October 14, 2015 |
Some composers don't slip into obscurity as much as their creative quest seemed always to have been the express route to oblivion. The charismatic face and name of Julius Eastman, a confrontational, openly gay African American, kept appearing and reappearing to Bowerbird founder Dustin Hurt as he researched the 1970 avant-garde giants John Cage and Morton Feldman. Who was this person who kept such esoteric company? Now, Bowerbird is holding a pair of events dedicated to Eastman, with a concert Friday at the Rotunda and a panel Saturday at the Slought Foundation.
September 22, 2015 |
The double-bass world could use Xavier Foley. At 21, he's a standout player, studying at the Curtis Institute of Music. But he's also a bright spark of a composer, and, to judge from Saturday night's premiere of his "Zalistar" Trio , a musician who hears borders between styles as limitations best ignored. The work was commissioned by Astral Artists, and opened its season alongside other chamber works at the Church of the Holy Trinity. Structurally, the piece fits an accepted norm, moving from section to section before returning to original material.
September 20, 2015 |
Curtis Institute of Music board chair Nina Baroness von Maltzahn is stepping down. She will serve through the end of the school year, the conservatory announced Friday. Maltzahn - who divides her time among Uruguay, Berlin, Zurich, and New York - became board chair in 2013, taking over from H.F. "Gerry" Lenfest, who held the position for eight years. Curtis' bylaws call for the chair to serve in terms of one year, subject to renewal. Maltzahn's original intention when accepting the chair position was to serve for two years, a Curtis spokeswoman said.
August 28, 2015 |
Alexander R. Greene, 23, a promising Curtis Institute of Music trumpet student who made an impression as both charmer and role model, died Monday afternoon, Aug. 24, in an auto accident about 11 miles northwest of Farson, Wyo., along with his traveling companion, tuba player Benjamin K. Darneille, 21. The two were on their way to Jackson, Wyo., after spending eight weeks at the Aspen Music Festival, where their brass quintet, formed at Curtis, had...
August 17, 2015 |
It's one of those stories that has lodged in the minds of many for its injustice and irony. Nina Simone - before she was Nina Simone, when she was still an aspiring classical pianist named Eunice Waymon - auditioned for the Curtis Institute of Music and was rejected on grounds of her race. The tale bubbles up every few years, refracted through the times, as it is doing again in our era of Ferguson and Sandra Bland. Simone herself recounted the story repeatedly during her lifetime.
August 9, 2015 |
If the Curtis Institute of Music isn't careful, it may disturb Philadelphia's self-satisfied parochialism even more than it has. Summerfest, Curtis' summer camp, has proved how powerfully the city benefits from importing talent beyond the usual sources while folding it into the school's own. Of course, Curtis can have it both ways. Though some of the faculty performing Thursday night at the last in a new series of three Summerfest recitals were from orchestras elsewhere, most were, in a sense, of here - Curtis graduates.
August 4, 2015 |
The traits that make the orchestral player do not necessarily translate to chamber music, but you never would have known that from hearing violinist Amy Lee on Friday night at the Curtis Institute of Music. The 2005 Curtis grad is now associate concertmaster of the Cleveland Orchestra, an ensemble whose defining characteristic is its exquisite precision. That Lee reflected the Cleveland philosophy was hardly surprising. The extent of her individualized approach, however, suggested she doesn't need an interpretive assist from the podium.
July 31, 2015 |
Simon Pegg? A big star At 45, Simon Pegg finally has arrived! He costars with Tom Cruise and Jeremy Renner in Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation , opening Friday. He'll reprise his role as Scotty in Star Trek Beyond , and he's been cast in the forthcoming megablockbuster Star Wars: The Force Awakens . The fifth Mission film has Cruise jumping, punching, etc., while Pegg does the real heavy lifting as tech genius Benji. The thesp landed his first TV show in '95 and won a cult following in his native Britain as co-writer and star of the 1999 sitcom Spaced and the 2004 zombie apocalypse action comedy Shaun of the Dead . "I tend to play regular guys," he says, "because I am one. " Time for 'bye Little Bit Country fiddler Zach DePue is leaning back toward the classical, phasing out of Time for Three to focus on being concertmaster of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra.
July 19, 2015 |
PRINCETON - The summertime campus here is annually overrun with pianists (and a few violinists) when the Golandsky Institute welcomes artists young and old to learn healthy techniques that allow them to play well for as long as they love music. There's also a piano festival (ending Saturday) showcasing faculty and students expressing themselves without extraneous effort. The exception of sorts was a Thursday recital at Taplin Auditorium of Chinese pianist Wei Luo, the latest Chinese wonder to hit the Curtis Institute.
July 17, 2015 |
If audiences in New England end up hearing anything like Tuesday night's recital at the Curtis Institute of Music, they will be struck by the meticulous approach of violinist Bella Hristova and pianist Steven Lin. The two young Curtis grads tried out their program amid the comforts of home - Field Concert Hall - before taking it on the road. The concert, strung loosely along the idea that folk tunes can and do seep into classical, was built to announce the virtues of technical solidity.