Creatively Speaking

Creatively Speaking
7:19 pm
Sat October 5, 2013

Oboist as Musician AND Master Craftsman!

Oboist Richard Woodhams

A top-tier oboist is not only musically gifted, but also a skilled craftsman. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, the sound of the instrument relies on a sliver of wood, usually made by the player himself.

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Creatively Speaking
7:40 am
Fri September 13, 2013

Philadelphia's Premiere Contemporary Choir Opens Expanded Season

The Crossing

The Crossing, Philadelphia’s foremost contemporary music chorus, begins a newly expanded season this Sunday, September 15th. The choir will now perform throughout the year. WRTI’s Jim Cotter reports that though the group is growing its output, its artistic vision will not change.

Philadelphia-area native Donald Nally has had a varied and storied career. In addition to  a term as artistic director of the Choral Arts Society of Philadelphia, Nally has also been chorus master of the Opera Company of Philadelphia, The Spoleto Festival, Welsh National Opera, and Lyric Opera of Chicago. Nally stepped down from Lyric at the end of the 2010-2011 season to fully dedicate himself to what he acknowledges as his greatest passion: The Crossing. The Philadelphia-based chamber choir is dedicated to performing new and contemporary choral music; its popularity with audiences is growing and growing...

The Crossing’s season begins this Sunday at the Icebox at Crane Arts Center in Philadelphia’s Northern Liberties with the American premiere of Canticles of the Holy Wind by John Luther Adams.
 

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Creatively Speaking
5:34 pm
Mon September 9, 2013

Opera Philadelphia Kicks Off A Three-Legged Season

Philadelphia’s premiere opera company begins its new season this month with a new name and a fresh approach to presenting its work. The Opera Company of Philadelphia starts its first season as Opera Philadelphia.  The name changed to better reflect the diversity and scope of its artistic output. 

Now, from the traditional opera company that grew out of the 1975 merger of the Philadelphia Lyric Opera Company and the Philadelphia Grand Opera Company, comes a producer and presenter with a three-stranded approach.  And, says General Director David Devan, maybe even three separate sets of audiences.

Opera Philadelphia’s season opens with Giuseppe Verdi’s Nabuco at the Academy of Music on September 27th and a live, big-screen simulcast open to the public on Independence Mall the next night.

Listen to Jim's interview with Opera Philadelphia General Director David Devan.

Creatively Speaking
5:22 pm
Mon September 9, 2013

Coltrane: The Philadelphia Years

John Coltrane lived in a rowhome at 1511 North 33rd Street in the Strawberry Mansion section of North Philadelphia from 1952 to 1958.

While jazz giant John Coltrane was born and raised in North Carolina, and died in New York, he spent 15 years in Philadelphia. WRTI’s Susan Lewis looks at the role the city played in the career of this master sax player and composer, who would have turned 87 this month. 

Listen to Susan's interview with music journalist Tom Moon and historian Rob Armstrong, co-directors of the documentary film Coltrane's Philadelphia.

The film is part the Coltrane Planning Project of The Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia.

Coltrane’s house was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1999.  Efforts to preserve the house are ongoing.

Where Music Lives
6:00 am
Mon September 9, 2013

That Charming Violin Shop Off Rittenhouse Square

Music lives in a quaint, historic building on Philadelphia’s Locust Street, just a few doors down from the Curtis Institute of Music, where David Michie restores and sells violins and bows, drawing virtuoso musicians from far and wide. WRTI’s Meridee Duddleston paid a visit to this master craftsman.

Master violin restorer and dealer David Michie recounts how renowned French archetier (the French term for bow maker) Eugene Sartory policed the market for counterfeits of his work. Michie also provides some advice on choosing a bow in these excerpts of an interview with Meridee Duddleston.

Michie has much to say about the importance of a high-quality bow. "What the Italians were to string instruments, the French were to bows," he explains. In the 1800s, large blocks of wood from the pernambuco tree were used as ballast in ships making their way from Brazil to France.  And Francois Tourte, who developed the modern bow and is considered the “Stradavarius of bow makers,” took to the wood and started using it. Pernambuco is now an endangered species whose export is restricted. Although carbon fiber and other substitutes are now in the mix, Michie says nothing beats a bow made of pernambuco wood from Brazil. Here's the website for David Michie Violins.

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Creatively Speaking
9:42 pm
Sun September 8, 2013

Rattle's Reflections on Conducting

Sir Simon Rattle

Coming up on Sunday, September 15th, WRTI's Sunday radio broadcast of The Philadelphia Orchestra In Concert features, on the podium, Englishman Simon Rattle, the music director of the Berlin Philharmonic.  The  internationally renowned conductor has a bond with the Philadelphians, nurtured over the last 20 years.

In the radio broadcast, Rattle leads the orchestra in a program featuring  symphonies no. 6 and 7 of  Sibelius, Norman’s Unstuck, and  Beethoven’s piano concerto No.  3 with Lang Lang as soloist.

Listen to Simon Rattle's conversation with Susan Lewis.

Creatively Speaking
9:35 pm
Sun September 8, 2013

So Percussion!

So Percussion

So Percussion is one of the most celebrated groups its kind in the U.S. and can usually be counted on for high-intensity rhythms. But in their one hour at the Philadelphia Fringe Arts festival this week they do a fair amount of talking, and in ways that suggest the cutting edge is getting softer.

Creatively Speaking
4:13 pm
Wed September 4, 2013

Can You Hear Us Now? The Reverb Really Makes A Difference

Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center

Lovers of classical music and jazz, musicians and composers, are acutely tuned in to the acoustics of a performance space. WRTI’s Meridee Duddleston looks at the acoustical demands of a concert hall.

Large performance spaces need to provide enjoyable listening experiences across many musical genres and forms of entertainment. That’s why varying the acoustics of a given environment is a threshold issue that makes a big difference.  Acoustical engineer and inventor Niels Adelman-Larsen has developed a new variable acoustic system for concert halls that relies on inflatable sound absorbers.

Excerpts of Meridee Duddleston’s interview with Niels Adelman-Larsen about his background, concert hall acoustics, and some sound basics.

Creatively Speaking
9:22 am
Mon September 2, 2013

Soprano Barbara Hannigan: Interpreting Comic Contemporary Operatic Song

Barbara Hannigan is a world-renowned vocalist at home in many genres. She's known especially for her performances of contemporary music. This Sunday, WRTI’s broadcast of The Philadelphia Orchestra in concert, features Hannigan in what has become one of her signature works:  Ligetti's Mysteries of the Macabre. Berlin Philharmonic Music Director Simon Rattle conducts.

Soprano Barbara Hannigan speaks with Susan Lewis.

Where Music Lives
9:11 am
Mon September 2, 2013

Symphony in C Celebrates Diamond Jubilee Under New President

Music Lives in Camden, New Jersey where a storied symphony orchestra is celebrating its 60th anniversary.  As WRTI's Jim Cotter now reports, the organization begins its new season under the leadership of a newly appointed president who has a very hands-on approach.

Symphony In C President Pamela Brant speaks with Jim Cotter at the start of the season.

Symphony in C's 60th season opens on September 21st with a program featuring Dvorák’s Cello Concerto with David Finkel as soloist, the Bartok Concerto for Orchestra. And Neon Lights by Jules Pegram, the winner of  Symphony in C’s Young Composers’ Competition.

Let us know Where Music Lives in your community! Add your ideas in the comments section here and check out our other Where Music Lives posts.

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