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ENTERTAINMENT
May 7, 2013 | BY JONATHAN TAKIFF, Daily News Staff Writer takiffj@phillynews.com, 215-854-5960
BOSTON had pops emissary Arthur Fiedler in charge for a phenomenal 50 years, New York its "easy listening" innovator Andre Kostelanetz for many a moon. And here in Philadelphia, for the last 34 years, Peter Nero has been the conductor/pianist likewise synomous with pops concerts - the populist end of live symphonic music - as the founding conductor and musical director of the Philly Pops orchestra. The time has come for a changing of the guard, though. Two weeks ago, Michael Krajewski - the congenial, 62-year-old "new kid" in town - was leading the Philly Pops at the Kimmel Center, introducing the music and comically interacting with the audience during the Pops run of spy-tacular movie themes, "Bond and Beyond.
NEWS
April 30, 2012
Hugo Fiorato, 97, a former child prodigy who became the conductor of the New York City Ballet and one of its most enduring influences, died last Monday in Boston. His death was confirmed by a stepson, Jonathan Scott. Mr. Fiorato, who was with the City Ballet for 56 years, was a figure of continuity surpassed only by George Balanchine, who founded it in 1948 with Mr. Fiorato's mentor, conductor Leon Barzin. Mr. Fiorato held almost every job the company had to offer, starting as its first concertmaster in 1948.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 25, 2014 | By Peter Dobrin, Inquirer Music Critic
As a crucible, the act of guest conductor meeting orchestra may be uniquely tricky. The conductor's path to self-actualization lies rather deceptively in coaxing the ensemble to become the highest form of itself. It's not a spiritual exercise but a practical one when an ensemble's identity is as strong as the Philadelphia Orchestra's, which is why Susanna Mälkki's debut with the Philadelphians on Friday afternoon was remarkable. She seamlessly handed off woodwind timbres into strings in Respighi's Botticelli Triptych . If Brahms' Symphony No. 4 's first movement seemed curiously bloodless in its stepped-down tempo, she revealed good reasons.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 15, 2012 | By Peter Dobrin, Inquirer Culture Writer
Encore Series Inc., presenter of the Philly Pops, has hired a successor to its founding music director, Peter Nero. Michael Krajewski, 62, who leads pops orchestras in Atlanta, Houston, and Jacksonville, Fla., will take over in the fall of 2013. Public acknowledgment of the decision was made Tuesday at City Hall by Mayor Nutter, who called Krajewski "one of the world's foremost conductors. " Nutter took the opportunity to tip his hat to Nero - who did not attend the announcement - "for his contribution to the arts.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 24, 2012 | By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic
For once, James Conlon seemed like a conductor without a cause. No Holocaust composers or underappreciated Zemlinsky masterworks were on his Philadelphia Orchestra program Thursday, just Mozart and Dvorak that had connections with the great city of Prague. Still, the charismatic Conlon revealed himself as an incurable egghead. The real theme of the program was the key of D minor - the one Mozart saved for dread of the supernatural, whether the sea god Poseidon or Don Giovanni's murder victim returning from the dead.
NEWS
February 9, 2013 | By Peter Dobrin, Inquirer Culture Writer
James DePreist, 76, the distinguished conductor and educator, died Friday, Feb. 9, at his home in Scottsdale, Ariz., of complications from a heart attack last spring, his agent said. Born in Philadelphia, the nephew of the famed contralto Marian Anderson, Mr. DePreist became early in his career something that is still a rarity today: an African American conductor leading top-tier orchestras. He studied composition with Vincent Persichetti at the Philadelphia Conservatory of Music, and earned bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Pennsylvania.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 6, 2011 | By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic
When a major symphony orchestra conductor has a last-minute illness, a shudder ripples through the classical-music world, followed by the potentially terrifying question: Where to find a replacement? Absent soloists can be covered by a change of repertoire, but conductors are some of the most densely scheduled people on Earth. These peripatetic beings are lucky just to arrive on time for long-scheduled engagements - forget filling in for felled colleagues. Yes, there are staff conductors, but apparently none was available last fall when Riccardo Muti had to bow out of a Chicago Symphony Orchestra concert - leaving violin soloist Anne Sophie Mutter to conduct herself.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 12, 2013 | By Peter Dobrin, Inquirer Music Critic
With no conductor for Thursday night's Philadelphia Orchestra concert, the ensemble was left to confront Mozart on its own. Little surprise that the Eine kleine Nachtmusik was small and bland, the Symphony No. 25 erratic. And yet, the composer's C Minor Piano Concerto glowed with a point of view of such blinding beauty that we probably won't hear its likes again anytime soon. It was all planned, actually - even rehearsed that way. Conductors are a relatively modern invention, especially the breed of whom celebrity is expected, and for this one program the orchestra constructed a concert that asked musicians to find leadership elsewhere.
NEWS
May 22, 2011 | By Walter F. Naedele, Inquirer Staff Writer
Ling Tung ranged far. A principal conductor in West Germany in the 1950s. A violinist with the Philadelphia Orchestra in the 1960s. A principal conductor in Hong Kong in the 1980s. But his longest tenures were as conductor of the Philharmonia Orchestra in Philadelphia in cold-weather months in the 1960s and 1970s and as music director of the Grand Teton Music Festival in Wyoming in summers from 1968 to 1996. On Saturday, May 14, Mr. Tung, 78, a 40-year resident of Bethayres, Montgomery County, died of complications from brain cancer at Abington Memorial Hospital.
NEWS
February 24, 2011 | By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic
Tours are tough for most symphony orchestras. But for the London Symphony Orchestra, tours are a break from a hectic schedule of recording film scores and preparing a full symphonic program that's performed only once or twice. So if playing Mahler's five-movement Symphony No. 7 under Valery Gergiev at the Kimmel Center on Tuesday was a relatively light day, it showed in the confidence with which the orchestra played music that lashes out in multiple directions - and in the dignity that brought to Gergiev's mercurial tendencies.
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ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
August 14, 2016
Black Pearls, Purple Rain. The Black Pearl Chamber Orchestra pays tribute to Prince on Friday at the Dell Music Center in a side-by-side performance with local amateurs. Conductor Jeri Lynne Johnson leads the ensemble in tunes including "Raspberry Beret" and "The Beautiful Ones. " Information: 267-702-2809, www.blackpearlco.org . - Peter Dobrin Swan song recordings always have a special mystique, even if they aren't very good. But the Beethoven Missa Solemnis, conducted by the late Nikolaus Harnoncourt and released on Sony Classical, is taken from his 2015 final concerts.
NEWS
May 8, 2016
1 p.m. Sunday on WRTI-FM (90.1): Famed pianist Hélène Grimaud joins conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin and the Philadelphia Orchestra for the beloved Brahms Piano Concert No. 2 . The second half of the program will be Schumann's Symphony No. 1 ("Spring") .
NEWS
April 15, 2016 | By John Timpane, STAFF WRITER
James Levine, leader of the Metropolitan Opera in New York City since 1976, has announced his retirement, according to a statement from the opera company. The statement said Levine would retire after the current season because of health reasons. Levine, 72, was to have conducted a series of concerts in Philadelphia in February - his first such appearances here in 20 years - but had to cancel them. He has been battling Parkinson's disease and seeking to adjust his medications so he could continue to conduct.
NEWS
April 3, 2016 | By Peter Dobrin, Music Critic
Not long ago, a member of the Philadelphia Orchestra's leadership wrote me with an insight. In talking to musicians after concerts, he had gleaned that interpretation came from the musicians themselves, and not the conductor - and in fact the orchestra was able to play brilliantly without any podium guidance at all. The idea that a conductor could stand in front of an orchestra and have little or no impact seemed especially fanciful Thursday night...
NEWS
March 7, 2016
Vincent Fraley is communications manager for the Historical Society of Pennsylvania As the Philadelphia Orchestra tunes up for this week's performances of Gustav Mahler's Symphony No. 8 , consider the story of the man who introduced the orchestra to the world: Leopold Stokowski. Born in London to a Polish carpenter father and an Irish mother, Stokowski (1882-1977) studied at Britain's Royal College of Music and Queen's College, Oxford, before working as an organist and choirmaster.
NEWS
February 21, 2016 | By Peter Dobrin, CLASSICAL MUSIC CRITIC
The Philadelphia Orchestra had it just about right months ago, when it started billing James Levine as legendary. The conductor seems destined to retain that status, though he may be more mythical than legendary in these parts after canceling his first dates with the orchestra in two decades. His replacement Thursday night at Verizon Hall could not have represented a more different approach to the job of conductor. If Levine uses a less-is-more stick technique that nonetheless produces outsize results, Michael Tilson Thomas hopped, crouched, and deployed his lanky frame to elicit sounds the orchestra might have produced without such visual prompts.
NEWS
February 15, 2016
An article in Sunday's Live Life Love section says that conductor James Levine was to lead the Philadelphia Orchestra on Feb. 18-20. Levine canceled Friday afternoon, Feb. 12, after the section had gone to press. He will be replaced on the program by eminent conductor/composer Michael Tilson Thomas.
NEWS
February 15, 2016
The term Philadelphia Sound conjures for many the lush arrangements and piercing horns of Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff tunes from the 1970s. For fans of classical music, however, the silky strings of the Philadelphia Orchestra define the city's namesake sound. Consider the story of the man who did much to perfect it: Eugene Ormandy. Born Jeno Blau in Budapest, Ormandy (1899-1985) was given a tiny fiddle at age 3. Two years later, he enrolled as a violinist in the Hungarian capital's Royal State Academy of Music before becoming its youngest graduate, at age 14. Ormandy arrived in the United States in 1921, lured by the prospect of a $30,000 concert tour.
NEWS
February 5, 2016 | By Howard Gensler
CONDUCTOR Riccardo Muti 's official website says the conductor has undergone hip surgery in Italy following an accident. The website said yesterday that as a result the music director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra , and former director of the Philadelphia Orchestra , cannot conduct concerts planned this month in Chicago. It said the accident was not serious, but provided no details. The news agency ANSA reported that Muti underwent the surgery in the Italian city of Ravenna after a fall at home.
NEWS
January 18, 2016 | By Brad Bergholdt, TRIBUNE NEWS SERVICE
Question: My new car does not have a spare tire. This really concerns me. Why in the world would they build a car like this? What can I do to be sure I don't have a problem with this in the future? Answer: About one-third of new cars are no longer equipped with spare tires. It's an unpopular compromise to save weight for improved fuel economy and to free up trunk space. Spare-less cars may be equipped with either run-flat tires or inflation kits consisting of containers of sealer and small compressors.
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