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Classical Musicians

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ENTERTAINMENT
February 27, 1994 | By Daniel Webster, INQUIRER MUSIC CRITIC
The Grammy Awards are a popular music development that fits classical-music recording as awkwardly as a tent would fit supermodel Claudia Schiffer. The awards, to be given Tuesday, are not about cultural contributions but about exploding sales, ballooning careers and large-scale publicity for pop musicians. In contrast, a Grammy awarded to a recording of the Missa Solemnis might inflate sales worldwide by 20 albums and, at best, infuse the performers with a warm glow. So why do orchestras mount campaigns to influence the voting in favor of their last recording?
NEWS
July 20, 1991 | By Peter Dobrin, Special to The Inquirer
Issues of talent and ability aside, affection for a performer can be greatly magnified by his or her humility. Marie-Bernadette Dufourcet Hakim's appeal was greatly enhanced for her audience last night at St. Mark's Church by her modest actions, shunning applause when possible and agreeing to an encore only when it was clear the audience would not otherwise let her leave. Happily, the French organist's personal qualities were accompanied by a forceful musical presence no less appealing.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 22, 1998 | By Daniel Webster, INQUIRER MUSIC CRITIC
When the folks who hand out Grammy awards were looking for a design for the statuette, they should have chosen an empty cup. However the awards were originally imagined in the beginning, they have become a symbol of ephemera, a prize for the passing fancy. This culture hardly needs to be reminded of the value it places on material to be thrown away, but the awards reinforce the idea that recordings, the only means we have to give music some longevity, should be valued for their triviality.
NEWS
July 1, 1986 | BY PETE DEXTER
The truth is, I don't get to the symphony much. It's probably one of those things that is settled early in life, and somewhere around my second birthday I decided I did not have enough time left to spend any of it sitting in dead- still, perfumed air listening to music that you could never even be sure was over. At least not sure enough to be the first one to clap. Which, by the way, is also what is wrong with church. But that does not mean that I am indifferent to negotiations going on right now between the musicians and the Sacramento Symphony.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 5, 2013 | By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic
Classical musicians tend to wear their mileage proudly. Conductors supposedly hit their stride at age 60, probably because they no longer care what people think of them, while pianists continue practicing their art without the pitch worries that plague senior violinists. Two opposite maturity scenarios unfolded Friday as the Philadelphia Orchestra revved up for this week's Florida tour with frequent guest conductor Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, 79, and one of Philadelphia's proudest exports, pianist Andre Watts, 66, in a Beethoven/Hindemith program.
NEWS
February 13, 2003 | By Peter Dobrin INQUIRER MUSIC CRITIC
Viola and . . . banjo? Celesta and . . . Marxophone? Listeners risk encountering just about any instrumental commingling when the Tin Hat Trio joins the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia in concerts Sunday and Monday. "I think that what we offer is a good slice of what it is to grow up as a musician in the world today," says Mark Orton, one of the band's members. "There is such a rich history - and now you can access any of this stuff. " And access they do. The Tin Hat Trio draws on classical, jazz, pop, world, folk, tango, klezmer and almost anything else the classically trained musical polymaths cross paths with.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 14, 1997 | By Tom Infield, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Flashing blades, glittering costumes, high-speed jumps and spins - the world of figure-skating has never had greater audience appeal. And some of the biggest names in that world will be coming to the CoreStates Center on April 20. Brian Boitano, Nancy Kerrigan, Oksana Baiul, Rudy Galindo, Michelle Kwan, Viktor Petrenko and Elvis Stojko - all familiar faces (and figures) to viewers of Olympic and world-championship events during the last decade - will join in Campbell Soup's 1997 Tour of World Figure Skating Champions.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 25, 1993 | By Andy Wickstrom, FOR THE INQUIRER
When classical pianist Glenn Gould died at age 50 in 1982, the term music video was new to the lexicon. But the marriage of music and visuals wouldn't have surprised him. In a sense, music video was something that had fascinated him most of his life. Unlike most classical musicians, Gould was attracted to television and all forms of studio work. At the same time, he abhorred live concertizing (he said it made him feel like a vaudevillian), and he abruptly quit the stage after a performance in 1964.
NEWS
May 30, 2014 | By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic
SHENZHEN, China - The earnest young Chinese woman asked the question with a directness uncharacteristic of her world: How do you learn to appreciate Western classical music? She had come to the right place on Wednesday: an open, practical dialogue about symphony orchestra conducting featuring Philadelphia Orchestra associate conductor Cristian Macelaru. His reply: "You don't need to understand anything more than that it's beautiful. Allow yourself to be moved by the same things that move you in Chinese music.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 19, 2008 | By David Patrick Stearns INQUIRER MUSIC CRITIC
The Atlantic Ocean keeps growing wider and deeper for classical musicians attempting to make an international career - and not because ice caps are melting. With a weak dollar, strong euro, U.S. visas requiring much paperwork, and risk-wary American presenters, the once-global community of classical musicians has become fragmented in ways that beloved, familiar talents on one side of the ocean are unknown on the other. Cellist Jean-Guihen Queyras, for one. To many who will be attending his Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia concerts at the Kimmel Center next Sunday and Monday, the Provence-raised cellist is a face glimpsed on CD covers of cello-repertoire touchstones, including the Bach Cello Suites, the Dvorak Cello Concerto, and discs of modern works, his specialty since age 16, when he began learning the now-classic works by Henri Dutilleux and Pierre Boulez.
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NEWS
May 30, 2014 | By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic
SHENZHEN, China - The earnest young Chinese woman asked the question with a directness uncharacteristic of her world: How do you learn to appreciate Western classical music? She had come to the right place on Wednesday: an open, practical dialogue about symphony orchestra conducting featuring Philadelphia Orchestra associate conductor Cristian Macelaru. His reply: "You don't need to understand anything more than that it's beautiful. Allow yourself to be moved by the same things that move you in Chinese music.
NEWS
January 20, 2014 | By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic
After more than two centuries of continuous performances by the greatest artists of any era, how could Mozart's classic Marriage of Figaro reveal anything new? Not possible, some connoisseurs say. We can hope only that current performers live up to the gods of the past. Suddenly, Figaro arrives in a fresh guise. Nearly every minute in the new Sony Classical recording, due out in March, is a new discovery. Ornaments, cadenzas, phrase readings I never imagined are everywhere.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 5, 2013 | By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic
Classical musicians tend to wear their mileage proudly. Conductors supposedly hit their stride at age 60, probably because they no longer care what people think of them, while pianists continue practicing their art without the pitch worries that plague senior violinists. Two opposite maturity scenarios unfolded Friday as the Philadelphia Orchestra revved up for this week's Florida tour with frequent guest conductor Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, 79, and one of Philadelphia's proudest exports, pianist Andre Watts, 66, in a Beethoven/Hindemith program.
NEWS
May 3, 2012 | By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic
Long one of Philadelphia's proudest exports, classical music keeps flowing out beyond the city limits - more than ever, in fact, despite reports that this particular corner of the recording industry is dying or dead. Even longtime Philadelphia Orchestra music director Eugene Ormandy, who is indisputably dead, isn't acting that way, to judge from his presence on the Europe-based Pristine Classical website, which specializes in historical recordings. "He doesn't sell spectacularly as [Arturo]
ENTERTAINMENT
July 16, 2010 | staff
POP . . . plus There are many pleasant ways to spend a July weekend, but few offer the value of the WXPN (88.5-FM) XPoNential Music Festival , now in its 17th year and returning for the sixth time to Wiggins Park on the Camden waterfront. This year promises performances by more than 40 artists on three stages over three days. There's something for everybody - or at least everybody in the 'XPN indie/alt fan base. Artists include Robert Randolph & the Family Band , Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros , Alejandro Escovedo , Grace Potter and the Nocturnals , Rosanne Cash , Big Head Todd and the Monsters , Cowboy Junkies , the Felice Brothers , Yo La Tengo , Dr. Dog and many more.
NEWS
April 27, 2010 | By Peter Dobrin INQUIRER MUSIC CRITIC
In Philadelphia, music lovers have almost total recall of the city's proud history. They talk about Stokowski's children's concerts as if they happened yesterday, or rattle off the repertoire of North Broad Street's Metropolitan Opera House in the 1920s. The city has another musical history, though, a parallel tale of triumphs that has remained largely obscured, at least to much of the white classical music establishment. Philadelphia was home to impresario and civic leader Samuel London Evans, who brought violinist Itzhak Perlman, soprano/mezzo Grace Bumbry, and mime Marcel Marceau to audiences here and around the world.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 4, 2010 | By David Patrick Stearns INQUIRER MUSIC CRITIC
The search for young classical-music audiences reaches a gratifying conclusion when the young have grown old enough to have time for symphonies - and in places that have up-to-date technology. The Philadelphia Orchestra may have been at home in the Kimmel Center one recent Sunday when young guest violinist Janine Jansen put her stamp on the Brahms Violin Concerto, but the performance was especially appreciated by a cultivated audience 25 miles away at the Hill at Whitemarsh, a retirement community in the scenic suburbs just outside Northwest Philadelphia.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 19, 2008 | By David Patrick Stearns INQUIRER MUSIC CRITIC
The Atlantic Ocean keeps growing wider and deeper for classical musicians attempting to make an international career - and not because ice caps are melting. With a weak dollar, strong euro, U.S. visas requiring much paperwork, and risk-wary American presenters, the once-global community of classical musicians has become fragmented in ways that beloved, familiar talents on one side of the ocean are unknown on the other. Cellist Jean-Guihen Queyras, for one. To many who will be attending his Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia concerts at the Kimmel Center next Sunday and Monday, the Provence-raised cellist is a face glimpsed on CD covers of cello-repertoire touchstones, including the Bach Cello Suites, the Dvorak Cello Concerto, and discs of modern works, his specialty since age 16, when he began learning the now-classic works by Henri Dutilleux and Pierre Boulez.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 30, 2005 | By David Patrick Stearns INQUIRER MUSIC CRITIC
Even when she's not playing piano, Yuja Wang's fingers tap into the air as if she were. This latest Curtis Institute of Music candidate for classical music stardom - she's already made her Kimmel Center debut - is on her first outing with the Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 2, in a rehearsal with the Orchestra of the Southern Finger Lakes. During the orchestral interludes, her hands are, in a sense, "mouthing" the concerto as she puts its pieces together in her restless mind. This isn't last-minute cramming.
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