December 24, 2015 |
Rich, easy notes slide out of Gilly DiBenedetto's clarinet, filling the room, until the old man stops and lowers his instrument. "I can't play no more," he says in a whisper brittle enough to make it sound like the truth. Then he promptly moistens his lips, raises the clarinet, and resumes the tune. It seems more likely that DiBenedetto can't not play - even against the odds. Once the band director at the storied Downingtown Inn, to which Mickey Rooney lent his name and presence, the 87-year-old was supposed to be gone by now. Battling three cancers, he was given two months to live in July.
November 25, 2015 |
Sparkling blue flags waved and 600 feet stepped in time as the West Chester University marching band sent a holiday tune into the darkening November sky. With drums and flutes, trumpets and clarinets, the students last week turned a campus blacktop into the winter wonderland they hope to create near New York City's Herald Square on Thursday. That's when the college musicians will have 75 seconds to dazzle tens of millions of viewers with "Winter Wonderland. " The band is one of 10 high school and college bands nationwide selected to perform in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, which typically generates huge television ratings and draws thousands to New York's streets.
April 15, 2015 |
With the tardy arrival of spring, the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society had to present a lot of indoor sunshine Sunday to lure people from the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art inside to Van Pelt Auditorium. But the Dalí Quartet's Latin American program alternately glimmered and blazed. Longtime concertgoers might wonder whether Latino string quartets exist at all. Well, yes, though the beautifully prepared program was largely unfamiliar, except perhaps to jazz fans who know Paquito D'Rivera, represented by two short pieces.
August 19, 2014 |
Robert Harris Zimmerman, 81, of Bala Cynwyd, a lawyer and music lover, died Monday, Aug. 11, of multiple myeloma at Penn Hospice at Rittenhouse. Mr. Zimmerman was the son of an immigrant Lithuanian father and an American mother. He and his brothers, Mark and Barry, were raised in Pottsville, Schuylkill County. Though neither parent had attended high school, the Zimmerman boys excelled academically. His brothers earned advanced engineering degrees; Mr. Zimmerman graduated from Amherst College and the University of Pennsylvania School of Law. While at Amherst, he pledged Phi Delta Theta despite the fraternity's prohibition on Jewish members.
April 29, 2013 |
HAVANA - Clarinets, reedy and thin, played something I'd never heard before. The low whine hung like humidity up and down narrow Consulado Avenue in Old Havana. I cocked my ear and detected the music coming from somewhere upstairs, through windows of a decaying, Spanish colonial-looking apartment building within sight of the national opera house. Brightening with each step as I drew closer, the sound wove an unforgettable sonic tapestry somewhere between laughing klezmer and the noble shriek of bagpipes.
January 22, 2013 |
Does it matter why we hear the musicians we do? With its deep relationships and pedagogical bloodlines, Philadelphia risks a certain provincialism and clubbiness every time an artist steps out on stage. Astral Artists, though, is a vital hedge against that dynamic, expressed most recently on Sunday afternoon at the Trinity Center in the Philadelphia recital debut of Romie de Guise-Langlois. Where we're used to hearing refinement across all registers, this clarinetist argued for variety of tone.
April 18, 2011 |
At a moment in Network for New Music's "Trade Winds From Japan" concert Friday, the koto and the viola, played pizzicato, shaped a scene removed from time; together they personified the bridge between Japanese and Western musical traditions. It was a magical revelation, in the midst of Dai Fujikura's Okeanos , which said more than any treatise about the ease, and difficulty, of cross-generating music from such disparate philosophies and means. The koto is both instrument and image.
January 22, 2011 |
Robert C. Dorris, 92, of Jenkintown, a technical marketing manager and musician, died of lymphoma Wednesday, Jan. 5, at Abington Hospice. Mr. Dorris grew up in Cleveland and earned a bachelor's degree in physics from Case School of Applied Science there. He and his wife, Kay Brightman Dorris, met in kindergarten, attended the same church, and played in their high school band together. They married in 1941. During World War II, Mr. Dorris worked on radar projects for Westinghouse Corp.
January 7, 2010 |
Brahms before lunch can feel like a steak breakfast: Nothing wrong with it, but it's a lot to face before your daily defenses are fully in place. Yet what an experience Brahms' two viola sonatas were at yesterday's Morning Musicales concert, when emerging artists Teng Li (viola) and Amy Jiaqi Yang (piano) collaborated on an hour-long recital that seemed to collude with the gray winter's morning for maximum effect. The composer wrote these sonatas - originally for clarinet and later transcribed for viola - after declaring himself retired, using nearly every technique in his compositional arsenal but with a melodic sense that his somewhat dry, preretirement chamber works lacked.
April 5, 2009 |
David C. Melnicoff, 89, of Center City, an economist with the Federal Reserve Bank, a PSFS vice president, and an avid musician, died of heart failure Feb. 12 at Temple University Hospital. For 53 years, Mr. Melnicoff served on the board of the Samuel S. Fels Fund and was board president in the 1990s. The private foundation distributes grants to cultural and community organizations in Philadelphia. "He was an ace at finances and investment, and was a generous, progressive, and wise grant maker," said Helen Cunningham, the fund's director.