February 12, 1998 |
The long-anticipated return of Riccardo Muti, a focus on 18 works by American composers and the U.S. debut of a lost symphony highlight the Philadelphia Orchestra's upcoming 99th season. Music director Wolfgang Sawallisch, who outlined the new season yesterday, will conduct 11 of the 31 subscription programs, and delve into Americana - the Gershwin Piano Concerto for the composer's centenary and music by Barber, Hanson and Druckman. Former music director Riccardo Muti will return on Oct. 5 for one concert, an Italian program to benefit the orchestra's pension fund.
July 10, 1998 |
The Philadelphia Youth Orchestra is on its way to Russia to join instrumentalists from eight other youth ensembles in an "Orchestra of the World. " As the only American orchestra in the World Youth Music Forum '98, the Philadelphians will play concerts in Moscow and Yaroslavl as well as in the massed orchestra extravaganza Wednesday in Red Square. The event is part of the World Youth Games being held in Moscow under the aegis of the International Olympic Committee. Joseph Primavera will conduct the orchestra in concerts at the Moscow Conservatory tomorrow and in Yaroslavl next Friday.
November 2, 1995 |
After a while, it's hard to care much about Hermann, the lead in The Queen of Spades. He mopes around on stage for a full three acts bringing a black cloud - sometimes literally - wherever he goes. "What a pathetic creature I am," he sings. Pathetic, indeed. But Hermann is not alone. Misery loves company, and he's got plenty of it in the Metropolitan Opera's smart new production of Tchaikovsky's not-always-so-smart opera. Everybody has something to kvetch about in The Queen of Spades.
January 28, 2002 |
The Kimmel Center will host at least six major visiting orchestras next season, plus the first visit by superstar Italian mezzo Cecilia Bartoli in 11 years. Four international orchestras are already inked in: the Kirov Orchestra with jet-set conductor Valery Gergiev, the Vienna Philharmonic led by Nikolaus Harnoncourt, the London Philharmonic under Kurt Masur, and the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra with Lorin Maazel. We'll also hear the Pittsburgh Symphony with Mariss Jansons and the Cleveland Orchestra led by Franz Welser-Most.
August 21, 2002 |
Composer James Newton Howard scored the first two films by director M. Night Shayamalan, "The Sixth Sense" and "Unbreakable," and they've clicked again for "Signs. " Howard has a knack for flexibility, having worked on films as diverse as "Space Jam" (cartoons) "The Fugitive" (chase) and "Runaway Bride" (love story) while always providing music of depth and imagination. In "Signs," (Hollywood), Howard provides eerie music for the cornfield scenes with some churning Philip Glass-like sections, but always breaks out into something unexpected and original.
March 27, 1999 |
Valery Gergiev led the Philadelphia Orchestra in his local debut Thursday, conducting a program that inadvertently sharpened the debate over the orchestra's devotion to 20th-century music next season. Gergiev, leading Stravinsky, Debussy and Bartok, filled the Academy of Music as it hasn't been filled in a few weeks, with music that has been neglected by this orchestra. The leading Russian conductor of his generation, Gergiev, in his 40s, holds posts everywhere, from St. Petersburg to the Metropolitan Opera, and is one of the few who cruise the international orchestral scene as accepted superstars.
October 11, 2013 |
PRINCETON - This time, the conductor had many moments to spare, but the Mariinsky Orchestra was late. And that can only mean one thing: Music director Valery Gergiev, infamous for arriving for concerts at the last possible minute, was never scheduled to be there. While Gergiev conducts at the Metropolitan Opera, Ignat Solzhenitsyn is taking three of the orchestra's U.S. tour dates. Though the orchestra had a delayed arrival from Ithaca, Solzhenitsyn was at Richardson Auditorium here, checking out the podium situation for a rare conducting appearance in the area without Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia (which he headed for 12 years, ending in 2010)
April 28, 1998 |
Silvery bodies bounced about the Metropolitan Opera House stage Saturday, brandishing bows and arrows to the familiar strains of Borodin's "Polyvetsian Dances. " Don't know these tunes? Well, one of them also goes by the name of "Strangers in Paradise," a hit song from a 1953 Broadway show called Kismet. But it wasn't the American musical onstage at the Met, it was the Kirov Opera's Prince Igor, for which Borodin first wrote those dances. It's one of four fascinating novelties the Kirov is presenting at the Metropolitan Opera House through May 9. Prince Igor is hardly the most interesting, but it definitely is a novelty: It was last staged in this house in 1917.
April 5, 2005 |
Despite all of their talk about courting nascent listeners, orchestras today forget that they used to give audiences more entry points, both in the concert hall and on disc. A Mussorgsky overture opened a window into his astonishing world of opera, a Rimsky dance attested to one of the most inventive orchestrators ever. None of this repertoire was a concession to quality. But somehow, although these works ceased to be overplayed decades ago, they retain the patina of being one step down on the scale of artistic importance.
November 26, 1998 |
Don't put your ear too close to the speaker when the Nutcracker does battle with the army of the Mouse King. You might get something shot off. At least it sounds that way in Valery Gergiev's new recording of The Nutcracker with the Kirov Orchestra (Philips). And that's not the recording's biggest surprise. Tchaikovsky's music for the popular ballet is laden with an even more torpid performance tradition than the composer's Symphony No. 5. We all know what to expect in the way of tempos, phrasing, the balance of the orchestral voices - and perhaps we like it that way. The Nutcracker is, after all, a Christmas piece, and what's Christmas without tradition?