September 18, 2016 |
It's a grand year for singing in Philadelphia. Besides an unusually starry lineup of vocal recitals from the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, Opera Company of Philadelphia has a potentially distinguished cast of Turandot headed by Christine Goerke and Joyce El-Khoury. And might its premiere production of Breaking the Waves yield a signature role for its stage-savvy star, Kiera Duffy? Piffaro's The Musical World of Don Quixote concerts feature the excellent early-music group New York Polyphony, and the Delius Society celebrates its 40th anniversary by collaborating with Choral Arts on the rarely heard Delius Requiem . In the larger world, British conductor Simon Rattle and Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho are making significant residencies on the East Coast that will leave a mark on Philadelphia.
August 21, 2016
Around the world without a plane ticket. Thanks to web radio, the great festivals of the United States and Europe are available live and archived. The Boston Symphony Orchestra's Friday, Saturday, and Sunday concerts at Tanglewood are heard live on WGBH in Boston - www.wgbh.org . - including this Saturday's concert performance of Aida, Acts 1 and 2, starring Kristine Opolais. The February-through-April concerts from Boston's Symphony Hall are available for streaming on www.bso.org . The BBC Proms are archived on www.bbc.co.uk in concerts that range from straight classical to Gershwin.
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
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 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 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.