August 11, 2016 |
Temple Painter, 83, who earned the moniker "Mr. Harpsichord of Philadelphia" for his performances with the Philadelphia Orchestra and Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, died Saturday, Aug. 6, at Hahnemann Hospital of cancer-related illness. "He was a kind, gentle person with a tremendous musical gift," said his longtime friend and colleague, the composer Harold Boatrite. "He would play a concerto with one group and get in a cab to the next venue to play a different concerto with another group.
May 22, 2016
Grand memorial. One of the more ambitious projects in the final seasons of the Philadelphia Singers under David Hayes was the 1958 Randall Thompson Requiem, a recording of which, made a year before the 2015 disbanding, is just out now on the Naxos label. This unaccompanied work for double choir has a freewheeling range of texts, traditional and otherwise, with music that certainly defies Thompson's image as a feet-on-the-ground Aaron Copland-era composer. At times, you wonder what Thompson was thinking by writing some of the more animated (and hard to tune)
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.
May 20, 2015 |
No commemorative speeches. No plaques. No tear jerking. Artistic director David Hayes barely announced the encore at the farewell concert of the Philadelphia Singers, going out of business after 43 years, but let the occasion speak with music, the best performance coming last - Rachmaninoff's Vespers , the "Rejoice O Virgin" section. Maybe Hayes was focusing his energy, having survived last week's Amtrak derailment in reportedly functional though bruised form, which had him walking on and off stage with care.
May 11, 2015 |
When it comes to insuring a healthy future for arts and culture in Philadelphia, does it really matter who becomes the next mayor? The answer is important because, like a prospector who discovers a gold mine then watches others pull riches from it, the Philadelphia arts and culture community has been looking around and wondering when its turn will come. Center City is a boomtown, its vibrant street life and desirable real estate in large part a consequence of arts pioneers taking a chance on new facilities and expanded missions more than two decades ago. Yet even as the city's riches have grown, support for arts and culture groups has not kept pace.
March 31, 2015 |
Can something be unprecedented without being radical? Even in a town that, musically speaking, has seen a bit of everything? Such was the weekend's "Myths and Magic" program by the Philadelphia Singers that featured two genre-fusing works from different eras that seemed to belong together - and perhaps no place else. Gian Carlo Menotti's all-but-forgotten neo-madrigal work The Unicorn, the Gorgon, and the Manticore stood well alongside the Jake Heggie/Gene Scheer choral opera The Radio Hour (heard here in its East Coast premiere)
March 27, 2015 |
Though the Philadelphia Singers were never about to depart quietly in this, their final season, their East Coast premiere of the Jake Heggie choral opera The Radio Hour has turned out to be far more than anybody bargained for. "It is an opera," notes Heggie, even though the main character - a woman on the verge of suicide - never speaks. The chorus is split in two, one exploring the contents of the protagonist's head and the other depicting the advice she's getting from . . . could it really be the radio?
January 26, 2015 |
The guard is changing. After 27 years, Alan Harler is stepping down from the Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia, but not without first conducting Bach's St. Matthew Passion . Also departing after Year 27 is Orchestra 2001's founder and director James Freeman, who will do what he does best - George Crumb - in an 85th-birthday tribute to the great composer whose works he has so often launched. David Hayes seems too young to have been with the Philadelphia Singers for 25 years, but it's true, and he announced his departure before the group said that this season would be its last as well.
January 11, 2015 |
Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia has named its next artistic director and principal director: Paul Rardin, only the 13th leader in the choir's 141-year history. Rardin, 49, will keep the job as director of choral activities at Temple University he began in 2011, and starts his initial two-year Mendelssohn contract July 1. Except for a 45-minute rehearsal as part of the interview process, Rardin has never before conducted the 130-voice Mendelssohn choir - his first outing won't be until fall - but says that having grown up in the area (Germantown and East Mount Airy)