May 16, 2015 |
The Philadelphia Orchestra's dress-to-kill program on its soon-to-start European tour was previewed Wednesday at Verizon Hall in what was also the close of Yannick Nézet-Séguin's third season as music director. The show illustrated his way of taking smart, middling chances and drawing the best from those around him. The world premiere of Nico Muhly's Mixed Messages showed the composer, in his first wholly new piece for the orchestra, eager to wow the audience with all the resources the orchestra offers.
May 7, 2015 |
Philadelphia's All City Orchestra, the School District's little orchestra that could, is joining the ranks of its bigger, better-funded musical brethren and going on a foreign tour. The 115-or-so-member ensemble, drawn from public schools and recent alumni, will play five concerts in Italy in nine days starting June 20. It is the first tour for the program, says Don S. Liuzzi, the Philadelphia Orchestra timpanist who has led the orchestra for a decade. "There is no musical experience quite like taking your collective work on the road and musically giving and sharing with another country or culture.
May 3, 2015 |
Fractious music for fractious times. Such was the milieu of Leonard Bernstein's Mass : A Theatre Piece for Singers, Players and Dancers when it first appeared in 1971, in all of its confrontational clangor, commissioned by Jacqueline Kennedy but quietly boycotted by Richard Nixon. Some 40-plus years later, the piece unfolded at the Kimmel Center on Thursday, performed by the Philadelphia Orchestra for the first time, hours after Baltimore-related protests took place down the street at City Hall.
April 19, 2015 |
What does it mean that the Philadelphia Orchestra is now stocking its subscription series with lighter works it once used to draw crowds to the Mann Center and as musical primers at children's concerts? French conductor Stéphane Denève is here for two weeks of populist programming that began Thursday night in the Kimmel Center's Verizon Hall with a reprise of a Peter and the Wolf film the orchestra brought to the Mann in 2007. The hall was filled with plenty of grown-ups and a scattering of children who, by their general level of happy buzz, indicated approval.
April 13, 2015 |
Classical music will return this summer to the Mann Center, albeit in a diminished state. The Philadelphia Orchestra, which once played an 18-concert series in Fairmount Park, and more recently nine, will perform six this summer - and only three can be considered purely classical. The season will open June 23 with fireworks and Tchaikovsky. Cristian Macelaru will conduct the Romeo and Juliet Fantasy-Overture and, with cellist Hai-Ye Ni, Variations on a Rococo Theme . Nino Rota's score to The Godfather will be performed June 25, as the movie is shown on two new video screens.
April 12, 2015 |
I never know whether to laugh or scream when someone tells me that it was obviously a great concert because the musicians looked so happy. No one on stage looked particularly cheerful Friday afternoon after Paul Goodwin led Beethoven's Overture, "The Consecration of the House" with the Philadelphia Orchestra. Some of the musicians, in fact, looked downright put out. And yet, so terrific was Goodwin's sweep and detailing in the piece that it was a revelation. Musicians are sometimes the last to know how they sound.
April 4, 2015 |
As eternal as Bach's St. Matthew Passion seems, it changes significantly over time, accommodating each new generation's artistic relationship with the music - and then some. What unfolded at Verizon Hall on Wednesday bore surface resemblance to the St. Matthew Passion Yannick Nézet-Séguin conducted with the Philadelphia Orchestra two years ago, with some of the same soloists and a similar stage setup, a cruciform platform creating a runway that divided the orchestra. Yet the experience was much more evolved, building on 2013 and perhaps emboldened by the trend toward externalizing Bach's drama with physical action.
March 19, 2015 |
A memorial service and concert have been set to honor former Philadelphia Orchestra principal cellist William Stokking, 81, of Medford. The service is to be at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, April 12, at the Unitarian Universalist Church, 401 Kings Highway N., Cherry Hill. The concert is to be at 3 p.m. Saturday, May 9, at Field Concert Hall of the Curtis Institute of Music, 1726 Locust St. His wife, Nancy, said both events are open to the public. Mr. Stokking, who retired from the orchestra in 2005, died Sunday, Dec. 14, 2014, at a Moorestown nursing home of complications from a stroke.
March 16, 2015 |
Dorothea Andes, 86, of Villanova and Haverford, an interior designer with a deft touch who used her creative talent to build a company and nurture numerous arts and civic organizations in the city, died Friday, March 6, after a long battle with cancer. Known lovingly to all who knew her as "Dottebob," she was the wife of prominent businessman and civic leader Charles L. Andes, who last served as chief executive officer of the Franklin Mint in Philadelphia. Charles Andes died in 2006.