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Music Director

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NEWS
February 8, 2000 | By Herb Drill, INQUIRER SUBURBAN STAFF
John J. Staub, 69, a retired language teacher and church music director, died Friday at his Levittown home after an illness. He taught English and Spanish in the Bristol Township School District for 30 years and, after retiring from the district, taught Spanish at Holy Ghost Preparatory School in Bensalem for several years. Mr. Staub also was a piano teacher and professional musician. He had been music director and organist at Immaculate Heart of Mary Roman Catholic Church in the Andorra section of Philadelphia and at Queen of the Universe Roman Catholic Church in Levittown, where he was a member.
NEWS
September 11, 2010 | By Sally A. Downey, Inquirer Staff Writer
Hattie Mae Davis Woodall, 83, of Sharon Hill, a retired government contract specialist and church music director, died of lung cancer Saturday, Sept. 4, at Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital in Darby. Mrs. Woodall graduated from John Bartram High School in Southwest Philadelphia and then was a secretary for her father, Leonard Davis, a contractor in Eastwick. In 1951, she joined the civilian staff of the Army Signal Corps in Philadelphia. She became a contract specialist there and later was a contract specialist supervisor at the Defense Supply Center in Philadelphia.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 18, 2010 | By Peter Dobrin INQUIRER MUSIC CRITIC
The Philadelphia Orchestra's Asian tour promises an intimate visit with knowing, loyal fans in Japan, the potential for new friends in South Korea, and high visibility in China. But this time, it also comes as a three-week reminder of everything that's at stake for the institution. Will the new Philadelphia Orchestra still embrace all of Asia, Europe, and South America - not to mention Ann Arbor and Tucson - as its rightful audience, or settle for a more regional presence? Can it recapture its ranking as one of the world's top orchestral ensembles?
NEWS
October 21, 2006 | By Peter Dobrin INQUIRER MUSIC CRITIC
Christoph Eschenbach is pulling down the curtain on his tenure as the Philadelphia Orchestra's music director, the ensemble announced on his behalf yesterday. The German conductor will leave at the end of next season, when his contract expires, making his five years at the orchestra helm its shortest music-director tenure in a century. Eschenbach, at home in Paris, was not willing to talk, his spokeswoman said. She said he was ending his tenure here because he had achieved what he set out to do. Orchestra president James Undercofler elaborated only slightly.
NEWS
February 26, 2003 | By Peter Dobrin INQUIRER MUSIC CRITIC
Wolfgang Sawallisch, during his decade-long tenure, had his say on all things Haydn, Brahms, Schumann and Strauss. Now, with the start of his first season as music director of the Philadelphia Orchestra in September, Christoph Eschenbach will use his 12 weeks on the podium to focus on Olivier Messiaen, the mystical, ornithically enchanted 20th-century French composer, and will launch a multiyear Mahler cycle. The orchestra will once again raise ticket prices. This time, it's Saturday night subscription prices going up, by an average of 10 percent.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 26, 1988 | By Daniel Webster, Inquirer Music Critic
Catherine Comet may not think of herself as a pioneer, but she embodied that role with high publicity earlier this month when the American Symphony Orchestra League met in Chicago. The Parisian-born resident of Penn Valley conducted the Orchestra of Illinois in a concert for league members, who represent orchestras large and small across the country, then stayed to collect major awards for the adventuresome programming she has created with her own orchestra, the Grand Rapids (Mich.
NEWS
August 30, 2006 | By Peter Dobrin INQUIRER MUSIC CRITIC
With conductors' schedules spoken for years in advance, this would be the time to re-sign Christoph Eschenbach to a contract beyond the current one, which expires at the end of the 2007-08 season. But rather than committing to each other, Eschenbach and the orchestra will wait - to gauge the health of the relationship during concerts in Lucerne, London, Berlin and other German cities in the next few days. After the European tour and further discussions, the orchestra and Eschenbach will decide whether to continue together or part ways, said orchestra president James Undercofler.
NEWS
July 8, 1993 | By Valerie Reed, INQUIRER CORRESPONDENT
The search is over. For the last two seasons, guest conductors and questionnaires have been a part of these musicians' lives. Now, all that is behind them with the naming of Rosalind Erwin as music director of the Bucks County Symphony Society. Seven guest conductors have directed the 70 musicians over the last two years. After each performance, the audience, the orchestra and the symphony society's board of directors completed in-depth questionnaires. "We're absolutely, positively delighted with our choice.
NEWS
May 5, 1997 | The Philadelphia Inquirer / CHARLES FOX
Haddonfield Symphony music director and conductor Alan Gilbert (center) takes a bow with soloist Bridgett Hooks (left) and Victoria Livengood during his final performance with the group Saturday night at the Waterfront Entertainment Centre in Camden. Daniel Hege will take over as music director.
LIVING
September 15, 2000 | By Peter Dobrin, INQUIRER MUSIC CRITIC
Austrian conductor Hans Graf will succeed Christoph Eschenbach as music director of the Houston Symphony, the 87-year-old Texas ensemble announced yesterday. Graf, 51, currently music director of the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra and a rather modest presence in the United States, signed a five-year deal beginning with the 2001-02 season. Graf's appointment comes after only a single, two-week visit to the Houston Symphony last March in which he led two programs. He edged out four other contenders, including Roberto Abbado, who has been talked about by some members of the Philadelphia Orchestra as potential music director here.
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NEWS
February 27, 2015 | By Sofiya Ballin, Inquirer Staff Writer
Before the singers embarked on the tour, music director Deke Sharon told them: "This isn't the competition, and these guys are not your competitors. " It was a good reminder for the members of some of the country's top a cappella groups - Voiceplay, Street Corner Symphony, and the Exchange - as they began the Sing-Off Live Tour, which comes Sunday to the Keswick Theatre in Glenside. The three groups had, indeed, competed against one another - on the NBC show The Sing-Off , in which a cappella groups vie to be dubbed the best in the country.
NEWS
January 27, 2015 | By Bonnie L. Cook, Inquirer Staff Writer
Stella Ferrari Conaway, 92, of West Chester, a respected voice teacher and performer, died Thursday, Jan. 8, her 61st wedding anniversary, of Alzheimer's disease at Simpson Meadows, Downingtown. Mrs. Conaway was a trained soprano, and her husband, Wayne Elias Conaway, a trained tenor; the two performed classical music and opera duets up and down the East Coast. The venues were local auditoriums where they often sang to benefit music clubs, he said. She earned academic degrees in music from the Philadelphia Conservatory of Music - now part of the University of the Arts - and joined the faculty of the music department at West Chester University.
NEWS
January 11, 2015 | By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic
Just because Richard Strauss' boisterous tone poem Till Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks often seems to "play itself" doesn't mean that it should arrive on autopilot, as often as it does. In his return to the Philadelphia Orchestra, former music director Christoph Eschenbach didn't allow that to happen, in ways that could restore one's lost faith in the piece. In his Strauss/Schumann program on Thursday at the Kimmel Center, your ears settled into the "once-upon-a-time" theme that opens Strauss' series of musico-dramatic adventures that depict the mythical roguish prankster and show the composer full of guttural humor in what ultimately emerged as his most fractured score.
NEWS
December 24, 2014 | By Bonnie L. Cook, Inquirer Staff Writer
Stefan Brock Kozinski, 61, formerly of Chadds Ford, an internationally known composer, conductor and musician, died this month in his apartment in Bremen, Germany. The German medical examiner said he was found unresponsive in his bed by a friend on Thursday, Dec. 11. The cause of death was a heart attack. The exact time of his death was unclear. A native of Wilmington, Mr. Kozinski lived in many places throughout his music career - Chadds Ford, New York City, Spokane, Wash., and Germany.
NEWS
November 6, 2013 | By Robert Moran, Inquirer Staff Writer
Mayor Nutter, in the midst of a trade mission to the United Kingdom and Israel, announced Monday that the Philadelphia Orchestra will tour Europe in 2015. The orchestra will conclude its tour with two performances in London, Nutter said. The mayor called the orchestra "a vital cultural ambassador for the city, and one that brings tremendous economic development to the city by making the case for doing business in Philadelphia. " Nutter pointed out that the orchestra, with music director Eugene Ormandy, toured Britain in 1949, becoming the first orchestra from America to cross the Atlantic after World War II. The ensemble performed 28 concerts in 27 days in England and Scotland.
NEWS
July 1, 2013 | By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic
For years at a time, classical Philadelphians go missing from the recording industry - and then they return amid a critical mass that couldn't have been predicted. Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia will eventually have 100 or so concerts available for download and streaming. Though the Philadelphia Orchestra's recorded debut with music director Yannick Nézet-Séguin won't be out until fall, he has major discs with his other two orchestras (Montreal Metropolitain and Rotterdam Philharmonic)
ENTERTAINMENT
February 12, 2013 | By Peter Dobrin, Inquirer Music Critic
When Philadelphia Singers founder and music director Michael Korn died in 1991 at age 44, no one could imagine the group continuing. But it did; in fact, his successor, David Hayes, has now been at the helm longer than Korn was. And as Hayes clocks more than two decades in the job, he is asking the board to start envisioning a future without him. Hayes told his singers Monday night that the 2014-15 season will be his last. A search committee for his successor will be formed, a board member said.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 6, 2012 | By Peter Dobrin and INQUIRER CULTURE WRITER
The Philly Pops organization is threatening to sever its relationship with its celebrated pianist and music director, Peter Nero. The Pops two months ago reopened negotiations on Nero's contract, which runs for two more years. After talks failed to produce an agreement, the Pops' board voted Tuesday to file for rejection of Nero's contract in U.S. Bankruptcy Court. "We've been trying to negotiate his contract since April, to no avail, to renegotiate a lower number," said Pops president and chief executive officer Frank Giordano.
NEWS
May 3, 2012 | By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic
Long one of Philadelphia's proudest exports, classical music keeps flowing out beyond the city limits - more than ever, in fact, despite reports that this particular corner of the recording industry is dying or dead. Even longtime Philadelphia Orchestra music director Eugene Ormandy, who is indisputably dead, isn't acting that way, to judge from his presence on the Europe-based Pristine Classical website, which specializes in historical recordings. "He doesn't sell spectacularly as [Arturo]
ENTERTAINMENT
May 1, 2012 | By Howard Shapiro, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
‘And oh, that towering feeling! … that overpowering feeling," sings the character Freddy in My Fair Lady, in one of the greatest songs of the American theater, "On the Street Where You Live. " He's been hopelessly smitten by the transformed flower girl, Eliza Doolittle. Oh, that towering feeling — it's what's missing from the Act II Playhouse production of the classic musical by Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe. Overpowering? I'm afraid not. The theater company has been making much of the fact that it is producing the normally lush and lavish musical on the intimate stage of its 130-seat theater in Ambler.
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