Gone are the days when Cristian Macelaru (pronounced match-a-law-roo) was described as being among the most promising conductors of his generation. He's now simply one of the finest. In April 2014 Macelaru received the highly coveted Solti Fellow, one of the largest grants currently awarded to American conductors. Macelaru received the Sir Georg Solti Emerging Conductor Award in 2012, and despite becoming more established says he’d be happy to be called a young conductor for some time to come.
In the 1870s, Tchaikovsky composed such large scale works as Swan Lake, Symphonies 2, 3, and 4, and Variations on a Rococo Theme. But, as WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, in the same years, he was also writing short orchestral pieces with emotional power and technical virtuosity. She discusses two of these pieces, Melancoliqueand Valse-Scherzo, with Philadelphia Orchestra concertmaster, David Kim.
When American pianist Van Cliburn died in 2013, funeral organizers in Texas couldn’t locate an obscure piece of music he’d requested for the service. But as WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, thanks to a Philadelphia connection, the Russian folk song was found, and is now enjoying new life in America.
Here are several ensembles presenting the Russian folk song performed at Van Cliburn's funeral service.
Steady work is a coveted and rare prize among many jazz musicians. WRTI’s Meridee Duddleston visits a force in the local jazz scene who never had a problem getting gigs. Recognized by Mayor Michael Nutter for his enduring contribution to the city’s jazz scene, jazz drummer Charlie Rice has been keeping the beat for more than 70 years and counting.
Islands and dances and flutes seem to float on Now Is the Time, Saturday, July 19th at 9 pm at wrti.org and WRTI-HD2. Haiku of Basho inspired Edie Hill's This Floating World for solo flute; Elena Ruehr's The Law of Floating Objects is for one flutist multiplied many times. An excerpt from A Floating Island is Matthew Greenbaum's chamber opera on an episode from Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift, where some are so lost in thought they don't see what's right in front of them.
The Habanera makes us think of Cuba and islands (okay, it's a stretch), and we find one in 5 Pages from John's Book of Alleged Dances by John Adams. Robert Ackerman improvises Havana Special, clarinet and bass, and there's just enough time for an Ackerman encore, Scena.
No man can resist Carmen’s gypsy charms. But when she’s ready to move on, watch out! A riveting drama of love and jealousy, filled with famously alluring melodies and captivating dances, Carmen is one of the world’s most popular operas. Georges Bizet’s immortal score overflows with one delight after another - a music lover’s hit parade of opera’s most intoxicating melodies. Placido Domingo conducts. Saturday, July 19, 1 to 4 pm.
Matthias Bamert returns to the podium to guest conduct the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia on this month's Applause broadcast. One of Mozart's best-loved symphonies is the centerpiece of an all-Mozart program recorded in concert this past March 24th in the Perelman Theater at the Kimmel Center. Don't miss it! Sunday, July 20, 5 to 6 pm.
In the summer of 1943, Lorin Maazel could be found conducting the Philharmonic-Symphony Orchestra (what is today the New York Philharmonic) at Lewisohn Stadium on the campus of City College of New York. Other conductors on the summer series included Fritz Reiner, Andre Kostelanetz, Morton Gould, and Antal Dorati. But, Maazel was only 13 years old.
Maestro Lorin Maazel passed away last Sunday at the age of 84. This legendary man of music devoted over 75 years to his craft. To him, music was a bridge-builder - a way to bring peace to the world and its people.