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Beautiful Music

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ENTERTAINMENT
April 9, 2015 | By Dan DeLuca, Inquirer Music Critic
Joni Mitchell's health crisis - the Canadian songwriter was found unconscious March 31 in her Los Angeles home and rushed to the hospital - put a scare into legions of fans. Many can't get that line, "You don't know what you've got till it's gone" - from "Big Yellow Taxi" - out of their heads. Mitchell, 71, hasn't released a new album since 2007's Shine . Even ardent followers who scooped up last year's high-concept, self-curated box set, Love Has Many Faces: A Quartet, A Ballet, Waiting to Be Danced , or celebrated a victory against ageism when she was featured in an Yves Saint Laurent ad campaign, would admit her greatest work was decades behind her. But then, as now, you don't have to go very far in the singer-songwriter universe to encounter the presence of Mitchell, who "continues to improve" and "is resting comfortably" in an L.A. hospital, according to her website.
NEWS
April 21, 1999 | by Jim Nicholson, Daily News Staff Writer
Doris Kavanaugh McKinney, whose Philadelphia area and South Jersey singing career spanned six decades, died Sunday of complications associated with a sudden onset of pneumonia. She was 68 and lived in Lafayette Hill. Kavanaugh McKinney, who performed under her maiden name of Doris Kavanaugh, began singing at age 17 with big band leader and singer Vaughn Monroe. She later performed nationally on CBS and Mutual network programs in New York City with Henry Jerome, another big band leader, in the pre-television days of the late 1940s.
NEWS
August 25, 2000 | by Tom Di Nardo, Daily News Classical Music Writer
The flourishing orchestral scene has the Philadelphia Orchestra's 100th-anniversary concert on Nov. 16, conducted by Maestro Wolfgang Sawallisch. For its final full season in the Academy of Music, the Orchestra heads back to full repertory after its successful season of 20th-century fare. Sawallisch wields the baton for 12 weeks, plus a "whistle-stop" tour through North and South Carolina and Florida. Highlights of his programs are a competition among three commissioned works on Oct. 5, Beethoven's "Missa Solemnis" in early February, the complete "Ma Vlast" ("My Fatherland")
ENTERTAINMENT
December 19, 2003 | By TOM DI NARDO For the Daily News
As the holidays draw near, voices are raised in song everywhere. And some of the finest voices appear this weekend, intoning the majestic anthems of the season. The female quartet Anonymous 4 has sold 1 million CDs and sung 1,000 concerts on four continents. All their releases have made Billboard's classical Top 10 lists, and they have four more CDs to be issued. But you'd better catch them tonight because, after 17 years, these silver-voiced advocates of medieval music are on their last tour.
NEWS
June 3, 1991 | By Kevin L. Carter, Inquirer Staff Writer
There's a lot of music for Philadelphia-area radio listeners to choose from, but none of it is beautiful, at least not officially. If Jerry Lee has his way, that will change in August. Lee is the longtime owner of WEAZ-FM (101.1) and WEAZ-AM (560). Since fall 1989, the AM station, formerly WFIL, has simulcast adult-contemporary EZ-101. But last week, Lee revealed plans to convert EAZ-AM to a beautiful-music format on Aug. 15. Instead of soft vocal hits from the '60s, '70s and '80s, the station would play laid-back instrumentals heavy on the strings.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 25, 2005 | By Peter Dobrin INQUIRER MUSIC CRITIC
If you're walking in Rittenhouse Square one day and bump into an old man named Iso Briselli, you might want to thank him for being the impetus for one of the most gorgeous violin concertos of the 20th century. It was for Briselli, a Russian-born violinist who studied at the Curtis Institute of Music, that the Barber Violin Concerto was commissioned - by Briselli's benefactor and American father-figure, soap manufacturer Samuel S. Fels (as in Fels Naphtha soap). While you're there, you may also want to tip your hat to Curtis, where Samuel Barber was schooled, and where Hilary Hahn, who played it so perfectly Wednesday night, also learned her craft.
NEWS
November 12, 1998 | by Jim Nolan, Daily News Staff Writer
Leon Fleisher's handshake is surprisingly firm and sure, considering that for more than 30 years he was unable to use his right hand to play the piano. That might not seem like such a big deal to those of us whose musical ouevre is limited to "Chopsticks" or pecking out the melody of "Heart and Soul. " But to Fleisher, at one time, it meant everything. A musical prodigy at 16, he was proclaimed the "pianistic find of the century" by conductor Pierre Monteux. And the aspiring artist was well on his way to living up to that reputation when in 1964 - at age 35 - he found himself unable to play with his right hand after suffering a form of repetitive stress injury.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 4, 2009 | By TOM DI NARDO For the Daily News
From the days of Bach, Mozart and Haydn, all the way to the more recent Shostakovich and Jarvi offspring, composing and performing music has often been a family affair. The legacy continues for George Theophilus Walker, a major American composer whose intense music deserves much more attention. Next week, the Philadelphia Orchestra will present the world premiere of his Violin Concerto, written for his talented son Gregory Walker, who performs as soloist. Walker, now 87 and a resident of Montclair, N.J., was the first African-American to graduate from the Curtis Institute of Music in 1945, with diplomas in both piano and composition.
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ENTERTAINMENT
April 9, 2015 | By Dan DeLuca, Inquirer Music Critic
Joni Mitchell's health crisis - the Canadian songwriter was found unconscious March 31 in her Los Angeles home and rushed to the hospital - put a scare into legions of fans. Many can't get that line, "You don't know what you've got till it's gone" - from "Big Yellow Taxi" - out of their heads. Mitchell, 71, hasn't released a new album since 2007's Shine . Even ardent followers who scooped up last year's high-concept, self-curated box set, Love Has Many Faces: A Quartet, A Ballet, Waiting to Be Danced , or celebrated a victory against ageism when she was featured in an Yves Saint Laurent ad campaign, would admit her greatest work was decades behind her. But then, as now, you don't have to go very far in the singer-songwriter universe to encounter the presence of Mitchell, who "continues to improve" and "is resting comfortably" in an L.A. hospital, according to her website.
NEWS
January 24, 2014
MY HIGH-SCHOOL haircut is in mourning today: The Captain and Tennille have called it quits. This one definitely came out of left field, and while the last time I thought of them was when Reagan was still in office, it's hit me pretty hard. Why, you might wonder, am I grieving over the breakup of a couple I never met and that was capable of producing "Muskrat Love"? It's complicated. At the most simplistic level, I hate change. Those who think that evolution is what keeps us alive (beyond the literal, Darwinian sense)
ENTERTAINMENT
November 2, 2013 | By Wendy Rosenfield, For The Inquirer
The musical Once , currently enjoying its first national tour, is a far simpler affair than all its awards (among them eight Tonys, one Grammy), accolades, and devotees might indicate. Adapted from John Carney's 89-minute 2007 independent film, which was even simpler than its staged twin, Once follows a Dublin busker boy and a Czech immigrant girl over the course of a week as they make beautiful music together. Both onscreen and onstage versions feature Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova's Lumineers-y romantic stomp-alongs and wistful ballads for solo and duet, all heavy on minor-chord yearning, with lyrics such as "I wouldn't trade her for gold/I'm walking on moonbeams.
NEWS
July 16, 2012 | Madeline Bialecki is a freelance writer in Eddystone
Several years ago, when I was working for a congregation of Catholic sisters, I visited their mission in Swaziland, a landlocked country in southern Africa. Swaziland is ruled by a king who has been known to make Parade Magazine's list of "world's worst dictators. " St. Philip's Mission is far removed from any city and most of the nearby homesteads have no running water or electricity. Rural Swaziland only began to get pit toilets in the 1990s. St. Philip's has a school, medical clinic, and orphanage that houses 127 children whose parents died from HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, or other diseases that are all too common in region.
NEWS
July 16, 2012 | By Monica Yant Kinney, Inquirer Columnist
  In the summer of 1997, as a young reporter scouring the suburbs for stories, I landed on the Sunday front page with a 1,000-word ode to a Swarthmore College professor's belief that kids growing up in the ugliest of places could make the most beautiful music. Back in the corner, another fight is brewing , the story began. Up front, a couple of boys are dozing. But in the middle of the school bus lumbering toward some of Chester's most impoverished neighborhoods comes a voice straight from the heavens.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 15, 2012 | By Dan DeLuca and INQUIRER MUSIC CRITIC
There's a not a band in the world better at projecting postmillennial unease on a grand scale than Radiohead, the six-man art-rock outfit from Oxford, England, that spent a lovely late-spring evening in Camden on Wednesday making beautifully jittery music. All century long, ever since the career-redefining Kid A in 2000, Radiohead has been turning inward, relying on fractured polyrhythms, ambient textures, and Thom Yorke's elegantly alienated vocals to convey a sense of sublime digital-age anxiety.
NEWS
May 19, 2012 | By David Patrick Stearns, INQUIRER MUSIC CRITIC
In its East Coast premiere, Daniel Catán's operatic version of the film Il Postino is infinitely more engaging than one could ever have predicted from an opera that has little exterior action, characters that aren't especially heroic, and music that hasn't a fraction of the usual tension of the opera's 20th-century predecessors. You aren't likely to walk away from the Center City Opera Theater production, which opened Thursday at the Prince Music Theater, thinking you've seen a masterpiece.
NEWS
December 31, 2011 | By Jeremy Roebuck and Kathy Boccella, Inquirer Staff Writers
Bucks County authorities ruled the death of a Levittown blues guitarist and songwriter a homicide Friday. But two days after Bristol Township police found Daniel DeGennaro, 56, dying from a shotgun wound to the chest near the front door of his Crabtree Drive home, investigators remained tight-lipped regarding any leads they may have. "We don't believe it was a random attack," said District Attorney David W. Heckler. "But there are a number of avenues of investigation to pursue.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 31, 2011 | By Howard Gensler
IN HIS REVIEW of Amber Heard's new movie, "The Rum Diary," Daily News film critic Gary Thompson referred to Heard as "a dish. " It's an objectifying term, for sure, but one from a previous era - the type of term Alan Ladd might say about Veronica Lake, or Robert Mitchum in referencing Marilyn Monroe. And it's fitting for Heard, whose beauty and style is from another era. Yes, she's been on the cover of Maxim , but her image could just as easily be painted on the side of a World War II plane, like Betty Grable, or working for French director Roger Vadim in the 1960s, like Brigitte Bardot.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 22, 2011 | By Steve Klinge, For The Inquirer
Alison Krauss' crystalline voice, simultaneously airy and weighty, lends even the saddest songs - and her new Paper Airplane is full of sad songs - a sense of affirmation and pristine beauty. It's Krauss' first album in seven years with her longtime bluegrass band Union Station, and it was one of her most challenging to create, although it doesn't sound that way. Krauss spent several of those interim years working with Robert Plant and T Bone Burnett on the Grammy-winning Raising Sand.
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