July 22, 1990 |
Seventy people were crammed into a room meant for 30. Some sat on chairs, others on the floor. Their eyes were closed as they listened to the instructions of storyteller Robin Moore. "I want you to go into your memory, a memory of childhood, something that happened with fire," he said softly. "I want you to daydream your way through it. See it like a movie, then store it in memory. " As he spoke, he plucked the strings of a small lap-sized Celtic harp, creating an ethereal atmosphere in the meeting room on the campus of Millersville University.
April 19, 1988 |
The harp provided the focus for the latest concert by 1807 and Friends at the Center City YMHA last night - an actual harp in the first half of the program, and the idea of the harp in the second. Margarita Csonka provided the real harp, opening with Ned Rorem's 1975 Book of Hours, a suite of eight brief mood pieces named after the eight traditional services of the monastic office. Csonka and flutist David Cramer supplied an impeccable performance, but Rorem, usually so reliably serviceable a composer, must have been nodding in this case, for the piece left little to remember beyond the performers' flying fingers.
March 19, 1993 |
Harpist Marilyn Costello may have retired from the Philadelphia Orchestra, but her musical activities continue unabated - including a recital she is giving Sunday afternoon at the Curtis Institute. Costello has taught at Curtis since 1961, when she succeeded her own teacher, the renowned Carlos Salzedo, as head of the harp department. She was still a student when she joined the Philadelphia Orchestra in 1945, a year later becoming principal harpist, a post she kept until her retirement this season.
July 15, 1988 |
James Galway and principal harpist Marilyn Costello pair up tonight for Mozart's Concerto in C for Flute and Harp with the Philadelphia Orchestra at the Mann Music Center. Galway also will team up with Philadelphia Orchestra principal Murray Panitz in Cimarosa's Concerto in G for Two Flutes and Orchestra. That is promising teamwork, indeed. Both principals deserve the spotlight, which it nevertheless is generous of Galway to share. Adding to tonight's potential is the fact that Riccardo Muti conducts.
July 16, 1988 |
Summer music is obvious, plain and loud, the stereotypical formula explains, in order to be heard in outdoor settings. The Philadelphia Orchestra moved against that formula last night when it presented its soloists at the Mann Music Center in music that was intimate, quiet and far from obvious. Riccardo Muti was conducting his final concert of the summer season, working with flutists James Galway and Murray Panitz and harpist Marilyn Costello. Galway and Costello played the Mozart Flute and Harp Concerto and Galway and Panitz played Cimarosa's Concerto in G for two flutes.
October 31, 1992 |
Flutist Eugenia Zukerman and harpist Yolanda Kondonassis could be most easily appreciated Thursday night at Bryn Mawr College when playing solo, not as a duo. The acoustics of the Great Hall in Thomas Library presented a strange set of circumstances that kept them from being heard as a cohesive ensemble - a problem probably as frustrating to them as it was to the audience. Great Hall is aptly named. The amount of space it gives sound to travel is vast, and bare stone walls create acoustical challenges different for each instrument.
November 10, 1999 |
Chamber music is the stuff that musicians themselves come together and enjoy, making conversation by making music with or without any other audience present. The audience Sunday in the Academy of Music Ballroom was privileged to eavesdrop on half a dozen Philadelphia Orchestra members and a guest pianist engaged in three intensely musical conversations. Harpist Elizabeth Hainen DePeters pulled torrents of sound from her instrument in Louis Spohr's Trio in F minor for Violin, Cello and Harp.
March 15, 1996 |
She was blind and emaciated when she was stranded three years ago on Long Island. But Echo quickly adapted to her new home at the New Jersey State Aquarium - and thrived. The only harp seal on exhibit in the country, she learned voice commands from the trainers and used her sensitive whiskers and memory to negotiate the pool. But this week, after delighting thousands of visitors over the past three years, Echo died of undetermined causes. Frank Steslow, curator of living collections at the aquarium, said the seal began exhibiting symptoms Wednesday night and was moved to a holding area for treatment.
January 24, 1992 |
Attaining a professional career as a violinist or pianist is daunting enough, but the chances of becoming a successful harpist are infinitesimal -unless you're a bushy-haired Marx brother. So Philadelphia-born Ann Hobson Pilot is an example of talent triumphing over odds. She's been harpist in the Boston Symphony since 1969 (first chair since 1980) and happens to be the first black woman to hold a principal position in any major American orchestra. She'll be back home this weekend for two concerts with the enterprising contemporary music ensemble Orchestra 2001.
March 23, 1993 |
Ned Rorem asks for some unreasonable things in his Book of Hours (1975). Harpist Marilyn Costello and flutist Jeffrey Khaner had the good sense not to follow his instructions to the letter in their performance of the eight- movement work Sunday afternoon at the Curtis Institute of Music. In the last movement, "Nightfall," Rorem's score asks for music that is "almost motionless, almost inaudible" - and who wants to listen to music like that? It starts out with an impossibly soft dynamic, tells the players to get softer, and then, at the very end, asks them to fade away.