Pianist and Curtis Institute faculty member Jonathan Biss is a great teacher - with great material. Try Ludwig van Beethoven, yo. Starting in September, Biss did a smash-hit MOOC (massive open online course), for free, titled "Exploring Beethoven's Piano Sonatas." Biss knows these 32 tough, glorious pieces exquisitely well: He's in the midst of a nine-disc, nine-year recorded cycle of all of them! His first Coursera course attracted 35,000 people for its five-week run. Well, we have to do that again, say the Curtis folks - and they are! Biss will be leading online registrants through Beethoven's sonatas again beginning March 14. Registration began Sunday at www.coursera.org/curtis.
West comes east
Speaking of announcements, Kanye West, than whom no one could love themselves more, is bringing his "Yeezus" tour, which has been rolling since October, to Boardwalk Hall in A.C. on Feb. 22. Tickets ($49-$199) go on sale Friday at 10 a.m. You can toodle round in person to the Boardwalk Hall box office, go online at Ticketmaster.com, or phone it in at 1-800-736-1420.
Honey Boo Boo bang
Alana "Honey Boo Boo" Thompson (of TLC's reality-TV thing Here Comes Honey Boo Boo) and members of her family were involved in a pretty bad car wreck Monday night in Georgia, according to TMZ. Story goes, they were in their Suburban, driven by her daddy, Mike "Sugar Bear" Thompson, at a light, waiting to take a left. They started to - but some fool driving a truck with lights off ran the red coming the other way, and smash!! Passengers included Honey Boo Boo herself; her mother, "Mama June" Shannon; and two of her sisters, Lauryn "Pumpkin" Shannon and Jessica "Chubbs" Shannon. They are banged up (not life-threateningly - Honey Boo Boo has a headache), and that car looks bad. June tells TMZ: "We've only had that Suburban for six months and it's not even paid off yet."
Mr. & Miss Ellaneous
Congrats to the fabulous Lily Tomlin, who, in L.A. on New Year's Eve, married her partner Jane Wagner after 42 years as a couple. Lily's rep spilled the beans on Tuesday. . . . In the other direction, Emma Watson has split up from Will Adamowicz. . . . In the Feb. 14 cover story for Glamour, Shakira says her hub, soccer guy Gerard Piqué, "prefers meat over bone. He doesn't like too skinny." Laudable, in this stick-figure age! She says she's not hitting the gym right now, what with baby Milan turning 1 later in January and a new album to record. . . . You have to love this guy, Rick Dyer, who claims he killed Bigfoot, shooting the nonexistent forest monster to death in Texas a while back. He's released a photo of dead Big, who looks like a cross between Leon Russell and Ludwig van Beethoven. He says he lured Big out of hiding by purchasing ribs at Walmart and nailing them to trees. Says he's going to take the corpse on tour and prove it to the world!!! . . .
This column contains material from Inquirer wire services.