January 14, 2015 |
The Philadelphia Orchestra last toured Europe in 2011 in deeply uncertain circumstances: The orchestra was still in bankruptcy and entering contract negotiations amid fears about the future. Yannick Nézet-Séguin had been appointed, but would not become music director until the next year. The orchestra was led by chief conductor Charles Dutoit. In contrast, the 2015 Tour of Europe, announced Tuesday, promises to be a consolidation of more successful times for the Philadelphia Orchestra, and under the leadership of Nézet-Séguin, already a well-known figure there.
December 24, 2014 |
Stefan Brock Kozinski, 61, formerly of Chadds Ford, an internationally known composer, conductor and musician, died this month in his apartment in Bremen, Germany. The German medical examiner said he was found unresponsive in his bed by a friend on Thursday, Dec. 11. The cause of death was a heart attack. The exact time of his death was unclear. A native of Wilmington, Mr. Kozinski lived in many places throughout his music career - Chadds Ford, New York City, Spokane, Wash., and Germany.
December 22, 2014 |
William Stokking, 81, retired principal cellist of the Philadelphia Orchestra and former faculty member of the Curtis Institute, died Sunday, Dec. 14, at a Moorestown nursing home of complications from a stroke. Esteemed for his refined tone, Mr. Stokking joined the orchestra in 1960 and played for six years under Eugene Ormandy before departing to play as principal with the Chamber Symphony of Philadelphia. Upon the chamber group's demise, he played for the Boston Philharmonic and as principal with the Cleveland Orchestra under George Szell before returning to the Philadelphia Orchestra in 1973.
December 15, 2014 |
VINELAND, N.J. - You could call the Bay-Atlantic Symphony the unlikeliest of orchestras. Operating in deep South Jersey - amid some of most economically depressed and rural parts of the state - the symphony has served a range of audiences for three decades, even though it has no performance home base. The orchestra offers an ambitious calendar of 12 symphonic programs annually, performed by a cadre of musicians hired from throughout the Philadelphia, New York, and Baltimore regions on a "per service" basis.
December 15, 2014 |
Remember the era, way back in the 20th century, when the classical-music world seemed to proceed with majestic sameness? When Eugene Ormandy and the Fabulous Philadelphians seemed to go on forever, one Scheherazade at a time? Such stability and artistic centralization are certainly long gone. But in their place? Much fascinating new music - in odd and interesting places. Best? Worst? All one can really discuss are milestones. And here are some from 2014: Concertos that change your life.
November 27, 2014 |
The Philadelphia Orchestra will perform a free concert Tuesday at the Kimmel Center as part of the nationwide GivingTuesday campaign that seeks charitable contributions. Seating is general admission, and tickets may be reserved beginning at 8 a.m. Tuesday, at www.philorch.org . There will be holiday music in Commonwealth Plaza starting at 6 p.m., with opportunities to conduct the players. The Verizon Hall doors open at 7, and the 75-minute concert begins at 7:30. Music director Yannick Nézet-Séguin will lead the ensemble in seasonal favorites from Tchaikovsky, Leroy Anderson, and Brahms, plus works by Pulitzer Prize-winning Philadelphia composer Jennifer Higdon and others.
November 19, 2014 |
Percussion guru Alan Abel was the subject of what had to be the loudest 85th birthday concert in Philadelphia history on Sunday. But had it not been a bang-up occasion, something would have been seriously wrong. Indeed, the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society was out of its usual league at the Perelman Theater with this 21/2-hour lovefest of Abel's percussion disciples, ending with a battery of 12 in a Rolando Morales-Matos drumming showdown incongruously titled The Little Rhumba . All had their individual moments, and, as we know, once percussionists hit a groove, you never know when they'll stop - even Abel, whose contribution was on cowbell.
November 16, 2014 |
The fashion world has long popularized clothes that appear to be turned inside out. Why shouldn't the Philadelphia Orchestra do its own version of that every so often? How could that work? Dvorák's Symphony No. 8 was so significantly reimagined by guest conductor Jakub Hruša that you'd think the prevailing, mellifluous tradition of Wolfgang Sawallisch never existed. The music was a rougher ride but full of incident. Orchestral sonorities that are normally string-dominated shared the sound picture more equally with brass and winds.
November 11, 2014 |
China's global economic expansion has been slow to include a matching rise in cultural institutions among its exports, but Friday brought a major step toward changing that when a youthful orchestra from Beijing played an internationally televised concert at the Kimmel Center. The concert by the NCPA Orchestra had special resonance here, because the Philadelphia Orchestra played in 1973 in a nation that had once put its musicians in coal mines and closed universities and conservatories but was cautiously peering over its cultural wall.
November 8, 2014 |
Philip Scott Ward, 69, of Lansdale, a longtime television director, died Wednesday, Oct. 22, of brain cancer at his home. Born in Spencer, W.Va., he graduated from Spencer High School. Mr. Ward began his career in 1960 as a disc jockey in a small radio station in Spencer, where he worked with the country music singer and songwriter Tom T. Hall. While attending Marshall University in Huntington, W. Va., Mr. Ward was employed by WSAZ-TV in various positions before becoming a television director.