September 22, 2014 |
Fresh from appearing with the fabled Vienna State Opera, Yannick Nézet-Séguin was at the epicenter recently when shockwaves rippled through the cultural world, as that company's chief conductor, Franz Welser-Möst, abruptly walked out with minimum explanation. "Surreal" and "very quiet" was Nézet-Séguin's report from the belly of the beast. But after his successful debut in the Austrian capital conducting The Flying Dutchman , should Philadelphians worry that Vienna is prowling after the Philadelphia Orchestra's popular and still-newish music director, as the Metropolitan Opera has long been rumored to be doing?
August 3, 2014 |
With a yellow hat and golf cart emblazoned with his nickname, John "Gig" Gigliotti has perhaps become as iconic on the Wildwood Boardwalk as the yellow tram cars he oversees. A former Conrail train conductor, the 85-year-old West Deptford resident returns to his North Wildwood home each summer, and to his job supervising eight 5-m.p.h. electric trains that transport boardwalk goers along the two-mile stretch. The service has been a staple since 1949. It's frequent that workers at the eateries and stands along the boardwalk call out "Giggy" as he drives up and down the planks during 16-hour days, seven days a week, April through September.
June 22, 2014 |
Clyde R. "Bud" Dengler, 83, of Lititz, Pa., formerly of Newtown Square, a longtime music teacher and conductor, died Sunday, June 1, of pneumonia at Moravian Manor in Lititz. Born in Philadelphia, Mr. Dengler graduated from Upper Darby High School and received bachelor's and master's degrees in music education from the University of Pennsylvania. He also was certified as a school administrator. He began his teaching career at Garrettford Elementary School in Upper Darby. During this time, he led 14 sixth graders known as the "Little Big Toppers" on a 33-week TV show for CBS in Philadelphia, doing commercials for the CBS lineup.
June 13, 2014 |
Few conductors have had the longevity, artistic consistency, and frequent-flier miles of Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos. The 80-year-old Spanish conductor, who died of cancer Wednesday in Pamplona, Spain, first led the Philadelphia Orchestra in 1969, after flying into New York City during one of the worst snowstorms in decades. He returned virtually every year thereafter. "He developed an unparalleled relationship with our musicians, appearing continually for nearly half a century," said orchestra president Allison Vulgamore.
June 8, 2014 |
IN THIS CITY OF orchestras, Philadelphia Sinfonia has earned a reputation for musical excellence and for shaping young lives. Its performance tomorrow of Beethoven's mighty Ninth Symphony, with the Mendelssohn Club chorus and soloists from the Academy of Vocal Arts, marks its season finale in Kimmel Center's Verizon Hall. Founded 17 years ago, the youth orchestra has been led for 15 years by Gary White. A guest conductor of many regional orchestras and past chair of music at Germantown Friends School, White also was a working French horn player familiar with what orchestral musicians require from a conductor.
June 2, 2014 |
MACAU - Music amid the ruins. The idea is so picturesque that the Philadelphia Orchestra, now in its third visit here, has had a standing date with what's left of St. Paul's Cathedral. Built by Portuguese Jesuits starting in 1582, the cathedral suffered a fire in 1835 that rendered it only a poetic husk of itself - and made it one of Macau's central attractions. On Saturday morning, a quartet of the orchestra's French hornists played a pop-up concert as part of the 2014 China Residency and Tour of Asia.
April 29, 2014 |
To help lead the increasingly populist aspects of its repertoire, guest artists, and collaborations, the Philadelphia Orchestra is restocking its roster of conductors. Stéphane Denève, the ebullient French conductor of the corkscrew locks who has been a frequent visitor to the orchestra's podium, will become principal guest conductor in the fall. Romanian-born Cristian Macelaru, the orchestra's associate conductor, will take the upgraded title of conductor in residence. Denève, under the terms of a contract running through 2016-17, will conduct at least two weeks during the main subscription season, as well as family concerts, dates at the orchestra's summer spots in Vail, Colo., and Saratoga Springs, N.Y., and, possibly, on tour.
April 27, 2014 |
For the opening salvo of four different Mozart programs in three days, conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin on Thursday night modulated his influence to various degrees. His jumpiness in the Overture to Così fan tutte left you wondering what happened to the gracefully rounded waves of Mozart's main theme. In parts of a symphony, he stepped back and let it flow. Presiding over a piano concerto, he left a personal stamp. By the end of this weekend of overtures, symphonies, and piano concertos - so much for new formats - listeners should have a firm idea of whether this Philadelphia Orchestra music director has any firm ideas about Mozart.
March 12, 2014 |
It's a love letter to her hometown of Cádiz, Spain. As a highlight of the 2014 Philadelphia Flamenco Festival, Rosario Toledo presented Vengo (Coming Back) Sunday night in the Forum space at WHYY's building on Independence Mall. The intimate setting became a theater in the round, with the artist just a few feet away from the overflow audience. Toledo's half-hour performance piece (assisted by the wonderfully deadpan Salva Calderón) highlighted her physical fearlessness, expert flamenco technique, and brilliant comedic timing.
March 5, 2014 |
'Were we even at the same concert?" So goes the standard complaint critics hear from readers who had a completely different experience from what they read about in the newspaper. And the answer is, often, we weren't. In our cinema-dominated world of standardized experiences, it's hard to believe the Philadelphia Orchestra's repeated subscription concerts vary so significantly that a listener might come away from the same program with radically different impressions. But the performances do indeed change.