May 25, 2013 |
Yannick Nézet-Séguin might be expected to end his first season as Philadelphia Orchestra music director with some sort of awesome bang, if only because he's that kind of guy. Instead, the final program of the Kimmel Center season on Thursday had a "to be continued" quality, with fairly standard repertoire in somewhat unusual configuration, but in performances that showed something extraordinary is underway here. Though Nézet-Séguin's taste in programming has expanded the orchestra's repertoire with choral works that are often left to organizations that have trouble affording the Kimmel Center, this concert was anchored by the Brahms Violin Concerto with Gil Shaham in top form, but with the conductor generating a synergy one seldom hears in this oft-played piece, even in recordings.
March 18, 2013 |
NEW YORK - Tracking conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin requires maps of North America and Europe, though he's close to the city that's loving him back in this month's guest appearances: a Metropolitan Opera La Traviata revival that's likely to be hotter than most new productions. The three principal singers all made debuts of sorts Thursday: Soprano Diana Damrau sang her first Violetta, Plácido Domingo added another baritone role to his repertoire with Germont, and Albanian tenor Saimir Pirgu, as Alfredo, sang his first major role here.
March 15, 2013
McGILLIN'S OLDE Ale House is going green. And, no, I'm not talking about the green beer that they're serving this St. Patrick's Day weekend. If you're thinking of one more reason to down a few pints this weekend at McGillin's - besides wanting to pay homage to a patron saint of Ireland in the oldest continuously operating (since 1860), family-run, beer-centric tavern in the city - consider this: McGillin's also is trying to save the planet. Seriously. Christopher Mullins Sr., 65, of Narberth, the tavern's genial co-owner (along with his wife, Mary Ellen, who supervises the kitchen)
February 21, 2013 |
Yannick Nézet-Séguin announced his second Philadelphia Orchestra season Wednesday in a climate of acclaim so intense that a less sturdy musician might be braced for the cyclical backlash that the likes of Lang Lang and Gustavo Dudamel have experienced before him. But he says he's just happy word is circulating that the Philadelphia Orchestra is back. "It's so important that what's happening in our city gets quickly spread around," the new music director said. As for backlash?
February 6, 2013 |
JULIUS VanGuine is now the only member of Kensington High's basketball team who attends classes in the original building. Because of that . . . Well, let's allow him to tell us. "Our crowds haven't been too great this year and I definitely didn't think many of our students would be coming to the game," he said. "But at lunch, they were selling tickets and lots of kids were buying them. They were saying, 'We'll be there! You'd better win!' "I was thinking, 'This is pretty cool.' It wasn't like I felt I had to put on a show, but I did want to give the fans what they wanted.
January 26, 2013 |
Amid the plethora of recent triumphs by the Philadelphia Orchestra and music director Yannick Nézet-Séguin, it's almost a relief to report that their latest program, however wonderful, wasn't all the way there. So they're still human. And there's room to grow. Thursday's Verizon Hall stop in their journey showed occasional instances of less-than-sturdy transitions and tempos that didn't track with each other. A problem? Not if you heard the concert as an orchestra and conductor reaching beyond their usual standard.
December 14, 2012
L uca Sena, 62, of Society Hill, owns Penn's View Hotel and two restaurants, Ristorante Panorama and Revolution House, all in Old City. Born in Naples, Sena was 17 when he moved to Philly with his father in 1967. The rest of the family soon followed. The Sena family's first restaurant, La Famiglia, on Front Street, opened in 1976 and now is run by Luca's brother, Giuseppe. Q: Panorama opened in 1990 and you're still doing well. What's the secret to your longevity? A: I always kept an open mind, surrounded myself with younger people, having two sons [Carlo and Luca Jr.]
December 12, 2012 |
Word arrived by mail Monday that Philadelphia did indeed set a new Soul Train Dance world record. Writer Sheila Simmons, the principal organizer, got a congratulatory letter Guinness World Records along with the official certificate, which declares: "The largest Soul Train Dance consisted of 291 participants and was achieved by the Philadelphia Soul Train Line Dancers in Philadelphia, Pa., USA, on 13 February 2012. " The previous record - which lingered, but not for long, on the Guinness website this morning - was set by 211 dancers in November 2011 at Berkeley High School in Berkeley, Calif.
October 21, 2012 |
Success was all but assured at Yannick Nézet-Séguin's first Philadelphia Orchestra subscription concert as music director: Friday night's program was the Verdi Requiem , a big, bold, and loud piece whose requiem text arrives with fearsomely recurring emphasis on the Day of Wrath. Even when performances are reasonably competent, audiences experience a four-hour grand opera in 90 minutes. With a quartet of top opera soloists, the Westminster Symphonic Choir, and the Philadelphia Orchestra, the performance might well have matched former music director Riccardo Muti's supremacy in this repertoire.
October 20, 2012 |
Now it's l'Orchestre Yannick. Thursday night at the Kimmel Center, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, the spirited 37-year-old Canadian conductor, opened his tenure as the Philadelphia Orchestra's eighth music director with a black-tie reception, concert, and dinner. Mayor Nutter urged the concert crowd to "keep the orchestra strong," and then introduced the maestro to his new city, asking for a welcome in "fine Philadelphia style. " The man of the hour never put down his baton for a microphone, didn't speak a word from stage all evening.