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The Arts Intel Report

A Cultural Compass
For the World Traveler
A Cultural Compass
For the World Traveler


July 4–9, 2021
500 25th St, Brooklyn, NY 11232, United States

The Korean-born American pianist Min Kwon premieres 70 commissioned variations on “America the Beautiful.” And who, you ask, wrote the original song? Gold stars for anyone who can name the lyricist Katherine Lee Bates (1859–1929), a professor of English (and American!) literature at Wellesley College, and the composer Samuel Augustus Ward (1848–1903), organist at Grace Episcopal Church in Newark, New Jersey. (The two never met.) To assemble her quilt, Kwon has reached out to composers from sea to shining sea. Scroll through their mugshots on the project website, and you’re bound to find someone who looks like you. The first performance is virtual, streaming live over four evenings (July 4 to 7). A two-evening replay in real space follows in the catacombs of the Green-Wood Cemetery (July 8 and 9). —M.G.

“America/Beautiful” pianist Min Kwon. Photo: Marie Mazzucco.

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