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NEWS
October 9, 1987 | By Lesley Valdes, Inquirer Music Critic
Will someone please tell Dennis Russell Davies that when the soloist is playing, he should scale down his baton? All right, the reviewer will. Last night, during the Philadelphia Orchestra's concert at the Academy of Music, Davies' baton knocked into Oscar Shumsky's bow as the soloist was - eloquently - playing the slow movement of Elgar's Violin Concerto in B minor (Op. 61). Once, maybe, it could have been an awful mistake. But after a few more close calls, such crowding out of the soloist became a metaphor for Davies' rampant over-conducting of one of the concerto literature's great treasures.
NEWS
March 6, 1987 | By Charles McCurdy, Special to the Inquirer
Joseph Castaldo, professor of composition at the College of the Performing Arts, was treated to a rare pleasure last night at the Lutheran Church of the Holy Trinity at 21st and Chestnut Streets. His Elegy for Soprano and Orchestra was performed for the first time by an enthusiastic, young orchestra and an outstanding soloist. Sheryl Woods, a New York City Opera soprano, sang and spoke the text to the elegy. Castaldo evoked the spirit of Arnold Schoenberg by requiring passages of sprechgesang, a kind of declamation that combines song and speech.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 21, 1995 | By Daniel Webster, INQUIRER MUSIC CRITIC
Musicians arrive at stardom by many routes. Dudley Moore, who began life as an organist and pianist in England, took his route through musicals, comedy and films, including a masterly appearance in Unfaithfully Yours in a role that was a giddy satire on conductors. He has been appearing increasingly in the role of piano soloist, and he took the role Monday with the Philadelphia Orchestra, playing two works in the concert at the Mann Music Center. His presence produced a substantial crowd, and his good-natured approach to concertizing guaranteed that the listeners' hopes were fulfilled.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 27, 1998 | By Daniel Webster, INQUIRER MUSIC CRITIC
Leila Josefowicz closed what turned out to be a remarkable week for young violinists at the Mann Center for the Performing Arts. The 20-year-old was soloist Thursday with the Philadelphia Orchestra, following by three nights the performance of 17-year-old Hilary Hahn. Age is not the point here, but rather the maturity and intense involvement of these two musicians. Josefowicz, with conductor Ivan Fischer her perceptive collaborator, argued for the lyrical eloquence of Prokofiev's Concerto No. 2. The piece is shaped to leave listeners with the impression of a fevered soloist slashing at the chords that make up the theme of the last movement.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 23, 1995 | By Ken Keuffel Jr., FOR THE INQUIRER
Over the weekend, Philomel, an ensemble that plays baroque music on period instruments, performed the same season-concluding concert in West Chester, Doylestown and Philadelphia. The Doylestown performance, which was reviewed, drew a packed house to St. Paul's Episcopal Church to hear a concert dominated by works of Telemann. The most impressive performance was of the composer's Suite in A-minor, for recorder, strings, and continuo. The work has seven movements in the form of stylized dances that might well have been composed as background music for a grand social event.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 22, 2000 | By Peter Dobrin, INQUIRER MUSIC CRITIC
An urgent, tensile beauty underlines Jan Krzywicki's Concertino for oboe, trumpet, harp and strings. The piece, premiered in two concerts this past weekend by Orchestra 2001 and conductor James Freeman, makes its case through rising and ebbing frictions - frictions between oboe and trumpet, soloists and orchestra. The piece has an unusual genesis. Its composition was suggested by trumpeter Barbara Prugh and commissioned by singer Anni Baker. Baker, who died last year, had been an active supporter of composers and contemporary music, and her death in May occurred as Krzywicki was writing the second movement of the work.
NEWS
October 29, 1987 | By KATHY SHEEHAN, Daily News Staff Writer
Albert D. Smith, a baritone soloist who sang in churches throughout South Jersey and Philadelphia, died Monday. He was 64 and lived in Audubon, N.J. Smith retired in 1985 as an engineering drafting manager at RCA in Moorestown, N.J., but his part-time career of "singing Sunday sermons" continued until a few months ago. Smith began training his voice as a teen-ager while a member of the choir at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Audubon....
ENTERTAINMENT
April 25, 1998 | By Daniel Webster, INQUIRER MUSIC CRITIC
Hearing violinist Frank Peter Zimmermann play is like visiting Greenwich Royal Observatory. Greenwich pinpoints exact placement on Earth; Zimmermann hums a standard of intonation no less perfect. The German violinist has been a regular since Wolfgang Sawallisch became music director of the Philadelphia Orchestra, and in Sawallisch's return yesterday to the podium at the Academy of Music, Zimmermann was there to play Britten's too rarely heard Concerto. In this introverted piece, Britten sampled the violin's full expressive capacity.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 18, 1998 | By Daniel Webster, INQUIRER MUSIC CRITIC
Zdenek Macal resolutely led 20th-century works Thursday with the Philadelphia Orchestra, but these were pieces that tend to deny the century's mood of exploration and re-examination. In the concert at the Academy of Music, he filled the program with the extended version of Rachmaninoff's Symphony No. 2 after opening with Barber's romantic Violin Concerto. Both pieces confirm the breadth of this century's musical wanderings, for both composers wrote their big pieces - a generation apart - almost concurrently with other music that defines the century as iconoclastic, enraged and dissociated from history.
NEWS
March 21, 1989 | By Daniel Webster, Inquirer Music Critic
Mozart's Piano Concertos have troubled program makers more and more as audiences have come to see their special place in the grand march of music. Some, written for large orchestral forces and conceived in grand terms, easily accommodate the sound and physical presence of the large modern piano. Others, composed earlier for smaller orchestra and more intimate occasion, can be overpowered by the instrument, the hall or the music placed before and after. The Concerto Soloists Chamber Orchestra last night programmed the Concerto No. 12 (K. 414)
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ARTICLES BY DATE
ENTERTAINMENT
May 20, 2015 | By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic
No commemorative speeches. No plaques. No tear jerking. Artistic director David Hayes barely announced the encore at the farewell concert of the Philadelphia Singers, going out of business after 43 years, but let the occasion speak with music, the best performance coming last - Rachmaninoff's Vespers , the "Rejoice O Virgin" section. Maybe Hayes was focusing his energy, having survived last week's Amtrak derailment in reportedly functional though bruised form, which had him walking on and off stage with care.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 24, 2015 | By Peter Dobrin, Inquirer Music Critic
If, in the classical realm, technical mastery long ago became the norm, and if, more recently, greatness is as easily accessed as a YouTube search, what do we hope to glean from the live concert experience? Why go at all? A smart curatorial hand assembling the weekend's artists and repertoire at the Philadelphia Orchestra affirmed the value of surprise. Saturday night in Verizon Hall could not have looked more unassuming on paper: a long-established violinist in a warhorse. But Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg made Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto in E Minor into such a complete personal statement it left the impression it might never happen again (Sunday's repeat performance, broadcast live on WRTI-FM, came close)
NEWS
September 29, 2014 | By Peter Dobrin, Inquirer Music Critic
This year, the Philadelphia Orchestra's official opening night - the one that lets you mingle with the maestro at an "exclusive" reception topping out at $2,500 per ticket - doesn't come until a couple of weeks into the season. Actual music-making, though, began in Verizon Hall on Friday night, with no less a gala soloist than Lang Lang. Many listeners in these parts still think of the pianist as an aberrantly eccentric Curtis Institute of Music student, and, for better or worse, in the last decade and a half of his working with every major orchestra and conductor on earth, absolutely nothing has rubbed off on him musically.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 26, 2014 | By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic
If any composer can occupy a concert on his own, it should be Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Oddly, that didn't quite happen with Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia's Sunday outing at the Kimmel Center's Perelman Theater with esteemed Swiss guest conductor Matthias Bamert. Bamert's extensive discography includes relatively minor figures with famous last names - Leopold Mozart and Michael Haydn - which explains why his program began with the better-known Mozart's teenage Symphony No. 17 , which, unlike many works of his youth, doesn't hold up all that well.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 22, 2014 | By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic
Once again, the Kimmel Center's Fred J. Cooper Memorial Organ emerged from its splendid semi-isolation with revelations at many turns Sunday with the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia. Organ recitals have their audience, but recent collaborations have uncovered important but neglected repertoire and perhaps have expanded the organ audience. In Sunday's program of Handel, Josef Rheinberger, and Joseph Jongen (with four different soloists), the big discovery was Stephen Paulus' 1992 Concerto for Solo Organ, Timpani, and Percussion . It's a terrific piece that would have to rank among the best American organ concertos of the last century, with four hefty movements that strike out in many directions, from elegiac to comic, with equal conviction.
NEWS
March 19, 2013 | By Bonnie L. Cook, Inquirer Staff Writer
William J. Ridenhour, 71, of Ambler, a gifted singer of African American spirituals and gospel music, died in his sleep Monday, March 11, at home. He was a heart patient, his family said. Mr. Ridenhour ran his own business, Celebrity Caterers, from home. Dapper and distinguished looking, he liked to move among people and make them feel welcome. He did that with his gift of gab, his cooking, and his singing. "There is a biblical term called 'given to hospitality,' and he was that," said his wife, Ann. "He loved people, and to chitchat.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 27, 2012 | By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic
Some traditions exist because they're needed. After a long year filled with incident, you could sink into your Verizon Hall seat on Sunday afternoon as fresh-voiced tenor John Tessier began to sing, with excellent diction and soothing tones, "Comfort ye, my people . . . . " It's Handel's Messiah , of course, a piece that could be a year-round classic (Choral Arts Society and Tempesta di Mare will perform it in March) but tends to arrive at the end of the year like a reward. The Philadelphia Orchestra's Sunday performance was historically responsible (the orchestra numbered about 30)
NEWS
September 12, 2012 | By Walter F. Naedele, Inquirer Staff Writer
  Rosina DiLullo Gore, 90, a soloist with the Lyric Opera of Philadelphia in the 1950s and 1960s who became a choir director at churches in Montgomery County, died Friday, Aug. 31, at her home in Ambler. "She sang the role of Frasquita in the opera Carmen with the Philadelphia Lyric," in a 1962 production starring Franco Corelli and Marilyn Horne at the Academy of Music, daughter Elissa said in a phone interview. "She had a nice career," her daughter said. "We should all be so lucky.
NEWS
May 8, 2012 | By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic
Though only nine minutes away from Philadelphia by train, Symphony in C's Rutgers-Camden home is truly in another state, which is why the prospect of hearing Gyorgy Ligeti's Violin Concerto on Saturday at the Gordon Theater felt vaguely perilous. This post-conservatory orchestra and its soloist Augustin Hadelich could be counted on to meet the music's considerable demands. But what about the suburban audience? The outset was not promising: After a new orchestra piece by Roger Zare titled Green Flash (winner of the orchestra's annual Young Composers Competition)
ENTERTAINMENT
November 8, 2011 | By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic
Though Astral Artists is in the business of helping promising young talents be all they can be, one can never be sure what form that might take. And while violinist Kristen Lee probably would have given a substantial recital whatever the circumstances Sunday at the Trinity Center for Urban Life, the breakthrough aspect was her duo partnership with pianist Alexandre Moutouzkine. No pairing since violinist Soovin Kim and pianist Jeremy Denk has exhibited the kind of synergy with which the two both supported and competed with each other in the best possible way. Often, they seemed bent on topping each other, not with sparkle and brilliance (though such qualities were certainly there)
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