May 27, 2015 |
Winning a Pulitzer Prize guarantees nothing except high expectations for continued greatness and a durability that may or may not come to pass. When did you last hear Leslie Bassett's Variations for Orchestra , given the honor in 1966 after Eugene Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra took it for a spin at the Academy of Music? Friday night's world premiere at Curtis' Gould Hall of Cha by the saxophonists of the Prism Quartet arrived just as the confetti was settling around its composer, Julia Wolfe, who won this year's Pulitzer for Anthracite Fields . Did this knowledge alter the way we heard Cha ?
April 29, 2015 |
After winning a Pulitzer Prize last week for his second book of poetry, Digest , Gregory Pardlo, Philly born and Willingboro-raised, says he's still a little delirious. "Each day I wake up thinking, ' Man, that was a weird dream,' " Pardlo says. He heard the news in an ordinary setting: while waiting for his 10-year-old daughter after school. He got a congratulatory text message, and he thought it was for the Hurston-Wright Legacy Award he'd been nominated for a few weeks prior.
February 28, 2015 |
The Philadelphia Orchestra has a rather plastic idea of the concert format these days. On Wednesday night, that meant a hybrid of the talk-and-play concerts it has done under various names over the last two decades, plus offering the LiveNote app that allows the audience to follow real-time program notes on mobile devices. The start time was earlier than usual (6:30 p.m.), and tickets a flat $45 for an intermission-less concert of about 75 minutes. It would be hard to say the format struck a chord with ticket buyers, given the audience in the low hundreds that turned out in Verizon Hall.
January 17, 2015 |
When, in 1993, the body of an American soldier was dragged, beaten and bloodied, through the streets of Mogadishu in Somalia, Paul Watson photographed the horror, winning the Pulitzer Prize for the picture. He believes the dead soldier said to him, "If you do this, I will own you forever. " That haunting has, apparently, endured to this day, recorded in Watson's memoir, Where War Lives, and in Dan O'Brien's play The Body of an American , at the Wilma Theater until Feb. 1. The play concerns war and Watson's belief that war lives inside us. So rather than indict the inhumanity of those who inflict the misery, the play's documentary style becomes a kind of travelogue of suffering: Rwanda, Somalia, Iraq, Philippines, Afghanistan, Bosnia, Syria.
December 3, 2014
ISSUE | BLAME GAME Objectionable view Miami Herald political cartoonist Jim Morin's cartoon (Nov. 30) depicting the soon-to-be-Republican-controlled Senate as having a "hate Obama" mantra was beyond deplorable, even for The Inquirer. Really, the constant barrage of half-baked, sophomoric attempts at political humor, most if not all at the expense of Republicans, is getting quite old. I'd love to put on my rose-colored glasses and pretend that this isn't the worst presidency America has ever seen and that it's all the Republicans' fault because they hate Obama.
September 16, 2014 |
Tony Auth, 72, of Wynnewood, the Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist and mainstay of The Inquirer's editorial page for four decades before resigning in 2012 to become a digital artist, has died. Mr. Auth had been under treatment for metastatic brain cancer. David Leopold, his friend and curator, said he died at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania on Sunday, Sept. 14, four days after his supporters had announced a fund-raising effort for an archive devoted to his work at Temple University.
April 20, 2014
A corner of Bucks forever Abbie Reading about Abbie Hoffman took me back 25 years to when I was working on the construction of the Point Pleasant pumping station ("A radical life," April 13). With the TV cameras gone, Hoffman and the protesters chaining themselves to the main gate was but a distant memory on the day word of his death came to the nearly completed project. I was doing a concrete patch in a dark corner of the basement, and in the wet cement I etched "RIP Abbie Hoffman" with the date and crossed out the "PUMP" logo.
April 17, 2014
'Architecture critic" doesn't fully describe the occupation of Inga Saffron, who on Monday was awarded a Pulitzer Prize for criticism, the 20th of journalism's most prestigious honors presented to The Inquirer. Perhaps "protector of the public's right to live, work, and recreate in buildings and surroundings that are functional, visually appealing, and safe" would be a better description. That might be a bit long for a byline, but it's accurate. Saffron has noted precisely when the public should be alarmed and why. After a botched demolition left six people dead inside a Salvation Army thrift shop, she observed that "Richard Basciano and the late Samuel A. Rappaport were friends, business partners, and slumlords.
April 16, 2014 |
INGA SAFFRON had a plan, and it didn't involve winning the highest honor in American journalism. But the Inquirer's architecture writer took one for the team about 3 p.m. yesterday when she bagged the 20th Pulitzer Prize in the newspaper's history. "I was slipping out quietly to cook, when people started coming over to my desk," Saffron said of the foiled plan to slink away unnoticed to prepare a Passover seder for 10 people. Those dang Pulitzers. Get handed out at the most inconvenient times.
April 16, 2014 |
Inga Saffron grew up in Levittown, N.Y., the model of modern, mass-produced suburban communities. But as a journalist, she developed a passion for cities. As a foreign correspondent, she recalled witnessing the devastating shelling of the "beautiful, ancient" metropolis of Sarajevo in 1992 that started the war in Bosnia. But, she observed, cities also could be ruined by bad decisions made by leaders. Saffron, now architecture critic for The Inquirer, "wanted to write about cities being rebuilt," she said.