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NEWS
January 25, 2015 | By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic
Yannick Nézet-Séguin celebrated his 1,500th concert since his 1994 debut with a Philadelphia Orchestra performance that was beyond what audiences have come to expect from him in his three years as music director. "Beyond" didn't always mean "distinguished," but it did in the dominant work on the Thursday concert, Rachmaninoff's Symphony No. 2 : Though not for those who prefer lean, straightforward Rachmaninoff, the performance's fusion of passion, insight, great playing and Philadelphia sound fused into something that easily deserved the rock-star reception from the Kimmel Center audience, in the second week of the St. Petersburg Festival.
NEWS
November 21, 2014
 G UINNESS is one of the greatest, most valuable brand names in beer. From its familiar harp logo to its stenciled typeface to Arthur Guinness' famous signature, everything about it is immediately recognizable. Even its bubbles have a trademark look. You think of Guinness, you think of rich, dark, smooth Irish stout - the biggest-selling, most famous dark beer on the planet. The problem is, that's the only thing you think of. As good as Guinness is, it's really only good for one thing.
NEWS
November 2, 2014 | By Daniel Webster, For The Inquirer
Unless he had monitored his audience's vital signs just before the end of Mahler's Symphony No. 2 , Philadelphia Orchestra conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin could hardly have predicted the emotional fever that greeted the final ecstatic chords at the Kimmel Center on Thursday. The sense of release at the end of 90 minutes of Mahler's incremental structuring almost guarantees a momentous response, but this performance made its effect on emotional terms as well as on orchestral virtuosity.
NEWS
May 16, 2014 | By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic
Is it backlash or breakthrough? Maybe both with Yannick Nézet-Séguin's new Schumann symphony set on Deutsche Grammophon that recently hit the market: It's both adored and dismissed, though not for any uniform reasons. Rather than recording the symphonies over time with one of his home orchestras (Rotterdam or Philadelphia), Nézet-Séguin opted for the Chamber Orchestra of Europe (COE) during an intensive series of concerts at Paris' Cité de la Musique, plus a patch session. The reaction in England (where the set has been out longer)
NEWS
May 4, 2014 | By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic
Youthful embraces and lonely leave-taking occupied each half of the Philadelphia Orchestra's Thursday concert at the Kimmel Center with an unexpectedly particular characteristic in common: Unguarded emotionalism unlike anything else heard from the respective composers, whether in Bartok's Violin Concerto No. 1 or Bruckner's Symphony No. 9 . Smartly devised by music director Yannick Nézet-Séguin, the concert had long-term contour, starting...
NEWS
April 27, 2014 | By Peter Dobrin, Inquirer Music Critic
For the opening salvo of four different Mozart programs in three days, conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin on Thursday night modulated his influence to various degrees. His jumpiness in the Overture to Così fan tutte left you wondering what happened to the gracefully rounded waves of Mozart's main theme. In parts of a symphony, he stepped back and let it flow. Presiding over a piano concerto, he left a personal stamp. By the end of this weekend of overtures, symphonies, and piano concertos - so much for new formats - listeners should have a firm idea of whether this Philadelphia Orchestra music director has any firm ideas about Mozart.
NEWS
September 13, 2013 | By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic
Though Philadelphia Orchestra music directors have long had a teaching relationship with the Curtis Institute of Music, Yannick Nézet-Séguin has been formally appointed to inaugurate a four-year conducting program that's described more in terms of mentoring than teaching. "I have become the musician and conductor that I am today because of every teacher I have had, and it is with this in mind that I look forward to becoming the first mentor conductor at Curtis," Nézet-Séguin said in a statement released this week.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 14, 2013 | By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic
MONTREAL - Few operas are as daunting and intoxicating for performers and audiences as Wagner's. So is it any wonder that conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin compared his first full foray into that world as a coming-of-age moment? "There's not another context in which I'd rather lose my Wagner virginity," he declared before Sunday's concert version of Lohengrin at Festival Lanaudière, held annually in the countryside north of Montreal. Though a standard at the world's large opera houses, Lohengrin is seldom heard elsewhere; this was its Quebec premiere.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 25, 2013 | By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic
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.
NEWS
March 18, 2013 | By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic
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.
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