Join us this Sunday, May 31 at 4 pm as WRTI brings you the first in a series of broadcasts recorded live in concert at Carnegie Hall during the 2014/2015 season.
Re-live the opening night gala concert by the Berlin Philharmonic, led by Simon Rattle. Violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter – a longtime collaborator with the Philharmonic – is the soloist in the lush Bruch Violin Concerto No. 1 in G minor. The program opens with Rachmaninoff's Symphonic Dances and concludes with the final moments of Stravinsky's The Firebird.
Classical composer Michael Daugherty writes music about ideas, people, and places from popular culture. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, his works invite listeners to engage with the music through their own experiences.
Ten music educators from the Delaware Valley will be honored by the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra (PYO) during their Annual Festival Concert at the Kimmel Center on May 31st for "inspiration and outstanding leadership in music education." ***[Go to the bottom of this post for announcement of the 2015 Ovation Award Winner.]
One of the highlights of this Philadelphia Orchestra season took place in late March, when Carol Jantsch, Principal Tuba of the Philadelphia Orchestra since 2006, stood front and center on the Verizon Hall stage to perform as soloist in a work written for her – Michael Daugherty’s Reflections on the Mississippi. Janstch premiered the work two years ago, a piece that Daugherty calls “a musical reflection on family trips to the Mississippi River during my childhood.”
Theories abound about why the violins created in Cremona, Italy from the mid 1500s to the mid 1700s serve as the benchmark among masterpieces. Intriguing research by acoustics experts from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology might provide a clue.
There are very few tuba concertos in the classical repertoire - Ralph Vaughn Williams' 1954 work is among a handful. But, as WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, a new addition explores the largely untapped lyricism of the instrument.
It’s that sound...that unmistakable straight, round sound. But even though Miles Davis has a unique voice, that isn’t the only reason he’s one of the giants in the history of jazz.
Swing turned into bebop, and while the energy was exciting, the furious notes and harmonies threatened to turn jazz into a mere showcase for virtuosos. The music was starting to be overwhelmed. So were audiences.
Miles Davis slowed down the pace, making his music—and his trumpet—sound more like the human voice. He revolutionized music by going back to its roots.
The Arden Theatre has staged 14 productions of Stephen Sondheim shows since 1993. But opening this month is a first: Passion, a simple love story between people who are anything but simple. Artistic director Terry Nolen tells the Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns why he waited until he was good and ready.
It was easy to see why bassist Ben Williams’s debut CD State of Art made such a splash. It had a deserved buzz around a rising talent, and remains a primer for how to make a modern jazz record.
Since then, besides heavy side-gigging and touring with his band as Ben Williams and Sound Effect (Christian Sands, Marcus Strickland, Matthew Stevens, and John Davis), the 30-year-old had a key role in the Pat Metheny Unity Group. The band played over 150 shows internationally in 2013, which is a lot of experience in a compressed time frame.
So it’s not surprising that his follow-up CD, Coming of Age, is a rush of pleasure from beginning to end.
A taste of the new Ben Williams CD, Coming of Age:
The highly-disciplined Williams, a Juilliard graduate and winner of the 2009 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Bass Competition, weds fresh jazz to pop and R&B on seriously engaging tunes that hum and heave from his nimble bass whether he’s on acoustic or electric. The record is backboned by tracks that electrify (“Strength and Beauty”) and groove (“Half Steppin’”), yet his vocal collaborations with soul singer Goapele (“Voice of Freedom”) and a reprise of a track called “Toy Soldiers” with rap/spoken-word artist W. Ellington Felton satisfy the de rigueur groove revivalism and album’s crossover appeal.
Instrumentals like “Black Villain Music” and the sweet gloss of strings and muted trumpet by guest Christian Scott on “Lost And Found” will satisfy on multiple spins, but it’s the keyed-up guitar solos, funky electric piano, sonorous sax, and wicked beats that give Coming of Age its more-than-just-jazz appeal.
It’s a contagious hang, fueled by virtuosity and vision along with Williams’s canny sense of music-making.