August 20, 2015 |
Frances P. Aulston, 75, founder and executive director of the West Philadelphia Cultural Alliance and a moving force in the preservation of the Paul Robeson House, died Sunday, Aug. 9. Her family declined to release the location and cause of her death. A Philadelphia resident, community leader, and activist, Ms. Aulston was a former research librarian for the Free Library of Philadelphia. In 1984, Ms. Aulston founded the West Philadelphia Cultural Alliance (WPCA) with the help of several local artists.
August 2, 2015 |
It would be understandable if anyone left the Philadelphia Orchestra's second and last free "neighborhood concert" of the season feeling bemused. The point of these concerts, started a decade and half ago, is to bring the orchestra to audiences who don't ordinarily go to it. Holding Thursday night's neighborhood concert in Verizon Hall, the orchestra's home, represented a certain up-is-down logic that perhaps only the orchestra and its sponsors could appreciate. The concert wasn't exactly free, either.
July 17, 2015 |
Trudy Cohen, 83, a photographer and longtime Center City resident, died Wednesday, July 8, at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital of a cerebral hemorrhage. Born in New York City, Mrs. Cohen graduated from Hunter High School there. She attended classes for three years at the University of Richmond in Virginia in 1952. In 1976, after marrying and moving to Philadelphia, Mrs. Cohen completed a bachelor's degree in photography from Moore College of Art and Design. From 1977 to 1994, she was the official photographer for the Opera Company of Philadelphia.
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 8, 2015 |
Although he was one of Philadelphia's ultimate behind-the-scenes musicians, James Holesovsky, 72, who died Saturday, June 27, after an extended illness, was a cellist who could have had the personal glory to which many aspire. Instead, through his personal musical standards and networking skills, he helped maintain the quality of classical music in Philadelphia. A 50-year member of Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, Mr. Holesovsky was the soul of consistency, no matter the performance conditions or repertoire at hand.
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 26, 2015 |
Tchaikovsky was unstoppable at the Philadelphia Orchestra's return Tuesday to the Mann Center for the Performing Arts in the annual 1812 Overture performance with fireworks, though the program was curtailed due to the violent thunderstorm that hit two hours before concert time. After an early-evening power failure, Peco restored the lights - lots of them, along with a trio of new video screens in the rear lawn - although only for a limited time, pending the rebooting necessary for repairs elsewhere in the area.
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.