March 10, 2011 |
Some conductors can go home again, seeming to pick up where they left off with an ex-orchestra months or years after relinquishing a music directorship. But nothing so simple unfolded when pianist/conductor Ignat Solzhenitsyn returned to the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, which he developed over many years before becoming conductor laureate this season. The old relationship seemed to be waning: In the ultra-clear acoustic of the Temple Performing Arts Center, Tuesday's concert lacked the meticulousness of years past, and not just with ill-tuned chords in the orchestra.
May 5, 2011 |
NEW YORK - Something odd, possibly unprecedented in recent memory, greeted the Philadelphia Orchestra before it played its first note Tuesday at Carnegie Hall. In the first New York concert after filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, concertmaster David Kim arrived onstage to what would normally be polite, obligatory applause, but instead turned into a loud ovation, vocalizations and all. "It was a New York audience saying, 'Hey, hang in there!' " said Cori Ellison, former New York City Opera dramaturge and a regular preconcert lecturer in Philadelphia.
July 4, 2011 |
You take your chances when you mix music and nature - what with threats of heat, rain, and the local entomology. But a pastoral grace held sway over the Philadelphia Orchestra's return to Longwood Gardens Saturday evening, bolstering the notion that this recent (re)marriage of venue and ensemble might be the best thing to happen to both in some time. Thousands voted favorably. For its 2008 appearance, the orchestra sat down, rather formally, between the conservatory and fountains.
December 27, 2012 |
Some traditions exist because they're needed. After a long year filled with incident, you could sink into your Verizon Hall seat on Sunday afternoon as fresh-voiced tenor John Tessier began to sing, with excellent diction and soothing tones, "Comfort ye, my people . . . . " It's Handel's Messiah , of course, a piece that could be a year-round classic (Choral Arts Society and Tempesta di Mare will perform it in March) but tends to arrive at the end of the year like a reward. The Philadelphia Orchestra's Sunday performance was historically responsible (the orchestra numbered about 30)
March 26, 2011 |
The forthcoming French invasion by the Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts was unintentionally heralded Thursday by a Gallically slanted concert containing so much unfamiliar genius, even a seasoned Francophile couldn't know all of what was to come. The Philadelphia Orchestra, thanks to guest conductor Stéphane Denève, played a concert that made Debussy's beloved Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun (the program's one standard-repertoire item) its least notable element.
August 28, 2011 |
LUCERNE, Switzerland - Though ducking an earthquake and a hurricane back home, the Philadelphia Orchestra faced 103-degree heat Friday in Vienna, Austria, then touched down in Switzerland on Saturday only hours after a late-summer blizzard whitened the mountains outside this postcard-perfect city. Yet no distractions kept the ensemble from eliciting unreservedly raucous cheers from the packed hall at the orchestrally rich Lucerne Festival - partly because chief conductor Charles Dutoit had the bells of his dreams.
July 27, 2011 |
About 150 friends and relatives of Amy Winehouse said an emotional farewell to the addiction-plagued singer with the soulful, sadly rich voice during her funeral Tuesday in London. Several female mourners, including media personality Kelly Osbourne , wore their hair in the beehive style Winehouse favored. The singer's father, Mitch Winehouse , gave the eulogy, ending with the words "Goodnight, my angel, sleep tight. Mummy and Daddy love you ever so much. " The Press Association news agency reported that Mitch Winehouse said his daughter was trying to overcome her addictions because she couldn't stand the pain it was causing her family.
May 26, 2011 |
To those who know Susan Graham through her Metropolitan Opera simulcasts, she would seem to be a creature of unending tragedy, dying and going to some ancient Greek purgatory in Iphigenie en Tauride , facing heartbreaking romantic choices at a tender age in Der Rosenkavalier , and in seasons to come, dying from abandonment as Queen Dido in Les Troyens . But few wear the mantle of operatic stardom so lightly and irreverently as the...
November 12, 2010 |
At lunchtime on May 15, 2001, CSX Locomotive No. 8888 eased down tracks in a rail yard outside Toledo, Ohio. The engine known as "Crazy Eights" picked up speed as it pulled 47 freight cars, two of them loaded with toxic chemicals, south toward Columbus. Only no one was on board. Jon Hosfeld, a native of Mechanicsburg, Pa., was in the rail yard eating his lunch. He wasn't supposed to be there that day. Hosfeld, 52, ran a CSX yard 67 miles south in Kenton; he'd come north to deposit a carload of children and Ohio's lieutenant governor in Toledo for a program aimed at raising awareness about the dangers of rail crossings.
April 30, 2013 |
Building a symphonic pops program around James Bond film music is fraught with danger, though not in ways thrill-seeking Bond fans might like. Though the John Barry scores to the earlier Bond films could not be more iconic, they also have the dimension of a Hollywood-studio set: Aside from the theme songs, the music introduces the action with a quick, arresting impression and stands back while the film takes care of the rest. So Michael Krajewski, music director-designate of Peter Nero and the Philly Pops, was right to stray from the central concept in his "Bond and Beyond" concert Saturday afternoon at the Kimmel Center.