July 30, 2014 |
It used to be we would go to the orchestra to avoid commercialism. Now, audiences are paying good money to be pitched to. Playing excerpts from the scores of Pixar films on two nights in Verizon Hall last week, the Philadelphia Orchestra set aside its charge of letting the public in on something interesting, overlooked, or artistically important. Instead, the ensemble played for two hours beneath a screen showing clips from Toy Story ( 1 , 2 and 3 ), Monsters Inc ., Cars ( 1 and 2 )
July 6, 2014 |
This year's appearance by Peter Nero and the Philly Pops in front of Independence Hall to celebrate the nation's birthday was a stirring success - but without Peter Nero, or Independence Hall. The threat of stormy weather moved Thursday night's free concert indoors, to Verizon Hall. Storms of the legal sort moved Nero out. The Pops' president, Frank Giordano, recently filed in federal court a defamation claim against Nero in an episode stemming from an interview Nero gave to the Morning Call.
May 28, 2014 |
Philly trombonist Jeff Bradshaw will gather his best friends Wednesday night - including vocal group Take 6 and fellow specialist Trombone Shorty - for HOME , a live recording session, with 10-piece band and strings, on the stage of the Kimmel's Verizon Hall. Bradshaw, 44, is confident but also humble for a guy who has traveled the world with Jay Z and played on albums for Michael Jackson, Mary J. Blige, and Philly luminaries like Marsha Ambrosius and the Roots. Bradshaw was raised at the Cambridge Mall housing project at 12th and Girard Streets.
May 5, 2014 |
PHILADELPHIA When you're talking about something as burly as the bass, two is a crowd, and eight enough for any respectable orchestra. What, then, can you expect of five dozen? Deep tones and even deeper meaning, it turns out, for amateurs who showed up Saturday at Verizon Hall to play with the very professional double basses of the Philadelphia Orchestra. After tunes folk and pop and an excerpt from Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 , players said the experience was just this side of a double-bass dream.
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.