Children's Opera 'Brundibar' Revived

Children's author Maurice Sendak has designed the scenery for a production of Brundibar, a Czech opera originally performed by children in a World War II concentration camp.

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SCOTT SIMON, host:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon.

(Soundbite of orchestra tuning)

SIMON: Symphony musicians may run, but they can't hide from conductors. A new study has found that conductors can identify a bad musical note and the person who played it faster than ordinary mortals. Researchers from the Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center presented the study to a conference of the Society for Neuroscience. They put middle and high school conductors into a dark room and asked them to point lasers at various lights and sounds. The conductors did no better than anyone else detecting the lights, but much better at locating sounds. Now the study does not determine if they are conductors because they have this gift, or had developed the skill over years because they're conductors.

Either way, if you burp anywhere near Keith Lockhart of the Boston Pops, he'll know who you are.

Coming up, our math guy explains why learning to play a musical instrument helps speed up the brain. Take note.

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