December 22, 2015
Kurt Masur, 88, a renowned conductor who led the New York Philharmonic for 11 years and played a crucial peacemaking role in the weeks before the collapse of communism and the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, died Saturday at a hospital in Greenwich, Conn. He had complications from Parkinson's disease, the New York Philharmonic said in a statement. Mr. Masur spent much of his career in communist-controlled East Germany, gaining international renown as music director of Leipzig's Gewandhaus Orchestra.
December 20, 2015
At 1 p.m. Sunday on WRTI-FM (90.1), the Philadelphia Orchestra broadcast is the annual Glorious Sound of Christmas concert, a tradition since the orchestra recorded its best-selling Glorious Sound of Christmas album in 1962. Featured is the Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia and conductor/pianist (and humorist) Bramwell Tovey.
November 6, 2015 |
British conductor Robin Ticciati goes where the most love is - and Philadelphia is a place to which he returns time and again. Audiences and critics have been hugely receptive to the 32-year-old Ticciati, often spoken of as his generation's Simon Rattle - extroverted talent, corkscrew hair, and ebullient personality. He returns Thursday through Saturday to conduct the Philadelphia Orchestra at the Kimmel Center and looks forward to it. "Just to feel the sound in one's arms is an extraordinary thing," he says.
October 21, 2015 |
The Curtis Symphony Orchestra, with the Philadelphia Orchestra's Yannick Nézet-Séguin on the podium, opened its season Sunday at Verizon Hall and revived the question: Why doesn't this ensemble of gifted young players sound like the Philadelphia Orchestra? The question answers itself. While these extraordinary musicians learn style and performance practice from their elders, they inevitably play at contemporary metabolic rates and perceptions. Those change with the speed of life.
October 11, 2015 |
The final seconds of the Sibelius Symphony No. 5 , as this beautifully textured symphony funnels down to a series of oddly spaced unison chords, have inspired puzzlement, awe, and ongoing blog debate. How should they feel? What do they mean? With that as background, the Philadelphia Orchestra gave a particularly splendid performance of the piece Thursday under music director Yannick Nézet-Séguin, full of long, sweeping lines, epic gestures, and deeply informed treatment of the piece's vividly descriptive effects.
August 24, 2015 |
Hello there There she was again. Whenever Denine catered a Choral Arts Society event, a certain woman caught her eye. One spring night in 1999, Denine saw her at a reception at the Academy of Music, the flash of her movement from one group of important people to another momentarily distracting Denine from keeping up with the buffet. "There was an aura about her," Denine remembers. "I liked her looks, but it was more than that. It's like I was star struck. " She wanted to talk to her but didn't know how to make it happen.
August 19, 2015 |
Philadelphia Orchestra associate conductors are like U.S. vice presidents: They have huge exposure, a bit of dirty work to do, and ascend to the boss' job only in dire circumstances. Nonetheless, Philadelphia's Cristian Macelaru (once associate conductor - new title, "conductor-in-residence") is making a more-than-vice-presidential career for himself. Last weekend, it landed him, on his own artistic steam, at New York's Mostly Mozart Festival, which gives significant platforms to conductors consolidating major careers, including the likes of Osmo Vänskä, Edward Gardner, and Yannick Nézet-Séguin.
June 6, 2015 |
Andreas Delfs, a relatively high-profile orchestral conductor, will take up the baton at a school - as professor of music and artistic director and conductor of the Temple University Symphony Orchestra. He officially starts July 1 and will move to Philadelphia, said Robert Stroker, dean of Temple's Boyer College of Music and Dance. The German-born conductor - who was music director of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra from 1997 to 2009 and of the St. Paul (Minn.) Chamber Orchestra from 2001 to 2004 - will run Temple's orchestral program, teach conducting and orchestral repertoire, oversee commissioning and the engagement of guest artists, and coach chamber music, Stroker said.
May 6, 2015 |
Great music isn't a stranger to the Church of the Advocate on Diamond Street in the urban frontier of North Philadelphia. Just inside the French Gothic sanctuary, a large greenish angel points its trumpet heavenward. And only a few feet beyond that, on certain nights, stands the Prometheus Chamber Orchestra, in one of its regular season of free concerts - the second season concludes on Saturday - with hardly any budget and, what's more significant, no conductor. "It saves on overhead," says bassist Jerrell Jackson with subtle, smart-aleck irony.
April 19, 2015 |
What does it mean that the Philadelphia Orchestra is now stocking its subscription series with lighter works it once used to draw crowds to the Mann Center and as musical primers at children's concerts? French conductor Stéphane Denève is here for two weeks of populist programming that began Thursday night in the Kimmel Center's Verizon Hall with a reprise of a Peter and the Wolf film the orchestra brought to the Mann in 2007. The hall was filled with plenty of grown-ups and a scattering of children who, by their general level of happy buzz, indicated approval.