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NEWS
October 28, 1997 | By Lesley Valdes, INQUIRER MUSIC CRITIC
Vladimir "Billy" Sokoloff, pianist and senior member of the Curtis Institute faculty, died yesterday morning after a long illness. He was 84. Dr. Sokoloff was known for his artistry as a chamber music player. At the Curtis, he taught many hundreds the finer points of musical partnership. Beginning in his student days, he had partnered with the greats - violinist Efrem Zimbalist, soprano Marcella Sembrich, violist William Primrose and cellist Emanuel Feuermann He counted Philadelphia Orchestra principals as colleagues and chamber partners, including flutist William Kincaid and oboist Marcel Tabuteau.
NEWS
November 14, 2002 | By David Patrick Stearns INQUIRER MUSIC CRITIC
Don't look for Norwegian pianist Leif Ove Andsnes at tonight's Philadelphia Orchestra concert at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts. Due to illness, he canceled his Thursday-through-Saturday concerts, where he was to perform Bartok's Piano Concerto No. 2. Efforts were made to replace him with the 20-year-old Chinese pianist Yundi Li, who couldn't be released from concert commitments in Paris. However, the Philadelphia Orchestra is close to confirming what will be Li's U.S. orchestral debut, for July 2003 at the Mann Center for the Performing Arts.
NEWS
March 31, 2003 | By Kevin L. Carter FOR THE INQUIRER
When it comes to Peter Cincotti, the wunderkind who played Penn's Annenberg Hall with his quartet Saturday night, the biggest question is this: Can we believe the hype? The answer: Yes and no. The easy answer would be to say that Cincotti is everything we've been led to believe by the latter-day Tin Pan Alley publicity machine. Yes, he is, as a musician, mature beyond his years. He is a maddeningly exacting pianist, a true pro and craftsman who has mastered the styles of those who preceded him. As a vocalist, he is far less seasoned.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 6, 1994 | By Daniel Webster, INQUIRER MUSIC CRITIC
Soprano Benita Valente and pianist Cynthia Raim have been performing Spanish programs on tour, and they extracted four unusual samples from their repertoire for a recital Sunday at the Convention Center. The songs were from Cancionero de Pedrell by Roberto Gerhard, the Swiss- born composer who studied in Barcelona and pulled on Catalonian identity like a sweater. Three of the songs were in Catalan; one was in Spanish, and all featured the composer's approach of enlarging rhythms as the songs develop.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 24, 1994 | By Ken Keuffel Jr., FOR THE INQUIRER
A lot of hype surrounded pianist Sandrine Erdely-Sayo's American premiere of Juan-Carlos Sedero's Lyrical Suite on Sunday at the Ethical Society. Most of it was unjustified. The French-born Erdely-Sayo, who in 1990 came to Philadelphia to study at the University of the Arts, was one of several pianists who received the Argentine composer's seven-section score. The taped performance she sent back to the composer so impressed him that he chose her to give the world premiere last summer in France.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 14, 1995 | By Peter Dobrin, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
In classical music, where a strong-willed personality is an asset, students don't always resemble their teachers in any discernible way. But in the case of Cecile Licad, the apple didn't fall very far from the tree. Licad's recital Sunday clearly revealed the influence of one of her three teachers at the Curtis Institute of Music, Rudolf Serkin. (Mieczyslaw Horszowski and Seymour Lipkin were the other two). Serkin's presence was especially apparent in Mozart's Fantasia (K. 475)
ENTERTAINMENT
March 18, 1998 | By Lesley Valdes, INQUIRER MUSIC CRITIC
Traditions thrive in Philadelphia, traditions such as the Academy Morning Musicales, a series created in 1905 by the enterprising members of the West Philadelphia Women's Committee of the Philadelphia Orchestra. At 93, it's still flourishing. Yesterday, a piano recital by Rieko Aizawa brought the 1997-98 series to a close. A capacity crowd demonstrated palpable enthusiasm. The pianist, a Curtis grad, is 23. She recently made her New York debut and soon heads for the St. Louis Symphony for a concerto.
NEWS
July 24, 1992 | By Daniel Webster, INQUIRER MUSIC CRITIC
Orchestral color was everything in the early years of this century, and the French - or French-inspired - came from the subtlest palettes. That was the message of the Philadelphia Orchestra's concert Wednesday at the Mann Music Center. Artistic director Charles Dutoit has made this final week of the season an essay on French orchestral invention and influence, and in his concert Wednesday shaped what was one of the most interesting programs of the season. With Spanish pianist Alicia de Larrocha as soloist, Dutoit made half a concert from Turina's Rhapsodia sinfonica and Falla's Noches en los jardines de Espana, and completed the essay by playing all of Ravel's Daphnis et Chloe ballet.
NEWS
May 1, 1987 | By Andrew Stiller, Special to The Inquirer
The extraordinary Roman pianist Fermo Roscigno drew repeated bravos from a capacity crowd at the Ethical Society last night. Roscigno, in his first Philadelphia appearance, was sponsored by the Consulate General of Italy and the America-Italy Society of Philadelphia. A dull-looking, all-19th-century program came to vivid life at his hands, starting with an unpromising Clementi sonata. Listeners sat up right away: Clementi, it seemed, was a better composer than we thought. As his Op. 26, No. 2 proceeded, it became clear that Roscino's strong dynamic contrasts and boldly outlined phrases had much to do with Clementi's unwonted shine.
NEWS
October 15, 1990 | By Lesley Valdes, Inquirer Music Critic
The second week of the ongoing Swarthmore Music and Dance Festival concluded yesterday with an afternoon recital by Cynthia Raim. The beauty of the autumn foliage, which one could view from the spectacular rear-stage window of Lang Concert Hall, likely discouraged attendance indoors. Only 200 of Lang's 600 seats appeared filled, but Raim was fortunate that her audience (which, sensitively, grouped itself in one seating area) was discriminating and attentive. This was as it should be, since Raim is a discriminating pianist, polished on every level of her art. Within an arsenal of poise and power lie strong ideas and intelligent perceptions.
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ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
February 22, 2015 | By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic
Lars Vogt was well on his way to making a significant solo recital debut Wednesday at the American Philosophical Society when Beethoven's Piano Sonata No. 32 Op. 111 started coming unraveled. Problems began in the dense, first-movement exposition, when a memory lapse set in, one Vogt covered skillfully, but starting a spiral that eventually forced him to start over and leave the stage to grab the printed music. Also unfortunate: the piano's music stand had been removed, making page turns awkward.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 11, 2015 | By Peter Dobrin, Inquirer Music Critic
There was no Schubert, no Hugo Wolf. By starting with Beethoven and wending a pleasant path through Liszt, Satie and Frank Bridge, tenor Matthew Polenzani and pianist Julius Drake surveyed the lieder road less traveled. Not one of the composers on Friday night's Philadelphia Chamber Music Society recital in the Perelman would become best known for the genre; Liszt conquered the piano, Ravel the orchestra, and Beethoven, well, almost everything. And yet, what gems. Adelaide, Op. 46 , is a relatively early Beethoven work of great sophistication, an energetic burst of yearning in which the singer sees and hears his love object and nature as one. So, too, the performers.
NEWS
February 4, 2015 | BY JOHN F. MORRISON, Daily News Staff Writer morrisj@phillynews.com, 215-854-5573
PHILADELPHIA'S reputation as a center of gospel music owed much to people like Irma Beattie Brown Coleman. Irma and the late David Collier formed United Gospel Singers, which performed at churches throughout the Philadelphia area and in other cities on the East Coast in the '60s and '70s. Among her innovations was the introduction of young boys and girls as soloists at well-attended gospel programs, many at Tindley Temple United Methodist Church on South Broad Street. She organized numerous other gospel groups over the years and served as a teacher seeking to bring out the nascent talents of young singers.
NEWS
February 1, 2015 | By Peter Dobrin, Inquirer Music Critic
On the off chance that you missed the point during the Schumann and Schubert, pianist Kuok-Wai Lio slipped in an encore Thursday night at his Philadelphia Chamber Music Society debut, declaring the school of pianism from which he springs. It doesn't get much more ostentatious than Rachmaninoff's take-off on the "Liebesleid" by Fritz Kreisler. But how, you might wonder, did old-world keyboard giants such as Rachmaninoff, Josef Hofmann, and Jorge Bolet come to inhabit the soul of a 26-year-old Macau-born prodigy?
ENTERTAINMENT
January 29, 2015 | By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic
Every so often, Astral Artists presents a concert by a musician who arrives with no prior reputation, but shows every sign of being a fully fledged artistic force. So it was with pianist Dizhou Zhao, whose Philadelphia recital debut, presented Sunday by Astral Artists at the Trinity Center for Urban Life, exuded distinctive personality. A graduate of the New England Conservatory, this pianist from Shanghai plays with a bright, crystalline sonority that gives him no place to hide technically, supported by a hefty bass sound and a musical sensibility that went well beyond the architectural building blocks of Chopin and Prokofiev, allowing the music to unfold as a living, evolving, organic entity.
NEWS
January 25, 2015 | By Peter Dobrin, Inquirer Music Critic
Like a half-remembered dream, the opening of Beethoven's Opus 101 Piano Sonata in A Major arrives in bits and pieces. It seemed all the more like something emerging from the mists in pianist Jonathan Biss' carefully constructed Thursday night Philadelphia Chamber Music Society recital at the Kimmel. As the last piece on the program, the Beethoven looked back on everything that came before it. The incredible economy of the first movement was as concise as Schoenberg's Sechs Kleine Klavierstücke, Op. 19 , played earlier.
NEWS
December 30, 2014 | By Peter Dobrin, Inquirer Music Critic
Claude Frank, 89, a pianist much admired for interpretations elegantly perched between penetrating expressivity and rigorous intellectual inquest, died Saturday, Dec. 27, at his home in Manhattan, said his daughter, violinist Pamela Frank. He had suffered from dementia in recent years. Mr. Frank was an influential performer and pedagogue, teaching at Yale University for nearly four decades, and a member of the Curtis Institute of Music faculty since 1988. He made his New York Town Hall debut in 1950 - he had played Times Hall earlier - and, after performing with Leonard Bernstein and the New York Philharmonic in 1959, appeared with nearly every important orchestra in the United States and Europe.
NEWS
November 21, 2014 | By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic
In the lofty trilogy that is Beethoven's last three piano sonatas - Opus 109, 110, and 111 - each feels like a continuation of the last, into ever more uncharted musical realms. They'll never feel like home: Their strangeness is so specific to the inner world of a composer who had withdrawn into deafness and, in any case, was among history's most singular human beings. So it's understandable that at Wednesday's performance of all three sonatas in one program, the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society audience was puzzling over pianist Beth Levin.
NEWS
November 16, 2014 | By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic
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.
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