December 3, 1994 |
The wonderful thing about a Yo-Yo Ma concert - leaving aside the winsome cellist's bountiful musicianship for a moment - is that he always comes with a bonus. When he visits he can usually be spotted sitting in with a chamber music group or two, giving a master class or otherwise busying himself with the local music scene. He is rarely satisfied with playing a mere concerto when he appears with an orchestra. In Baltimore, where he often solos with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and David Zinman, Ma has slipped into the back of the cello section after playing a concerto, still energized for, say, a Schumann symphony.
October 29, 1997 |
Yuri Temirkanov, the Russian conductor who is a popular guest with the Philadelphia Orchestra, will take the helm of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra during its 1999-2000 season. Temirkanov succeeds David Zinman, who recently became music director of Zurich Tonhalle and whose 13-year leadership in Baltimore concludes this season. Temirkanov, 59, will assume partial duties during the 1999-2000 season, but won't officially take the podium as music director until the following season.
June 17, 2008 |
You didn't like that new score you heard Thursday night? Was there a guest conductor who put you over the moon, and whom you're eager to hear again? Jeremy S. Rothman is the Philadelphia Orchestra's new point person for all these issues and more. Rothman has been named the orchestra's new vice president for artistic planning starting Sept. 1. Rothman, 31, held a similar job with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, but arrives with established connections to Philadelphia and this ensemble.
January 29, 2000 |
Joseph Castaldo, 72, the charismatic composer and longtime president of the former Philadelphia Musical Academy (later the Philadelphia Academy of the Performing Arts), died Thursday at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. Mr. Castaldo's works were performed by pianists Andre Watts and Susan Starr, the Philadelphia Orchestra and Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, and several esteemed string quartets. He had cancer for many years, and the onset of the illness had a dramatic affect on his music.
March 28, 2002 |
Sometimes nothing sounds as sweet as living in the state of young and hungry. The students who make up the orchestra of the Curtis Institute of Music prove this fairly often. They have some things to learn, to be sure, but not that many. And in the last of their three concerts this season, the orchestra of aspiring Piatigorskys and Kreislers showed Tuesday night what some older musicians often forget. It's a dirty little secret of the orchestra world that some players, once they land a post of certain stature and security, basically stop practicing and growing.
December 2, 2000 |
The music itself was doomed to be trounced by its political program, as Alexei Tolstoy intimated early on. "The Seventh Symphony arose," he said, "from the conscience of the Russian people, who unwaveringly accepted mortal combat with evil forces. " Well, maybe it did, maybe it didn't. Shostakovich himself said that his Symphony No. 7 was planned well before World War II, "and consequently cannot be seen as a reaction to Hitler's attack. " Still, the composer concedes that he didn't actually start writing the work until July 1941; Germany had just invaded the Soviet Union.
October 23, 2010 |
The arrival of the baby conductors should surprise no one attuned to the triumph of youth culture and a related bout of orchestral obsequiousness. But to be factual about it, we've been here before - and with salutary consequences. Riccardo Muti was 31 when he first conducted the Philadelphia Orchestra. Esa-Pekka Salonen led the Philadelphians at age 28 - six years before taking over the Los Angeles Philharmonic. This week, Los Angeles once again was the site of the fountain of youth, when the Philadelphia Orchestra imported L.A.'s associate conductor, Lionel Bringuier, after Semyon Bychkov canceled what would have been his long-overdue subscription-concert debut.
June 9, 2011 |
How much money should the president of a major orchestra be paid? And should the person at the helm when an orchestra slips into bankruptcy be paid less for failing to keep finances afloat - or more, since managing such a crisis is tough? All these factors relate to Allison B. Vulgamore, who is being paid $597,000 a year to lead the Philadelphia Orchestra, which filed for Chapter 11 on April 16. While $597,000 a year is a lot of money, it is not an unusual sum in the industry. Broadly speaking, Vulgamore's compensation is at the middle of a scale that includes 10 top U.S. orchestras.
November 30, 2011 |
The original Gimbel Brothers building on Market Street between Eighth and Ninth is now a parking lot. There is no trace of the defunct department store in what is now the Gallery, or in any suburban mall for that matter. The once-bustling chain, which once owned Saks Fifth Avenue, closed its doors in Philadelphia 25 years ago. So why write a book about Gimbels now? "Because just hearing the name makes people happy," said Michael J. Lisicky, author of Gimbels Has It!
September 29, 2002 |
In years past, the mere sight of John Cage's name in print was reason to turn the page. During the lifetime of this seminal American composer, his talent for calling attention to himself wore me out, the last straw being Europeras, a random scrambling of the opera repertoire (a hat from one role, a tune from another). Cage's signature work, 4'33", which consists of four minutes and 33 seconds of silence, was typical of what was so wearing: After 30 seconds, I got the idea and didn't need to experience the rest.