Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Lost Stravinsky Piece Found Over 100 Years Later


Following the recipient of a doctorate from the University of Maryland, College Park, Uzi Ben-Ami, Ph.D., has been serving as a psychologist in Maryland for more than three decades. Outside of his professional endeavors, Uzi Ben-Ami, Ph.D., is a fan of classical music and is particularly fond of the Russian composer Igor Stravinsky. 

Although Stravinsky has died in the early 1970s, fans were recently treated to a new piece from the prolific composer after his long-lost work “Pogrebal’naya Pesnya” (“Funeral Song”) was rediscovered after more than 100 years. The 12-minute composition was thought to have been destroyed during Russia’s revolution and civil war in the early 20th century. However, it was recently found among old manuscripts in Russia’s St. Petersburg Conservatoire. 

Stravinsky’s “Funeral Song” was written fairly early in the Russian composer’s career, when he was 26. Created as a tribute to Stravinsky’s teacher, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, the orchestral piece was performed just once before being lost to history. 

The piece is currently making the rounds worldwide, with performances in Russia, the US, New Zealand, and South Korea, to name a few. The performance has been streamed live over the Internet, allowing Stravinsky fans worldwide to hear this lost piece for the first time.

Friday, March 24, 2017

The Films of the Coen Brothers


Uzi Ben-Ami, Ph.D., Licensed Psychologist, studied at the University of Maryland, College Park. For more than 30 years, Uzi Ben-Ami, Ph.D., has provided individuals in Montgomery County, Maryland, with a variety of psychological services and support. Away from work, he enjoys taking photographs and watching the films of Joel and Ethan Coen.

Joel and Ethan Coen have established themselves as two of the most well-known filmmakers in America over the course of more than three decades, accrued 13 Academy Award nominations, and released a number of critically and commercially successful movies. After two early efforts, Blood Simple and Crimewave, the Coen brothers gained notice with their off-brand comedy Raising Arizona. The film starred Nicolas Cage and ultimately grossed nearly $23 million, more than six times the combined gross revenue of the brothers’ first two efforts.

Between 1996 and 2000, the filmmakers transitioned into the mainstream, while remaining critically viable. Fargo, the team’s seventh film, grossed more than $24 million and netted the brothers nominations for Best Director and Best Film Editing at the 1997 Academy Awards, not to mention a win for Best Writing for the Screen. Two years later, the Coens released what would become one of their most enduring films, The Big Lebowski, a dark comedy that received approval ratings of 81 percent from critics and 94 percent from audiences on the Rotten Tomatoes website. In 2000, O Brother, Where Art Thou? starring George Clooney, was met with further acclaim and financial success.

In 2007, Joel and Ethan Coen released their 14th film, No Country for Old Men. The movie grossed $74 million and won Oscars for Best Motion Picture of the Year, Best Achievement in Directing, and Best Writing, Adapted Screenplay. In more recent years, the brothers have released several other notable films, such as True Grit, which brought in more than $170 million, Inside Llewyn Davis, and Bridge of Spies.