It was 100 years ago that Leopold Stokowski, a young, up-and-coming conductor, became the music director of The Philadelphia Orchestra - transforming the ensemble, practically overnight, into a world-class organization. In his 28 years in Philadelphia, Stokowski presented American premieres of countless works, and was responsible for many “firsts” - from the first electrical recording, to the first commercially sponsored radio broadcast (1929), to the first series of concerts for children.
The Philadelphia Orchestra has just wrapped up a 10-day visit to China, its seventh trip to the country over the past four decades.
But this trip was different.
The orchestra is preparing to come out of bankruptcy, and this tour was about its survival. It hopes to balance its books by building new audiences and new revenues in the world's second-largest economy.
On a rare visit to the United States, the internationally renowned pianist and humanitarian Maria João Pires performed with The Philadelphia Orchestra last week. David Patrick Stearns explores the life and career of the great piano virtuoso.
Philadelphia Orchestra Concertmaster David Kim and Principal Timpani Don Liuzzi speak with WRTI's Jim Cotter as the ensemble embarks on a new type of overseas excursion. While still featuring traditional concert performances in Beijing, Tianjin, Guangzhou, and Shanghai, the Orchestra's 2012 Residency Week and Tour of China will place a greater emphasis on community engagement.
The Philadelphia Orchestra made history in 1973 as the first American orchestra to perform in China. This week, the Orchestra - led by Chief Conductor Charles Dutoit - is in Beijing for a residency in collaboration with China's National Center for Performing Arts. This marks the ensemble's fifth visit to China.
WRTI's Susan Lewis looks at how the Orchestra is engaging in activities beyond the concert hall, and expanding its relationships with the people of China.
The Philadelphia Orchestra has filed its plan to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, in which it has agreed to pay $5.49 million to creditors. Just over a year after seeking relief in bankruptcy court, the Orchestra has realigned key financial obligations by moving from a defined benefit to defined contribution retirement plan, renegotiating its lease with the Kimmel Center, and ending its relationship with Peter Nero and the Philly Pops.
In this two-part interview, WRTI's Jim Cotter speaks with Philadelphia Orchestra Chief Conductor Charles Dutoit - the renowned maestro who made his debut with The Philadelphians in 1980. The Orchestra will honor Mr. Dutoit in the 2012/2013 season with the title of conductor laureate.
I'm not sure how the Daily Mail arrived at the unfortunate headline "An Unlikely Fan: Why Opera's Biggest Star, Domingo Placido Is Crazy For Lady Gaga." The obvious hed goof aside, it's not like Domingo gives La Gaga effusive praise: "I think Lady Gaga has a very good voice. Absolutely. She has a wonderful voice.