August 22, 1992 |
In a move to kick-start the stalled fund drive for a new orchestra hall, the Philadelphia Orchestra has hired an experienced fund-raiser for the new position of vice president of external affairs. He is Donald A. Cooke, an executive at the Franklin Institute since 1981 whose main job for the last few years was to raise money for the new $73 million Tuttleman Omniverse Theater and Mandell Futures Center. Cooke will supervise and coordinate all the orchestra's fund-raising, marketing and public relations.
June 7, 2013 |
In 1973, when the Philadelphia Orchestra made history in China, Inquirer music critic Daniel Webster was there. Now David Patrick Stearns reports on the 2013 visit, building on this long relationship. TIANJIN, China - "Wasn't that a mud field last year?" It was an idle observation made as the Philadelphia Orchestra's buses cruised along the scenic route to the Tianjin Performing Arts Center for a Wednesday evening concert, passing meticulously landscaped parks filled with beds of plump crimson tulips.
March 3, 1988
The Philadelphia Orchestra Association has given supporters new reasons to move beyond dithering and naysaying and to dig into their pockets for the orchestra's new concert hall. By deciding to build a slightly smaller auditorium and to opt for first-class rehearsal and backstage facilities, rather than things like a ballroom, the orchestra association demonstrated that it is putting art first. The size of the new hall is no minor concern. Architects and experts on acoustics are in wide agreement that a 3,000-seat capacity strains the limits of quality, and the orchestra had been talking of selling tickets for 3,100 seats.
June 28, 1989 |
The design for the new hall to house the Philadelphia Orchestra, unveiled yesterday by Robert Venturi and his architectural firm, Venturi, Rauch & Scott Brown, reveals a hall that, in many ways, will be more intimate than the Academy of Music. Seats will be placed on all sides of the orchestra, including behind it, reducing the distance of the farthest listener from the sound. The idea, Venturi said in a news conference at his offices in Manayunk, is similar to that employed by the Philharmonie, West Berlin's renowned concert hall.
February 16, 1992 |
When the Philadelphia Orchestra decided to build a new concert hall in which to perform, the money to be raised from corporations, foundations and music-loving individuals, the naysayers said it couldn't be done. The naysayers were right: It couldn't be done. Or at least, it wasn't. In a little more than five years, the orchestra has raised a shade over $24 million toward the estimated cost, $112 million, of the new space. That estimate is nearly twice as much as the $60 million estimate in November 1986, when the Orchestra Association's board announced its plans.
June 21, 1987 |
At one point in the discussions of the Philadelphia Orchestra's proposed new concert hall, recalls consultant Walter Moleski, someone asked if a Veterans Stadium-style scoreboard might be needed. The question was probably a bit extreme. Yet the very fact that it was asked indicates the extent to which planners are attempting to project a hall that will meet the orchestra's needs well into the 21st century. Central to these projections is the matter of recording. The orchestra has not made a record in its concert hall, the Academy of Music, since 1969.
June 7, 1987 |
The Philadelphia Orchestra's decision to build a world-class concert hall may be the most significant cultural development in this city in half a century. And its impact, good or bad, on the city's landscape and culture will be with us for decades. This is the first in a continuing series that will, in coming weeks, explore the aesthetic, economic and social ramifications of this ambitious break with the past. Philadelphians don't build concert halls every day. Indeed, while the city has constructed two grand opera houses - one of which, the Academy of Music, has been the home of the Philadelphia Orchestra since its founding - it has never built a hall specifically for symphonic music.
July 13, 1988 |
In 1983, The Philadelphia Orchestra Association began a study of the need for a new concert hall, to supplement the venerable 130-year-old Academy of Music. In 1986, its Board of Directors, some of the Delaware Valley's leading citizens, voted to undertake this massive project, and to raise over $100 million privately. This effort, which will not call for any city funds, will provide a facility for the entire community to use for the next century. The Orchestra has been acquiring land for the new concert hall on the site bounded by Broad, Spruce, 15th and Delancey streets.
July 6, 1988 |
Excuse me if I am wrong, but isn't the city of Philadelphia facing one of the largest deficits in its history? Hasn't there been some talk about raising real estate taxes and laying off city workers, all part of an attempt to balance the budget? If I'm right, then can someone tell me why the city is going along with the Philadelphia Orchestra's plan to build a concert hall that will cost city taxpayers nearly $2 million a year in lost real estate tax revenues. Maybe who you are outweighs what you can do for the city.
November 10, 1997 |
Having been in a wheelchair since I was 22, I have become a connoisseur of ramps. I have, my readers may have noticed, opinions on everything. But this - access - I know. I know what works and I know what doesn't. I know, for example, that retrofitting to make a building wheelchair accessible is hard and often very expensive. In fact, so expensive that no owner of, say, a modest second-story restaurant should have to bankrupt himself building an elevator. The Americans with Disabilities Act has the good sense to require only "readily achievable" retrofits.