May 16, 2014 |
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)
May 4, 2014 |
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...
April 27, 2014 |
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.
September 13, 2013 |
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.
August 14, 2013 |
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.
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.