November 4, 2014 |
IT'S SAID that some unfortunate people are born with two strikes against them. For Al C. Rinaldi, two strikes would have been great. No baseball analogy could have measured the number of strikes against Al in his childhood. He didn't even know his real name. He thought it was Freddie Nolan. He had been abandoned by his parents and raised by a female neighbor who gave him that name. He grew up in extreme poverty in Scranton. He begged for food at a local deli pretending it was for a nonexistent dog. He used sugar to mask the mold growing on the bread he took from others' garbage.
November 2, 2014 |
Al C. Rinaldi, 77, who rose from poverty to head Jacobs Music, a leading piano retailer with locations around the region, died of gastrointestinal cancer Thursday, Oct. 30, at his home in Mount Laurel. Born Aug. 27, 1937, in Scranton, Mr. Rinaldi grew up believing his name was Freddie Nolan - the name given him by the alcoholic woman down the hall who took him in when his father and mother abandoned him. It was a life of extreme poverty: "Freddie" learned to beg for food at a local deli by asking for scraps for a nonexistent family dog, to use sugar to mask the mold growing on bread taken from others' trash, to cut holes in his shoes to fit his feet, according to a detailed biography prepared for the family.
October 31, 2014 |
At WGLS-FM, my boomer heart delights at the sight of reel-to-reel tape recorders in the studio and vinyl records in the music library. "It's tough to part with this stuff," says Derek Jones, manager of the Rowan University radio station. Amid a sleek array of state-of-the-art digital equipment, "we have turntables in here, too," Jones adds. WGLS went on the air in January 1964, when I was in Western Massachusetts, mesmerized by the Top 40 crackling out of my transistor radio from WTRY-AM in Troy, N.Y. What was then the Glassboro State College station signed on at 89.7 FM with a puny 10-watt signal and a format composed mostly of what was called "easy listening.
October 30, 2014 |
Having received no offers for a takeover, the organization that occupies the Prince Music Theater on Friday terminated its lease with the owners of the building on Chestnut Street just west of Broad Street. American Music Theater Festival, founded in 1984, also intends to dissolve. The future of the building is uncertain. "It's a significant loss if it goes away. If it becomes a drugstore, it would be horrible for the city," said J. Andrew Greenblatt, executive director of the Philadelphia Film Society, one of the theater's most frequent users.
October 28, 2014 |
For three decades, Network for New Music has demonstrated how composers bring order out of random materials to make coherent, often thrilling statements about life and art. But for its 30th-anniversary concert Sunday at the Settlement School, it threw order and coherence to the winds. In a hall packed with composers, Linda Reichert's group presented Made by All and Not by One , a game of chance and wit composed by 30 composers in the fashion of the parlor game Exquisite Corpse.
October 21, 2014 |
A white sign fluttered from a fourth-floor balcony at the Piazza at Schmidts where six young men and women sipped from bottles and red plastic cups, music blaring below. "Yo Wiz," the sign read, calling out to rapper Wiz Khalifa, "After Party Over Here. " The best party in the city on Sunday did, indeed, seem to be at the Under 30 music festival, where Khalifa and others played as part of the Forbes Under 30 Summit. The four-day event, which kicked off with the free concert, is bringing billionaires, venture capitalists, business tycoons, and young entrepreneurs together in Philadelphia through Wednesday.
October 15, 2014 |
BACK IN the 1980s, City Hall workers and others in the vicinity could take their lunches to the nearby Arch Street Presbyterian Church and listen to Esther Wideman at the organ. The once-a-week noon concerts were free and part of Esther's contribution to the cultural life of her adopted city. She was the organist and director of music at the church. Esther's passion for the organ took her all over Europe, where she could listen to the music of famous organs, mostly in ancient churches, and get to play many of them herself.
October 3, 2014 |
WHEN WE first heard Stephon Marbury was starring in a musical in China titled "I Am Marbury," we briefly morphed into Tom McGinnis and let go with a lusty, "Are you kidding me?" The 37-year-old Marbury, it seems, is a megastar in China. Bigger than Jerry Lewis in France or David Hasselhoff in Germany. Heck, there's even a statue of the two-time NBA All-Star outside the MasterCard Center in Beijing where he led the Ducks to the Chinese Basketball Association title in March. The musical, which opened last night in Beijing and runs 11 days, is sold out for the first three shows.
October 1, 2014 |
The classical music world is full of stories about great musicians suffering heart attacks in mid-performance but soldiering on because the repertoire was so great they didn't want to stop. Nothing of that sort was going to happen Sunday at First Unitarian Church of Philadelphia when Richard Reed Parry, best known as a member of the Arcade Fire collective, arrived on a tour supporting his first solo album, Music for Heart and Breath . Released by the classical label Deutsche Grammophon, the disc (or discs if purchased on LP set)
September 28, 2014 |
Next month, Forbes magazine is putting on its first Under 30 Summit in Philadelphia, a confab aimed at young tech entrepreneurs. The event runs Oct. 19 to 22. It aims to be a sort of mini-SXSW, with panel discussions, interview sessions, and Shark Tank -style competitions all day long at the Convention Center Oct. 20 and 21. All manner of boldface names will be in town: Tinder cofounder Sean Rad; Shake Shack restaurateur Danny Meyer; America...