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Stokowski

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ENTERTAINMENT
October 10, 1999 | By Peter Dobrin, INQUIRER MUSIC CRITIC
How do you commemorate the recording life of one of the most recorded orchestras in history? In choosing tracks to celebrate the Philadelphia Orchestra's 100 years, the task was not to assemble the orchestra's most-famous or best-selling releases. It couldn't have been; the orchestra's output is too voluminous. Eugene Ormandy alone recorded 1,200 works with his pioneering ensemble. Amazon.com last week had 419 recordings listed that include the sounds of the Philadelphians, and those are just the CDs in print.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 12, 2000 | By Peter Dobrin, INQUIRER MUSIC CRITIC
A program of Bach? How does this comply with the Philadelphia Orchestra's pledge to celebrate its 100 years by performing only works from "its century"? Strictly speaking, it was mostly Bach's spirit, in various potencies, that visited the program. The closest thing to real Bach were the four velvety Stokowski transcriptions with which Wolfgang Sawallisch ended Thursday night's concert. But Berg's luscious Violin Concerto, his last completed work, quotes a melody Bach used in his Cantata No. 60, and the piece falls nicely on this orchestra with its starry-night harp plucks and atmospheric and distinctly unpercussive percussion.
NEWS
January 26, 2015 | By Peter Dobrin, Inquirer Music Critic
Headlining this year's Academy of Music Anniversary Concert and Ball: Al Pacino. Al Pacino? The Academy's white-tie bash, its premier annual fund-raiser, has always trained its old-world spotlight on a big-name musical guest or two. This year's choice, though, is famous for being Michael Corleone in the Godfather films and Tony Montana in Scarface - in other words, characters whose violin cases might contain items other than a violin....
ENTERTAINMENT
May 7, 1999 | By Daniel Webster, INQUIRER MUSIC CRITIC
The English violinist Kennedy thinks the trappings of concert life are as superfluous and maybe as meaningless as a first name. In a career that has moved from the usual to the unusual, he has appeared with wildly dyed hair, haute-punk couture, and every gesture of challenge to the same old life onstage. He played his debut with the Philadelphia Orchestra Wednesday, charming his audience with downscale nonchalance and upmarket playing. It was a pension fund concert. Wolfgang Sawallisch led one of the last concerts at the Academy of Music before the orchestra's Asian tour, offering music of such normality that a soloist with Asian clothing and vertical hair seemed much in order.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 25, 1995 | By Peter Dobrin, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER Daniel Webster also contributed
It's something of a civic embarrassment that only about 800 people turned out Monday night to hear the BBC Symphony Orchestra in its first appearance here since 1987. The British group was greeted with long stretches of empty red-velvet seats on the Academy of Music's parquet, with upper levels of the hall looking downright desolate. Perhaps the scant attendance was a fluke. There is certainly a built-in interest here in orchestras; we are, after all, home to one of the world's finest.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 30, 1996 | By Peter Dobrin, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Every conductor must face a few ghosts now and again, as Andre Raphel Smith did yesterday afternoon at the Academy of Music. It was brave of the Philadelphia Orchestra's assistant conductor to have programmed works for his subscription series debut that are strongly associated with conductors past. Mention Rachmaninoff's Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, for instance, and Stokowski immediately comes to mind. In 1934, Stoki and the Philadelphians gave its world premiere, with Rachmaninoff at the keyboard, and their famous recording of the piece cemented the bond between conductor and composer in the public's mind.
NEWS
November 28, 1987 | By Lesley Valdes, Inquirer Music Critic
Yuri Temirkanov did his bit for East-West relations last night when he led the Philadelphia Orchestra in a stirring rendition of Shostakovich's Sixth Symphony (Op. 54). It was a performance almost as much fun to watch as it was stimulating to the ears, for the 49-year-old conductor has a canon of enthusiastic motions that in the Russian repertoire, at least, achieve striking effects. The current artistic director and chief conductor of the Kirov Opera, Temirkanov has not visited the Academy of Music for eight years.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 23, 1990 | By Tom Di Nardo, Daily News Classical Music Writer
Conductor Stanislaw Skrowaczewski's visit this week with the Philadelphia Orchestra is more like a reunion: it's the 10th guest season for the leader of Manchester, England's, Halle Orchestra, and his long relationship with these players guarantees some solid music-making. TONIGHT Spanish pianist Alicia De Larrocha's interpretive gift makes her one of the world's most welcome artists. Her first project in a new RCA contract is a traversal of all 17 Mozart piano sonatas, so scheduling the Piano Concerto No. 23 seems natural.
NEWS
April 17, 1998 | by Harriet Lessy and Gar Joseph, Daily News Staff Writers
Philadelphia's movers and shakers greeted the unveiling of the design for the Regional Performing Arts Center last night with sustained applause. And they greeted Mayor Rendell with a standing ovation. Next we find out if they like him so much with his hand in their pockets. Those in the well-dressed crowd at the Pennsylvania Convention Center sipped champagne and oohed and aahhed at the architectural models, but didn't look like they could cover the $77 million shortfall needed to build the thing.
NEWS
July 8, 1994 | by Tom Di Nardo, Daily News Classical Music Writer
Once upon a time, the majority of classical discs on the average living room shelf were by the Philadelphia Orchestra. Through the Stokowski and Ormandy eras, whether 78-, 45- or 33-rpm shellac or vinyl platters, this ensemble reigned supreme through its legendary wind and brass soloists and world-famous string section. The Philadelphians' level of playing remains superb, but these days hundreds of orchestras battle for the CD dollar. But a sudden pile of Philadelphia Orchestra CD releases by five conductors feels like a return to the dynasty days.
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ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
January 26, 2015 | By Peter Dobrin, Inquirer Music Critic
Headlining this year's Academy of Music Anniversary Concert and Ball: Al Pacino. Al Pacino? The Academy's white-tie bash, its premier annual fund-raiser, has always trained its old-world spotlight on a big-name musical guest or two. This year's choice, though, is famous for being Michael Corleone in the Godfather films and Tony Montana in Scarface - in other words, characters whose violin cases might contain items other than a violin....
ENTERTAINMENT
May 25, 2013 | By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic
Yannick Nézet-Séguin might be expected to end his first season as Philadelphia Orchestra music director with some sort of awesome bang, if only because he's that kind of guy. Instead, the final program of the Kimmel Center season on Thursday had a "to be continued" quality, with fairly standard repertoire in somewhat unusual configuration, but in performances that showed something extraordinary is underway here. Though Nézet-Séguin's taste in programming has expanded the orchestra's repertoire with choral works that are often left to organizations that have trouble affording the Kimmel Center, this concert was anchored by the Brahms Violin Concerto with Gil Shaham in top form, but with the conductor generating a synergy one seldom hears in this oft-played piece, even in recordings.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 10, 2012 | By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic
The Philadelphia Orchestra is having another of its Leopold Stokowski awareness weeks, in which you never know if you're going to encounter the vision, the eccentricity, or the datedness of the great conductor who laid the foundation for what the institution is today. Guest conductor Emmanuel Krivine was game Friday for reproducing a characteristically top-heavy Stokowski program from the mid-1930s: Franck's weighty Symphony in D minor on the first half, with flashy Poulenc and Bach on the second - the reverse of how concerts are built in our time - all in various manifestations of D minor.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 16, 2012 | By Peter Dobrin, Inquirer Music Critic
The Philadelphia Orchestra had a lovely Ingmar Bergman moment Saturday night. Verizon Hall was filled with the most representative-of-the-city audience you could hope to see at an orchestra concert. Asian American fathers lent laps and shoulders to children two or three deep. Chic Center City couples made it a date night. College students and seniors rubbed elbows in the third tier. If a camera had panned across the crowd, it might have captured an undeclared contest to see who could smile the widest at 12-year-old Alexander Liu's remarkably assured performance of Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 1, first movement.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 24, 2012 | By David Patrick Stearns and Inquirer Music Critic
The Philadelphia Orchestra's Stokowski Celebration could easily have been another opportunity to play standard repertoire at its previous home, the Academy of Music. With high-quality performances, there's nothing wrong with that. But at Thursday's opening of the four-concert festival, add-ons were everywhere: Video monitors in the lobby displayed the statuesque Leopold Stokowski in photos from his 1912-1941 Philadelphia tenure along with designs for a new concert hall he proposed — strangely resembling the Mann Center for the Performing Arts.
NEWS
June 18, 2012 | By David Patrick Stearns and Inquirer Music Critic
Leopold Stokowski could only have been invented — by Leopold Stokowski. Magnetic, innovative, and the exception to most rules, starting a century ago Stokowski made the Philadelphia Orchestra what it is today, with a glamour and showmanship that reached listeners well beyond the core classical audience. So, as the Philadelphia Orchestra forges its post-bankruptcy identity, music director-designate Yannick Nézet-Séguin is looking back to that launching point of the orchestra's international reputation with a four-concert centennial Stokowski Celebration from Thursday through Saturday in the hall where it all began, the Academy of Music.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 4, 2012 | By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic
This summer's Philadelphia Orchestra celebration of Leopold Stokowski unofficially started early with the guest-conducting debut of the San Francisco Opera's Nicola Luisotti on Thursday night. In true Stoky style, the baton disappeared and his fingers conjured plush orchestral colors in Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherazade   and Bach transcribed for orchestra, both of which were Stokowski calling cards during his years as music director (1912-1941). The question is: How relevant are such performances in the 21st century?
ENTERTAINMENT
January 26, 2012 | By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic
The drumroll that greeted the announcement Wednesday of Yannick Nézet-Séguin's first full Philadelphia Orchestra concert season came with surprises that perhaps even music pundits didn't see coming. With highlights including an Oct. 18 season opener with opera star Renée Fleming; the Verdi Requiem with Marina Poplavskaya and Rolando Villazón; a fully staged The Rite of Spring in collaboration with the Philadelphia Live Arts Festival; and Bach's great and infrequently heard St.
NEWS
October 20, 2011 | By Peter Dobrin, Inquirer Music Critic
When Verizon Hall opened in December 2001, it came with an enormous footnote. Don't rush to judgment, acousticians from Artec said. A new hall requires "tuning" before anyone can know how it really sounds. Tuning commenced. The series of small adjustments turned out to be inadequate. Now about to enter its second decade, Verizon is once again a work in progress, another round of remediations - $1.3 million worth - having taken place over the summer. And the salient question recurs: Is it a great orchestra hall (yet)
NEWS
June 25, 2010
I, too, am excited about the prospect of Yannick Nézet-Séguin's taking over the podium of the Philadelphia Orchestra, but I am distressed that the conductor who put our orchestra on the map - Leopold Stokowski - is so rarely mentioned. When "Stoki" took over the podium in 1912 (at age 30), Philadelphia's orchestra was a stuffy, little-respected organization. He reorganized and energized it and built it into what Rachmaninoff in 1929 called "the finest orchestra the world has ever heard.
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