February 15, 2016
The term Philadelphia Sound conjures for many the lush arrangements and piercing horns of Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff tunes from the 1970s. For fans of classical music, however, the silky strings of the Philadelphia Orchestra define the city's namesake sound. Consider the story of the man who did much to perfect it: Eugene Ormandy. Born Jeno Blau in Budapest, Ormandy (1899-1985) was given a tiny fiddle at age 3. Two years later, he enrolled as a violinist in the Hungarian capital's Royal State Academy of Music before becoming its youngest graduate, at age 14. Ormandy arrived in the United States in 1921, lured by the prospect of a $30,000 concert tour.
December 3, 2015 |
Often in the vanguard of evolving developments in recording, the Philadelphia Orchestra was part of the Google Cultural Institute's performing-arts rollout Tuesday, which involved a 60-institution partnership representing more than 20 countries and also including one of Philadelphia's Renaissance bands, Piffaro. The orchestra is represented by a short 360-degree video of Yannick Nézet-Séguin conducting Grieg's "In the Hall of the Mountain King" from Peer Gynt before a live audience at Carnegie Hall.
October 19, 2015 |
If you divined during the Philadelphia Orchestra's 2011 bankruptcy that the orchestra might emerge unable to raise the money required to fund its traditional size and stature, the new musicians' contract gives form to your fears. In the deal musicians approved Oct. 12, players did not reach the base pay of $131,000 that they had been scheduled to receive several years ago but that was canceled as part of a bankruptcy-era contract. Rather, the new base pay comes to $127,750, or about 3 percent higher than it was. And management agreed only to restore the ensemble's membership a hair, to 96 members from 95, which would leave nine vacancies and, by necessity, the continued use of many substitute players.
June 24, 2015 |
With the recent release of Déjà Vu , his first solo album in 30 years, producer/composer Giorgio Moroder shows that at 75, he's making music as vitally on-point as ever. And this time around, it has a local beat. Rather than rely on the stammering arpeggios and swirling synthetic string sounds of disco - like the 1970s dance-floor hits Moroder and lyricist Pete Bellotte crafted for the late, great Donna Summer - Déjà Vu does the next best thing. It deals in the currency of EDM - disco's slickly dressed grandson - with a theatrical flourish, pumping four-on-the-floor rhythms and vocal contributions from a murderers' row of femme hit-makers Charlie XCX, Kelis, Kylie Minogue, Sia, and Britney Spears.
January 22, 2014 |
WELL, A PAPER BAG full of dollar bills was better than nothing. That was the payment the female Philly singing group The Sweet Delights got for a gig in New Jersey. Even though the group packed the club, the manager said he couldn't pay the women because he didn't make much money. However, he must have thought better of his decision, because he later produced the bag of bills. Gerylane Edgehill, who organized and sang with what by then was a three-woman soul and R&B group from North Philly, told that story to writer Charlie Horner for an article in Echoes of the Past.
January 16, 2014 |
MAUREEN GRAY was about 12 when she wandered into a record store at 60th and Market streets to listen to the music she had heard played on the air by such disc jockeys as Jocko Henderson and Georgie Woods. It was the famous Philadelphia Sound, launched on many a street corner in the '50s and '60s by kids harmonizing on doo-wop songs. Maureen liked to sing along with the records played in the store. But it was no ordinary store. A co-owner was John Madara, a songwriter and promoter.
January 11, 2014 |
Philadelphia Orchestra presents the interactive music program "Sound All Around," for ages 3 to 5, at the Academy of Music on Saturday and Monday. The interactive program introduces audience members to the viola. Assistant principal viola Kerri Ryan and master storyteller Charlotte Blake Alston will guide kids on a learning musical journey. Kids can hear stories along with music and sing while pretending to play the string instrument. They can get a close look at the viola, nurturing their fascination and curiosity.
October 16, 2013 |
Phila. Orchestra's big night The Philadephia Orchestra has details of its concert and ball at the Academy of Music on Jan. 25. The special guest artist is a real surprise! "Who? Who?" you're asking. You'll never guess. "Who? Who?" you're still asking. It's Jill Scott ! Philly's Grammy-winning singer, songsmith, poet, actress, and Philadelphia High School for Girls alumna! Jill's following in some amazing footsteps: Audra McDonald , Jessye Norman , Kiri Te Kanawa , Itzhak Perlman , and Yo-Yo Ma . Music director Yannick Nézet-Séguin said Jill "is at the absolute top. . . . What a thrill to combine her magnificent voice with our orchestra's Philadelphia Sound.
September 13, 2013 |
BOBBY MARTIN was known as the "Grandaddy of R&B and soul," which meant he was the grandaddy of the Philadelphia Sound. Bobby worked with Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff, founders of Philadelphia International Records, to arrange and produce some of the greatest hits of the 1960s and '70s, as well as with some of the legendary musicians of that era. Robert L. "Bobby" Martin died last Friday. He was 82 and had been living in Hollywood, Calif., since 1980. "He was the greatest arranger," Gamble and Huff said in a statement.
July 26, 2013 |
SO YOU think you can sing - or dance, or perform spoken word? Are you bold enough to try out for the Apollo Theater's Amateur Night in New York? The producer of that world-famous talent show will be in Philadelphia tomorrow holding auditions at the Kimmel Center, Broad and Spruce streets, starting at 10 a.m. "We're not just relying on discovering that new superstar. We also want to maintain a great entertainment show," said Marion J. Caffey, the Apollo's Amateur Night producer.