If anyone can lay claim to the moniker “citizen of the world,” it is Semyon Bychkov. Born in Russia, the conductor, who leads the Los Angeles Philharmonic starting Nov. 15, now boasts U.S. citizenship, but lives in Paris with his wife, pianist Marielle Labèque, among other places all over Europe.
At the end of a tense two-hour meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Barack Obama - slumped over and serious - tried to lighten the mood with a joke about their favorite sports.
He brought unprecedented attention to the plight of Soviet Jewry. He stood up to the KGB. He survived nine years in Siberia. He served in Israel’s fractious government.