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.
July 3, 2015 |
A 20-year-old Curtis Institute of Music student is the top winner of the venerable International Tchaikovsky Competition in the violin category. Yu-Chien "Benny" Tseng won the silver medal, second prize, in the Moscow competition, whose results were announced Wednesday. No gold award was given this year, which is not unusual. The Taipei-born violinist came to Curtis in 2008, and the following summer, at age 14, played Vivaldi's The Four Seasons with the Philadelphia Orchestra at the Mann Center.
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.