April 24, 2012 |
If the Curtis Institute is about achieving greatness in various forms, an essential part of that would have to be experiencing the pitfalls that are everywhere in the symphonic repertoire. Nothing dire happened when the Curtis Symphony Orchestra played Jennifer Higdon, Brahms, and Bartok under Robert Spano Monday at the Kimmel Center; the showcase element of the concert was delivered with swaggering confidence. But that doesn't mean any given masterpiece's DNA was located. The Bartok Concerto for Orchestra was most distinctive: Rather than running the movements together as so many conductors do, Spano treated them as discrete entities in ways that reminded you of the music's strangeness, how movements start in mid-thought and end in ways suggesting that there's plenty left to say. Spano pursued a great variety of string sounds.
April 17, 2012 |
By turning toward conducting, Joshua Bell appears to have become a born-again violinist. His arrival as music director of the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields on Monday at the Kimmel Center might have suggested that he's moving away from the repertoire and art on which he made his name — as so many have before him. Paradoxically, however, the opposite has happened. Though Bell has long been one of the most consistent of A-list violinists, recent Philadelphia Orchestra concerto appearances suggested that he had grown a bit comfortable, his playing lacking immediacy aside from his self-authored cadenzas.
April 8, 2012 |
TEL AVIV - After coughing regularly for half an hour, Rennie Harris, artistic director/choreographer of Philadelphia-based hip-hop company Rennie Harris Puremovement, paused a hotel-lobby interview last month to order a cup of tea. "It's sandstorm season in Cairo, or something," he apologized. Harris had just finished the first leg of his company's frenetic March 9-to-April 6 DanceMotion USA tour of Egypt, Israel, and the Palestinian territories, during which he and his dynamic dancers taught, performed, loved the food, loved the people, and spread the hip-hop gospel: Be young, be free.
April 6, 2012 |
David de Gea. Joe Hart. Zac MacMath. OK, now before you go telling me to pump the brakes on the last goalkeeper, the Union variety does have something in common with the other two. All three are quietly debunking the myth that to be a successful goalkeeper you need to be older and more experienced. The days of the Peter Schmeichels, Oliver Kahns and Kasey Kellers of the soccer world are not a thing of the past in fact, quite the contrary. Older keepers are still proving that experience over the long haul is better between the posts.
March 23, 2012
It's settled. President Obama was born in Hawaii on Aug. 4, 1961. But some opponents who can't find stronger arguments to make against Obama's presidency still resort to claiming he's not really an American. They not only question his citizenship, but also insist he's a Muslim despite Obama's professed Christianity. The red herring of Obama's birthplace recently cropped up locally when the Commonwealth Court turned down a request to keep him off the April 24 Pennsylvania primary ballot.
March 12, 2012 |
CLEARWATER, Fla. - It all started with Raul Ibanez. After winning the 2008 World Series, the Phillies decided to let their 31-year-old leftfielder, Pat Burrell, walk as a free agent. With his nagging injuries, Burrell seemed to be beyond his best years. That perception turned out to be accurate. Burrell hit .235 with 41 homers over the last three years and retired. But who did the Phillies sign to replace their fading outfielder? Ibanez, who was 36 at the time. It was a sound baseball move - Ibanez hit .264 with 70 homers for three division winning teams - but it also made the Phillies five years older at that position.
March 8, 2012 |
CLEARWATER, Fla. - Jonathan Singleton leaned over the railing on the visitors dugout at Bright House Field and stared. The Phillies were taking batting practice in the stadium where Singleton began his promising 2011 season as a Clearwater Thresher. "Hey, J!" John Mayberry Jr. yelled as he ran past. "How you doing?" Singleton said. By September, Singleton had turned 20, and he was a member of the Houston Astros organization. The former Phillies top prospect, traded for Hunter Pence last July, is enjoying life in an organization emphasizing youth.
March 3, 2012 |
One of the first congressional candidates to emerge from the Occupy Wall Street movement withdrew from the Democratic primary ballot Friday but pledged to run a write-in campaign. Facing a legal challenge to his nominating petitions, Nate Kleinman said he would rather spend the next two months building support at the polls than battling over signatures in court. "There's about seven weeks left until this election," he said. "It makes absolutely no sense for me to be going back and forth with them over signatures.
February 23, 2012 |
A breakaway group from the Occupy Wall Street movement is organizing a national assembly in Philadelphia around the Fourth of July to draft a petition for "redress of grievances. " The assembly would not be an Occupy-style event, Michael S. Pollok, a New York lawyer and organizer, said Wednesday. The group would meet in a "state of the art" facility near Independence Hall as opposed to occupying a public space, he said. Also, the delegates who attend must be elected, a major shift from how Occupy Wall Street or Philadelphia operated.
February 7, 2012
I APPRECIATE Stu Bykofsky's anger and frustration at the apparent hypocrisy of the Boycott, Divest and Sanctions movement against Israeli interests. One must seriously question whether this group and its aims are in anyone's best interests. Still, his argument is flawed at a number of levels. First, the fact that there have been a few Arab citizens like Miss Israel Rana Raslan, of Haifa, who have risen above their second-class status does not belie the fact that the Arab citizens of Israel do not enjoy "full rights" equal to those of their fellow Jews as he suggests.