December 22, 2015
Kurt Masur, 88, a renowned conductor who led the New York Philharmonic for 11 years and played a crucial peacemaking role in the weeks before the collapse of communism and the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, died Saturday at a hospital in Greenwich, Conn. He had complications from Parkinson's disease, the New York Philharmonic said in a statement. Mr. Masur spent much of his career in communist-controlled East Germany, gaining international renown as music director of Leipzig's Gewandhaus Orchestra.
September 22, 2015 |
Musicians and management of the Philadelphia Orchestra have agreed to talk and play as negotiations continue over a new labor contract, several sources say. The expiring deal was one of steep cuts crafted in 2011 under supervision of U.S. Bankruptcy Court after the Philadelphia Orchestra Association filed for Chapter 11 reorganization. The pact was to have expired Sept. 13, but both sides agreed to an extension until 12:01 a.m. Sept. 28 - just after a concert and Mass for Pope Francis' visit, for which the orchestra is playing.
December 30, 2014 |
Claude Frank, 89, a pianist much admired for interpretations elegantly perched between penetrating expressivity and rigorous intellectual inquest, died Saturday, Dec. 27, at his home in Manhattan, said his daughter, violinist Pamela Frank. He had suffered from dementia in recent years. Mr. Frank was an influential performer and pedagogue, teaching at Yale University for nearly four decades, and a member of the Curtis Institute of Music faculty since 1988. He made his New York Town Hall debut in 1950 - he had played Times Hall earlier - and, after performing with Leonard Bernstein and the New York Philharmonic in 1959, appeared with nearly every important orchestra in the United States and Europe.
October 19, 2014 |
The Philadelphia Orchestra was on much newish ground Thursday with familiar composer names but not familiar pieces, chief among them that woolly bear of a choral work, the Glagolitic Mass of Leos Janacek. I looked forward to seeing the facial reactions of the listeners around me to a piece so singular in the choral literature that you might not know what hit you. The piece is primitivistic yet modern, devotional yet secular, and so impulsive that even seasoned Janacek lovers are hard-pressed to know what comes next.
June 9, 2014 |
The Philadelphia Orchestra is not what it used to be. And that's excellent news. The faces haven't changed much but the touring demeanor has, from that of the ensemble that walked on water during European summer festivals past to the 2014 version that does whatever it must to manage the wide-reaching, 2 1/2-week tour of Asia that ended Thursday in Taipei, Taiwan. The orchestra's leadership has been rewriting the rules, negotiating China dates themselves in ways that cultivate new sponsors and could net an estimated $1 million-plus.
July 14, 2013 |
NEW YORK - Monkey: Journey to the West , now settling in for nearly a month of hyperphysical, family-friendly performances at Lincoln Center, may signify the arrival of something more momentous than the show's buoyant, picaresque journey suggests: Chinese ticket buyers in the United States. "China is happening on a lot of levels, and it's happening in the arts world," says Nigel Redden, director of the Lincoln Center Festival. But not necessarily with the seriousness that usually characterizes a festival known to host ambitious endeavors by the Royal Shakespeare Company and modernist German operas that others don't touch.
March 6, 2012 |
Ricardo Morales, announced in April as the New York Philharmonic's new principal clarinetist, has resigned the post before even beginning, the Philharmonic acknowledged Monday after a reporter's inquiry. "For family reasons, Mr. Morales has chosen to remain in Philadelphia, where he currently holds the position of principal clarinet with the Philadelphia Orchestra. The New York Philharmonic wishes Mr. Morales well in his future endeavors," a Philharmonic statement said. A Philadelphia Orchestra Association spokeswoman said president Allison B. Vulgamore was unavailable, and the orchestra would offer only a short statement on the matter.
June 24, 2011 |
NEW YORK - The New York Philharmonic is spending the week playing amid giant sunflowers at Lincoln Center - in one of several firsts. How often, for example, do Philharmonic patrons witness a singer devouring a rabbit onstage? The occasion is the Janácek opera The Cunning Little Vixen , in music director Alan Gilbert's last local concert of the season. The performance will be repeated Friday and Saturday. Symphony orchestras have long performed operatic works as special occasions.
May 9, 2011 |
"They could play this piece in their sleep," said a Verizon Hall usher to the critic entering the hall Saturday night for the Philadelphia Orchestra and Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 6 . True enough. But while every financial and organizational aspect of the orchestra's operation undergoes intense scrutiny, there's nothing as educational as this piece, long central to the orchestra's repertoire, for gauging the state of the ensemble. The audience declared the concert a success even before it started, giving guest conductor Kurt Masur a hero's welcome as the venerable former music director of the New York Philharmonic made his slow walk to the podium.
May 29, 2010 |
If ever an opera could cause brain damage, it's Gyorgy Ligeti's Le Grand Macabre. If ever the destruction of gray matter could be utterly pleasurable, it was Thursday at Avery Fisher Hall, when the New York Philharmonic staged this bizarre end-of-the-world comedy - an event that may signify several important cultural turning points. The clangorous, atonal music, which used lots of nonmusical instruments, such as car horns and ringing phones, played to a sold-out house, two thirds of which wasn't regular subscribers.