Boston Byzantine Music Fest Celebrates 1000+ Years of Musical Tradition

The Boston Byzantine Music Festival will take place on the campus of Hellenic College Holy Cross on February 24–25, 2014, highlighting the riches of Byzantine music and exploring connections with the music of the Near East through a series of talks and performances.

En Chrodais. Photo (c) Eleni Papadopoulou.  (PRNewsFoto/Hellenic College Holy Cross)

En Chrodais. Photo (c) Eleni Papadopoulou. (PRNewsFoto/Hellenic College Holy Cross)

Byzantine art is commonly associated with the majestic architecture of domed cathedrals or the mystical quality of icons, but its splendor is equally visible in Byzantine chant, an a cappella musical tradition first recorded in written form over one thousand years ago.

Featuring both the spiritual chant of the Greek Orthodox Church and early Eastern Mediterranean instrumental and vocal music, the festival will demonstrate both the sacred and secular impact of the Byzantine musical tradition.

The festival will open on February 24 with a lecture by notable Greek musicologist Dr. Emmanouil Giannopouloson the history of Byzantine music. Performances by the Holy Cross St. Romanos the Melodist Byzantine Choir will accompany the talk, entitled “Orthodox Liturgical Music’s Breeze Blows Over the Aegean.” The lecture will be followed by a concert of the acclaimed Greek Orthodox Archdiocesan Byzantine Choir, led by Demetrios Kehagias. The choir, who wowed audiences with recent performances in Istanbul and at Carnegie Hall, will chant selections on the theme of Forgiveness.

Dr. Kyriakos Kalaitzidis will deliver on the afternoon of February 25 a free public lecture on the relationship between post-Byzantine ecclesiastical and secular oriental music. That evening, the world-renowned En Chordais musical ensemble, led by Dr. Kalaitzidis, will perform a concert of lively Byzantine-influenced early music with traditional instruments.

En Chordais fuses multicultural musical traditions of the Mediterranean and often collaborates with top musicians from Greece, Iran, Turkey, Israel, China, Canada, and Europe. They will be joined by the Holy Cross St. Romanos the Melodist Byzantine Choir to explore new fusions of chant and instrumental music.

The festival is sponsored by the Mary Jaharis Center for Byzantine Art and Culture with the New York Life Center for the Study of Hellenism in Pontus and Asia Minor at Hellenic College Holy Cross.

Individual concert tickets $40. $70 for both concerts. Student tickets $15 per concert (with valid ID). More information and tickets available at

Montblanc TimeWalker Chronograph 100: Highest Performance thanks to Precision Engineering and High-Tech Materials

A patented chronograph function enables the Montblanc TimeWalker Chronograph 100 to perform a feat that’s seldom achieved by mechanical timepieces: it can measure elapsed intervals to the nearest 100th of a second. To accomplish this, the watch relies on the Montblanc Manufacture’s nearly century-old competence for measuring intervals to the nearest 100th of a second.

Montblanc TimeWalker Chronograph 100

Montblanc TimeWalker Chronograph 100

The Minerva Manufacture, which would later become the Montblanc Manufacture in Villeret, sparked enthusiasm among specialists in this disciple when it launched its first mechanical 100th-of-a-second stopwatch in 1916. Subsequent versions were equipped with a chronograph hand that requires just one second to complete a full 360° circuit of the dial. Precisely this principle is employed by the Montblanc TimeWalker Chronograph 100 with its newly developed manufacture calibre MB M66.25. This high-performance manufacture calibre is embedded in a case crafted from materials which are used in racing cars and which further accentuate the movement’s innovative mechanisms. Highly advanced materials and mechanisms are uncompromisingly combined with a manufacture movement that is built in accord with the centuries-old tradition of the art of Swiss watchmaking. Meticulous manual craftsmanship and decorative finishes uphold the rigorous standards of even the most demanding connoisseurs. In the Montblanc TimeWalker Chronograph 100, Montblanc’s watchmakers have successfully united performance-oriented innovation and the finest horological tradition.

One Movement – Two Hearts

For a watch to measure intervals with 100th-of-a-second precision, its balance must be able to vibrate at a frequency of 360,000 semi-oscillations per hour (50 hertz). In conventional chronograph wristwatches, one and the same balance drives both the ordinary time display and the chronograph mechanism for measuring elapsed intervals. Activating the “start” function creates a connection between the going train and the chronograph; this link is severed when the “stop” function is triggered. Due to its need for a frequency of 360,000 semi-oscillations per hour, the Montblanc TimeWalker Chronograph 100 cannot rely on the same mechanical principle as a conventional chronograph calibre, which vibrates at a much slower pace of 2.5 or 4 hertz. This necessity prompted the watchmakers in Villeret to devise a solution with two balances. A large, massy, screw balance oscillates at a frequency of 18,000 A/h (2.5 Hz) to ensure the precise rate of the going train, while a small balance paced at the extremely high frequency of 360,000 A/h (50 Hz) regulates the chronograph function. Rather than remaining continually in motion, the separate balance for the chronograph begins to vibrate only when the “start” function is activated by a flexible steel lamella (called fouet) mounted behind the arrowhead of the chronograph rocker. When the “stop” function is triggered, this slender steel plate arrests the tiny 50-Hz balance and holds it motionlessly in place until the next elapsed-time measurement begins.The chronograph function is powered by its own barrel, which stores enough energy to measure intervals up to 45 minutes in duration. An elapsed-time measurement can be indefinitely extended by turning the crown anticlockwise while the chronograph is running, thus adding fresh energy to the chronograph’s barrel. The going train for the ordinary time display draws its energy from a second barrel that guarantees a 100-hour power reserve. Continue reading

Montblanc Launches New TimeWalker Extreme Chronograph DLC

The TimeWalker Collection Celebrates its 10th Anniversary

With the debut of the TimeWalker Collection in 2004, Montblanc launched a new family of watches and simultaneously defined a new design vocabulary. Its salient features include architectonic lines, 43-millimetre case, narrow bezel and elegantly skeletonised horns, plus a large, planar dial with Arabic numerals in a distinctive, clearly contoured typography and characteristic lancet-shaped hands.

Montblanc TimeWalker Extreme Chronograph DLC

Montblanc TimeWalker Extreme Chronograph DLC

This innovative look, lost none of its appeal during the preceding decade, combining masculine technology with sporty elegance and has made the TimeWalker line one of Montblanc’s most successful watch collections. Now Montblanc kicks off the second decade of this iconographic watch line with the presentation of the new TimeWalker Extreme Chronograph DLC.

“Diamond like carbon”

A “DLC” (for the “diamond-like carbon” material) treatment ensures that the toughness of the stainless steel case’s surface has been increased to the utmost. Miniscule glass spherules are blasted under high pressure to give the steel a microscopic texture to which the DLC coating can almost inseparably adhere, thus producing a fine matte finish on the surface. The same process is used on the other stainless steel components: i.e. the readily grasped crown, the chronograph’s buttons, the midnight-black pronged buckle, and the screwed back with its pane of sapphire crystal. The colour of the diamond-like carbon coating is described as “Black 4”, which stands for “very black”. The window in the case back offers a clear view of the automatic mechanical Calibre MB 4810/507. Equipped with an integrated chronograph function, this calibre is manufactured in accord with all the rules that govern the art of Swiss watchmaking. It ticks at a steady pace of 28,800 semi-oscillations per hour (4 Hz), so the chronograph’s elapsed-second hand advances in eighth-of-a-second increments – the exact measurement of brief intervals.

A black stage set

The black of the new TimeWalker chronograph´s case continues on the large planar dial, which expresses the artistry of the cadraniers, as dial-makers are known in specialized horological language. The various displays of this watch’s face are presented on different levels. The middle stratum, which covers the centre and the periphery of the dial, is embellished with a fine embossed pattern of circular striations. The periphery bears the seconds scale for the chronograph’s slender elapsed-seconds hand and is subdivided into readily legible quarter-of-a-second increments to match the 4 Hz pace of the movement. The three subdials – one for the continually running second-hand and two for the chronograph’s elapsed-time counters – are positioned at the “6”, the “9” and the “12”. The matte black hour-circle without textural embellishment is positioned slightly above the middle plane and bears strongly luminescent Superluminova numerals in the patented TimeWalker typography, along with equally clearly legible double indices. Wholly dedicated to time measurement, this no-frills landscape is an excellent example of attention to legibility. It’s accentuated by a set of anthracite-grey ruthenium-coloured hands that clearly contrast with the midnightblack background. Five of the hands have the typical lancet shape and are inset with Superluminova; the chronograph’s elapsed-seconds hand is counterweighted and culminates in a red tip. The final display is the date window at “4:30”, where the current date appears against a black background in white numerals in the TimeWalker typography. Continue reading

Team USA Athletes Meryl Davis And Charlie White Win Gold Medal At Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games

Team Kellogg’s™ Team USA™ Ice Dancers Show From Great Starts Come Great Things®

Meryl Davis and Charlie White, U.S. Olympians and members of Team Kellogg’s™, took the gold medal today in the figure skating ice dance competition at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi—the first-ever gold for Team USA™ in the event. Davis and White finished with a world record score of 195.52.


At the ages of 9 and 8 respectively, Davis and White began formally skating together, but their start actually goes back further than that. Growing up skating at the same rink, White had noticed Davis skating during a free-skate event and told his mom that she was the best skater he had even seen.  Little did he know that they would be partnered together years later.  Over the course of the 17 years they’ve skated together, the pair has gone on to become six-time American ice dance champions, Olympic silver medalists and the first Americans to win two World Championship titles.

This gold medal represents so many great starts together through the years,” said White. “Standing at the top of the podium was a dream come true—and it reinforces that great starts truly can lead to great things.”

To have finally reached our goal of a gold medal is a tremendous feeling,” said Davis. “My great start with Charlie has led us to where we are today, and we’re thrilled to have brought home a win for Team USA.”

Mandarin Oriental, Manila Welcomes French Michelin-Star Chef Richard Toix

 Mandarin Oriental, Manila’s signature restaurant The Tivoli is delighted to once again play host to another acclaimed Michelin-starred chef, Richard Toix, from February 24 to March 2. During the week-long promotion, which is held with the support of Etihad Airways, gourmands and food connoisseurs alike will find pleasure in Chef Richard’s sensational specialties and artistic mouthwatering creations.

Situated in a quiet address in the heart of Makati’s Central Business District, Mandarin Oriental, Manila is within walking Mandarin_Oriental_Hotel_Group_gold_logodistance of stylish malls and shops in the Ayala Commercial Center. Renowned for its outstanding cuisine, the hotel features three restaurants, two popular bars, and a lounge.  Four exclusive and highly rated Club floors with a private lounge provide utmost guest satisfaction, as do a cosy luxury spa, a fully equipped business centre, and a health club with advanced fitness equipment.  Banquet and meeting facilities are also available.

Richard Toix, renowned for his mastery in the art of food fusion, brings with him over 20 years of culinary experience coupled with his great enthusiasm for French cuisine. His fine dining restaurant, Passions et Gourmandises restaurant in the charming village of Saint-Benoit, earned its first Michelin star in 2008, a mere nine months after opening. His work features beautiful, colourful presentations with unique ingredients in every dish.

The fresh and sumptuous flavors of Richard Toix’s award-winning cuisine will make its way to The Tivoli via the signature three-course Business Lunch menu and the six-course Degustation Dinner menu. A selection of dishes will also be featured in the restaurant’s daily à la carte menu.

*The three-course Business Lunch menu will be offered at PHP 1,950

*The six-course Degustation menu will be priced at PHP 3,400

Born in Perpignan, the Michelin starred chef went on to study in a Lycée Hotelier, earning his first job with the Roux Brothers in London, a restaurant with three Michelin stars, before returning to work for various restaurants across France. In 1993, he and his wife Laure opened their first restaurant, Le Champ de Foire in Lencloitre, half an hour from Poitiers, and in 2007, opened Passions et Gourmandises, a modern restaurant focusing on fresh seasonal produce. Chef Toix has also collaborated with the contemporary Chinese artist Zhou  Tiehai, where he combined painting with French traditional pastries for a grand exhibition in 2010.

We all look forward to welcoming Chef Richard Toix at The Tivoli” says Director of Food and Beverage Peter Pysk, adding that the kitchen brigade headed by Executive Chef Rene Ottlik and Executive Sous Chef Remi Vercelli are excited to be collaborating with another great Michelin chef. “Chef Richard’s visit comes close on the heels of the highly successful promotion recently with Chef Nicolas Isnard, and we are certain that our diners will be delighted to again savour the sublime flavours of contemporary French gastronomy by a Michelin-starred chef.

For table reservations, please contact The Tivoli on +63 (2) 750 8888 or

*Rates are subject to 10% service charge and prevailing government tax.

Mandarin Oriental, Paris Introduces Exclusive Shopping Package “J’aime La Mode”

Mandarin Oriental, Paris is delighted to announce the launch of a new luxury shopping experience with a package that allows guests VIP access to the city’s prestigious department store, Printemps Haussman.


Mandarin Oriental, Paris Exterior

At the center of Paris, Printemps has been the world leading department store for Fashion, Luxury and Beauty since 1865. With its remodelled façade, classified as a historic monument, 45,000 sqm dedicated to a unique shopping experience and seven restaurants, Printemps represents the contemporary symbol of the capital and its art of living.


Mandarin Oriental, Paris Exterior

Mandarin Oriental, Paris has a premier location on Rue Saint-Honoré, surrounded by history and fashionable shopping. The hotel’s 99 luxurious rooms and 39 suites offer guests an eminently stylish Parisian experience, and are among the most spacious in Paris. An inner courtyard camellia garden provides outdoor dining and is a peaceful oasis in the city. Other dining choices, include the two-Michelin star signature restaurant, Sur Mesure par Thierry Marx, Camélia, The Cake Shop and Bar 8, all under Executive Chef and Culinary Director Thierry Marx. The Spa at Mandarin Oriental, Paris brings relaxation in a peaceful, modern setting, and an indoor pool and a fully-equipped fitness centre complete the hotel’s leisure facilities.

The J’aime la MOde offer combines a luxurious stay at Mandarin Oriental, Paris with an exclusive private shopping experience at the world’s leading department store for luxury in fashion and beauty since 1865. Printemps offers premium services including a VIP welcome, bespoke in-store personal service, store VIP Card, ‘hands-free’ shopping, local delivery and shipping. Guests will also enjoy a highly personalised shopping visit thanks to a personal shopper, fashion advisor, luxury and beauty (on appointment). Guests will take home a Printemps candle gift as a memento of their Parisian getaway.

The ‘J’aime la MOde’ package includes:

  • Luxurious accommodation for one night at Mandarin Oriental, Paris
  • Breakfast for two in-room or at Camélia
  • A daily Spa credit of EUR 150
  • Premium services at Printemps Haussmann:
    • VIP welcome
    • Printemps VIP Card with a special offer
    • Multilingual Personal Shopper
    • Hands-free shopping
    • Priority tax refund
    • Local delivery and international shipping
  • Printemps candle gift

The ‘J’aime la MOde’ package is available year-round, starting from February 1st 2014, based on availability with a starting rate of 995 euros.

Reservations can be made through Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group’s on-line reservations service at or by contacting the reservations office at Mandarin Oriental, Paris on +33 1 7098 7333 / Rooms are subject to availability and terms and conditions apply.


Robin Roberts, Lara Spencer, Jess Cagle and Tyson Beckford to host Oscars® “Red Carpet Live” Show

“Good Morning America” anchors Robin Roberts and Lara Spencer, and Jess Cagle, editor of People and editorial director of Entertainment Weekly, return to host the Oscars “Red Carpet Live” show, along with actor, model and television host Tyson Beckford.  The Oscars “Red Carpet Live,” will air on Sunday, March 2 at 7 p.m. ET on the ABC Television Network. The Oscars, hosted by Ellen DeGeneres, will air immediately following “Red Carpet Live.”

The Oscars “Red Carpet Live” will be produced by Brad Lachman; Michael Seligman will serve as supervising producer and Bill Bracken as coordinating producer. Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, producers of the Oscars telecast, are the pre-show’s executive producers.

Awards for outstanding film achievements of 2013 will be presented on Oscar® Sunday, March 2, at the Dolby Theatre® at Hollywood & Highland Center® and televised live on the ABC Television Network. The Oscars, produced by Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, also will be televised live in more than 225 countries and territories worldwide.