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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
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
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
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
October 23, 2014 | By Wendy Rosenfield, For The Inquirer
What's worse? Being traded in after 34 years by your Broadway producer husband for his decades-younger producing partner, or writing a musical revue about it? I'm going to go with writing the revue, Til Divorce Do Us Part , because getting dumped is painful, and while Ruthe Ponturo's ex seems like a real cad, at least without this show she still had her dignity. Ponturo attempts broad appeal, with tunes aping Cabaret or Oklahoma , but all that forced cheer becomes relentless, and after 26 songs, including "The Divorce Dirge," "The Other Woman," and "Holidays Suck," this empathy cocktail gets a very bitter taste.
NEWS
October 19, 2014 | By Peter Dobrin, Inquirer Music Critic
British tenor Mark Padmore has the gift of sounding natural. On stage at the Perelman Theater on Wednesday night, he frequently held vibrato in reserve, and, by expressing the lyric as clearly as though spoken, revealed it as the thing he holds dear. In the art-song realm, rarified though it may be, the standards are high at the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, where Gerald Finley and Hildegard Behrens have left indelibly visceral accounts of everything words alone cannot say. If Padmore lacks the emotional range to do with his voice what some others can, he does an enormous amount with what he has. In contemporary parlance, he puts himself out there.
NEWS
September 29, 2014 | By Peter Dobrin, Inquirer Music Critic
This year, the Philadelphia Orchestra's official opening night - the one that lets you mingle with the maestro at an "exclusive" reception topping out at $2,500 per ticket - doesn't come until a couple of weeks into the season. Actual music-making, though, began in Verizon Hall on Friday night, with no less a gala soloist than Lang Lang. Many listeners in these parts still think of the pianist as an aberrantly eccentric Curtis Institute of Music student, and, for better or worse, in the last decade and a half of his working with every major orchestra and conductor on earth, absolutely nothing has rubbed off on him musically.
NEWS
September 23, 2014 | By Kelly Flynn, Inquirer Staff Writer
Suproteem Sarkar has coauthored two scientific papers on cancer treatments, been a presenter at an international nanoscience conference, and won accolades as a pianist. But perhaps the most notable entry on his resumé is the birth date - Sarkar is 17, just entering his senior year at Conestoga High School in Berwyn, Chester County. "He's definitely a highflier here," said Conestoga principal Amy Meisinger. "He's on the fast track for something. " Family members say his precocity was evident almost from the beginning.
NEWS
July 25, 2014 | By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic
Though Philadelphia seems not to lack classical music concerts or educational opportunities for young artists, Taiwanese pianist Ching-Yun Hu came home to her Academy House apartment one recent summer, wanted to hear live music, and discovered there wasn't any. "I had just come back from my own festival in Taipei," she said. "People were so excited about it, and I thought, 'Why not do something similar here?' " Now, in these sweaty late-July weeks, the festival she founded, the Philadelphia Young Pianist Academy, is in its second year and occupies the Curtis Institute's Field Concert Hall with a series of five concerts Saturday through Aug. 2. They are the most prominent manifestations of an intensive program of master classes and lectures.
NEWS
May 23, 2014 | By A.D. Amorosi, For The Inquirer
In 2013, John Legend found intimacy. Along with marrying his longtime love, model Chrissy Teigen, Legend - one-time choir leader and University of Pennsylvania student - released the album Love in the Future . That quietly kinetic collection surprised some listeners with a new sensuality, a change from previous themes of romance and universal consciousness. On Tuesday, the Kimmel Center welcomed the well-dressed pianist and singer in a public homecoming that moved to an after-party at Bar Volvér in the Kimmel complex.
NEWS
May 2, 2014 | By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic
Sometimes, the greater the musician, the narrower the path as time goes on. So it seems with pianist Richard Goode, who is presented by the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society at least once every season. On Tuesday, he seemed to be cycling out of two of the three composers on the program, but connecting with the third in ways one normally wouldn't dare hope for. The 70-year-old pianist played from memory what was no doubt an old friend - Schumann's Davidsbundlertanze Op. 6 - though one less welcome than Debussy's Preludes Book I , not played from memory.
NEWS
April 27, 2014 | By Peter Dobrin, Inquirer Music Critic
For the opening salvo of four different Mozart programs in three days, conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin on Thursday night modulated his influence to various degrees. His jumpiness in the Overture to Così fan tutte left you wondering what happened to the gracefully rounded waves of Mozart's main theme. In parts of a symphony, he stepped back and let it flow. Presiding over a piano concerto, he left a personal stamp. By the end of this weekend of overtures, symphonies, and piano concertos - so much for new formats - listeners should have a firm idea of whether this Philadelphia Orchestra music director has any firm ideas about Mozart.
NEWS
April 25, 2014 | By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic
Great musicians often seem to come out of nowhere, but with 19-year-old Jan Lisiecki, it's almost true. That's not a comment on his hometown of Calgary, Alberta. The Canadian/Polish pianist probably could have grown up in almost any metropolitan area and still found his own way to his current artistic status - he plays with many of the world's great orchestras - with little outside guidance. "I'm not one to look up to heroes," he said backstage in Verizon Hall, where he performs with the Philadelphia Orchestra this weekend.
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.
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