Carnegie's Stellar Century
If I practiced the piano for the next 100 years, I wouldn't get to Carnegie Hall. For the past 100, a lot of musical greats did. What other institution has seen so many worthies -- classical, pop and jazz -- through a lifetime of debuts and farewells, and just plain triumphs? The list is mind-boggling -- from Caruso to Callas and Casals, Garland and Groucho and Goodman (Benny), the Beatles and Bernstein.
On May 5, 1891, Tchaikovsky conducted the opening-night concert at the "Music Hall Founded by Andrew Carnegie." In addition to the current Centennial season and gala 10-day blowout beginning April 26, two exhibits chronicle the hall's stellar century. The New York Public Library at Lincoln Center will display Toscanini's baton, Goodman's clarinet, scores, programs and other memorabilia, Wednesday through Jan. 26 (212-870-1630).
Until Nov. 11, New York's International Center of Photography (212-860-1777) is showing 70 photos of personages who appeared there, and a video of historic performances. The exhibit moves to Washington Jan. 22, to the Kennedy Center's Performing Arts Library (through March 16, 202-416-8430).
You've probably never been to Ouagadougou, capital of Burkina Faso, the small West African country that used to be known as Upper Volta before the 1984 revolution. Since then, says Ambassador Paul-Desire Kabore, that country of 8 million people -- about 3 million of whom are artisans -- has been aiming to become a center for African art.
To help them -- and other African artisans -- sell their sculpture, masks, leather, pottery and textiles to the world, Burkina Faso's capital is hosting the Second International Art Exhibition of Ouagadougou through Saturday. Art dealers and artisans from 40 African countries are turning art into industry.
Fiddling With Fairbanks
Going down home next month means heading north to Alaska for the 8th Annual Athabascan Fiddling Festival. The festival showcases a fiddling art that has been practiced since the 1850s in remote villages of the Alaskan interior but which was seldom heard elsewhere until the festival (in Fairbanks, Nov. 14-17 this year) was organized seven years ago by the Institute of Alaska Native Arts. This year it will draw 75 musicians and an audience upwards of 2,500 -- a big crowd for Fairbanks. Festival performances begin at noon, and at the Friday night dance they'll do the "Red River Jig" and the "Schotishe," a fast waltz. For more information, call 907-456-7491.
Q. Which U.S. president collected specimens for the Smithsonian on an African safari?
TRIVIA ANSWER: THEODORE ROOSEVELT, ON AN EAST AFRICAN TRIP IN 1909.
Storyfest, Nov. 3, George West, Texas.
American Royal Livestock, Horse Show and Rodeo, Nov. 2-17, Kansas City, Mo.
Death Valley 49er Encampment, Nov. 7-11, Death Valley, Calif.
Waterfowl Festival, Nov. 9-11, Easton, Md.
Montgolfier Day Balloon Regatta, Nov. 17-18, Providence, R.I.
Mostra Internazionale del Gelato, Nov. 24-29, Longarone, Italy.
Philadelphia Art Show and Sale, Nov. 29-Dec. 3.