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Since earning his master’s degree at the Julliard School, Ned Rorem has busied himself writing “serious” music—four symphonies, nine operas, and hundreds of other songs. He even won the 1976 Pulitzer Prize for his “Air Music.” Since 1966, he’s published his “been there, done that” diaries. Like his contemporary, Gore Vidal, Rorem was a young, gifted, and beautiful homosexual in artsy 1950s society. I’ve summarized Vidal’s world view before: He’s known everyone; everyone’s gay; and he’s smarter than you and me. Well, all that’s true of Rorem, too, but he’s even smarter than Vidal—Rorem corrects Vidal’s French. The latest volume of his diaries, Lies, covers Rorem’s life from 1986 to 1999, the year his lover of 30 years died from AIDS. The book is tri-cornered: It offers a moving chronicle of a man losing his love to disease (Rorem feels guilty for complaining about having mere prostate cancer when his Jim has AIDS), criticism on art and other topics, and bitchy dish on all the celebs he’s known. Rorem’s nib is razor-sharp. On Tom Wolfe: “Not since our high-school literary magazine, The Blue Mirror, have I seen so many dots and dashes and stuffing.” On “Boss” Bruce: “Springsteen (pretty cute) pains me physically with his ‘Born in the USA’ rasped from a strep throat.” On friend (and author of Lies’ introduction) Edmund White’s 1986 Advocate article on Jean Genet: “Undigested rehash of Sartre for Yankee hicks.” But White assures us that Rorem’s readings are always packed, so make your reservations early. At 8 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 6, at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden’s Ring Auditorium, 7th St. and Independence Ave. SW. $15. For reservations call (202) 357-3030. (Janet Hopf)