March 5, 2011 |
Andreas Haefliger is a master manipulator of time. Listeners, entranced by his phrasing, might not have noticed Thursday night that he slowed the music by nearly half at the end of the exposition in the first movement of Schubert's Piano Sonata in B-flat major (D. 960 ). Mozart and Liszt got similar treatment at his Philadelphia Chamber Music Society recital at the Kimmel. The German-born pianist wants you to believe that what music has to say can be more divorced from regulated tempos than typically heard, and most of the time he convinced quite nicely.
January 27, 2011 |
A fleet, stealthy entrance. Then thunder. An unexpected shiver gives way to a warm gust. Salvation? No. Back into the abyss. Beethoven is the author of that emotional schematic - only the first two eventful minutes of his Piano Sonata in F minor (Op. 57), the "Appassionata. " But Jonathan Biss intensified it to a remarkable degree, giving him total ownership of the emotional centerpiece of his Philadelphia Chamber Music Society recital at the Perelman Theater Tuesday night. His concert - the Chamber Music Society's 1,000th since its founding 25 seasons ago - was thrilling, which was comforting in more ways than one. Biss, 30, has a career shifting into gear with commercial recordings, high-prestige appearances, and a recent appointment to the faculty of his alma mater, the Curtis Institute of Music.
December 29, 2010 |
One of my favorite columns of 2010 featured Carson Atlas, a Haverford boy presenting grown-ups with a challenge: How do you teach, and parent, a prodigy? Six months after the 8-year-old took his first piano lesson, he won accolades in a national classical music competition. A few months after that, Carson performed Mozart's Alla Turca and Schumann's Fantastic Dance at West Chester University. (Watch his fingers fly at www.youtube.com/user/carcadale .) "I am brilliant teacher but he is extraordinary kid," declares Russian expat Nelly Berman.
December 10, 2010 |
POP Give up the ghost! There's no resisting the infectious melodies, playful vocals and driving rhythmic punch of Jukebox The Ghost , this piano-pop trio, composed of Philly-based Ben Thorneill (keyboards/vocals and dominant composer) and his now Brooklyn, N.Y.-based buds Tommy Siegel (guitars/vocals) and Jesse Kristin (drums). The guys are materializing anew to celebrate the release of their "Everything Under the Sun" album for YepRoc Records, from whence springs future hits like the giddy-good "Empire" and haunting "Mistletoe.
November 23, 2010 |
George Townes, 89, a jazz vocalist, died of heart failure Monday, Nov. 15, at his home in University City. When he sang the lyrics to one of his favorite tunes, "A Song for You" - "I've been so many places in my life and time. I've sung a lot of songs" - Mr. Townes could have been describing his own career. He performed at the Mellon Jazz Festival and at area jazz clubs including Deja View in West Philadelphia, Ortlieb's on Third Street, Pierre's at the Adam's Mark, and La Rose in Germantown and for benefits for Jazz Bridge, a nonprofit that assists area musicians.
November 20, 2010 |
When an older man and a younger man - each insufferable in his own way - first appear on the Viennese university music-school set of Old Wicked Songs , you say, oh I get it - it's a mentor vs. student setup. But the play, in a production that packs a wallop at Bristol Riverside Theatre, is so much more. Ultimately, it's a look at a World War II legacy that included fear and denial in Europe, as well as the way a young American Jew, with no obvious history of being hated, counters that dynamic.
October 2, 2010
From Peter Dobrin's "ArtsWatch" Following up on last season's appearance at Bridget Foy's on South Street, Astral Artists has booked World Cafe Live Sunday with violinist Kristin Lee and saxman Doug O'Connor. Astral is investigating other non-concert hall venues, which, in thinking back to our school days of playing woodwind quintets in a biker bar in East Baltimore, can only lead to great happiness. ArtsWatch popped a few questions to Lee, who was recently signed to the Astral roster: Q: What is the program for your World Cafe Live concert - and why?
September 1, 2010
9:30 tonight CHANNEL 12 Here's a documentary about the 2009 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition: 29 pianists compete.
August 24, 2010 |
HELEN SPRINGMAN's home in Levittown rang with the music of Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Chopin, Debussy and Liszt, played on her cherished Steinway Grand. She was a serious musician who polished and perfected her performances of classical and romantic-period music. However, not many people got to hear her play. She performed at recitals of her piano students, at college recitals, but she never had an interest in becoming a professional pianist, touring and playing around the world, which she might well have done.
June 18, 2010 |
Country music hero and sausage master Jimmy Dean will be laid to rest - in a grand piano - in a private burial Monday in Richmond, Va. Dean, 81, who died Sunday at his home in Henrico County, Va., will be entombed in a $350,000, 91/2-foot-long granite piano mausoleum overlooking the James River. The piano will bear the inscription, "Here lies one hell of a man. " Dean's widow, Donna Meade Dean , says the epitaph was inspired by "Big Bad John," the singer's massive 1961 hit. "He was the most special human being I've ever known," Donna tells the Richmond Times-Dispatch.