February 27, 2012 |
If it was Alan Gilbert's aim to become music director of the New York Philharmonic and have minimal effect on the character of the ensemble, he is, in his third season, succeeding. The Philharmonic is a fine orchestra. But Friday night at the Kimmel Center, the New Yorkers were the same old collection of free-wheeling individualists they have been for years. In the Mussorgsky/Ravel Pictures at an Exhibition , there was little sense that anyone would - or could? - make them blend.
May 10, 2013 |
Now that the Kimmel Center has disassembled the imaginary time machine that long dominated its lobby, the Gershman Y across the street has something closer to the real thing: The reconstituted 1918 film The Yellow Ticket , which was partly filmed in the later-razed Warsaw ghetto and was one of the first cinematic exposés of anti-Semitism. Now on a multicity tour with a live score by violinist Alicia Svigals, founder of the Klezmatics, The Yellow Ticket will be shown at 8 p.m. Thursday (copresented by the National Museum of American Jewish History)
July 27, 2010 |
By now, nobody in Philadelphia should be surprised that conductor Donald Nally is making a hard-to-explain departure: Lyric Opera of Chicago is expected to announce this week that chorus master Nally is leaving at the end of the 2010-11 season to spend more time with his Philadelphia choir, The Crossing. What wasn't said: He's leaving one of the top positions of its kind (Chicago's previous chorus master is now at the Metropolitan Opera) - with uncertain financial prospects. "The Crossing is a full-time job at this point but it just doesn't pay that," Nally said last week during a break in recording sessions in Chestnut Hill with his Philadelphia group.
May 18, 2013 |
Any other conductor would test an audience's loyalty with a Philadelphia Orchestra program featuring particularly bizarre modern music. But Simon Rattle knows his people. And though he programmed György Ligeti (as might Christoph Eschenbach), and, at one point, swiveled around and yelled toward the audience (as did Riccardo Muti), there was no loss of good will and, in fact, a standing ovation on Thursday for Ligeti's Mysteries of the Macabre . A significant ingredient was Barbara Hannigan, the Canadian new-music diva whose charisma, voice and unreserved sense of showmanship were put to great use in a scene from the Ligeti opera Le Grand Macabre , in which she plays a police chief hysterically, nonsensically warning that the end of the world is near.
May 8, 2013 |
The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia doesn't end its season with a bang, but with the sort of alternative mandate in which Mozart's less-often-played Symphony No. 29 is an appropriate grand finale. Other conductors might have questioned that at Monday's concert in the Kimmel Center's Perelman Theater: The 18-year-old Mozart was turning out consistently pleasant music at that time, but not mature masterpieces. Still, music director Dirk Brossé told the audience that it rates high among his favorites, so one had to trust that he hears something others miss.
April 24, 2013 |
NEW YORK - Five years in the making, star baritone Nathan Gunn's high-concept, high-style recital Wednesday at Carnegie Hall's Zankel auditorium could be heard as a precursor of his leading role in Jennifer Higdon's forthcoming Civil War-era opera Cold Mountain , co-commissioned by Opera Philadelphia and the Santa Fe Opera. The Anglo-American program concluded with Dooryard Bloom , a 25-minute Higdon work for baritone and orchestra that's among her best, heard here in the premiere of a new version replacing full orchestra with the Pacifica Quartet and pianist Julie Gunn.
October 6, 2011 |
Julian Rodescu, 58, who parlayed a busy vocal career and a deep love of music into a day job helping young musicians reach the next career level, died Saturday. A large man with a tender heart and gentle mien, Mr. Rodescu was a familiar sight around Broad and Locust Streets, where he would often settle in with a cell phone to conduct business as artistic director of Astral Artists, an organization providing professional development for promising classical talent. He had assisted the two-decade-old group in its early days, and assumed the role of artistic director in 2009.
May 13, 2013 |
Every so often, the classical music world decides to advance into the visual age with busy video screens, often with interesting outcome, though ultimately feeling redundant because everything you need to see is in the music already. Symphony in C's particularly vivid reading of Haydn's The Creation Saturday at Camden's Gordon Theater conjured the Book of Genesis (on which it's based) perfectly well with no visuals of birds, animals or Adam and Eve that are sometimes seen with the piece.
April 12, 2013 |
On Labor Day weekend, pop star Beyoncé and industrial-rock band Nine Inch Nails will co-headline the 2d annual Budweiser Made in America festival, which will again be staged on Philadelphia's Benjamin Franklin Parkway. As in 2012, the paid event will be curated by rapper and entertainment mogul Jay-Z. His name was not included, however, on the list of performers announced Wednesday via the music streaming service Spotify. The Aug. 31-Sept. 1 lineup will include French pop-rockers Phoenix, L.A. rapper Kendrick Lamar, heavy-rock stalwarts Queens of the Stone Age, mouse-head-wearing Canadian DJ Deadmau5, and Seattle "Thrift Shop" hip-hop hitmakers Macklemore & Ryan Lewis.
April 20, 2013 |
The Philadelphia Orchestra's J.S. Bach immersion continues at Verizon Hall as earnestly as in the recent St. Matthew Passion , and with greater density and outward playfulness. Brandenburg Concertos Nos. 1-4 plus Orchestral Suite No. 3 are works in which Bach brought the concerto-for-orchestra form to an apex that nobody else caught up with for centuries. And those pieces kept the orchestra busier than Mahler's Symphony No. 8 on Thursday, with numerous key players facing strenuous solo turns.