July 21, 1991 |
You've heard there are some particularly challenging works on tonight's concert, and have made a point of showing up 15 or 20 minutes early to take a look at the program notes. The titles of the pieces were enough to arouse your curiosity - Amplifier and Reflector I for open umbrella, glass baking dish and amplified clock; Bird and Person Dyning; and Solo Female Voice and Pure Wave Oscillators. Flipping past pages of advertisements, who's-who listings and forthcoming events, you look for something to help you understand what you are about to hear.
May 15, 2012 |
The water ran out after the first day at sea. The boat engine quit on the second. Hien Cao, 22, clutched her 2-year-old daughter and 6-month-old son. They and 25 others had crowded onto a five-person fishing boat, the captain paid in gold to steer them to freedom. Now, the sun beating down as the vessel drifted off the southern coast of Vietnam, Cao felt numb. She'd taken this chance, this escape from a country that had become a prison, to give her children a better life.
March 22, 1993 |
It's tempting to think of John Hodian's music as a soundtrack to a lifestyle, rather than music that stands on its own. And if we had to choose which lifestyle that would be, it might go something like this: Dressed all in black, you're on a high-speed train, sipping herbal tea and skimming the Utne Reader. As you bite into an organically grown, carob-covered craisin, you wonder whether WXPN will come in on your Walkman . . . You get the picture. Hodian's music - specifically, 1 is Not Greater Than 3, premiered Friday night at the Ethical Society by Relache - leaves a lot of time for listeners to think about other things.
October 26, 1992 |
If anything really disappointed me about Saturday's New Jersey Symphony Orchestra concert at the War Memorial theater here, it was that Pinchas Zukerman did not play the violin more. Zukerman, introduced by a roving spotlight that made him squint in discomfort, appeared only once as soloist, in Bach's Concerto No. 1 in A minor. As Saturday's program notes suggest, the Bach (a typically Baroque concerto) is not "the heroic contrast or contest between soloist and orchestra" that concertgoers normally encounter.
May 15, 2012 |
The title Vermilion Vespers was an immediate tipoff that whatever the religious functions of a vespers service, this one would be anything but sanctimonious. Even so, the freewheeling, evening-length work that unfolded from the Haverford-based composer Curt Cacioppo — and opened the Crossing choir's "Month of Moderns" festival Saturday at Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill — was more like a musical funhouse in which arresting effects were cheek-by-jowl with less-than-stunning miscalculations.
July 13, 1992 |
Paul J. Horsley has been named program annotator and musicologist for the Philadelphia Orchestra, effective this month. Horsley succeeds Bernard Jacobson, who left the orchestra in December to become artistic director of the Residentie of the Hague, although he continued to send his program notes from abroad. Jacobson had held the post since 1984. Horsley comes from Houston, where he was a contributing editor and classical music editor of the Houston Press. He is also a staff writer for the Harvard Dictionary of Musicians.
June 4, 2005 |
Paule Turner and Group Motion Dance Company present two very different takes on the search for love and acceptance at the New Festival at the Arts Bank. Turner, with his dance company, court, uses extreme shock to describe the injustice and prejudice he faces being a gay black-male performance artist in Touched, which premiered Wednesday. The festival Web site, the program notes, and even Turner himself in the middle of the piece warn that the performance includes full frontal nudity, violent images and graphic language.
May 3, 1993 |
World premieres are common enough, and surely music from the past has a secure place in the standard repertoire. But when was the last time you heard something written 20 years ago? It happens all too rarely, but an audience at Swarthmore College's Lang Concert Hall got lucky Friday night, when Orchestra 2001 played Gerald Levinson's in dark (three poems of the night). Scored for soprano and a small ensemble of low, resonant instruments, the work was written in 1972, and represented what the composer called in the program notes a "coming of age. . . . It opened the way to an inclusive, wide-ranging approach to musical style, embracing tonality, non-tonality and modality, Western and Eastern, which I have continued to develop in ever-wider contexts since that time.
October 10, 2003 |
Betty Schoenfeld Levin, 80, a gifted pianist, music educator, and writer who aspired to be a dancer, died of cancer Tuesday at her home in Philadelphia. Before moving to Center City last year, Mrs. Levin had been a longtime resident of Montgomery County. In 1954, her husband, Monroe Levin, cofounded the Jenkintown Music School with Cameron McGraw. Mrs. Levin taught piano at the school and wrote news releases and program notes for concerts at the school. "My father had the ideas," their daughter Anne Levin Benedict said, "and my mother implemented them.
February 16, 2009 |
Piffaro turned listeners into detectives Friday night, sorting through musical ideas that would survive and flourish over the next five centuries, as well as puzzling over those that would end up as stylistic dead-ends. Actually, the Philadelphia Renaissance band constructed its concert around an entirely different idea. The program, heard at St. Mark's Church, was intended as a look at composers through their publishers, specifically the important publishers of Venice, Milan, Rome, Paris, and Lyons.