April 11, 2013 |
Nolan Miller, 73, of Haddonfield, whose ultrarefined sound led the legendarily blended French horn section of the Philadelphia Orchestra for several decades, died Sunday, April 7, at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. He had been battling leukemia and died of a stroke, said his wife, Marjorie. Mr. Miller joined the orchestra as coprincipal horn upon graduation from the Curtis Institute of Music in 1965 and assumed the principal horn spot in the 1978-79 season. He retired from the orchestra after four decades, in 2005.
May 14, 2012 |
Like several previous Philadelphia Orchestra conductors, Charles Dutoit appears to be leaving a bit wounded. After visiting for more than 30 years — as guest conductor, director of the orchestra's two summer seasons, and finally as chief conductor of the regular subscription concerts — Dutoit, who is 75, this week concludes a four-year appointment that encompassed the most troubled period of the institution's history. He'll no doubt return as a guest, though not for awhile, as he maintains a respectful distance while Yannick Nézet-Séguin launches his own music-director tenure in the fall.
November 19, 2011 |
There's no getting around the fact that what makes the Philadelphia Orchestra the Philadelphia Orchestra is a certain skillful manipulation of sound. And why would you want to get around it? This trademark sonority, much remarked on over the years, is a dear asset. With change in the air at the orchestra and so much at stake, this seems a good moment for an identity verification. "There is no such thing as the Philadelphia sound. The sound is the sound of the conductor," Eugene Ormandy reportedly once said.
April 7, 2011 |
SALLY A. HURTT had a soft spot for children. As a foster mother, she took in more than 30 children, many of them special-needs youngsters who required the special kind of love and devotion that Sally could give them. And she was something of a second mother to the four teenage Sledge sisters and toured the world with them as wardrobe mistress when they became the popular R&B and soul singing group called Sister Sledge. Sally Hurtt, a nurse and one-time operator of a catering business to which she imparted the remarkable culinary skills she brought from her native Georgia, died March 31. She was 80 and lived in Southwest Philadelphia.
June 25, 2010
I, too, am excited about the prospect of Yannick Nézet-Séguin's taking over the podium of the Philadelphia Orchestra, but I am distressed that the conductor who put our orchestra on the map - Leopold Stokowski - is so rarely mentioned. When "Stoki" took over the podium in 1912 (at age 30), Philadelphia's orchestra was a stuffy, little-respected organization. He reorganized and energized it and built it into what Rachmaninoff in 1929 called "the finest orchestra the world has ever heard.
June 22, 2010
Naming wunderkind conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin as the Philadelphia Orchestra's eighth music director promises to bring sizzle to the home of the "Philadelphia sound" not seen in decades. The arrival of the 35-year-old Canadian - who during his first visit to the city Friday delighted orchestra patrons, tourists, and baseball fans alike - recalls that of another young maestro, Riccardo Muti. The fact that a then-under-40 Muti took over the conductor's podium a full 30 years ago is a good indication of just how welcome Nézet-Séguin's youthful energy will be - especially when coupled with his veteran conductor's resume.
June 14, 2010 |
In a bold return to eras of youthful leadership, the Philadelphia Orchestra has chosen to be led by an emerging - though much sought-after - conductor. Yannick Nézet-Séguin, a 35-year-old Canadian whose starry orchestra and opera career is much in the ascent, is set to become Philadelphia's eighth music director in 2012. At that time, chief conductor Charles Dutoit will take the title of conductor laureate. The orchestra's board was expected to approve the appointment Monday.
April 10, 2010 |
The Philadelphia Orchestra's spring tour of Asia is making itself felt in the coming Kimmel Center concert weeks, as chief conductor Charles Dutoit blows dust off repertoire that's going on the road, with Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring and Debussy's La Mer making welcome returns on Friday. Performances were a significant step away from a caliber appropriate to Tokyo's Suntory Hall (or, for that matter, Carnegie Hall, where the program is repeated on Tuesday), though Dutoit's authority with this music was apparent in any number of respects.
March 17, 2010 |
Thomas S. Steele, 69, formerly of Cherry Hill, a mastering engineer who helped create "Philadelphia Sound" recordings, died of complications from heart surgery March 6 at Naples Community Hospital in Naples, Fla. Mr. Steele was cofounder of Frankford/Wayne Mastering. Before the advent of CDs, mastering labs transferred magnetic tapes from recording studios onto acetate discs. "It was the final step between the recording studio and the pressing plant," said Joe Tarsia, a retired recording engineer who owned Sigma Sound Studios in Philadelphia.
October 4, 2008 |
In some cities - Los Angeles and Chicago come to mind - a music director gets hired after leading a program or two. In more risk-averse Philadelphia, things can take a little longer. Charles Dutoit has conducted the Philadelphia Orchestra more times than anyone else in its history save Eugene Ormandy, president James Undercofler told Thursday night's Verizon Hall audience. In fact, that's not true, an orchestra spokeswoman said yesterday, but Dutoit has visited the orchestra hundreds of times, which earned him the right, finally, for the first time, to take the podium Thursday as the orchestra's new - well, we'll get to that title in a moment.