October 22, 2012 |
Of the Philadelphia Orchestra's eight music directors in 112 years, none has arrived with the vessel-of-hope urgency that accompanies Yannick Nézet-Séguin. Bankruptcy and several years of organizational chaos have cast doubt on the orchestra as a going concern, and its public image has taken a beating. "Beautiful but beleaguered," wrote the New Yorker in advance of the orchestra's Carnegie Hall concert this week. "Can These Philadelphians Be Fabulous Again?" asked the Wall Street Journal.
November 5, 2011 |
If you're an orchestra in bankruptcy, programming a series of requiems for the dead might not telegraph the most reassuring message. Yet Yannick Nézet-Séguin has hit on something in this repertoire thread leading up to his official start in 10 months as the Philadelphia Orchestra's music director. Requiems are event pieces, drawing big crowds and rivers of emotion. Last season the young conductor led the Mozart/Süssmayr Requiem . He's in town now for Brahms' Ein deutsches Requiem , a canny choice given current circumstances.
August 14, 2012 |
SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - "It's a small world, and it all comes together in Saratoga. " So said a faintly bemused Yannick Nézet-Séguin last week. Only while discussing his Saratoga concert lineup did the Philadelphia Orchestra's music director-designate realize he'd brought together talent from the current coordinate points of his career - London, Montreal, Salzburg, and Philadelphia - for an intensive trio of concerts during the orchestra's three-week residency here, which ends Saturday.
April 16, 2012 |
When the Philadelphia Orchestra filed for Chapter 11 last spring, its leaders said the reorganization would cost $2.9 million in legal and administrative fees, and they predicted the orchestra would be out of bankruptcy in the latter part of 2011. The legal tab now looks likely to be triple that initial estimate, and the case is entering its second year. On April 16, 2011, the ensemble's 75-member board voted - with a few abstentions, and all five musicians on the board voting "no" - to become the first major U.S. orchestra to file for bankruptcy.
October 28, 2012 |
Music of the Americas, with its refreshing lack of foreignness, is easy to take for granted. No mental reaching across oceans, centuries, or time zones is needed to make contact with this music. It's our stuff. So it must be easy. That's why Leonard Bernstein's Serenade for Solo Violin, Strings, Harp and Percussion , one of the most distinctive concertos of the 20th century, is so often performed badly, and why the Peruvian fusion represented by Gabriela Lena Frank's new Concertino Cusqueño - both were played Thursday by the Philadelphia Orchestra at the Kimmel Center - was barely thinkable a few decades ago. The two pieces stood together beautifully, partly because they both bring certain European composers over here.
July 4, 2012 |
Journalists are supposed to be the ultimate Zeligs: We pop up at the right places with faces hidden by the shoulders and hairdos of the famous and powerful. We observe and report, always in the thick of things but never part of them. Journalists aren't usually role models or public figures, aren't elected officials, and don't receive taxpayer money. Who cares which ones are gay? But Anderson Cooper, 45, the CNN star journalist who yesterday came out as a gay man (to nobody's surprise)
June 25, 2012 |
Toting Mickey Mouse dolls and donning Lilly Pulitzer shifts, the city's youngest classical-music fans made for a gorgeous spectacle Saturday morning filing into the Academy of Music. Yes, the Philadelphia Orchestra's family concert was returning just this once to the Academy, which the ensemble largely left behind in 2001 for more acoustically advanced environs down the block. The Academy is "still a little bit our home," the orchestra's next music director, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, told the audience.
March 24, 2013
Sunday at 2 p.m., WRTI-FM (90.1) broadcasts a Philadelphia Orchestra concert from November 2011. Yannick Nézet-Séguin leads an Italian-themed program: Tchaikovsky's Francesca da Rimini , Mendelssohn's Symphony No. 4 , the overture to Verdi's La Forza del Destino , and Respighi's The Pines of Rome .
September 10, 2012 |
The publisher doesn't toss the morning paper onto your lawn, nor does the airline pilot walk down the aisle asking for your choice of beverage. So when the music director of the Philadelphia Orchestra popped up unannounced at the Kimmel Center box office Monday as season single tickets went on sale, the patron on the other side of the window was startled. And charmed. "He's a nice, young, exuberant and lovely person to represent the orchestra," Carolyn Platt of Abington said of Yannick Nézet-Séguin, who this season becomes the orchestra's eighth music director.
June 24, 2012 |
The Philadelphia Orchestra's Stokowski Celebration could easily have been another opportunity to play standard repertoire at its previous home, the Academy of Music. With high-quality performances, there's nothing wrong with that. But at Thursday's opening of the four-concert festival, add-ons were everywhere: Video monitors in the lobby displayed the statuesque Leopold Stokowski in photos from his 1912-1941 Philadelphia tenure along with designs for a new concert hall he proposed — strangely resembling the Mann Center for the Performing Arts.