The new musical director of Vienna State Opera is one of the most sought-after conductors of his generation. He is engaged at the best opera houses, the most important festivals and at famous concert halls all over the world – his career progression reads like one long success story. But the Swiss conductor also speaks of the difficulties of starting out, the obstacles that had to be overcome and the important encounters, disappointments and moments of joy along the way. Based on her numerous conversations with Philippe Jordan, journalist Haide Tenner documents the conductor’s personal relationship to music and his work, and his gripping life story to date.
Human behaviour is driving our biosphere into the multiple crisis it is in today. But what is the evolutionary basis of human behaviour? And how much room for manoeuvre do we still have? The primary feature that distinguishes humans from other species is our rational potential, yet our everyday behaviour is shaped by irrational decisions. In view of the global survival problems we face, numerous and in some instances radical changes in behaviour are called for, both at an individual and a societal level. But most of all, we need a realistic perception of human nature. Never has it been more important to understand who we really are.
Is chemistry better than its reputation? When it comes to dealing with humankind's big challenges, chemistry is the key discipline. Award-winning chemist Nuno Maulide and physicist Tanja Traxler embark on a captivating journey into the fascinating world of syntheses, bonds and reactions. Entertaining and vivid, the authors describe how chemistry influences our everyday life. They discuss chemical approaches to solving global problems such as climate change, food security for Earth's growing population and waste production. For what is chemistry, after all? It is the science of ourselves, nature and the entire universe.
Is artificial intelligence replacing human practitioners?
The question concerns us all. What does the future of medicine look like and what does it mean for the patient? The use of artificial intelligence and big data for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes has the potential to shake the self-image of doctors to the core. Even today, machines are better at performing certain aspects of what for centuries has been described as the physician's art. Such tasks include diagnosing illnesses, selecting individual treatments and carrying out surgical interventions. Will doctors made of flesh and blood soon be superfluous? What can the patient of the future expect? Christian Maté, himself a doctor, takes a close look at the issues involved and develops compelling theses for a digital future.
Going beyond psychological speculation, the authors close a gap in historical research by portraying Hitler's family, childhood and youth in its social and cultural context. Focusing on Hitler's time in Braunau through to his experiences in Vienna, they offer an insight into his character traits and ideological imprints. The book closely examines Hitler's personal background as well as his social environment. National fanaticism, race hatred and anti-Semitism had become firmly established in society long before Hitler and the National Socialists started their ascent. Hitler's radicalised rhetoric could only gain potency when his audience already knew what he was speaking of. Taking a fresh look, Leidinger and Rapp detail Hitler's childhood and youth from a new angle.
The unique rationale behind Nikolaus Harnoncourt's practice of music brought him fame across the entire musical world. With his ensemble Concentus Musicus he broke established traditions and opened up new approaches to interpreting old music. This was in part the result of his intensive research into the sound produced by original period instruments, but more significantly came about as a consequence of questioning conventional hearing habits. What exactly is music? What effect does it have? And what were the intentions of its creators? Harnoncourt's writing on performance practices, baroque music and instruments such as the harpsichord reads like eloquent music making. A wondrous journey through the history of music.
For almost 270 years, Japan was an island state with no contact to the outside world. This enabled the development of a highly independent culture and society, of which Japan remains proud to this day. For many Westerners, Japan still appears exotic and foreign, yet the country also shares many traits with the industrialised nations of the West. What do Japanese society, economy and politics look like in the 21st century? Have attitudes towards nuclear power generation changed in the wake of Fukushima? Why do many young Japanese show little interest in starting a family? Japan specialist Judith Brandner follows the line from historic Japan to modern society. An engaging journey into a country which many Westerners still know little about.
A journey through Europe and it's unresolved history
A Hungarian prime minister makes a Jewish billionaire into public enemy number one for the sake of an anti-European election campaign. In Barcelona, nationalist politicians go to jail for a vague dream of freedom, and Britain's EU opponents orchestrate Brexit as a fight against German supremacy. Europe is undergoing the greatest crisis since WW2. Konrad Kramar has visited the current hot spots of trouble. Beyond the bluster of populist campaigning and anti-European agitation, he shines a light on the rifts in nations and societies and traces them back to their origins in war, violence and displacement. Kramar explains why current politics has no answers to these crises and shows where solutions might be found.
Renée Schroeder is a multi-faceted woman. A biochemist based in Vienna, she fought her way to the top of the international scientific community. No small undertaking for a woman in this field. Now in her 'unretirement', she has started a new career on her own farm, researching wild herbs. Renée Schroeder's life has never been conventional. Born in Brazil in 1953, her family moved to Luxembourg when she was a child and then to the Austrian town of Bruck an der Mur. After training in Munich, Paris and the US, she settled in Vienna to build her career. A staunch atheist, she has fought many battles relating to science and feminism. This is a compelling biography about an extraordinary and strong-minded woman.
Should you judge a person based on the questions they ask or the answers they give? Sven Michaelsen's reply is unambiguous. Asking ourselves and others the rights questions decides whether our life is successful or wasted. It isn't opinions and assertions that lead us to truth and understanding, it's the curvy question mark. This book shuns run-of-the-mill wisdoms proclaimed by self-professed life coaches to focus instead on the art of smart reflection – on love and happiness, money and a high-flying career or sex and beauty. Michaelsen's writing is at times entertaining and humorous, at times instructive and sombre.
Reading Michaelsen's book of 666 questions will teach you more about yourself than ever before.