Hiccups and sneezes are not a standard accompaniment to a performance of classical music. But when was the last time a live performance was free of coughing? At a classical music concert, rules of etiquette demand silent immersion in the music - no cell phones or texting of course, no talking, and a limited array of acceptable responses to the performance.
Economics Professor Andreas Wagener, who specializes in social policy at Leibniz University of Hannover in Hannover, Germany, reviews the research and outlines six motives for why there’s more than the usual amount of coughing during classical concerts.
David Lindsay-Abaire would seem to have a case of multiple creative personalities. The Pulitzer-winning playwright wrote the book and lyrics to Shrek the Musical and worked on the screenplay to The Great and Powerful Oz.
He’s now represented by a hugely different theatrical work at the Walnut Street Theatre, a play titled Good People about hard-scrabble life and class struggle in South Boston, or “Southie.” The Philadelphia Inquirer’s David Patrick Stearns spoke to the playwright in his Brooklyn home and discovered that Good People is the real him.
For the first time in almost 30 years, The Philadelphia Orchestra is performing Bach’s St. Matthew Passion. The monumental oratorio fell into obscurity for decades after Bach's death in 1750. Composer Felix Mendelssohn's production of the work in 1829 helped spark the modern Bach revival. Susan Lewis considers Bach’s life and work.
On March 28th through 30th, The Philadelphia Orchestra performs the uncut Bach’s St. Matthew Passion, with costumes and dramatic lighting at the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia.
Music lives at Westminster Choir College at Rider University in Princeton, New Jersey. As WRTI's Jim Cotter reports, the college's Westminster Symphonic Choir has, for almost 90 years, been performing with the world's foremost orchestras under some legendary conductors, including Leopold Stokowski, Arturo Toscanini, Bruno Walter, Leonard Bernstein, Herbert von Karajan, Pierre Boulez, Robert Shaw, Kurt Masur and on and on.
Joe Miller is professor of conducting and chair of conducting for organ and sacred music at Westminster Choir College. This week, his Westminster Symphonic Choir performs Bach’s St Mathew Passion with The Philadelphia Orchestra under Yannick Nezet-Seguin, a Westminster Alum.
Once home to jazz greats such as Dizzy Gillespie and John Coltrane, Philadelphia still has a committed jazz contingent. WRTI's Susan Lewis talked with Christ Dhimitri and Mark DeNinno, past and present owners of Chris’ Jazz Café, an active jazz club in Center City.
“Great and Mighty Things” are being seen at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. That’s the title of a highly unorthodox exhibition of self-taught or outsider art: works by people unschooled, unfiltered, and unmediated by outside aesthetics, but created out of a pure inner need.
But don't think that outsider artists are confined to the idiosyncratic paintings, drawings and sculptures that can be seen at the museum through June. The Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns hears outsider composers everywhere, even in the insider realms of Princeton University.
Temple University's Dance Department has commissioned a new work to be performed by world-renowned, Philadelphia-based Rennie Harris Puremovement. As WRTI’s Jim Cotter reports, the piece was created for a site-specific performance beneath the mural in North Philadelphia for which it is named.
Born in Bologna in 1879, Italian violinist, violist, conductor and composer Ottorino Respighi moved to Rome in 1913. He became internationally recognized for his trilogy of symphonic poems celebrating the fountains, pines, and festivals of the city.
WRTI's Susan Lewis considers The Pines of Rome, performed by The Philadelphia Orchestra. She spoke with organist Michael Stairs and Associate Principal Clarinet Samuel Caviezel.
Listen to Michael Stairs' and Samuel Caviezel's interviews with Susan Lewis as part of the Intermission Features during The Philadelphia Orchestra concert broadcast on WRTI on Sunday, March 24th at 2 pm.
Philadelphia’s Jennifer Higdon is among the most frequently performed living American composers. Now 50, the successful, unpretentious, and endlessly creative Higdon is adding an opera to her extensive repertoire. It’s a joint commission of The Santa Fe Opera and Opera Philadelphia based on Charles Frazier’s Civil War novel Cold Mountain. Higdon’s family moved from Atlanta to east Tennessee when she was an adolescent– about 40 miles, she says, as the crow flies from Cold Mountain. That geographic proximity fueled her insight into the characters she’s recasting in operatic form.
Higdon’s partner, Cheryl Lawson, runs Lawdon Press, the company that publishes and distributes Higdon’s works. Among her most-performed compositions is blue cathedral, a tone poem she wrote after the death, from cancer, of her brother Andrew Blue Higdon. Her works have been recorded on dozens of CDs and performed around the world.
Earlier this year the Temple University Symphony Orchestra was nominated for two Grammy awards. Now, as WRTI’s Jim Cotter reports, the ensemble is preparing to debut a newly commissioned piece by a Grammy-winning composer.
In a program that also features Samuel Barber's Prayers of Kierkegaard, featuring the combined Temple choirs, and Shostakovich's Ninth Symphony, the Temple University Symphony Orchestra conducted by Luis Biava will perform the world premiere of Reflections on the Mississippi by Michael Daugherty at the Kimmel Center’s Verizon Hall on Sunday, March 24 at 4 pm. Information Here. WRTI will broadcast the concert in the near future.