February 22, 2013 |
Catching the entrepreneurial social-media wave, the Curtis Institute of Music says it will offer two free online courses through Coursera - one on Beethoven piano sonatas, the other a broad survey of Western music - that will open the school beyond its narrow specialization to the general music-appreciation student. Curtis is one of 29 schools announced Thursday as new affiliates of Silicon Valley-based Coursera, the massive open online course (MOOC) platform that, despite having debuted less than a year ago, now claims about 1.45 million course enrollments per month.
February 8, 2010 |
Was it modern jazz? Or the soundtrack to The Golden Voyage of Sinbad? The undulating melody issuing - however haltingly - yesterday afternoon from the 15 teens in the Kimmel Center Youth Jazz Ensemble was unmistakable. Even familiar. It was the snake charmers' melody familiar from old action movies. Snake charmers? Sinbad? And a jazz band? The scene at the Kimmel Center's cramped Education Center on South Broad Street began to make sense when the ensemble's director, Marc Johnson, handed the baton to the guest of honor, Simon Shaheen.
April 20, 2012 |
TONIGHT, South Philadelphia's Grindcore House is going a little batty. The coffee shop known for its vegan menu and political engagement — it carries cookbooks and political literature — shows some love for an animal that doesn't usually get much with "Empty Night Skies. " More than 50 local, national and international artists will celebrate bats in sculpture, jewelry and prints to raise awareness about dangers facing the insect-devourers. White-nose syndrome has killed more than 5.7 million bats since it was discovered in 2006.
November 19, 1986 |
Cambodian-born composer Chinary Ung did not hear a note of Western music until he was 17. This weekend, his "Inner Voices" - only the second orchestral work in his portfolio - will receive its world premiere in a Philadelphia Orchestra concert. A piece that merges two cultures, "Inner Voices" will be played in five programs at the Academy of Music, Broad and Locust Streets. And the audience at tomorrow night's premiere will get a rare bonus: Ung will speak about the work and then be the guest at an informal wine reception for the concertgoers in the Academy lobby.
June 5, 2013 |
Her first concern was The Scene. Patricia Schuman had never sung Margaret, Duchess of Argyll, in Thomas Adès' Powder Her Face . But when Opera Philadelphia called to offer the role, it wasn't the unusually short notice - two weeks before the first rehearsal - that gave her pause. How would this production handle the opera's most notorious nonmusical element? Would the depiction of fellatio be nudged in a direction more or less explicit? "When I saw that they had already chosen the director, I asked to see the sets and costumes, and that told me a lot," Schuman said.
January 28, 2015 |
Every so often, Astral Artists presents a concert by a musician who arrives with no prior reputation but showing every sign of being a fully fledged artistic force. So it was with pianist Dizhou Zhao, whose Philadelphia recital debut, presented by Astral Artists on Sunday at the Trinity Center for Urban Life, exuded distinctive personality. A graduate of the New England Conservatory, this pianist from Shanghai plays with a bright, crystalline sonority that gives him no place to hide technically, supported by a hefty bass sound and a musical sensibility that went well beyond the architectural building blocks of Chopin and Prokofiev, allowing the music to unfold as a living, evolving, organic entity.
January 10, 2014 |
You could spend a lifetime delving into all of Franz Liszt's roles as Western music's great change agent. Or you might simply have listened in Tuesday, as pianist Louis Lortie laid them bare before a Philadelphia Chamber Music Society audience. At the American Philosophical Society, with oils of Washington, Jefferson, and Franklin gazing down from the stage, Liszt rivaled the radical old patriots for conjuring a new world. In our time, Wagner may be the most frequently referenced starting point of modern music; opera as a medium has an obvious edge.
February 6, 2012 |
It would, of course, be futile to speculate about how Jimi Hendrix would have evolved had he lived past the age of 27. But given his wide-ranging tastes and rumors of planned collaborations with the likes of Miles Davis and Gil Evans, it seems safe to assume that he would have at least crossed paths with the jazz-rock fusioneers of the 1970s. One possible outcome of such an alternative history was suggested at the Painted Bride on Saturday night. Guitarist David "Fuze" Fiuczynski played an eclectic set of radically rearranged songs by the late guitar wizard and others, from what vocalist Freedom Bremner referred to as "the Hendrix diaspora.
March 26, 2014 |
Charting Beethoven's evolution from being the most genial guardian of the classical style to its executioner is an exercise done vividly and not infrequently through the string quartets and piano sonatas. But Peter Wiley and Anna Polonsky took audiences through the story from the vantage point of the cello sonata Sunday afternoon. Presented by the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society in two concerts at the American Philosophical Society, at 3 and 6 p.m., it was hardly a marathon (at least for the audience)