June 24, 1995 |
Mahler works his magic best in a proper hall. Hearing the angst-ridden Romantic out of doors you miss many of his delicacies and torments. Surely that's one reason so many stayed away from Thursday night's Philadelphia Orchestra performance at the Mann Music Center, in which the amphitheater held half as many listeners as capacity, and the lawn benches also had disappointing vacant spots. The Symphony No. 3 in D Minor is Mahler at his most pantheistic. Indeed, the composer intended its cymbals, drums and trumpets to celebrate and describe the natural world that he loved with immense passion.
February 4, 2005 |
Charles Dutoit has signed a contract with the Saratoga Performing Arts Center that will keep him there each August, leading the Philadelphia Orchestra, through 2008. Dutoit, 68, has been artistic director and principal conductor since 1990 of the orchestra's annual residency in the New York horse-racing town. The arts center in Saratoga Springs has grappled with administrative and financial turmoil over the last several months. A state audit has criticized the arts center's business operations, citing a high salary for president Herb Chesbrough.
July 21, 1999 |
Thirty years ago yesterday, Apollo 11 astronaut Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin followed Neil Armstrong out of the lunar module Discovery onto the surface of the moon and into heroic legend. Tonight, he'll step onto the Mann stage in front of the Philadelphia Orchestra in a special multimedia celebration of music and space travel. The program will begin as Charles Dutoit conducts a suite from John Williams' music to "Star Wars," probably more familiar globally than any classical work in the catalog.
July 2, 1988 |
What is left to say about the Beethoven Violin Concerto? That it is noble, that it is moving, that we may be a little tired of hearing this rock of ages? Last night Cho-Liang Lin played the Beethoven to a more than usually appreciative audience at the Mann Music Center. And as customary with this fine young musician, he gave it a songful, deeply committed interpretation. Lin's bow arm is so accomplished and his sense of color so refined that one is often struck by the purity of his tone on all four strings.
March 11, 1989 |
The Mann Music Center tradition of familiar music from the standard orchestral repertory, played by the Philadelphia Orchestra, won't change when Charles Dutoit takes over as artistic director next year. In the new position, announced yesterday, Dutoit assumes summer programming responsibility from music director Riccardo Muti, who has been busy here and at La Scala in Milan. Dutoit will be responsible for selecting guest soloists and guest conductors, as well as selecting music for the 18 concert programs that will start in June 1990.
January 9, 1992 |
Mann Music Center artistic director Charles Dutoit will continue last year's successful formula of renowned soloists, familiar and unfamiliar masterworks, and debut performers in this summer's Philadelphia Orchestra season. The traditional six weeks of Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday evening concerts, with an additional two children's concerts, will run consecutively - without the usual week off for the July 4 holiday - from June 15 to July 23. Dutoit, who announced details of his third and final contract season yesterday, will conduct six evenings.
July 18, 1998 |
Subtle colors were the point of Charles Dutoit's concert Thursday with the Philadelphia Orchestra at the Mann Center. After a program Monday with Canadian Brass, it was good to hear the orchestra sounding as it should, playing its central role in the concert. Dutoit's program included two piano works transformed for orchestra, music doubly challenging because the orchestra has to find the soul of the original in the guise of the later version. That worked best in Debussy's Children's Corner, the orchestral shimmers and pastels created by Andre Caplet.
September 17, 2008 |
In a surprise move, still-new Philadelphia Orchestra president and chief executive officer James Undercofler will step down next summer. Undercofler, who has been in the job for only two years, said yesterday that he would leave on July 31, when his contract expires. He said that his decision - announced as Christoph Eschenbach exits as music director and chief conductor, and artistic adviser Charles Dutoit arrives - "was made freely," and that he would stay in Philadelphia to pursue freelance projects in arts education.
February 17, 2008 |
The Philadelphia Orchestra no doubt has its share of subscribers who could put the Beethoven Grosse Fuge through a rigorous harmonic analysis with one hand tied behind their backs. A larger portion of the orchestra listenership might be better versed in humming populist scores that entered the bloodstream early in life - say, La Mer or Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 5. And then there are, of course, those for whom the music is all well and good, but the point of going out is to see and be seen.
November 7, 2002 |
Often anonymous, their profiles obstructed by ensemble mass, orchestral players have a hard time being individualists. Which is one reason some pursue chamber music so ardently. In the Philadelphia Orchestra, we rarely have reason to know violinist Nancy Bean. But Monday night, in various contexts, she emerged as a distinct personality. Bold and sensitive, technically assured without being a show-off, she had that wonderful air, musically speaking, of having arrived. In Schubert's String Trio No. 1 in B flat major, she used a light bow, applying what sounded like no pressure at all without any decay in her tone.