July 29, 2016
Mark Obert-Thorn remembers what it was like to grow up a classical-record listener in Philadelphia of a certain era. I started buying classical records around 1973, when I was still in high school. At first, I got them at the suburban malls out near where I lived. But on the special occasions when I'd go in town, my favorite record store was Franklin Music. They had two locations on Chestnut Street, both of which eventually became Sam Goody's: one at 11th, and another at 8th. The first one was bigger, but I preferred the other one because of the special treasures they had there.
July 6, 2016 |
There are entire horror movies that aren't as unnerving as the opening credits to John Carpenter's Halloween . What's so eerie, and sets the tone for a film that has become a revered horror classic and spawned too many better-left-unmentioned sequels, isn't the slow zoom into the firelit face of a menacingly grinning jack-o'-lantern. It's the insistent, jittery score, a simple piano melody repeating over a menacing drone. Like the film itself, that memorable music is the work of John Carpenter, who composed the scores for many of his own films.
June 19, 2016 |
Seven Responses 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the Philadelphia Episcopal Cathedral, 38th and Chestnut Streets. Tickets: $30-75. Information: www.crossingchoir.com
June 19, 2016
Requiem for Orlando. Musicians will gather at 3 p.m. Sunday at First Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia, 21st and Walnut Streets, in a musical memorial to victims of last week's mass murder in Orlando. Church music director Andrew Senn will lead musicians from the Academy of Vocal Arts, Opera Philadelphia, Philadelphia Orchestra, and others in movements from the requiems of Brahms and Fauré, choral music by Mozart and Dawson, the "Nimrod" movement from Elgar's Enigma Variations , and Barber's Adagio for Strings . A freewill offering will go toward Heeding God's Call, a faith-based anti-gun-violence group, and the William Way LGBT Community Center.
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.
June 13, 2016
Time was, summer in Philadelphia meant a vacation for, and from, the arts. Classical groups in particular tended to throw up their hands and wait for audiences to return from Long Beach Island, Eagles Mere, or Maine. As last season suggested, the city has become a summer playground in its own right, and classical groups are catching on. Yes, the sylvan settings of Marlboro Music Festival and Tanglewood beckon, and there is still room for some really smart group to set down anchor in the city with an ambitious summer arts festival.
June 3, 2016 |
How can Yannick hold both jobs at once? What makes him a good fit for the job? Will he stay committed to Philadelphia? Consolidating his young but flowering career, Yannick Nézet-Séguin will assume the podium of the Metropolitan Opera in New York while remaining music director of the Philadelphia Orchestra. Nézet-Séguin, 41, will phase in his Met duties gradually, becoming music director-designate in the 2017-18 season with two productions, and music director in 2020-21 leading five, the opera company announced Thursday.
May 20, 2016 |
After a long season of events that go to the depths of pretty much everything, from Cold Mountain to Mahler's Symphony No. 8 , Philadelphia classical concertgoers had sounds for sore ears from Dolce Suono Ensemble, which on Tuesday ended its season with Música en tus Manos (Music in Your Hands)/The Americas Project, a buoyant celebration of the Americas, most notably music of Brazil and Peru. It was the closest thing to summer amid what has been a chilly, rainy week. Founder/director Mimi Stillman said her ensemble had never gone this far into popular music, with transcriptions of songs by George Gershwin as well as lesser-known South American songwriters such as Carlos Guastavino and David Haro.
April 25, 2016 |
As jobs go, there's not much to recommend it. The work is hard, there's no glory, and the risk of disaster is high. Regarding any levity, only the paycheck might draw a laugh. And yet, page-turners are classical music's anonymous heroes. In some performances, a smart music reader with quick reflexes and intuition for nailing just the right moment for turning the page can be the difference between a performance fraught with gremlins and one that soars. Page-turners are the air-traffic controllers of music, says Miles Cohen, artistic director of the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, perhaps the area's most frequent professional employer of page-turners.
April 24, 2016 |
Borromeo String Quartet violinist Nicholas Kitchen expands on his thoughts about the intersection of classical music and emerging technology. Do you think it is inevitable that printed music will go away or perhaps become a quaint old rarity? Let me consider a slightly different question as a prelude to answering the main question: What are the benefits reading music from PDF files instead of paper? Let's just consider that basically most everyone on earth has or is trying to get a computer, tablet, or smartphone, as well as access to the internet.