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NEWS
June 24, 2015 | By Peter Dobrin, Inquirer Music Critic
He was born in South Philadelphia, married Franco-Russian royalty, and reigned for five decades as one of the great violists of the 20th century. Joseph de Pasquale, 95, died Monday, June 22. Mr. de Pasquale, of Merion, was principal violist of two of America's golden-age ensembles - the Boston Symphony Orchestra from 1947 to 1964, and then, sitting alongside three of his brothers, the Philadelphia Orchestra from 1964 until retirement in 1996. He is credited with raising the standard of viola playing so dramatically that it remade the instrument's image, said Curtis Institute of Music president Roberto Díaz, a one-time de Pasquale protégé.
NEWS
June 3, 2016 | By David Patrick Stearns, CLASSICAL MUSIC CRITIC
If global classical-music prominence were a horse race, Yannick Nézet-Séguin - with the just-announced Met appointment, in tandem with his continuing tenure with the Philadelphia Orchestra - would easily be out in front among his particularly charismatic peers. At 41, Nézet-Séguin is part of a generation of what some call "rock star" conductors who emerged late in the last decade, headed by the meteoric Gustavo Dudamel, 35, now music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic (he's also the basis of the  Mozart in the Jungle  TV character played by Gael García Bernal)
NEWS
June 13, 2016
Where classical music is concerned, the vacation months are now a haven for niche programming - sometimes of the extreme sort. The idea is that if it's your niche, you'll travel for it. So what's worth the current gasoline prices? Here's a selection of great classical programs within a day's drive. Farewell to Claude Frank; Hello to Rossini (Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts; Katonah, N.Y.) From June 18 to Aug. 7, Caramoor has a full range of chamber music and orchestral programs on this gracious 90-acre estate.
NEWS
July 11, 2011
The opening of this week's Tanglewood Festival with the Boston Symphony Orchestra was available in radio broadcasts for those of us unable to get there. And though the audio-only aspect of radio is far from the experience of being there, microphones don't lie in live broadcasts. Charles Dutoit stepped in for the indisposed James Levine with a modified grab-bag program that included repertoire as far flung as Respighi's tone poem The Pines of Rome , and, more significantly, Act I of Bellini's Norma , starring Academy of Vocal Arts graduate Angela Meade.
NEWS
May 24, 2013 | By Peter Dobrin, Inquirer Music Critic
Henri Dutilleux, 97, a composer whose modest output belied his huge impact on listeners and musicians alike, died Wednesday in Paris, European news services reported. Mr. Dutilleux, born in Angers and trained at the Paris Conservatory, maintained a compositional link with Debussy and Ravel while taking their economy and elegance to greater levels of complexity and dissonance. Conductor Charles Dutoit, a Dutilleux champion who led several notable premieres, said that his death, though expected, was a major loss.
NEWS
July 18, 2002 | By Kristin E. Holmes INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Grace Stevens Hobson Smith, 97, a retired elementary school teacher and music educator who began giving piano lessons when she was a teenager, died of complications from a stroke Monday at her home in Germantown. By the age of 10, Mrs. Smith was playing the piano and providing music for her Sunday school class. By 14, she had her own students, charging 50 cents per lesson. Over the next six decades, Mrs. Smith toured with a piano ensemble, studied music in Germany, and used her experiences to illuminate the music for her students.
NEWS
June 30, 2007 | By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic
Composer Hector Berlioz signified many things, but on Thursday at the Mann Center for the Performing Arts, he was the patron saint of young conductors. The artist in question was Ludovic Morlot, the young associate conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra who is accumulating prestigious debuts, among them his first outing with the Philadelphia Orchestra. The Berlioz overture, Le Corsaire , with its long opening string flourishes, seizes your attention dramatically - at least when well played - and assures you that you're not likely to forget the visual image of the conductor making it happen.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 22, 2015 | By Peter Dobrin, Inquirer Music Critic
Cellist Oliver Aldort remembers being struck by a particular quality of the Boston Symphony Orchestra while playing in the ensemble as a 17-year-old student at the Tanglewood Institute. "I had been used to a conservatory orchestra in which everyone is young and there is a constant turnover of players," he says, "and I had been used to the fact that so often the conductor will give the downbeat and there will be a lot of hesitation. . . . With the BSO, the orchestra had such a unified sense of rhythm as an ensemble - it was the easiest thing to play with.
NEWS
August 6, 2007 | By Peter Dobrin INQUIRER MUSIC CRITIC
The orchestra world is full of experts who, on a single hearing, will give you a full assessment of what's right and what's wrong between an ensemble and its conductor. If the Philadelphia Orchestra's most recent U.S. tour and my experiencing it only as a far-away reader of reviews was instructive about anything, it's that one-night diagnoses are a dangerous way to make a living. We in the classical realm tend to praise the excitement of live music and the way performances change from one night to the next - and then fail to take into consideration that performances change from one night to the next.
NEWS
April 15, 2002 | By Peter Dobrin INQUIRER MUSIC CRITIC
Right now, there may be no American orchestra better poised for greatness than the Boston Symphony Orchestra. The ensemble has managed to snag James Levine as its next music director, its home is one of the acoustical marvels of the world, and the group's leaders have socked away an enormous endowment. No other orchestra can boast these three important assets, and if Levine's chemistry has the same power in Boston it has had elsewhere, get ready to hear this orchestra leapfrog to the front of the pack.
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ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
June 13, 2016
Where classical music is concerned, the vacation months are now a haven for niche programming - sometimes of the extreme sort. The idea is that if it's your niche, you'll travel for it. So what's worth the current gasoline prices? Here's a selection of great classical programs within a day's drive. Farewell to Claude Frank; Hello to Rossini (Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts; Katonah, N.Y.) From June 18 to Aug. 7, Caramoor has a full range of chamber music and orchestral programs on this gracious 90-acre estate.
NEWS
June 3, 2016 | By David Patrick Stearns, CLASSICAL MUSIC CRITIC
If global classical-music prominence were a horse race, Yannick Nézet-Séguin - with the just-announced Met appointment, in tandem with his continuing tenure with the Philadelphia Orchestra - would easily be out in front among his particularly charismatic peers. At 41, Nézet-Séguin is part of a generation of what some call "rock star" conductors who emerged late in the last decade, headed by the meteoric Gustavo Dudamel, 35, now music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic (he's also the basis of the  Mozart in the Jungle  TV character played by Gael García Bernal)
NEWS
November 25, 2015 | By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic
Though he was a master musician on several fronts - violinist, conductor, and educator - to those who knew Joseph Silverstein, he was simply "Joey. " Mr. Silverstein, 83, who died Sunday, Nov. 22, after suffering a heart attack at his home in Stockbridge, Mass., was concertmaster of the Boston Symphony Orchestra from 1962 to 1983 and music director of the Utah Symphony from 1983 to 1998, and had been the gray eminence of the Curtis Institute violin faculty since 2000. He was revered as a man of gravitas without pretension.
NEWS
September 15, 2015 | Claudia Vargas, Inquirer Staff Writer
While many Philadelphia politicians spent summer's waning days squeezing out the last of their vacations, Democratic mayoral nominee Jim Kenney was traveling, too - to see how other cities operate. During three days in the Boston area and two in Pittsburgh, Kenney focused on what he would do if elected, a strong likelihood in a city where Republicans are grossly outnumbered. The former city councilman met in early September with officials in Boston, Cambridge, and Somerville.
NEWS
June 24, 2015 | By Peter Dobrin, Inquirer Music Critic
He was born in South Philadelphia, married Franco-Russian royalty, and reigned for five decades as one of the great violists of the 20th century. Joseph de Pasquale, 95, died Monday, June 22. Mr. de Pasquale, of Merion, was principal violist of two of America's golden-age ensembles - the Boston Symphony Orchestra from 1947 to 1964, and then, sitting alongside three of his brothers, the Philadelphia Orchestra from 1964 until retirement in 1996. He is credited with raising the standard of viola playing so dramatically that it remade the instrument's image, said Curtis Institute of Music president Roberto Díaz, a one-time de Pasquale protégé.
NEWS
June 6, 2015 | By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic
AMSTERDAM - With its six tons of equipment, the Philadelphia Orchestra arrived for its Amsterdam concert on Thursday with success or failure dependent on one key person: not any musician, but an anonymous truck driver who maneuvered through streets the size of bike lanes to deliver the instruments to one of Europe's most majestic but problematic halls, the Royal Concertgebouw. "If Yannick [Nézet-Séguin] couldn't conduct the concert, Lio Kuokman would fill in. If a player gets sick, we have alternates.
NEWS
April 17, 2015 | By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic
In the current generation of so-called rock-star symphony orchestra conductors, Stéphane Denève definitely has the hair. Though not as wild as Gustavo Dudamel's or as glossy as Riccado Muti's, it corkscrews with such a mind of its own you're sure he didn't plan the look. He may be so preoccupied with musical matters he doesn't even notice it. Clearly, it's an accident. "This is the exact story," says the ebullient French-born principal guest conductor of the Philadelphia Orchestra.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 22, 2015 | By Peter Dobrin, Inquirer Music Critic
Cellist Oliver Aldort remembers being struck by a particular quality of the Boston Symphony Orchestra while playing in the ensemble as a 17-year-old student at the Tanglewood Institute. "I had been used to a conservatory orchestra in which everyone is young and there is a constant turnover of players," he says, "and I had been used to the fact that so often the conductor will give the downbeat and there will be a lot of hesitation. . . . With the BSO, the orchestra had such a unified sense of rhythm as an ensemble - it was the easiest thing to play with.
NEWS
May 18, 2014 | By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic
Words to the wise for any U.S. symphony orchestras touring China: Be prepared for tougher-than-tough negotiations, last-minute changes at departure, and below-scale fees. The Philadelphia Orchestra knows plenty about the first two as it departs on the third annual tour in its five-year China residency plan. But the orchestra this year is significantly rewriting the money part. By conducting its own negotiations and cultivating high-end sponsors, its 21/2-week tour - starting Wednesday in Beijing, stopping in Tokyo June 3, and ending June 5 in Taiwan - is expected to net $1 million (give or take $200,000)
NEWS
May 24, 2013 | By Peter Dobrin, Inquirer Music Critic
Henri Dutilleux, 97, a composer whose modest output belied his huge impact on listeners and musicians alike, died Wednesday in Paris, European news services reported. Mr. Dutilleux, born in Angers and trained at the Paris Conservatory, maintained a compositional link with Debussy and Ravel while taking their economy and elegance to greater levels of complexity and dissonance. Conductor Charles Dutoit, a Dutilleux champion who led several notable premieres, said that his death, though expected, was a major loss.
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