April 3, 2005 |
After weeks of tumult and speculation, former Philadelphia Orchestra music director Riccardo Muti yesterday ended his 19-year tenure at one of the world's most famous opera houses, La Scala in Milan, Italy. In doing so, the company's music director admitted that he had no choice in the face of a no-confidence vote by La Scala's musicians and a pledge to strike on the opening night of each production this season. "The hostility manifested in such a coarse way by persons with whom I have worked for almost 20 years makes it really impossible to carry on with a relationship of collaboration, which ought to be based on harmony and trust," Muti said in a statement.
April 5, 2004 |
Coinciding with its upcoming 30th season, the Opera Company of Philadelphia has chosen its first-ever music director. Italian-born Corrado Rovaris, 38, who has conducted four operas here in the last five seasons, has been signed to a three-year contract. Three of those operas were staged by the company's producing artistic director Robert Driver, who saw the advantages in considering Rovaris as partner in a deeper working relationship. The assignment brings the company a position of greater prestige in the operatic community.
January 29, 2004 |
Pianist and conductor Ignat Solzhenitsyn, who has acted as principal conductor of the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia since 1998, will take over the post of music director next season. Solzhenitsyn becomes only the second music director in the ensemble's 39-year history, taking over from founder Marc Mostovoy, who will serve as senior adviser to the orchestra. "I am honored by the Chamber Orchestra board's confidence in me," Solzhenitsyn said yesterday. "We are united in our aim to strengthen our position as a world-class chamber orchestra, and I am excited about taking on the additional responsibilities of music director as we strive toward that goal.
December 7, 2003 |
About a dozen years ago, Tom Lloyd left his job as vice president of a brokerage firm in New York and returned to his true calling. "Music needed to be my life's work. Life seemed not right without it," said the artistic director of the 90-voice Bucks County Choral Society. When he was younger, he had studied as a bassoonist at Oberlin College Conservatory of Music and earned a master's degree in voice and opera from the Yale School of Music. In between, he earned a master's degree in religion from Yale Divinity School.
October 14, 2003 |
DURING HIS first four weeks as the Philadelphia Orchestra's new music director, Christoph Eschenbach was in motion nonstop, with whirlwind tours around the city, speaking engagements, meetings with board members and musicians' groups, planning sessions and interviews. These activities were packed around his primary job: rehearsing and conducting four challenging, imaginative and brilliant weekend programs. As an encore before leaving town, he even played a fiendish Messaien two-piano piece at Sunday's chamber music concert.
July 30, 2003 |
Joseph D. Parsells, 78, of Springfield, a music director, organist and teacher, died Sunday of complications from a stroke at Bryn Mawr Terrace. For more than 26 years, Mr. Parsells was music director at St. Matthew Lutheran Church in Springfield, Delaware County. His wife, Irene Judge Parsells, said he supervised as many as six choirs at the church, including a bell choir and a cherub choir. He also taught organ and music theory to seminarians at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Wynnewood for 20 years and taught voice, piano and organ to generations of students in his home.
March 23, 2003 |
The Delaware Symphony Orchestra has engaged a 34-year-old Juilliard graduate and scion of a prominent musical family as its next music director. David Amado was named Thursday to replace Stephen Gunzenhauser, whose contract was not renewed after it ran out in June. Amado, currently associate conductor of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, was born and raised in Merion. Amado said that while his core strength is 19th-century German repertoire, he was also looking forward to programming new music, as well as lesser-known works of the past.
March 9, 2003 |
She certainly didn't mean to do it, but Linda Hammond took the traditional way of wishing a thespian luck - Break a leg - literally. In January, the Lenape High School English teacher, who has directed all of the school's annual spring musicals since the productions started in 1982, fell down the cellar steps of her Runnemede home and broke her right leg. But that hasn't slowed Hammond, 52, whose latest show, Bye Bye Birdie, continues Thursday...
February 26, 2003 |
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.
January 27, 2002 |
With all of the bravado heard during the opening of the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts - "Move over, Lincoln Center!" - the first full year of programming by the center's most illustrious tenant, the Philadelphia Orchestra, suggests just how much "moving over" may happen. When you look at what's in store for the 2002-03 season, you see that the Philadelphia Orchestra's programming has variety and freshness not found in the New York Philharmonic's at Lincoln Center, and with more promising implications for future seasons.