May 8, 2013 |
The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia doesn't end its season with a bang, but with the sort of alternative mandate in which Mozart's less-often-played Symphony No. 29 is an appropriate grand finale. Other conductors might have questioned that at Monday's concert in the Kimmel Center's Perelman Theater: The 18-year-old Mozart was turning out consistently pleasant music at that time, but not mature masterpieces. Still, music director Dirk Brossé told the audience that it rates high among his favorites, so one had to trust that he hears something others miss.
May 6, 2013 |
A concert or a sports victory? The Philadelphia Orchestra performance on Friday felt like the latter at the close of the Mahler Symphony No. 1 , with each of the principal players being cheered like Olympic gold-medal winners, the biggest applause being reserved for music director Yannick Nézet-Séguin. Though Bach's St. Matthew Passion was his greatest artistic feat so far this season, this Mahler concert was perhaps Nézet-Séguin's biggest audience success - in a symphony that can more or less play itself, but is hardly fail-safe.
May 5, 2013 |
A concert or a sports victory? The Philadelphia Orchestra performance on Friday felt like the latter at the close of the Mahler Symphony No. 1 , with each of the principal players being cheered, spontaneously and vociferously, like Olympic gold medal winners, the biggest applause being reserved for music director Yannick Nezet-Seguin. Though Bach's St. Matthew Passion was his greatest artistic feat so far this season, this Mahler concert was perhaps his biggest audience success - in a symphony that can more or less play itself, but is hardly fail safe.
April 23, 2013 |
It was a rare sight. Not long ago, a woman stood at the entrance to the Kimmel Center before a sold-out Philadelphia Orchestra concert, holding a sign: "Need one ticket. " A few weeks earlier, a couple called the box office the day after a performance of The Rite of Spring and made a $10,000 gift. Points of contact like these represent the kind of passion the orchestra must stoke if it is to survive, yet they remain all too infrequent. More than nine months out of bankruptcy, it's still a struggle to get past living hand-to-mouth.
April 20, 2013 |
The Philadelphia Orchestra's J.S. Bach immersion continues at Verizon Hall as earnestly as in the recent St. Matthew Passion , and with greater density and outward playfulness. Brandenburg Concertos Nos. 1-4 plus Orchestral Suite No. 3 are works in which Bach brought the concerto-for-orchestra form to an apex that nobody else caught up with for centuries. And those pieces kept the orchestra busier than Mahler's Symphony No. 8 on Thursday, with numerous key players facing strenuous solo turns.
April 15, 2013 |
Cartoons, sports, video games, Jerry Garcia, the Great American Songbook: Orchestra season at the Mann Center continues to track ever more toward pop culture. This summer's orchestra roster of artists and repertoire being imported by the Fairmount Park presenter aims to bring new listeners to classical music by way of just about anything else. "It is a tactical approach to building audiences," said Mann president and CEO Catherine M. Cahill. "We believe if we can get families into the Mann to experience what we have, it will get people to consider coming back and trying something else.
April 12, 2013 |
The Philadelphia Orchestra is to announce Thursday that it will return to China May 31 to June 9, marking the 40th anniversary of its groundbreaking 1973 debut there with an agenda that goes well beyond concerts. The orchestra's second China residency will feature master classes, workshops, pop-up performances in public places, hospitals and schools, as well as playing alongside local orchestras in Hangzhou, Shanghai, Beijing, and Macao. Venues to be visited vary from the Picun Migrant Worker's Village Elementary School in Beijing to the Venetian, Macao's huge recreational complex where the orchestra's two concerts under frequent guest Donald Runnicles will compete with 3,400 slot machines.
April 11, 2013 |
Nolan Miller, 73, of Haddonfield, whose ultrarefined sound led the legendarily blended French horn section of the Philadelphia Orchestra for several decades, died Sunday, April 7, at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. He had been battling leukemia and died of a stroke, said his wife, Marjorie. Mr. Miller joined the orchestra as coprincipal horn upon graduation from the Curtis Institute of Music in 1965 and assumed the principal horn spot in the 1978-79 season. He retired from the orchestra after four decades, in 2005.
March 31, 2013 |
How could such great music have been absent from the Philadelphia Orchestra for so long? The answer was clear by the end of Thursday's sold-out, three-hour-plus St. Matthew Passion , the first performance of the work by the orchestra in 28 years: For all the effort required to perform J.S. Bach's masterpiece, the sublime may always be in view but never consistently achieved. Example: Though the presentation at Verizon Hall had surtitles, a handsome, minimal staging, first-class singers, and the uncut piece delivered in music director Yannick Nézet-Séguin's reverent tempos, the performance wasn't all it could be until the second half.
March 26, 2013 |
Next season's previously announced performance of Salome , Richard Strauss' erotically charged biblical opera after Oscar Wilde's play, will be a co-production of Opera Philadelphia and Philadelphia Orchestra, the two groups announced Monday. It is the first in a series of anticipated collaborations between the organizations, though leaders could not say exactly where the sharing of resources might lead. "This one's all about getting something started," said Opera Philadelphia general director David B. Devan.