Cities beyond Philadelphia may have restaurants with operatic themes and even singing servers, but how many are the outgrowth of a gramophone shop? The walls of The Victor Cafe are full of reminders of a time when recording artists signed autographs at the shop or came in to sing.
As we approach year's end, The Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns looks back on the past 12 months in music and finds that Philadelphia has been moving steadily toward the cutting edge.
The city’s year in classical music started with the John Cage Beyond Silence Festival and a new opera titled Wolf in Skins with a stage full of animal/human hybrids. 2013 ends with the U.S. Premiere of a major choral work by Wolfgang Rihm, Germany's greatest but most complicated composer.
Handel’s Messiah, originally composed for performance during the springtime Christian observance of Lent, has become a contemporary staple of Christmas celebrations in modern America. WRTI’s Susan Lewis has more on this 18th-century oratorio.
Philadelphia’s role in the formation of our government is characteristic of a time when the city and its leading residents were forging firsts of all kinds. As Handel’s Messiah is performed this holiday season, WRTI’s Meridee Duddleston wondered when and where those first citizens might have heard the great Baroque work.
Linda Wood is assistant head librarian in the music department at the Free Library of Philadelphia. She compiled several reference materials relating to the first performance and other early performances of Handel’s Messiah.
A choir that principally performs secular music will, this week, steep itself in a most holy of winter holiday musical traditions. But WRTI's Jim Cotter says he is not expecting to hear a load of old chestnuts in The Crossing's Christmas concert.
The Crossing @ Christmas concert takes place on Friday, December 20th at 8 pm at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Chestnut Hill. Ticket info here.
Philadelphia is recognized nationally for being on the cutting edge of non-traditional opera staging. Now, on the heels of acclaimed offerings from the city's largest company, comes a new work from a smaller presenter that is literally taking the opera art form...underground.
Beneath Philadelphia's Fairmount Water Works is the Kelly swimming pool. Abandoned in 1972 after being inundated by a hurricane, it sits just a few feet above waters of the Schuylkill River with just a few inches of concrete protecting it from further flooding.
The Philadelphia-based chamber ensemble Dolce Suono continues to explore historical connections while pushing its art form into the future. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, the group's founder, Mimi Stillman, believes that music is an integral part of life.
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.