June 24, 2015 |
He was born in South Philadelphia, married Franco-Russian royalty, and reigned for five decades as one of the great violists of the 20th century. Joseph de Pasquale, 95, died Monday, June 22. Mr. de Pasquale, of Merion, was principal violist of two of America's golden-age ensembles - the Boston Symphony Orchestra from 1947 to 1964, and then, sitting alongside three of his brothers, the Philadelphia Orchestra from 1964 until retirement in 1996. He is credited with raising the standard of viola playing so dramatically that it remade the instrument's image, said Curtis Institute of Music president Roberto Díaz, a one-time de Pasquale protégé.
June 24, 2015 |
HE WAS A South Philly kid who made good. Joseph de Pasquale set new standards for the viola, playing for the Boston Symphony and, more famously, for the Philadelphia Orchestra in a career of performing and teaching that began at age 15 and ended with his retirement in 1996. He died yesterday at the age of 95. He lived in Merion Station. Joseph and his brothers, three of whom would comprise the world-renowned De Pasquale String Quartet, were born in South Philadelphia with the sound of classical music ringing in their heads.
June 5, 2015 |
In terms of choosing a calling card to send out into the world, the Curtis Institute of Music could hardly do better than the Aizuri Quartet. Curtis' quartet-in-residence played a recital Tuesday night previewing a tour that begins Friday in Mexico City, continues to Costa Rica and Chile (including a stop at the U.S. Embassy in Santiago), and ends with a different program in Germany and Austria. Whatever else it does for diplomacy, the Aizuri Quartet planted a flag in rare artistic soil at its Field Concert Hall recital.
April 15, 2015 |
It was five for ten at the Curtis Institute on Sunday afternoon: Dolce Suono, the flexible chamber ensemble founded at the school 10 years ago by enterprising flutist Mimi Stillman, celebrated the anniversary with music by five generations of composers who studied or taught there - from Samuel Barber through two young grads commissioned by Stillman for the occasion. Star faculty member Jennifer Higdon was represented by "Autumn Reflection ," a brief flute/piano work from her student days that provides exactly what the title promises, and "Lullaby " with bass-baritone Thomas Shivone being far too operatic with overly robust tone and indistinct pitch.
April 8, 2015
A story Friday wrongly stated the number of operas per year that the Curtis Institute of Music performs in the Perelman Theater. The current number is one a year, increasing to two in the 2015-16 season.
April 4, 2015 |
The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts has signed on a new resident company. The Curtis Institute of Music joined the roster effective Wednesday, making it the Kimmel's first new resident company since its opening in December 2001. As far as the listening public is concerned, little will change with the start of the five-year contract. Curtis ensembles have performed at the Kimmel from the start - its orchestra in Verizon Hall and operas in the Perelman Theater. But as a resident company, Curtis will receive breaks on rental fees and priority scheduling, and will be featured in Kimmel marketing and advertising.
March 19, 2015 |
A memorial service and concert have been set to honor former Philadelphia Orchestra principal cellist William Stokking, 81, of Medford. The service is to be at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, April 12, at the Unitarian Universalist Church, 401 Kings Highway N., Cherry Hill. The concert is to be at 3 p.m. Saturday, May 9, at Field Concert Hall of the Curtis Institute of Music, 1726 Locust St. His wife, Nancy, said both events are open to the public. Mr. Stokking, who retired from the orchestra in 2005, died Sunday, Dec. 14, 2014, at a Moorestown nursing home of complications from a stroke.
March 10, 2015 |
WASHINGTON - Derogatory jokes about the viola are probably waiting to be made over the fact that Jennifer Higdon's concerto for that instrument sat for five years on a waiting list before arriving at its premiere Saturday at the Library of Congress. In truth, the Philadelphia composer was keen to give the ordinarily brooding instrument a levity other viola concertos lack, but first she had to finish her opera Cold Mountain . The concerto, written for violist and Curtis Institute president Roberto Diaz and the Curtis Chamber Orchestra, is ultimately concerned with getting down to essentials, yielding distinctive, under-the-surface strength.
March 8, 2015 |
Is there a more gorgeously depicted transformation in all of Western music than the last seven or eight minutes of Strauss' Ariadne auf Naxos ? With the emotional intelligence of Mozart, the score moves from mystery and tension, through elation and serenity, into the bright radiance of human love. Strauss traverses a great distance so magically that Ariadne herself wonders out loud: Are we on the other side already? The beauty of that stretch stopped the opera's characters in their tracks Wednesday night in the Curtis Institute of Music's production, a welcome moment of introspection after all the silliness.
March 2, 2015 |
It was magical. Classical guitarist Jason Vieaux (pronounced vee-OH ), 41, just won a Grammy for best classical instrumental solo album for Play . At Curtis, where he teaches, he's sitting on stage at Field Concert Hall (the one you see in the TV concerts), tuning up his Gernot Wagner guitar while a photographer gets ready. (You know someone's serious about music when he tunes up for a photo.) Then he breaks into a heartbreaking arrangement of "What a Wonderful World," and suddenly you remember why they call music beautiful: New emotions emerge in the old Louis Armstrong hit, something you already loved, but now you have new reasons for loving it. Vieaux has been at Curtis since 2011, when he and fellow guitar star David Starobin were recruited to start a guitar department.