August 15, 2007 |
In a surprise reversal of what appeared to be a deteriorating relationship between the Philadelphia Orchestra management and outgoing music director Christoph Eschenbach, the orchestra announced late yesterday that Eschenbach will have extended residencies in Philadelphia through the 2009-2010 season. Though Eschenbach's formal tenure as music director concludes at the end of the forthcoming 2007-2008 season, plus a previously announced tour in winter of 2009, he will also spend "multiple weeks with the orchestra conducting projects under discussion," according to a news release.
October 31, 2006 |
Riccardo Muti has canceled a rare return to the podium of the Philadelphia Orchestra. The orchestra's former music director is suffering from severe influenza and informed the orchestra yesterday that he would not conduct his performances this week and next, a spokeswoman said. Neeme J?rvi, the esteemed music director of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, will conduct in Muti's stead Thursday through Saturday. A special concert next Tuesday - for which only half the house was sold - has been canceled, the spokeswoman said.
October 29, 2006 |
So here are the lessons learned by the Philadelphia Orchestra in the wily pursuit of music directors and other acts of senseless hope: You can't impose love on a loveless marriage. If you hire a 70-year-old music director, you might want to work quickly to find his successor. And if your orchestra is not in perpetual music-director search mode, you're living dangerously. The Philadelphia Orchestra's future would be clearer had its immediate past leadership really understood all this six years ago before Christoph Eschenbach was named, 13 years ago when Wolfgang Sawallisch started the job, and at every point since Eugene Ormandy faded from the scene.
October 21, 2006 |
Ending months of speculation, the Philadelphia Orchestra's music director, Christoph Eschenbach, announced yesterday that he will leave his post at the end of the 2007-2008 season, when his contract expires. Eschenbach, only the seventh music director in the orchestra's 106-year history, took over the job three years ago, after a year as music director-designate. "I look upon my past three years as music director of the Philadelphia Orchestra with satisfaction and great pride," said Eschenbach.
October 21, 2006 |
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.
August 30, 2006 |
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.
March 4, 2006 |
New symphonies and concertos have a way of going into hibernation shortly after being born: Christopher Rouse's Flute Concerto, for one, was reasonably interesting as it came and went over its initial round of performances in the mid-1990s. Now, it returns in an era that needs it. The Philadelphia Orchestra premiere on Thursday at the Kimmel Center seemed made for this year, this month, this moment. Influenced by both Gustav Mahler and Led Zeppelin, Rouse writes music full of dark humor, violence, and the quiet before catastrophe - not earthquakes or volcanos, but more terrifying creations that can come only from the human mind.
November 2, 2005 |
James R. "Budd" Ellison, 53, of Wynnefield Heights, longtime music director for singer Patti LaBelle, died of prostate cancer Oct. 26 at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. Mr. Ellison joined LaBelle's band as a 19-year-old musician who had cowritten a song that was eventually recorded by the singer's girl group Labelle. "What Can I Do for You" was on the trio's album Nightbird and was one of several songs cowritten by Mr. Ellison during his 33-year tenure with Patti LaBelle as a composer, arranger, producer and music director.
July 20, 2005 |
Brushing aside the objections of its musicians, management of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra voted yesterday to offer the job of music director to Marin Alsop, who would become the first woman to head a major-league American orchestra. Alsop, 48, has not yet accepted the post. She would not comment, her spokeswoman said. More details are expected today during an announcement in Baltimore. "We believe greatly in Ms. Alsop's leadership and her ability to move us into the next era of excellence," the management said in a statement.
April 28, 2005 |
Peering out onto Broad Street from a poster in front of the Academy of Music, conductor Corrado Rovaris seems too young to be so intense. At almost 40, his face is boyish, his hairline unreceded. But the eyes behind the glasses are penetrating. Now, finishing his first season as the Opera Company of Philadelphia's first-ever music director with the forthcoming Die Fledermaus, Rovaris has already changed the local operatic landscape and isn't stopping now. In a company that had regularly rickety moments only five or so years ago, Rovaris doubled the number of orchestra-only rehearsals from two to four.