A Polish Collector's Passion for Art and Design

POZNAN, POLAND — The reception area of Grazyna Kulczyk’s private office looks a bit bare because many items have already been packed away. But the view is intact: the rooftops of Poznan, a city of brick buildings in west-central Poland. “It…

Wild Child of the Violin on Meteoric Rise

BERN, SWITZERLAND — Patricia Kopatchinskaja would rather be known for the passion and virtuosity of her violin playing than for the fact that she often performs barefoot — or that sometimes she hums along with the orchestras while accompanying…

2Cellos Discuss Music, YouTube and U2

BUDAPEST—Last October I went to Budapest to interview Stjepan Hauser and Luka Šulić, the two musicians who make up 2Cellos, for an International New York Times story on classical crossover music. I had never been backstage before at a concert,…

A Polish Artist's Take on Immigration

Warsaw-born Edinburgh-based artist Monika Szydłowska's new book "Do You Miss Your Country" is a humorous, insightful and poignant comic book looking at issues of Poles and immigration. Written in both English and Polish, the book examines--through…

A Uniform for Change

BELGRADE—On the eve of a new year, many resolutions are made and the year ahead is a blank canvas of hopes, ideas and plans. Some people plan to go on diets while others make the goal to travel more or look for a new job. Serbian-born performance…
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Agata Zubel, Poland's Contemporary Classical Star

WROCLAW, POLAND — With her right hand on her hip, Agata Zubel stood in front of a large black music stand, listening intently to the conversation between the members of eighth blackbird, a six-piece Chicago-based ensemble working on the contemporary…

Hungarian Fashion Designer Dori Tomcsanyi

Budapest--I was recently in the Hungarian capital for an interview with Croatia's 2Cellos (more on that later) and it happened to also be Fashion Weekend (or more precisely Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Central Europe) so I traipsed across the…

An Exclusive Interview with Slovenia's Laibach

LONDON--While the band name, Laibach, may not ring any proverbial bells for most people outside of the Western Balkans, the fact that the band played a much-hyped gig in North Korea this summer may sound familiar. In mid-August the Slovenian…

Renewing Belgrade's Rich Performance Art History

BELGRADE, Serbia — There wasn’t a wet eye in the house. Two dozen babies, aged between three and 18 months, were transfixed watching two women clad in white rolling around on the floor, performing slow and subtle movements inside a white…

Turbo Folk Is Unfortunately Hear to Stay

BELGRADE—If you don’t know whom Ceca is, than you have never been to the Balkans. Because you can’t miss her—with her obviously plastic surgeried breasts and her face spiked high from facelifts, she peers out from magazine covers, blasted…