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This is a question you'll have often asked, I'm sure. We know chimps are clever. We know gorillas are really clever. Some people, sometimes, can do feats of logic and deduction. But... orang-utans? Are they that smart?
We know that one has just baffled zoo keepers by becoming pregnant when they thought she was on birth control:
But clever? How clever are they?
Last night we brought a brand new documentary series to BBC Four, in which Simon Sebag Montefiore explores the legacy of the Habsburgs, and their influence on the city they made their home.
This week, we've been celebrating the lives of just some of those who left us during the year. So far this week, we've met:
- Israel Cavazos Garza, Mexican historian
- Mary Hesse, philosopher of science
- Pam Royds, children's publisher
- Jeremy Morse, banker and crossword compiler
We're ending the week with Julia Gomelskaya, Юлія Олександрівна Гомельська.
Julia was born in Saratov - then in the USSR, now Russia - on March 11th, 1964, the same day Celo Madison died. She died last Sunday, 4th December, in a car accident which also claimed the life of her husband, Sergei.
For postgraduate studies, she relocated to London's Guildhall School of Music and Drama, where she won all six of the school's composition award. She returned to Odessa for her PhD.
Her academic career is stellar, but it's her music that will echo. Here's just a taste of that, Calling The Sun:
Amongst her works are a ballet based on Jane Eyre, produced for London's Children's Ballet; Trace Of Trumpet; and this, Through Crystals of Gothic Mosaic:
More recently, her work had focused on her country of Ukraine, setting some of its folk music into new arrangements and providing musical interpetations of Ruth Padel's poem Writing To Onegin.