September 27, 2013 |
Gala openings of the Philadelphia Orchestra are meant to be comfortably glamorous - as opposed to recklessly adventurous. Yet the Kimmel Center audience got both Wednesday - embodied in the violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter - for fund-raising ticket prices as high as $15,000. "Opening-night audience is a little different," said Katherine Blodgett, the orchestra's vice president of communications. "I'm seeing ... a lot of people who support the cultural community at large, as well as those who specifically support the orchestra.
September 19, 2013 |
The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia seemed to be getting the beach sand out of its shoes, figuratively speaking, at its season-opening Beethoven/Mendelssohn program Monday at the Kimmel Center's Perelman Theater - though even a bit of rustiness in the string section didn't keep the concert from reasserting the ensemble's niche. As valuable as a Beethoven symphonic tradition can be, the composer's Symphony No. 4 under music director Dirk Brossé showed the value of upending received wisdom to discover what makes sense today.
September 6, 2013 |
Baseball imagery is periodically imposed on classical music - never comfortably - for the sake of approachability. But with the All-Star Orchestra, whose name riffs on the Major League Baseball All-Star Game, the comparison is apt. Musicians from around the country spent a week at New York City's Manhattan Center last year playing for a series of one-hour televised programs that debut at 12:30 p.m. Sunday on WHYY-TV12. One of the first faces you see in The All-Star Orchestra is Philadelphia Orchestra cellist Robert Cafaro saying, "This is probably the highest-level orchestra I've ever played with.
September 1, 2013 |
THREE FAMILIAR names dominate the fall season - Yannick, Verdi and Balanchine. Yannick Nezet-Seguin will conduct more concerts in his second season as the Philadelphia Orchestra's music director, with three commissions for first-chair players an innovative highlight. Giuseppe Verdi's first success, "Nabucco," will be staged for the first time by Opera Philadelphia, and George Balanchine's magnificent choreography will launch Pennsylvania Ballet's season. By the numbers: the Ballet will be performing in its 50th season, with the Mendelssohn Club celebrating its 140th and the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society presenting a whopping 65 of the world's great recital artists and groups.
August 4, 2013 |
The Philadelphia Orchestra remembered pianist Van Cliburn Thursday at the Mann Center, not with eulogies but with a program to remind listeners of the regenerative power of music. The Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 1 anchored the program, as often happened with Cliburn, but this time the soloist was Vadym Kholodenko, 26, the Ukrainian-born winner of the 14th Van Cliburn Competition, making his local debut and launching a U.S. tour. Cliburn's long history with the Orchestra began in 1958 at the Brussels World's Fair when he played as a national hero after winning the Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow.
July 26, 2013 |
You can rebel against Disney's Fantasia all you want with thoughts like "Oh, that old thing. . . . It's so naive. . . . Please, not those hippos in tutus again . . . . " But when it was there on the big screen Tuesday at the Mann Center in Disney's Fantasia: Live in Concert With the Philadelphia Orchestra , the total package had a way of completely circumventing one's adult defenses. It remains captivating. Of course, the Philadelphia Orchestra enjoys a special ownership: Even though the Chicago Symphony Orchestra played on the soundtrack for the sequel, Fantasia 2000 , Philadelphia had the 1940 original, with Leopold Stokowski towering over Mickey Mouse in their famous handshake.
July 21, 2013 |
'We love coming out here," conductor Cristian Macelaru told the Longwood Gardens audience on Thursday night, "though today, the reception was slightly warmer than we anticipated. " Such levity was welcome in the sweltering heat of the Philadelphia Orchestra's outdoor concert here of Tchaikovsky and Dvorak. Behind it, though, were questions of how the show should go on. On Tuesday, the New York Philharmonic performed only half of its outdoor concert at Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx due to the heat, prompting audience boos and chants of "We want Dvorak," referring to the canceled part of the program.
July 20, 2013 |
PRINCETON - Were the Philadelphia Orchestra paid by the note, its first Princeton concert since 1964 would have rendered a nice financial windfall. Under guest conductor Mark Laycock, the Wednesday concert at Richardson Auditorium went well over the two hours and was dense with Schumann, Brahms, Prokofiev, and others. Even when played at some exhilaratingly brisk tempos, the music kept everyone on edge in the best possible way in what was an extremely generous and highly successful concert - in live, immediate acoustics that were flattering to the Philadelphia Sound.
July 14, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - On Saturday night, an elite orchestra made up of some of the best young musicians in the country, led by conductor Valery Gergiev, will take the stage at the Kennedy Center Concert Hall in Washington. It's not the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra. Nor is it the orchestra that was just honed at the National Orchestral Institute, held annually at the University of Maryland. It isn't the New World Symphony. No, this one-of-a-kind youth orchestra is called the National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America; it was founded by Carnegie Hall, and it's in its maiden season.
July 5, 2013 |
HUGH F. WALSH Jr. was a man famous for his patience and composure - even when the roof fell in. Well, the roof of the Academy of Music, of which he was the manager for more than three decades, didn't exactly fall in. But it threatened to. It was March 31, 1989, when engineers discovered a break in a timber in the center truss spanning the auditorium. A Philadelphia Orchestra concert had to be halted at intermission, and, for the next 16 days while repairs were made, events that had been scheduled had to be moved to other venues.