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Prokofiev

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ENTERTAINMENT
October 1, 2005 | By Peter Dobrin INQUIRER MUSIC CRITIC
No Brahms Violin Concerto? A few Philadelphia Orchestra fans were more than a little irate recently when the concert-hall standard was dropped from the program. How wonderful it is to be living in a town where the thing that gets listeners' blood boiling is a switch in orchestral repertoire. Not to worry, gentle Brahms lovers. Christoph Eschenbach and Midori, the violinist, are saving the Brahms concerto for another season. And the Prokofiev performed in its stead Thursday night, the Violin Concerto No. 1, is a gem. The orchestration alone would be enough to carry the piece.
LIVING
January 9, 2001 | By Daniel Webster, FOR THE INQUIRER
David Kim played his first local recital Sunday and used his program to point out how two pairs of composers found such different voices for the violin. Named the Philadelphia Orchestra's concertmaster two seasons ago, Kim has been a soloist with the orchestra and appeared in chamber-music concerts, but had never stood in the focus of the full-recital's microscope. With his longtime collaborator, pianist Gail Niwa, he played music by Prokofiev and Stravinsky, Dvorak and Sarasate at Curtis Hall in a benefit for Astral Artistic Services.
NEWS
June 8, 1990 | SUSAN WINTERS/ DAILY NEWS
The Pennsylvania Ballet tiptoed onto the stage of the Academy of Music last night with its interpretation of "Romeo and Juliet," William Shakespeare's eternal tale of tragedy and young love. The John Cranko production, coupled with the music of Prokofiev, runs through June 13.
NEWS
February 15, 2015 | By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic
Conductor Valery Gergiev probably had one of the more civilized receptions of his winter U.S. tour at Thursday's Philadelphia Orchestra concert. Pro-Ukrainian protesters were outside the Kimmel Center, having their say in the ongoing debate about Gergiev's support of Russian president Vladimir Putin, and inside, the concert was business as usual - as much as Gergiev's concerts are ever typical. He has long been the master of spontaneous combustion. Although Gergiev's own Mariinsky Orchestra often plays with world-class inspiration, it's sonically compromised by the substandard quality of instruments.
NEWS
July 19, 2015 | By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic
PRINCETON - The summertime campus here is annually overrun with pianists (and a few violinists) when the Golandsky Institute welcomes artists young and old to learn healthy techniques that allow them to play well for as long as they love music. There's also a piano festival (ending Saturday) showcasing faculty and students expressing themselves without extraneous effort. The exception of sorts was a Thursday recital at Taplin Auditorium of Chinese pianist Wei Luo, the latest Chinese wonder to hit the Curtis Institute.
NEWS
October 21, 1989 | By Lesley Valdes, Inquirer Music Critic
Prokofiev's crowd-teasing Third Concerto was the vehicle for Barry Douglas' debut with the Philadelphia Orchestra last night, but with all due respect to the young and accomplished pianist, one doubts it is Douglas' piece. He appears to see through its cinematic slipperiness and posturing, although his technical equipment is more than sufficient to handle its glittering figurations and artificial passions. He seems too sensitive to be comfortable with its vapid steam. Whether he was trying to soften its calculations or uncover more far- ranging possibilities, Douglas' collaboration with conductor James Conlon was puzzling and curiously distinctive.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 17, 2012 | By Peter Dobrin, Inquirer Music Critic
The Philadelphia Orchestra was performing the score of Alexander Nevsky live as the film screened long before visual add-ons became the imperative of the orchestra experience they are today. The current performances in Verizon Hall are, in fact, the third coincidence at the orchestra of Prokofiev's music and Eisenstein's film (the others were in 1988 and 1997). What was so striking Thursday night about the combination was imagining what would have been lost in a recorded-soundtrack iteration.
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.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 9, 2011 | By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic
Artistry as extreme as Leonidas Kavakos' can be exhausting. Admirably, the Greek violinist has risen to the top of his profession in tandem with artistic evolution that few artists experience over a lifetime, much less a dozen years. In 2000, he was including light Fritz Kreisler pieces in the thick of his programs. At his Philadelphia Chamber Music Society recital at the Kimmel Center on Monday, his program stretched over 21/2 hours with brooding performances of ruminative works by Prokofiev and Lera Auerbach that left you wondering if late Shostakovich could brighten things up a bit. Even having heard Kavakos on a near daily basis during the Philadelphia Orchestra's 2009 tour, I had trouble recognizing what I heard and saw Monday.
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ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
September 18, 2016 | By Peter Dobrin and David Patrick Stearns
It's a grand year for singing in Philadelphia. Besides an unusually starry lineup of vocal recitals from the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, Opera Company of Philadelphia has a potentially distinguished cast of Turandot headed by Christine Goerke and Joyce El-Khoury. And might its premiere production of Breaking the Waves yield a signature role for its stage-savvy star, Kiera Duffy? Piffaro's The Musical World of Don Quixote concerts feature the excellent early-music group New York Polyphony, and the Delius Society celebrates its 40th anniversary by collaborating with Choral Arts on the rarely heard Delius Requiem . In the larger world, British conductor Simon Rattle and Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho are making significant residencies on the East Coast that will leave a mark on Philadelphia.
NEWS
May 8, 2016 | By David Patrick Stearns, CLASSICAL MUSIC CRITIC
The Philadelphia Orchestra's two-week John Williams festival ideally balanced the two lives of this hugely well-known, oft-awarded composer - and left you feeling that you knew the personality behind the music. Principal guest conductor Stéphane Denève integrated two Williams concertos into regular subscription concerts - showing how much they do belong there, especially with the deluxe treatment that came with the likes of James Ehnes, who played the Williams Violin Concerto at Thursday at the Kimmel Center with the insights and commitment he brings to better-known repertoire.
NEWS
April 17, 2016 | By David Patrick Stearns, CLASSICAL MUSIC CRITIC
Alternative musical universes aren't the stock and trade of the Philadelphia Orchestra, but that's what audiences were invited into Friday at the Kimmel Center in a concert with two new concertos. They were nothing radical, but they hardly represented the status quo. The audience seemed perfectly comfortable with it all, partly because the performances under music director Yannick Nézet-Séguin were shipshape, partly because the pieces were hugely engaging, even at their least conventional.
NEWS
July 19, 2015 | By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic
PRINCETON - The summertime campus here is annually overrun with pianists (and a few violinists) when the Golandsky Institute welcomes artists young and old to learn healthy techniques that allow them to play well for as long as they love music. There's also a piano festival (ending Saturday) showcasing faculty and students expressing themselves without extraneous effort. The exception of sorts was a Thursday recital at Taplin Auditorium of Chinese pianist Wei Luo, the latest Chinese wonder to hit the Curtis Institute.
NEWS
April 26, 2015 | By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic
Nothing all that unusual seemed likely to unfold at the Philadelphia Orchestra's second consecutive subscription week with principal guest conductor Stéphane Denève: A potentially pop-slanted John Williams film score suite; Graffiti , a choral work by the increasingly popular Magnus Lindberg; and excerpts from Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet ballet. Yet the orchestra, Philadelphia Singers Chorale, and the audience had plenty to contend with at Thursday's concert, which was one of the more distinctive programs of the season - a confounding, mixed success.
NEWS
February 15, 2015 | By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic
Conductor Valery Gergiev probably had one of the more civilized receptions of his winter U.S. tour at Thursday's Philadelphia Orchestra concert. Pro-Ukrainian protesters were outside the Kimmel Center, having their say in the ongoing debate about Gergiev's support of Russian president Vladimir Putin, and inside, the concert was business as usual - as much as Gergiev's concerts are ever typical. He has long been the master of spontaneous combustion. Although Gergiev's own Mariinsky Orchestra often plays with world-class inspiration, it's sonically compromised by the substandard quality of instruments.
NEWS
December 7, 2014 | By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic
The trademark red concert dress and ebullient stage presence told you that Di Wu was back, the Chinese-born, Curtis Institute-trained pianist who has become something of a local favorite as part of the Astral Artists roster. On Wednesday, she returned to the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, but in a recital that made you wonder if she is her own best advocate. Nobody really knows how long-term audience relationships are cultivated, but Wu's program of Haydn, Brahms, and Prokofiev wasn't the sort to advance her presence here.
NEWS
March 23, 2014 | By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic
The timing could not have been predicted or contrived. Just as Russian/American relations veer toward breakdown over the annexation of Crimea, the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society presented a concert of Sergei Prokofiev's three so-called War Sonatas - Nos. 6-8, Opp 82-84 - a surprisingly overt reaction to Stalin's purges of the 1940s, played by a pianist with a certain family history of Russian persecution, Ignat Solzhenitsyn. Whatever the influence of current events on Solzhenitsyn's performance Thursday at the Kimmel Center's Perelman Theater, the impact on the audience was immeasurable.
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
April 14, 2013 | By Peter Dobrin, Inquirer Music Critic
With the orchestral repertoire as wide and deep as the sea, orchestras don't need to go out and borrow pieces from other realms. But some melodies are too good to pass up, and so the Philadelphia Orchestra reached into chamber music for Friday afternoon's concert, returning with a transcription of Tchaikovsky's Souvenir de Florence . The appeal is obvious: you can whistle every tune. The transcription - by double-bass pedagogue Lucas Drew, presumably to give his instrument a part where there was none - is a fine one, billowing up string sextet into string orchestra.
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