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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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ENTERTAINMENT
April 2, 2014 | By Peter Dobrin, Inquirer Music Critic
When piano four-hand makes the jump from parlor to concert hall, expectations understandably rise. Sunday afternoon, though, the formality of the Perelman Theater brought that, plus the added subjectivity that surrounds any appearance of the lionized Leon Fleisher. The 85-year-old pianist inevitably pulls into his gravity field his entire considerable career, a blaze dimmed only after an injury made him, for about four decades, a left-hand-only pianist. Sunday's recital was for one hand and, with his wife, Katherine Jacobson, four.
NEWS
March 28, 2014
HE WAS BORN a generation after its demise, but singer-pianist Mark Nadler has a deep emotional connection to the days of the Weimar Republic. That connection inspired "I'm A Stranger Here Myself," Nadler's survey of music from that era. It runs Wednesday through April 12 at the Prince Music Theatre. The Weimar (pronounced VY-mar ) Republic, roughly 1919-33 in Germany, was famously portrayed in the stage and film versions of "Cabaret. " It began in the wake of World War I and ended with the ascension of Adolph Hitler . Knowledge of it has long given Nadler a sense of pride and identification that was absent earlier in his life.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 8, 2014 | By Shaun Brady, For The Inquirer
Anyone looking for a quick overview of jazz history could take a crash course simply by checking out a few performances in Philly this weekend. Around the city, modern jazz artists are paying homage to a groundbreaking festival and some of the music's most pioneering artists, glancing back while moving determinedly forward. Saturday night at the Painted Bride Art Center, Philadelphia saxophonist and bandleader Bobby Zankel kicks off his three-night "Still the New Thing" festival with a concert celebrating his mentor, Cecil Taylor.
NEWS
March 2, 2014 | By Daniel Webster, For The Inquirer
Bloody street riots changed the context of Lydia Artymiw's recital Thursday at the American Philosophical Society. The Philadelphia-born pianist submitted her program a year ago to showcase music by five Ukrainian composers as part of her own heritage. Events in Kiev transformed these works from a personal statement of cultural brotherhood to an elegy for a nation in pain. The five pieces, in minor keys and modal echoes written in the 19th and 20th centuries, etched a portrait of sorrow, frost, and snow.
NEWS
February 2, 2014 | By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic
In the classical world, great music can be the enemy of the excellent. Why schedule less-evolved Dvorak when later music is more accomplished? That probably is why the composer's Symphony No. 6 had scant performance history here upon arrival at Thursday's Philadelphia Orchestra concert under music director Yannick Nézet-Séguin. The rather well-received program (to be repeated Saturday at the Kimmel Center) wasn't just a blow against classical redundancy, but a reminder that artistic Darwinism - the elusive process that dictates what lasts - needs to be upended periodically.
NEWS
January 27, 2014 | By Peter Dobrin, Inquirer Music Critic
Even amid continuing consolidation in the classical realm, the classical devotee is a busy listener. The Philadelphia Chamber Music Society has taken the lead as the city's constant reminder that it's all about artists and repertoire. In fact, without a single concession, the scale and quality of the series is unlike anything else in the country: 65 concerts, hosting musicians from across the globe in piano and song recitals, string quartet mixes and matches, and other ensemble projects of incredibly high artistic value.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 23, 2014 | By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic
No matter how much conductor Claudio Abbado was idolized as the grand old man of the orchestral world, no matter how deep his performances of Bruckner symphonies before his death Monday at 80, he maintained an elegant, sometimes opaque, veneer. After a long Bruckner symphony, Abbado was seen on camera, assiduously composing himself and assuming his public face before taking an aristocratic bow. The public wouldn't guess what it took to do what he did. In recent years, those bows often included buckets of flower petals tossed on him and the Lucerne Festival Orchestra by audiences that couldn't stop expressing affection for what he had wrought.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 22, 2014 | By Peter Dobrin, Inquirer Music Critic
The order of things matters in a recital, or at least it can. Programs are essentially a portrait of the artist, and Sunday afternoon at the Trinity Center for Urban Life, pianist Sara Daneshpour proved a canny attendant to her image. Each piece was more convincing than the last, until a Scarlatti sonata as encore revealed yet another aspect of her formidable visage. But other, more meaningful layers surfaced in what Astral Artists billed as the Philadelphia recital debut of the Curtis Institute and Juilliard School graduate.
NEWS
January 19, 2014 | By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic
As a breed, Hungarian pianists are often so fiercely individual that the best of them project a distinctive sound world all their own. So it was with Dénes Várjon, whose local debut Thursday at the American Philosophical Society was a configuration of repertoire whose components weren't unknown but converged into an overall experience that went to harrowing places. The key piece at this Philadelphia Chamber Music Society concert was Bartok's early-period, little-known Two Elegies , one of his most unfiltered expressionistic works, written after the demise of his relationship with violinist Stefi Geyer.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 14, 2014 | By Peter Dobrin, Inquirer Music Critic
With all the audience energy coming at him after a Tchaikovsky concerto Friday night, Stephen Hough could have kept feeding the atmosphere with a highly charged Russian encore from, say, Tchaikovsky's The Seasons , or the predictable "Flight of the Bumblebee. " But he honed expectations on a pool of introspection: Chopin's Nocturne in E Flat, Op. 9, No. 2 . You know the one - the elegant waltz hanging on simple architecture. Here, spooling out in spare, steady harmonic changes, it's all about small expressive gestures and tone.
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