August 23, 2013 |
Just as nobody saw Igor Stravinsky's Rite of Spring coming at its explosive 1913 Paris premiere, few could have foreseen the tsunami of Rite recordings that would hit the market in its centennial year. Roughly 60 have been issued or reissued since December. Still to come is another, marking the Philadelphia Orchestra's return to the recording market after years of only a shadowy download presence. The disc is the orchestra's first with music director Yannick Nézet-Séguin, and, thanks to the prestigious Deutsche Grammophon label, it was recorded under studio conditions at Verizon Hall - a home-hall luxury afforded few American orchestras.
December 7, 2012 |
They just couldn't let him go. As Gustavo Dudamel basked in audience love along with the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela Wednesday night, a few in Verizon Hall unfurled Venezuelan flags and shouted suggested encores. "After this huge piece," the conductor said in the wake of a Strauss tone poem, "we're getting old. " Who knew about this gift for being coy? The audience got its encore, and then another. People come to classical music for all kinds of reasons - thank goodness - and this audience came to connect with youth, energy, and Venezuelan pride.
August 11, 2011 |
This may be flirting with madness, but let's take a speculative tour through the mind of Lang Lang. The 29-year-old Chinese pianist is again opening new vistas of classical music stardom with his appearance last month at the ultra-hip, predominantly pop iTunes Festival in London - just the latest nonclassical venue he's explored. It was inevitable. His hair and clothes have made him look like a rock star for years, and now he performs alongside them, in this case with classical repertoire by a man who's often called the original rock star, Franz Liszt.
June 14, 2010 |
Has the Philadelphia Orchestra ever had a fun music director? The closest contender was Simon Rattle - until the spirited Yannick Nézet-Séguin, who seems to be having a grand time hopping around the globe and is promising to alight, with a hoped-for degree of permanence, upon the Philadelphia Orchestra. Levity has never been a priority in the serious world of classical music. We're talking about a musical CEO - and huge responsibilities to deliver world-class Beethoven, Brahms, and Mahler.
June 13, 2010 |
Has the Philadelphia Orchestra ever had a fun music director? The closest contender was Simon Rattle - until the spirited Yannick Nézet-Séguin, who seems to be having a grand time hopping around the globe, and is now promising to alight, with a hoped-for degree of permanence, upon the Philadelphia Orchestra. Levity has never been a priority in the serious world of classical music. We're talking about a musical CEO here ? and huge responsibilities to deliver worldclass Beethoven, Brahms and Mahler.
May 21, 2010 |
"What are we supposed to do now? I've never been here before," wondered the woman at the end of Wednesday night's visit from the Los Angeles Philharmonic and conductor Gustavo Dudamel. "Sometimes they do an encore," said the man next to her. They didn't. But with Verizon Hall packed with newbies, you had to believe that to want survival of orchestral music in America these days is to be at peace with internalized bouts of complexity and contradiction. Here was a slightly unkempt performance of John Adams' City Noir, a signature piece of this orchestra penned by its own creative chair, and an unremarkable Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 6. But classical music was winning friends.
May 16, 2010
Sunday Dream world We always welcome a good fairy tale with a life-affirming moral, and Lois Lowry's Gossamer more than fits the bill. The playwright adapted her own novel about a boy fleeing from an abusive past and plagued by nightmares and evil spirits. A sprite tasked with weaving good dreams from memories sets out to help him battle the sinister forces. The show goes on at 2 and 7 p.m. Sunday at People's Light & Theatre , 39 Conestoga Rd., Malvern, and continues with shows at 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday, 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday, and 2 p.m. next Sunday.
October 21, 2009 |
Be glad that you're not Gustavo Dudamel this week. The new music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic - and easily the world's hottest young conductor - is the subject of PBS's Great Performances in a presentation that, when not devoted to actual music-making, is so embarrassing or full of hyperbole that a lesser being would hide in a locked dressing room. Titled Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic: The Inaugural Concert, the telecast (tonight at 9 on WHYY TV12)
November 21, 2008 |
The hall was packed, the music was hot, and the reception was loud. All that could have been predicted for Wednesday night's Philadelphia debut of Gustavo Dudamel with the Israel Philharmonic at the Kimmel Center. The current tour, which includes New York and Washington, is, for many, the first live introduction to the 27-year-old Dudamel. In only three years, he has emerged from his native Venezuela to become a major international conducting talent and recording star, one who was made chief conductor of Sweden's Gothenburg Symphony last year and will become the Los Angeles Philharmonic's music director next year.