January 7, 2014 |
How nice. The Philadelphia Orchestra brought a bit of medium-weight summer entertainment to the dead of winter with Cirque de la Symphonie, a group of nine acrobats, aerialists, and jugglers performing with some surprisingly new, even challenging, music at Verizon Hall on the year's first weekend. Associate conductor Cristian Macelaru led pops repertoire such as Saint-Saens' "Bacchanale" from Samson and Delilah , mixed with more provocative works - George Antheil's Hot-Time Dance , Samuel Barber's "Hesitation Tango.
November 24, 2013 |
Violinist/conductor Itzhak Perlman enjoys a rare freedom in classical music: His relationship with audiences is such that he needs only to show up, and adoration is assured. What's frustrating is that Perlman doesn't do more with that status, especially since his string of subscription concerts with the Philadelphia Orchestra this week features four performances, rather than the usual three. This program stands to reach more listeners than perhaps any other this season. From a repertoire standpoint, Perlman has never been terribly ambitious as a violinist.
October 23, 2013 |
The most dynamic orchestra in the city emerges each year with a few surprises in its ranks. So it was Sunday afternoon, when the Curtis Institute of Music's fall class of instrumentalists found form as a symphony orchestra in dancerly works of Rachmaninoff, Strauss, and Stravinsky. Tallying individual talent is great sport - a bassoonist who took the opening to The Rite of Spring as if she'd been born and raised on a high wire - and yet there was something more significant at work.
October 13, 2013 |
Normally two islands in a sea of social media, the Philadelphia Orchestra and Opera Philadelphia have had recent audience triumphs radically revising old notions that Twitter and other social media work only for young millennials. On Oct. 2, the Philadelphia Orchestra played to a full Verizon Hall on six hours' notice, aided by social media, after a prestigious visiting engagement at Carnegie Hall was abruptly canceled. The strategy: Massive contacts via e-mail, Facebook, and Twitter.
April 19, 2013
FAMILY Maps at Winterthur A few years back, Miss Teen South Carolina famously said, "Some people out there in our nation don't have maps. " Not so at this Wilmington-area museum, where more than 100 rare objects form a new exhibition, "Common Destinations: Maps in the American Experience. " 5105 Kennett Pike (Route 52), Winterthur, Del., through Jan. 5, $5-$18, 302-888-4600, winterthur.org. Jimmy and Johari Rollins You knew they were passionate about physical fitness, baseball, politics and Camryn, their 11-month-old daughter.
April 8, 2013 |
The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia migrated for the first time in its own subscription series Sunday from its usual Perelman Theater quarters to the larger Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center, and with good reason: Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 . It's a piece that needs more room. Also significant, conductor laureate Ignat Solzhenitsyn (a much-seasoned Beethovenian) returned to conduct a smaller-scale, gently provocative performance that reminded you how seldom the composer's grandest symphony is heard with fine nuances.
March 21, 2013 |
When composer Eric Whitacre launched his East Coast tour Monday, he received such a rock-star greeting that he wondered whether he should have a stack of amplifiers and a mean-sounding Stratocaster. "I felt a little guilty," he says. "I wanted to have something to meet that young energy. " Instead, he conducted 30-plus singers in Monteverdi and his own trademark ethereal tones, which many listeners drove considerable distances to hear at the Strathmore concert hall near Baltimore.
February 20, 2013 |
The concept that unlocks the possibilities of time travel may remain obscure. But what we now know about time machines is that they take up a lot of space. One such specimen landed Monday morning in the lobby of the Kimmel Center as workers began assembling an enormous "interactive" time machine to be the centerpiece of the Kimmel's upcoming arts festival. With its time-travel theme, the 2013 Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts will frame performances and other events with time-related exhibits and activities experienced in the 100-foot-long cylinder.
September 1, 2012 |
It can take time for a new building to work out all the kinks, even when the architecture is very good. In the case of Rafael Viñoly's Kimmel Center, which falls well short of that mark, the tweaking has been going on for more than a decade. In the last year, the Broad Street performing arts center has finally begun to set things right, starting with the acoustics in its Verizon Hall. The Kimmel hopes to cross another big headache off its list Tuesday, when it reopens the dramatic, but brutally hot, rooftop terrace on top of its Perelman Theater.
August 28, 2012 |
There's something slightly demystifying about seeing Dead Can Dance in the flesh. Under headphones, the duo of Lisa Gerrard and Brendan Perry can sound like timeless, ethereal nomads haunting some otherworldly caravanserai. On stage, their arsenal of exotic sounds is realized as a few synths and a handful of percussion instruments, and the passage of time is evident in Perry's graying goatee, if not in his still-rich baritone. The spell didn't seem to be broken for the audience gathered in Verizon Hall on Sunday night, however.