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Quick Takes: Bolshoi ballet director resigns

March 17, 2011

The director of the Bolshoi ballet troupe has resigned after erotic photographs purporting to be of him were posted on the Internet and circulated via a weblink to thousands of e-mail addresses.

The Russian news agency Interfax quoted Gennady Yanin, a soloist who has led the famed troupe since 2005, as saying Wednesday that he had long been considering his future and took the opportunity presented by the scandal to step down.

The Bolshoi on Wednesday named experienced soloist Yan Godovsky as Yanin's replacement. Godovsky is in his 18th season with the Bolshoi.

—Associated Press

Conductor Muti wins a top honor

Italian conductor Riccardo Muti was awarded the Birgit Nilsson Prize on Wednesday for "his extraordinary contributions in opera and concert, as well as his enormous influence in the music world both on and off the stage."

The honor, one of the top awards in the field of classical music, comes with a

$1-million award.

Muti, 69, has led many major orchestras around the world during his lengthy career.

He currently is music director at the Chicago Symphony.

The prize was created by the celebrated Swedish soprano who died in 2005. Award recipients are decided by the Birgit Nilsson Foundation Board, based on the recommendation of an international jury.

—David Ng

Jermaine Jackson memoir coming

A long-rumored memoir by Michael Jackson's brother Jermaine is finally coming out.

Touchstone announced Wednesday that Jermaine Jackson's "You Are Not Alone: Michael: Through a Brother's Eye" will be released this fall.

Jackson spoke in 2003 of wanting to write a memoir and reports surfaced again after Michael's death, in 2009.

Sisters Janet Jackson and La Toya Jackson also have books out this year.

—Associated Press

Stamps honor Latin musicians

Musical giants Tito Puente and Carmen Miranda are bringing some Latin flavor to U.S. postage stamps.

The new set of five forever stamps that went on sale Wednesday also honors Celia Cruz, Selena and Carlos Gardel.

They represent a range of Latin musical styles, including Tejano, tango, samba, Latin jazz and salsa.

—Associated Press

Garrison Keillor to retire in 2013

Garrison Keillor plans to keep spinning tales of Lake Wobegon's Norwegian bachelor farmers for at least a couple more years, but the host and creator of public radio's "A Prairie Home Companion" definitely has an eye on retirement.

In an interview posted Wednesday on the AARP Bulletin's website, the 68-year-old Keillor said he plans to retire in the spring of 2013. But Keillor said he first has to find his replacement.

"I'm pushing forward, and also I'm in denial. It's an interesting time of life," Keillor told the publication.

Keillor said in a follow-up e-mail Wednesday that he'll be 70 in the spring of 2013, "and that seems like a nice round number."

"The reason to retire is to try to avoid embarrassment; you ought to do it before people are dropping big hints. You want to be the first to come up with the idea. You don't want to wait until you trip and fall off the stage," Keillor said.

Keillor suffered a minor stroke in 2009 but was back on the air three weeks later. He created the show in 1974. It's now broadcast on nearly 600 public radio stations and heard by more than 4 million people each week.

—Associated Press

First lady signs a book deal

There's a new author in the White House: Michelle Obama.

The first lady has signed with the Crown Publishing Group for a book about healthful eating and the garden she started on the South Lawn of the White House. The book, currently untitled, is scheduled to come out in April 2012.

Crown said Wednesday that Obama received no advance and would donate all proceeds to a charity or charities to be determined.

—Associated Press

Virtual Elvis to perform show

Elvis Week this year will include the traditional candlelight vigil remembering Elvis Presley's death and a concert featuring a virtual image of the rock icon.

Elvis Week draws thousands of fans every year to Graceland, Elvis' longtime home in Memphis, for a celebration of his life and death. The festivities are set for Aug. 10-16.

This year's highlight is a concert with a live band and real backup singers performing in front on a large LED-screen with a virtual Elvis belting out tunes.

—Associated Press

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