People: Composer Charles Wuorinen dies at 81

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Composer Charles Wuorinen dies at 81

Charles Wuorinen, winner of the 1970 Pulitzer Prize in Music and composer of the operas "Brokeback Mountain" and "Haroun and the Sea of Stories," died from injuries sustained in a fall last September. He was 81.

Wuorinen, who composed more than 270 works, died Wednesday at New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center, spokeswoman Aleba Gartner said Thursday.

Known for much of his career as an admirer of the 12-tone system of composition, Wuorinen was opinionated.

"We have a world in which the instant response of the untutored becomes the sole criterion for judgment,'' he told The New York Times in 1988, ahead of his 50th birthday. "A great work like a Beethoven symphony becomes like a blob of toothpaste. There is the bored orchestra. There are the indifferent audiences. They wait it through. They applaud. They leave."

Just two years ago, he decried the awarding of that year's Pulitzer Prize in Music to hip-hop artist Kendrick Lamar, telling the Times that signaled "the final disappearance of any societal interest in high culture."

Wuorinen was 32 when he won the Pulitzer for "Time's Encomium," a four-channel work for synthesized sound that became the first electronic composition to earn the honor.

He is survived by his husband of 32 years, Howard Stokar.

Buttigieg fills in for Jimmy Kimmel

Due to the new coronavirus, late-night comedians — Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Fallon, Pete Buttigieg — are taking to the stage without the affirmation of adoring audiences.

Wait a second. Pete Buttigieg?

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The former presidential candidate filled in for Jimmy Kimmel on Thursday night on ABC. It was prearranged, since Kimmel was taping episodes of "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire," but the timing was unfortunate. Each of the three shows decided only hours before taping on Thursday to go without an audience, save for handfuls of staff members.

"Everyone is spread apart at the CDC-recommended distance," said Buttigieg, whose husband was sitting among the empty seats.

Buttigieg, a Democrat who sought the presidency, had the chief job qualification of a late-night host, circa 2020. He was more than willing to tell biting jokes about President Donald Trump.

"When you don't have a real audience, you have to fake one," he said. "Just like Trump's inauguration."

During his monologue, producers cut to film clips of enthusiastic audiences, from awards shows or the State of the Union address.

Kodak Black pleads guilty to weapons charge

Rapper Kodak Black pleaded guilty Thursday to a weapons charge stemming from a stop at the Canadian border crossing near Niagara Falls last April.

The music artist, whose legal name is Bill Kapri, was arrested after he drove a Cadillac Escalade across the Lewiston-Queenston International Bridge into the United States with three other men. State police say the men had marijuana and a loaded pistol without a permit when they were detained by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers.

Kodak Black pleaded guilty Thursday to second-degree criminal possession of a weapon in Niagara County Court, according to WKBW in Buffalo. He faces two to seven years in prison when he's sentenced on March 24.

In November, Kodak Black was sentenced to 46 months in federal prison for illegally buying a gun in his home state of Florida. The New York sentence will be served concurrently with the federal one, according to State Supreme Court Justice Richard Kloch.

Today's birthdays: Game-show host Chuck Woolery is 79. Actor Erik Estrada is 71. Guitarist Nancy Wilson of Heart is 66. Rapper Flavor Flav (Public Enemy) is 61. Actor Jerome Flynn ("Game of Thrones") is 57. Actress Lauren Graham ("Parenthood," ''Gilmore Girls") is 53. Singer Blu Cantrell is 44. Actress Kimrie Lewis ("Single Parents," ''Scandal") is 38. Singer Jhene Aiko is 32.

— The Associated Press


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