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How Close Are Barack Obama and Joe Biden?

As Steven Levingston recounts in “Barack and Joe,” the partnership between Obama and Biden was an unlikely — and, initially, an uneasy — one. Obama, Levingston writes, was “a young, cerebral African-American who sweated over the precision of his words”; Biden was “an older chummy white guy given to impulsively …

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The Philharmonic Takes on a Composer of Puzzles and Turns

The composer Unsuk Chin has long been known for the dramatic quality of her music — even before her first opera, a 2007 adaptation of “Alice in Wonderland.” Three years before that, when her Violin Concerto won the prestigious Grawemeyer Award for Music Composition, the jury commended her not just …

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