New musicals don’t often arise in Philadelphia. Musicals about sports come along even more seldom. But a musical about field hockey, developed by Philadelphia’s 11th Hour Theatre Company, is unprecedented. The Philadelphia Inquirer’s David Patrick Stearns walked into the company's South Philly rehearsal studios hardly knowing what field hockey is.
The Philadelphia Orchestra has over 100 musicians, and as many stories - often inspiring and surprising. WRTI’s Susan Lewis profiles Bob Cafaro, a cellist in the Orchestra since 1985, whose artistry is matched by his determination to live fully, both onstage and off.
Award-winning architect Frank Gehry, known for designing buildings with striking exteriors, is now partnering with The Philadelphia Museum of Art on a mostly interior renovation and expansion of its classical structure. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, this renowned architect is inspired by classical as well as contemporary culture.
Tasmin Little is widely considered the finest British violinist of her generation. And though her repertoire includes works by the most influential composers in history, she has made a point of specializing in the music of lesser-known composers, despite how it might impact her career.
Little was also featured in a BBC documentary that details her investigation into the personal life of Delius.
After violinist Elissa Lee Koljonen graduated from the Curtis Institute of Music in 1994, she was invited to perform at the Cape and Islands Chamber Music Festival (now the Cape Cod Chamber Music Festival). At a rehearsal there, she confessed to the violist she was to perform with that she had never before performed the popular Halvorsen Passacaglia for violin and viola (based on music of Handel). The violist, Roberto Díaz, then admitted the same thing to her.
The highlight of the collaboration among members of the Philadelphia Music Alliance for Youth is the Philadelphia Festival of Young Musicians. It's a concept modeled after one in Chicago, a template for a local consortium of music organizations for the young.
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. "Vanya Klibern," as he was called in Russia, says Inna Lobanova-Heasley, was "a rock star" there.
Here are several ensembles presenting the Russian folk song performed at Van Cliburn's funeral service.
Music in the era of the Sun King, Louis XIV of France, has enjoyed an acclaimed rediscovery in Europe. However, few American groups have taken up this music of the French Baroque, aside from Philadelphia's Tempesta di Mare. As the Philadelphia Inquirer’s David Patrick Stearns reports, the early-music orchestra has started a multi-year project of concerts and recordings.