July 22, 2015 |
The personality of the screen composer is often a baffling mystery. From André Previn to John Williams to Howard Shore, the music might be dashingly sexy, inspired with fevered religiosity, or shrouded in enigmas - and completely unlike the composers who created it. The amiable, low-key Shore wouldn't seem to fit in with the myth-steeped screen characters for whom he has so memorably written in the Lord of the Rings series. That will be celebrated in a special concert screening of the film The Fellowship of the Ring , accompanied live by the Philadelphia Orchestra and Mendelssohn Club, at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the Mann Center for the Performing Arts.
July 18, 2015 |
Seth MacFarlane is known for his vocal prowess, especially when it takes the form of an intelligent talking dog, a pot-smoking bear, or an evil baby. But MacFarlane, creator and voice of many of the characters on Family Guy and American Dad , and director and star of this summer's Ted 2 , has a hobby: singing selections from the Great American Songbook. On Saturday, MacFarlane will be joined by the Baltimore Symphony to sing his favorite standards. He's coming straight off his press tour for Ted 2 . In August comes Blunt Talk , the new Starz series he executive produced, written by Jonathan Ames (HBO's Bored to Death )
July 11, 2015 |
In an extension of its already numerous outreach activities, the Philadelphia Orchestra announced a new partnership Thursday with Carnegie Hall's second youth orchestra, to be formed in 2016. Having already formed the National Youth Orchestra of the USA (NYO-USA) in 2013 for musicians ages 16 to 19, Carnegie Hall is now founding the 80-piece NYO2 for students 14 to 17 who "have been traditionally underserved by local music programs," according to a statement it released. As many as "several dozen" Philadelphia musicians will act as both as coaches and side-by-side players, said Philadelphia Orchestra president and CEO Allison Vulgamore.
July 7, 2015 |
The Philadelphia Orchestra, which knows the way to London and Vienna, could use a little help these days finding the neighborhoods of the city in which it lives. In 15 years, the orchestra's wonderful free neighborhood concert series has brought it to North Philadelphia, the Navy Yard, Drexel Hill, and elsewhere. This year, the series consists of two concerts, and you might notice that the next one, July 30, has the intrepid Philadelphians venturing all the way to, well, their usual perch in Verizon Hall.
June 30, 2015 |
The hard-core classical lover isn't exactly settling when he goes to hear an entire evening of Gershwin. As a melodist, Gershwin is right up there with Schubert. It is especially true that when orchestrated, and orchestrated well, his songs strike a particular vein in the American spirit that is more breathlessly optimistic than Irving Berlin, more urbane than Copland, and yet retains its sincerity to the tender core. The Philadelphia Orchestra and conductor Cristian Macelaru could not have picked a better banner for these ideals than the opener to Friday night's concert at the Mann Center.
June 28, 2015 |
It was an offer you couldn't refuse: a classic film, a great score, a great classical orchestra. There was much to like about the Philadelphia Orchestra's Thursday-night performance at the Mann Center of Nino Rota's score beneath a vivid screen showing The Godfather . There is also something of a feeling of treading water on these movie nights. In terms of developing audiences for classical music, the trend of pairing live orchestras with film likely will have little to show for it in the end. Still, it feels like justice to those of us who believe that as much art lies in that quivering line off to the side of the celluloid as in the main frame.
June 25, 2015 |
ROME - Finding an opening act for the pope is no easy task. Organizers of Pope Francis' visit to Philadelphia announced Tuesday that the renowned Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli and the Colombian pop star Juanes, along with the Philadelphia Orchestra, will headline the Saturday free concert on the eve of Pope Francis' Mass on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in September. The pope - and as many as 1.5 million people - are expected to attend the Festival of Families performance on the last night of the World Meeting of Families, the Catholic Church's huge faith-and-families congress that week.
June 24, 2015 |
HE WAS A South Philly kid who made good. Joseph de Pasquale set new standards for the viola, playing for the Boston Symphony and, more famously, for the Philadelphia Orchestra in a career of performing and teaching that began at age 15 and ended with his retirement in 1996. He died yesterday at the age of 95. He lived in Merion Station. Joseph and his brothers, three of whom would comprise the world-renowned De Pasquale String Quartet, were born in South Philadelphia with the sound of classical music ringing in their heads.
June 8, 2015 |
LONDON - The Philadelphia Orchestra's Europe 2015 tour can't be just about long ovations, great reviews, and full houses, because few if any tours are going to have those consistently. In Amsterdam on Thursday, Nico Muhly's new Mixed Messages got a chilly reception. In Berlin on May 26, music director Yannick Nézet-Séguin "whirled about but clarified nothing" in Rachmaninoff's Symphony No. 3 , according to Ulrich Amling in Der Tagesspiegel. And at London's Royal Festival Hall on Friday, the first of two concerts there was only 60 percent full.
June 6, 2015 |
AMSTERDAM - With its six tons of equipment, the Philadelphia Orchestra arrived for its Amsterdam concert on Thursday with success or failure dependent on one key person: not any musician, but an anonymous truck driver who maneuvered through streets the size of bike lanes to deliver the instruments to one of Europe's most majestic but problematic halls, the Royal Concertgebouw. "If Yannick [Nézet-Séguin] couldn't conduct the concert, Lio Kuokman would fill in. If a player gets sick, we have alternates.