February 21, 2011 |
Somebody in Verizon Hall tried to make Vladimir Jurowski shut up on Friday - and failed. One of the Philadelphia Orchestra's favorite guest conductors (among musicians and audiences), Jurowski was giving a preperformance explication of Prokofiev's Symphony No. 6 that was going on a bit longer than usual. Then from the hall, somebody began applauding, as if to say, "That's enough. " Coolly, the conductor explained why these matters are important, and assured the heckler, "The symphony is short.
May 22, 2011 |
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.
November 10, 2012 |
The Philadelphia Orchestra is having another of its Leopold Stokowski awareness weeks, in which you never know if you're going to encounter the vision, the eccentricity, or the datedness of the great conductor who laid the foundation for what the institution is today. Guest conductor Emmanuel Krivine was game Friday for reproducing a characteristically top-heavy Stokowski program from the mid-1930s: Franck's weighty Symphony in D minor on the first half, with flashy Poulenc and Bach on the second - the reverse of how concerts are built in our time - all in various manifestations of D minor.
February 26, 2013 |
Wolfgang Sawallisch, 89, the German maestro who defied expectations by taking the helm of the Philadelphia Orchestra at age 70 and remaking it into perhaps the most assured blend of orchestral polish and power in the United States, died Friday evening at home in Grassau outside Munich, according to a statement from the Bavarian State Opera. He had been stricken in recent years by a number of diseases and conditions. Mr. Sawallisch, only the orchestra's sixth music director in a century, succeeded the dashing, controversial Riccardo Muti in 1993.
May 8, 2013 |
If Wagner's music is as addictive as many say it is, the rehab centers are going to be jammed with Curtis Institute students after a Wagner-overdose concert Sunday at the Kimmel Center, aided by vocal performances from Heidi Melton and Eric Owens that the Metropolitan Opera's current Ring cycle would be lucky to have. Led by guest conductor Mark Russell Smith, the Curtis Symphony Orchestra excerpted five operas over 21/2 hours, playing with a muscularity that creating tsunamis of Wagnerian sound.
November 13, 2012 |
Henry Kerr Williams, 97, an educator and composer who founded the Delaware Valley Philharmonic Orchestra in Bucks County, died Friday, Nov. 9, at Brittany Pointe Estates, a retirement community in Lansdale. In 1954, the Delaware Valley Philharmonic introduced its first season with Mr. Williams as the music director and conductor. He conducted the orchestra until the early 1970s. Mr. Williams "created a gem," wrote board president Don George in a tribute published in The Inquirer for the orchestra's 50th anniversary season.
January 31, 2012 |
Philadelphia Orchestra executives came to the Wells Fargo Center recently to see the orchestra perform the national anthem on the big screen. In an effort to provide class, and improve the overall fan experience, the 76ers' new CEO, Adam Aron, hired the orchestra to record the anthem. The video will be played at every home game. I was hanging with Aron that day, met the orchestra execs, and told them I had seen the Brahms Requiem . This really shocked them. I was impersonating a sports reporter, after all. Shows you how stereotypes run deep in both directions.
April 14, 2013 |
With the orchestral repertoire as wide and deep as the sea, orchestras don't need to go out and borrow pieces from other realms. But some melodies are too good to pass up, and so the Philadelphia Orchestra reached into chamber music for Friday afternoon's concert, returning with a transcription of Tchaikovsky's Souvenir de Florence . The appeal is obvious: you can whistle every tune. The transcription - by double-bass pedagogue Lucas Drew, presumably to give his instrument a part where there was none - is a fine one, billowing up string sextet into string orchestra.
January 21, 2012 |
In an age that seems perpetually restless, where silence for some is an unnatural state of being, everyone deserves to experience the peace that arrived Thursday night in the second movement of Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 3 . Nothing in the evening's beginning pointed to such a lovely destination. The recorded announcement reminded Verizon Hall patrons to silence their electronic pacifiers. Philadelphia Orchestra guest conductor Herbert Blomstedt mounted the podium, and a cushion of quiet gathered around him. In the split second before the downbeat, a Latin-beat cellphone ring broke the moment.
October 26, 2011 |
An attorney for Delaware County says she was thrown beneath a moving SEPTA train on Monday when the train pulled out of the Eddystone station before she had fully disembarked. Patricia Biswanger, 55, of Bryn Mawr, said two cars of the train passed over her as she lay in the gravel trainbed between the platform and the rails. "It was terrifying. All I'm thinking is, 'what is it going to feel like when this train hits me? When is the pain going to start?'" Biswanger said Wednesday.