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Classical Music

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ENTERTAINMENT
January 25, 2009 | By David Patrick Stearns and Peter Dobrin, Inquirer music critics
Enjoy the music while you can. The economic downturn has had no immediate impact on classical-music programming, which is devised and funded at least a year in advance and is, for the moment, perfectly safe. It may even be more accessible these days: Tickets could be easier to come by, especially if many are left over from subscription sales. But the stock-market gyrations that began last fall will be felt come next fall. So here it is: the glory that is 21st-century Philadelphia - for however long it lasts.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 27, 1986 | By Daniel Webster, Inquirer Music Critic
President Reagan has not yet sent Philip Habib to the bunker housing the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences (NARAS), but some high-level problem-solver may be needed before that group detonates another round of Grammy Awards. In the past, the Grammys for classical-music recordings have escaped broad notice for the fundamental reason that prizes are at best meaningless in art and at worst destructive. Pictures of Soviet composers wearing their medals make musicians laugh - a little sadly.
NEWS
January 29, 2012 | By Peter Dobrin, Inquirer Music Critic
The Kimmel Center is presenting less expensive, less exotic visiting orchestras. Local ensembles are increasing collaborations, so that the same event does double or triple duty by counting as a concert in the brochures of multiple organizations. And the city's musical face to the larger world, the Philadelphia Orchestra, has been in bankruptcy more than nine months and doesn't hope to exit until sometime after the filing's first anniversary. Times are tough. Young artists from the Curtis Institute of Music are leaving the nest and heading into careers of equal parts risk and promise.
NEWS
September 24, 1987 | By Lesley Valdes, Inquirer Music Critic
Unlike its counterparts overseas, the American classical music industry has never made enough of a fuss about music of its own. This is due partly to the conservative nature of the art form itself: Patriotism, like protest movements, usually circles round the masses rather than more elitist groups. Then, too, it has taken a long long time to get over our cultural inferiority complex. Lacking a Three B's of American repertoire to enthuse over, major record companies here have gladly stuck to safer European classics - which in recent years has been easy to do, because a number of firms have been sold to conglomerates based abroad.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 30, 1995 | By Peter Dobrin, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Outing has come to classical music, and the Schubert is flying off the shelves. So is the Chopin. Tchaikovsky, Saint-Saens, Bernstein and Britten, too. They are among the composers grouped together on Out Classics, an RCA release making a big splash. Trumpets an invitation on the back of the CD: "Revel in over an hour of seductive classics by eight of the world's greatest composers who just happen to be gay. " Hordes are taking RCA up on the offer, even though no one can be sure whether all of these composers really happened to be gay. The disc has made the Billboard Top Classical Albums chart for the last several weeks, jockeying neck-and-neck with Sensual Classics, Too. That CD offers works by straight composers, but also aims squarely at a gay market by featuring on its cover, as does Out Classics, a homoerotic photo.
LIVING
December 13, 1996 | By Paddy Noyes, FOR THE INQUIRER
Usually Lissette, 11, is at the center of the action - whether playing kickball, rollerblading, swinging, or throwing a ball. Music, however, pulls her to a corner of a room to be by herself. She will sit on the floor, hum, and do sign language. Classical music is her favorite, with Beethoven and Mozart leading the way. Church music runs a close second. She'll nod and smile when she hears "Jesus loves me, this I know. " When Lissette went into foster care, from a background of abuse and neglect, she could often be found going through the garbage, looking for food.
NEWS
October 7, 1990 | By Will Thompson, Inquirer Staff Writer
It becomes more evident each fall that many of the best classical music concerts in the region take place in Delaware County and nearby communities that are conveniently accessible to county residents. The performances include the Sunday afternoon chamber music concert series under soft chandelier light in the ballroom of Wallingford Community Arts Center, the Lansdowne Symphony Orchestra and specific concerts in the Wayne Concert Series. The 65-member Lansdowne Symphony Orchestra, for example, has provided outstanding classical music in Lansdowne since 1945, when it was common for most suburban residents to travel to Philadelphia to hear orchestras.
NEWS
April 6, 2010 | By Peter Dobrin INQUIRER MUSIC CRITIC
You know Mendelssohn's Overture to A Midsummer Night's Dream like the back of your hand thanks to a second-grade teacher who first set the fairy score aglow in your imagination. But did you ever hear the abrupt gesture a few minutes into the score as the donkey bray it was meant to evoke? On a purely abstract level, Smetana's M? Vlast is wondrous music. But it doesn't fully reveal itself unless you already know about ??rka's revenge on the male race, and that the impertinent bassoon part near the end is the snore of the men she lulls to sleep.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 26, 2004 | By David Patrick Stearns INQUIRER MUSIC CRITIC
For all the grand and eccentric characters in classical music, the medium has stood somewhat apart from the electronic visual age - until it began mating with DVD. It looks like a happy honeymoon. Who, for example, would have thought that Dame Felicity Lott's memorable recital two years ago at the Kimmel Center - enjoyed by 700 or so local voice-lovers - could be taken home from the DVD bins of retail stores or ordered on Amazon.com Web pages? Pianophiles still mourn the absence of the Russian Grigory Sokolov, who made a blinding impression here years ago but no longer tours the United States.
NEWS
November 12, 1987 | By Daniel Webster, Inquirer Music Critic
She has been photographed in the New York Yankees' dugout, grinning at outfielder Dave Winfield. She has been televised playing her own pinball machine. Her fondness for Godzilla is common knowledge among musicians. But for violinist Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, all that is beside the point. The point, says the one-time Cherry Hill resident in an intense, tough-guy voice, is the violin, the music and her role as a spokeswoman for her musical generation, a role that has soared as her career has rocketed.
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ENTERTAINMENT
January 30, 2016
Theater A Moon for the Misbegotten 2 lost souls find solace with one another on a Connecticut farm. Closes 2/7. Walnut Street Theatre - Independence Studio on 3, 825 Walnut St.; 215-574-3550. $30-$35. A Taste of Things To Come New musical about 4 women participating in a baking contest in '50s-era Illinois. Closes 2/21. Bucks County Playhouse, 70 S. Main St., New Hope; 215-862-2121. $30. A Taste of Things To Come New musical about 4 women participating in a baking contest in '50s-era Illinois.
NEWS
January 24, 2016
Grande Mozart with a shot of Schubert? Starbucks is now offering music streaming via a deal with Spotify - classical music included. An app detects your location and serves up, to your cellphone, to listen to now or later, whatever tune is being played at the Starbucks nearest you. Starbucks has curated a special classical playlist, a company spokeswoman says. A recent sampling through Spotify reveals artists and repertoire much like Apple Music's classical Internet "radio" - Arvo Pärt choral music, a tasteful Richard Goode playing Bach partitas, Lang Lang feeling alternately irreverent and extravagant in a Mozart sonata.
NEWS
December 25, 2015
By Elizabeth Mosier Hark! the herald angels sang throughout my childhood in Phoenix, whenever The Glorious Sound of Christmas played on my parents' hi-fi. Fourteen songs performed by the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Temple University Concert Choir. Forty-five minutes of satin sound, from a treasure box that opened with trumpet fanfare and closed with the hushed choir singing a solemn "Silent Night, Holy Night. " This album of familiar carols and rarely recorded sacred songs was my favorite, if an unlikely soundtrack to our 1970s Southwestern celebrations.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 14, 2015 | By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic
Some composers don't slip into obscurity as much as their creative quest seemed always to have been the express route to oblivion. The charismatic face and name of Julius Eastman, a confrontational, openly gay African American, kept appearing and reappearing to Bowerbird founder Dustin Hurt as he researched the 1970 avant-garde giants John Cage and Morton Feldman. Who was this person who kept such esoteric company? Now, Bowerbird is holding a pair of events dedicated to Eastman, with a concert Friday at the Rotunda and a panel Saturday at the Slought Foundation.
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