Highlights

  1. PhotoViola Davis as Ma Rainey. The Oscar-nominated movie focuses on her anxieties rather than her artistic contributions.
    CreditDavid Lee/Netflix, via Associated Press

    Critic’s Notebook

    Why Is It So Hard to Show Black Women’s Musical Genius Onscreen?

    Oscar-nominated performances this season put the emphasis on the trauma, not the artistry, of Billie Holiday and Ma Rainey. The most insightful movie might just be “Soul.”

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Classical Music

More in Classical Music ›
  1. PhotoThe composer John Adams, second from left, after the New York premiere of his “Grand Pianola Music,” which was greeted at Avery Fisher Hall with a rare chorus of boos.
    CreditBert Bial/New York Philharmonic Leon Levy Digital Archives

    A Battle of Boos and Cheers at the Symphony

    In the early 1980s, John Adams’s “Grand Pianola Music” defied the seriousness of classical music. Not everyone liked that.

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