May 23, 2002 |
In conductor years, 78 is young. Philadelphia Orchestra's music director Wolfgang Sawallisch proved it the last two weeks, when music he cherishes surged with bold energy and interpretive juice. Three more works close to his heart are on tap for Kimmel Center concerts at 8 tonight, Saturday and Tuesday plus 2 p.m. tomorrow. Mozart's 50-minute Serenade No. 10 (posthumously nicknamed "Gran Partita") is a leisurely romp, 12 movements followed by a bustling finale. It's followed by Schoenberg's seething "Transfigured Night" and the stirring Overture to Wagner's "Tannhauser.
November 15, 2004 |
In its 57th season, Singing City is among the stalwart choral groups in Philadelphia. Like other arts organizations around the city, it seeks to attract new audiences by including works by contemporary composers and through collaborations with artists in other disciplines. With music director Jeffrey Brillhart conducting Voices of the Heart, the Saturday evening performance, Singing City drew a full house at Philadelphia Cathedral. Their collaboration was with dancer/choreographer Amanda Miller and videographer Tobin Rothlein, who recently broke away from Phrenic New Ballet to form miro dance theatre.
October 4, 2004 |
The music world now has no lack of opportunities to hear Christopher Theofanidis' "Rainbow Body. " Like Jennifer Higdon's "Concerto for Orchestra," this neo-tonal orchestral work, only four years old, is arriving on symphonic programs with encouragement from a good Atlanta Symphony Orchestra under Robert Spano. But even though the recording is on the audiophile label Telarc, the Haddonfield Symphony's Saturday performance suggested the piece requires you to be in the same room if you're to fully take in the transfixing impression it has to offer.
June 1, 1999 |
Sculptor and installation artist Teresa Jaynes will now be able to pursue any number of projects that have been put off and put off for lack of money. Fiber artist Rebecca Medel will be able to explore a number of ideas developed from research two years ago - but put off and put off for lack of money. Jaynes, Medel and 10 other artists have been named recipients of $50,000 fellowships in the arts bestowed by the Pew Charitable Trusts. "I fell asleep last night making a list of all the things I've put on the back burner because I didn't have the money," said Jaynes, who is exhibits director at the Philadelphia Folklore Project.
October 24, 2000 |
Klezmer music is easy. As a compositional device, the Jewish folk music can be cleanly lifted from its ethnic roots and plotzed down in the middle of art music. Listeners will love it, even if they're not expecting much more than pure theft. Paul Schoenfield must have been aware of these qualities, but the composer didn't take the easy route in his Trio for Clarinet, Violin and Piano, played Sunday afternoon by a group of players from Astral Artistic Services. A little klezmer, unique as it is, goes a long way, and Schoenfield mixed small doses of it with dissonance, keeping silliness at bay. The danger, of course, is caricature, and clarinetist Igor Begelman, violinist Soovin Kim and pianist Tatiana Goncharova played no small part in avoiding it. Technically, the piece is a bear, and their mastery was total.
November 25, 1998
Just-announced plans for the Philadelphia Orchestra's centennial celebration in two years offer new proof that the Philadelphians want to be Fabulous once again. Among the ambitious events scheduled from 2000-onward are debut performances of eight works the orchestra has commissioned at a cost of $400,000. The original scores will come from near - the Curtis Institute's Jennifer Higdon - and far - Finnish composer Einojuhani Rautavaara, among others. They'll also span diverse styles, taking the orchestra on a welcome journey beyond baroque.
February 12, 1991 |
An artist living in the 20th century is faced with an unprecendented array of sources for knowledge and inspiration. For a building in Paris, a Japanese architect may look to Egypt. An Italian novelist may find material for a story in the American West. And as works performed last night by the SMS Contemporary Players at the Settlement Music School showed, American composers look anywhere they want. One young Philadelphian, Alan Lighty, found his muse in The Police. His short work Post No Bills is based on a guitar solo from the popular group, and the snippet makes for a dynamic musical subject.
October 7, 1997 |
"Simple mais chic," a friend says whenever someone's presentation is just right, which is just how Mimi Stillman's recital seemed Sunday afternoon at St. Mark's Church on Locust St. The 15-year-old flutist looked her age in a well-cut frock of velvet and taffeta, and black patent flats, though her ambitious program might have daunted many of her professional elders. Opening the widely varied program was Henri Dutilleux's Sonatine, whose original phrases flew by with a crystalline sharpness, even quirkiness, that Stillman (with Hugh Sung at the piano)
February 25, 1995 |
No orthodoxy has decreed the change, but composers seem to have discovered that new ideas can fit comfortably in existing forms. When the Network for New Music offered its program of local or world premieres last night, its showed two approaches to the piano trio, an unabashed lullaby and a wonderfully jangly piece that used different tuning to say something about how music is heard. No orthodoxy has fallen flatter, either, than the one that said composition was reserved for men. This program included trios by Augusta Read Thomas and Sharon Hershey and the lullaby by Jennifer Higdon.
October 27, 1998 |
Tina Davidson's River of Love, River of Light, a choral work written to celebrate the Fleisher Art Memorial's centennial, was premiered there in weekend concerts entirely formed from new works. Robert A.M. Ross led his Voces Novae et Antiquae chamber chorus in the pair of challenging season openers and introduced from the audience three of the five composers (Ross was a fourth) represented on the program. Before Sunday's concert, Davidson said she was inspired by the Fleisher's performance space, a converted church, and had used her ideas to mark the beginning of her three-year term as composer-in-residence there.