The hardest working people in show business, at least in the classical music world, can take a bow this week. As WRTI’s Jim Cotter reports, data on the busiest conductors and orchestras in 2012 shows The Philadelphia Orchestra maintaining its place in the top 10 ensembles, while the most active conductor began his professional career in the Philadelphia region.
The survey was undertaken by the website BachTrack.com, which found that for the third year in a row, Beethoven was the most performed of all composers with Arvo Part the most performed living composer.
Predictably, Mozart and Bach came in 2nd and 3rd, but it was not a good year for Mahler who slipped from 9th to 25th - and Liszt who fell from the 6th to the 24th. Their places in the top 10 were taken by Debussy and Schumann.
The busiest conductor in the world last year was Alan Gilbert whose first music directorship appointment was with Camden’s Symphony in C in the early 1990s. The orchestra he currently directs, the New York Philharmonic, was also, not surprisingly the busiest orchestra in the world, taking over the top spot from the San Francisco Symphony. The Philadelphia Orchestra came in at 9th; slipping one place from last year.
In repertoire, the top three most-performed operas were all by Mozart - two of which had librettos by the one-time Pennsylvania resident Lorenzo Da Ponte. The Magic Flute was at number one followed by Don Giovanni and The Marriage of Figaro.
And finally, the most-performed works in 2012 were, in ascending order: 3) Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7, 2) Bruckner's Symphony No. 4, and in the top spot, 1) Handel's Messiah.
Originally published on Tue January 8, 2013 5:15 pm
Violinist Leonidas Kavakos is something of a musician's musician in the classical world. He's a favorite among his collaborators: He's the artist in residence this season at the Berlin Philharmonic, and as a soloist/conductor, he's worked with ensembles ranging from the Boston Symphony to the Budapest Festival Orchestra.
From the perspective of U.S. audiences, the British pianist Imogen Cooper was a late bloomer. Though this student of Alfred Brendell had been working steadily in the UK for decades, she was in her 50s before America became aware of this most eloquent interpreter of the classical repertoire.
Listeners may not think about the visuals in an orchestra concert, but body language is an important way in which musicians communicate with one another. From his chair, Philadelphia Orchestra Concertmaster David Kim leads Mozart’s Serenade in G Major: Eine Kleine Nachtmusik the way it would have been done in Mozart’s time, without a conductor, on January 10th, 11th, and 12th in concerts at the Kimmel Center.
It's musical highlights from The Philadelphia Orchestra's fabulous array of November concerts - this Friday, November 2nd, right after the news at noon. You'll hear music from their Copland and Gershwin (and Barber and Sierra) themed concerts this week, their Stokowski Legacy concerts next week, and Alexander Nevsky and A Taste of Paris concerts scheduled for later in the month.
Music for the broadcast on Friday includes works by Samuel Barber, George Gershwin, Cesar Franck, Francis Poulenc, and Sergei Prokofiev. Don't miss it!
Everywhere you look right now, it seems like American symphony orchestras are fighting for their lives — strikes, lockouts, bankruptcy. Perhaps the biggest example is the world-renowned Philadelphia Orchestra, which is just coming out of its own bankruptcy. Tonight, its new 37-year-old music director takes the podium as the venerable orchestra begins a reboot.
Following in the footsteps of legends such as Leopold Stokwoski, Eugene Ormandy, and Riccardo Muti, Yannick Nezet-Seguin is set to conduct his inaugural concerts as music director of The Philadelphia Orchestra. On Thursday, October 18th, the opening-night concert features the music of Ravel, Brahms, and Strauss with soloist Renee Fleming, followed by performances of the Verdi Requiem on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
Those funky, menacing chords can only belong to one piece of music: West Side Story, the Leonard Bernstein Broadway musical that updated the Romeo and Juliet story into the world of gang warfare to the streets of post-war New York City. The concert suite from the musical has often been played by The Philadelphia Orchestra, though this week it's performing the music in a different incarnation - as an accompaniment to the 1961 Oscar-winning film. The Philadelphia Inquirer’s David Patrick Stearns reports that the enterprise isn’t nearly as simple as it looks.