a musician can make money is now varied. The question, for many musicians still trying to make a go of it in the industry, is whether those many sources can add up to something sustainable.

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Music Interviews
12:44 pm
Mon April 9, 2012

Adam Cohen: On Intimacy, Antagonism And Influence

Adam Cohen says he's proud to be the son of singer Leonard Cohen.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon April 9, 2012 5:14 pm

During the course of his career, singer-songwriter Adam Cohen says he has twisted himself into creating commercially successful music — but not this record, not this song. "What Other Guy," from his third album Like A Man, didn't seem likely to generate mainstream popularity. And yet it did, more than any other song he has ever recorded.

The son of iconic singer Leonard Cohen, Adam Cohen says his latest record is a celebration and demonstration of his father's influence on his music.

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Music Reviews
12:28 pm
Mon April 9, 2012

The Toure-Raichel Collective: A Collaboration By Accident

Vieux Farka Toure (left) and Idan Raichel, collaborating as The Toure-Raichel Collective, released The Tel-Aviv Session on March 26.
Nitzan Treystman

Originally published on Mon April 9, 2012 5:14 pm

Idan Raichel is one of Israel's top-selling pop musicians. Vieux Farka Toure is a virtuoso guitarist from Mali. The two met by chance in a German airport, and when Toure played a concert in Tel Aviv, Raichel sat in. He enjoyed himself so much that he invited Toure and two other musicians to come to a studio the next day and jam. The music they created is now an album called The Tel Aviv Session.

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Books News & Features
3:21 am
Mon April 9, 2012

Simple Tweets Of Fate: Teju Cole's Condensed News

Blaise Pascal once wrote that writing succinctly can be hard. It's something many of us aim for, yet few of us master. But if you're writing on Twitter, you have to keep it short.

The Nigerian writer Teju Cole recently devoted himself to the goal of writing in brief. On his Twitter account, he crafts compact stories based on small news items, things you might overlook in the metro section of a newspaper. And with brevity, his stories gain deeper meaning.

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