Philadelphia Orchestra audiences were reminded of what Leopold Stokowski's celebrated hands wrought when, earlier this year, Music Director Designate Yannick Nezet-Seguin conducted a four-concert Stokowski tribute at the theater where it all started a century ago - The Academy of Music.
A potent and controversial voice for America and what it stands for, Woody Guthrie sang his songs from sea to shining sea. The power of his messages touched the hearts of many Americans, and even led the U. S. government to call upon him to inspire and encourage the debilitated and exhausted construction workers of the great Hoover Dam with his songs.
Trinity Wall Street commissioned Robert Moran’s Trinity Requiem for the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 destruction of New York’s World Trade Center. Moran has written music for entire cities to perform—San Francisco, Graz, Bethlehem, Pa.—with cars, airplanes, multiple orchestras, choirs, and bands joining in raucous mélanges of celebration. You wonder what he would write for a city’s terror.
In no sense of the word is the Swiss-born conductor Charles Dutoit retiring. He has, however, completed his tenure as chief conductor of The Philadelphia Orchestra, making way for Yannick Nezet-Seguin, the ensemble’s new music director.
Named chief conductor after the departure of Christoph Eschenbach in 2008, Maestro Dutoit has provided a leadership bridge between music directors, providing advice on guest conductors and repertory, auditioning new players, and leading the ensemble for weeks at home and on foreign tours.
Pulitzer Prize and multiple Grammy award-winning composer Jennifer Higdon has written a large body of work for a range of ensembles, including orchestras, chamber groups, choruses, and wind ensembles. Now, she’s working on her first opera, commissioned by The Santa Fe Opera and The Opera Company of Philadelphia.
Celebrated Austrian pianist and Beethoven interpreter Rudolf Buchbinder is this week's Crossover guest. He has just released a massive boxed-set collection of all 32 of the Beethoven sonatas. The Sonata Legacy, newly recorded live in concert, features Mr. Buchbinder performing the complete cycle of Beethoven's sonatas once again…after a 30-year hiatus. Time can change everything - especially the perceptions that come with age and experience.
Violinist Tasmin Little has the fingers to play anything and the career to play almost anywhere. Yet on her last trip to Philadelphia, the woman who is widely considered the finest British violinist of her generation made a special trip to play at the German Society of Philadelphia on Spring Garden Street, and did so for the sake of a composer whom she has championed most of her adult life - Frederick Delius. The Philadelphia Inquirer’s David Patrick Stearns visited her at her London home and discovered that her love for Delius is a model for other quixotic causes in her life.
The Philadelphia Orchestra's Music Director Designate Yannick Nezet-Seguin made his Saratoga Performing Arts Center debut this week in a trio of concerts that appear to insure, as much as anything can, the Orchestra’s continued presence there. The Philadelphia Inquirer’s David Patrick Stearns reports from Upstate New York.
The French-born pianist Helene Grimaud is among the most gifted pianists of her generation. The forty-something-year old is not only blessed with great musical ability, but also with some extraordinary mental powers.
She experiences synesthesia, a condition that causes the physical senses to overlap. In Grimaud's case, this manifests itself as an ability to see and touch music. In practice, this makes it possible for her to rehearse without a piano and still fully experience the music.