November 8, 2011 |
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)
September 8, 2011 |
ESSEN, Germany - It wasn't the heat at the Grafenegg Festival or the stress or anything else: Janine Jansen, the Philadelphia Orchestra's missing-in-action star violin soloist, simply had the flu. After missing two dates on the European festivals tour, she returned in high style to play the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto Wednesday at the Essen Philharmonie and will appear at the all-important London Proms on Thursday. Both critics and orchestra members missed her on the earlier dates.
June 28, 2011
Richard Donald Genga, 65, of Mount Airy, a professional singer, photographer, and business owner, died of gall bladder cancer Wednesday, June 8, at Abington Hospice at Warminster. A classically trained tenor, Mr. Genga sang in opera productions in the Philadelphia area, as a soloist in area churches, and as a cantor in synagogues. His photography was exhibited at the Woodmere Art Museum in 1988 and 1989 and in a National Wildlife Federation show in Vienna, Va., in 1990. Mr. Genga was commissioned to chronicle his Mount Airy neighborhood for the Free Library of Philadelphia and was the photographer for A Guide to Collecting Antique Historical Prints , published by the Philadelphia Print Shop in Chestnut Hill.
May 27, 2011 |
The increasing authority its curated "Solo Series" exhibitions of regional art have won for the Abington Art Center is reflected in their progressively more adventurous character. Abington's current show by four soloists is an excellent example. It doesn't genuflect before tradition, yet in several instances takes as much notice of life as of art. And like its predecessors, it has a good long run of 2 1/2 months, a rarity for contemporary work in our region. Front and center is Jedediah Morfit, who impresses because he possesses a genuine vision.
May 13, 2011 |
Quoting Gustav Mahler is not a wholesome activity for composers, if only because you can't give his music a cameo appearance and expect to move on. You want to hear the entire Mahler piece being quoted. The memory more than lingers. But quoting was inevitable at Wednesday's "Mahler100/Schoenberg60" concert by Mimi Stillman's Dolce Suono Ensemble in three of the five new works commissioned for the occasion. Most were songs, ostensibly, but with ambitions - and a sense of drama from the star soloist, bass Eric Owens, that often suggested operatic scenes for chamber ensemble and voice.
February 16, 2011 |
Richard F. Robinson, 82, of Lansdowne, a church choir director, cantor, and soloist, died of complications from kidney disease Saturday, Feb. 12, at St. Francis Country House in Darby. For 25 years, Mr. Robinson led the adult choir at St. Philomena's Church in Lansdowne before becoming ill in 2007. He also was a soloist at weddings and funerals and was cantor during Masses, leading the congregation in singing and liturgical responses. Previously, he directed the men's and boy's choir at St. Thomas Aquinas Church in South Philadelphia for 15 years and for several years taught singing at the School of the Holy Child in Rosemont.
November 4, 2010 |
The big picture couldn't have looked more wonderful at the outset of Brahms' Ein Deutsches Requiem Tuesday at the Kimmel Center, where the piece was heard in a rare collaboration between the Dresden Staatskapelle, under Daniel Harding, and the Westminster Symphonic Choir of New Jersey's Westminster Choir College. Most often, you hear the piece performed by amateur choirs and pickup orchestras, not groups this beloved in their respective fields. Sometimes, though, the more defined a group's personality, the less easy the collaboration.
October 5, 2010 |
PRINCETON - Great Tchaikovsky playing, an East Coast premiere by a major composer and an A-list soloist wouldn't be taken for granted in a major city. But here? Where people usually spend autumn weekends shopping and escaping urban overstimulation? The Princeton Symphony Orchestra's season-opening concert Sunday at sold-out Richardson Auditorium delivered a hugely promising manifesto under new music director Rossen Milanov, so much that even those who think they know his music profile from his years as associate conductor of the Philadelphia Orchestra (which will end in 2011)
May 25, 2010 |
Though Samuel Barber's music was long considered a glorious postscript to a bygone era, his sweet-and-sour lyricism was the frequent starting point at Orchestra 2001's season finale last weekend. The particularly substantial 2 1/2-hour program - well prepared under conductor James Freeman - had two full concertos (both new to Philadelphia) and a new vocal work. Barber was represented only by his Knoxville: Summer of 1915, but his presence was pervasive. The irony award goes to Andrew Rudin, whose Concerto for Piano and Small Orchestra wasn't misnamed, but implied a modesty of means not borne out by this 40-minute work that covered too much musical territory for its own good - some of it not worth visiting.