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.
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.
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...
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.
May 10, 2011 |
WHEN I learned that information taken from Osama bin Laden's recently confiscated hard drive indicated that trains in the U.S. were being targeted, it reminded me of a chilling situation that I experienced late last year. On the morning of Nov. 30, I took the Chestnut Hill East Regional Rail to Center City for a hair appointment. As usual, I got on the train at the Mount Airy station, in the northwest section of the city. I chose my seat and gazed out the window, anticipating my gray roots being covered - yet again.
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.
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.
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.
March 6, 2011 |
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.