April 29, 2014 |
To help lead the increasingly populist aspects of its repertoire, guest artists, and collaborations, the Philadelphia Orchestra is restocking its roster of conductors. Stéphane Denève, the ebullient French conductor of the corkscrew locks who has been a frequent visitor to the orchestra's podium, will become principal guest conductor in the fall. Romanian-born Cristian Macelaru, the orchestra's associate conductor, will take the upgraded title of conductor in residence. Denève, under the terms of a contract running through 2016-17, will conduct at least two weeks during the main subscription season, as well as family concerts, dates at the orchestra's summer spots in Vail, Colo., and Saratoga Springs, N.Y., and, possibly, on tour.
November 24, 2013 |
Violinist/conductor Itzhak Perlman enjoys a rare freedom in classical music: His relationship with audiences is such that he needs only to show up, and adoration is assured. What's frustrating is that Perlman doesn't do more with that status, especially since his string of subscription concerts with the Philadelphia Orchestra this week features four performances, rather than the usual three. This program stands to reach more listeners than perhaps any other this season. From a repertoire standpoint, Perlman has never been terribly ambitious as a violinist.
May 21, 2013 |
NEW YORK - The reaction to James Levine's return to conducting Sunday can only be described in Yiddish: Geschrei - an outcry like no other. Amid Levine's two years of surgeries, setbacks, and rehabilitation for back, spine, and other problems, many feared the beloved Metropolitan Opera music director would never again be seen alive, much less conducting a program of Wagner, Beethoven, and Schubert. But there he was, arriving onstage in Carnegie Hall with the Met Orchestra, riding a custom-made scooter with a rostrum that raised him, in the fashion of a hydraulic stage elevator, slightly above the orchestra.
January 14, 2013 |
Mike Boykin overpowered opponents and won 22 matches as a freshman wrestler at Coatesville. It was only his third year in the sport, and he wasn't really wrestling. "He probably would have had over 30 wins. I didn't even let him wrestle, like, 15 matches," said Bear Stephens, then an assistant coach and now co-coach of the Red Raiders. "He was trying to muscle them. He wasn't trying to use moves. And I told him, until you start using moves, we're not going to put you in the lineup. " So he started using moves.
October 30, 2011
First the Music, Then the Words By Riccardo Muti Afterword by Marco Grondona Translated from the Italian by Alta L. Price Rizzoli. 243 pp. $29.95 Reviewed by Daniel Webster When Riccardo Muti, his transformational years with the Philadelphia Orchestra explosively behind him, strode to the podium of Italy's La Scala opera house in 1986, musicians and listeners alike cheered that Il Sceriffo , as an Italian newspaper dubbed him, had come. The avenging sheriff he was, the enforcer, almost alone among peers, his six-shooters aimed at those who sang the high E-flat instead of the B-flat Verdi had written, and at directors and singers who wanted to "improve" any operatic ür-text.
February 2, 2011
THE FIRST time Andy Reid did the Philadelphia podium thing, it was 12 years ago last month at the Marriott in Center City. The day he was hired as the Eagles' coach, the unknown quarterbacks coach from Green Bay was faced with a barrage of negativity, about his new roster and his crumbling stadium and his lack of a practice facility and the perception around the NFL that this was a lousy franchise. Oh, and welcome to town. Reid batted away the questions and pushed back at the cynicism of the questioners.
January 21, 2011
EVERY TIME Jets coach Rex Ryan opens his mouth, it is hard not to listen for the sounds of the old man - and anybody who lived through those times with the Eagles probably does the same thing. They are different, Rex and Buddy are. Rex is very much a 21st-century Ryan and significantly more polished than his father. Rex never hits his boss with his buckshot, a skill that his father never cared to master. Rex, when talking about people in the football business, also manages to toe a line of decorum, you should excuse the expression, while Buddy would never acknowledge that a line even existed.
January 7, 2011 |
There was a time not that long ago at the NovaCare Complex when reporters referred to Thursday as Truth Day, in honor of offensive coordinator Brad Childress and defensive coordinator Jim Johnson. While Andy Reid guarded - and still guards - information like a Doberman guards a pork chop during his Monday, Wednesday, and Friday news conferences, both Childress and Johnson were more willing on Thursday, their day at the podium, to say what they actually were thinking. It wasn't as if either gave away company secrets or printed out their game plans for distribution, but compared to Reid they were total blabbermouths, with some humor thrown in as a bonus.
October 31, 2010 |
No one more vividly exemplifies the Icarus-like story line now common in the careers of major young conductors than Daniel Harding. Much advance touting. Big entrance into the big time. Fall from grace. The Oxford-born Harding, who brings the fabled Dresden Staatskapelle Orchestra to the Kimmel Center Tuesday, was 18 years old in 1994 when he was hired by Simon Rattle to be his assistant at the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. He quickly went on to the same post at the Berlin Philharmonic, whose Claudio Abbado referred to him as "my little genius.
July 11, 2010 |
The romanticized image of the symphony orchestra conductor - arriving by limo at a grand music hall to inspire effortless beauty before thousands - is a world away from young Geoff McDonald's catch-as-catch-can career. Example: Driving to a recent conducting audition with the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra, he was pulled over because the registration for the car he'd borrowed from his sister had expired. So instead of focusing on the audition piece, Beethoven's lofty Symphony No. 9 , he was muttering choice words about his sister as the minutes ticked away.