November 16, 2008 |
Violinists - even at their most classical - like to call themselves fiddlers. But such persons at the Curtis Institute of Music are about to see what fiddling truly means, with somebody who learned it from backwoods, Deep South musicians with roots extending back to the Civil War. The instigator is composer/violinist Mark O'Connor, best known for Appalachia Waltz and Appalachian Journey, his best-selling albums with Yo-Yo Ma, and for a kind of...
August 8, 2008 |
Carrie Rodriguez says she has been more than a little nervous waiting for critical reaction to her just-released album, She Ain't Me. "I'm exposing more of myself, which feels kind of kind of dangerous," the 30-year-old fiddler-singer says. She Ain't Me - which gently blurs the lines between country, folk and pop - marks Rodriguez's first musical outing without longtime musical partner Chip Taylor (brother of actor Jon Voight and author of 1960s hits "Wild Thing" and "Angel of the Morning")
February 19, 2008 |
Astral Artistic Services inhabited a particularly global arena Sunday with an afternoon concert that drew a crowd that filled Trinity Urban Center to its walnut panels. Jos? Franch-Ballester was the recitalist. The a handsome graduate of the Curtis Institute, from Moncofa, Spain, played clarinet in a program of 20th- and 21st-century works. Franch-Ballester's easy manner and playing made it all high art and highly entertaining. Debussy's Premi?re Rhapsodie got the afternoon off to a fine start.
November 30, 2007 |
The smaller the medium, the more likely Beethoven is to retain his abrasive potency. Modern, sumptuous-sounding symphony orchestras often round out the rough edges of his symphonies. But current musicians such as Christian Tetzlaff and Alexander Lonquich, who performed an all-Beethoven violin-sonata evening Wednesday at the Kimmel Center, can't help but tap into the composer's impatient, rough-hewn immediacy - if only because, unlike the symphonies, there's no possible smoke screen of suavity between the notes on the page and the sounds that reach the audience.
October 13, 2007 |
I HAD A NIGHTMARE the other night - complete with the kinds of sights and sounds that make for genuine horror. It started with the mournful violin from "The Godfather" playing softly during a family dinner. Steam rose from our fettuccine Alfredo. Apprehension filled the air. Then our 5-year-old daughter, Eve, made us an offer we couldn't refuse. "You remember the day you asked me to clean the bathroom?" she asked me in a low, raspy voice. "Yes, but why are you talking like that?
October 8, 2007 |
So slowly has it happened in the last decade that it's hard to see how obsequious music groups have grown. For proof, look at the Philadelphia Orchestra, which, facing audience flight, recently revealed that it would be turning to listeners for advice on repertoire. So much for the smart art of programming and the importance of guiding public taste. Thank your lucky stars, then, for Orchestra 2001. Saturday night at the Independence Seaport Museum they left me feeling grateful even for a programming failure.
September 23, 2007 |
Oliver E. Rodgers, 91, a Scott Paper executive who became a violin acoustics expert, died of kidney failure Aug. 29 at Kendal at Longwood, a retirement community in Kennett Square. For the last 26 years, Mr. Rodgers helped violin-makers and professional violinists improve the sound of their instruments. Until last spring, he made house calls in an old truck he converted into a mobile acoustics lab, pulling up behind concert halls and in musicians' driveways, said his son, Daniel.
September 21, 2007 |
The first Mid-Autumn Festival drew a few hundred people to the parking lot of a Chinese church, the entertainment provided by a kid who creaked out a tune on his violin. The 12th celebration, to be held tomorrow, will draw crowds so thick that streets will be closed in Chinatown. And the performers will be expert: The Philadelphia Chinese Opera Society, led by Shuyuan Li, a fourth-generation Beijing Opera master. Peter Tang, a virtuoso on the erhu, the two-stringed Chinese violin, and graduate of the prestigious Shenyang Conservatory of Music.
August 3, 2007 |
Jenny Scheinman is the first to admit that the violin has played a relatively minor role in jazz history. "I wouldn't say there's very many jazz violinists that I love," Scheinman said by phone from her Brooklyn, N.Y., home. "But that surprises me, because I think it's a very good instrument for jazz. It's very expressive. " Attempting to play jazz on the violin forces a musician to become intimate with musicians from the 1930s and '40s, pre-bop innovators like Stephane Grappelli, Stuff Smith and Eddie South.
July 20, 2007
IN THE PHILLIES' year of the non-save, it is nice that No. 1 draft pick Joe Save ry has formally joined this pitcher-starved organization. If the 6-3 Rice lefthander (and the Owls' best hitter, as well) is the real deal, he could be in the rotation as early as 2009. That assumes he will overmatch the short-season, Class A New York-Penn League, where he will audition with the Williamsport Crosscutters, get bumped up to Lakewood, or even to Clearwater, then begin next season in Clearwater or Reading.