Leo Ornstein

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.

This Wednesday’s Philadelphia Chamber Music Society concert by Marc-Andre Hamelin and the Pacifica Quartet at the Kimmel Center reintroduces a piano quintet by a man who had rock-star fame as a pianist in the 1920s. He retreated to composition in the 1930s, ran a music school in Philadelphia in the 1940s and, as The Philadelphia Inquirer’s David Patrick Stearns now reports, continued to be active in music until soon before his death at the age of 108.