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May 07, 2013

At the Academy, the Birth of Wire Transmission of Music

Last week marked the eightieth anniversary of an important milestone in the history of music technology. On April 27, 1933, The Philadelphia Orchestra, in collaboration with Bell Telephone Laboratories, presented a concert from the Academy of Music that was transmitted by telephone wire to a live audience in Constitution Hall in Washington, DC. Associate Conductor Alexander Smallens led the Orchestra in Philadelphia while conductor Leopold Stokowski was in Constitution Hall, “at the controls,” manipulating the sound electronically for the Washington audience.

March 11, 2013

1929 Philadelphia Orchestra Radio Broadcast of The Rite of Spring

The Philadelphia Orchestra’s rich history with Igor Stravinsky’s Le Sacre du printemps (The Rite of Spring) has been well-documented. The Orchestra gave the American premiere of the concert version of the groundbreaking piece in 1922 and of the full staged ballet version in 1930, both under its legendary conductor Leopold Stokowski. Stokowski and the Orchestra also made one of the earliest recordings of the piece, in 1929.

February 22, 2013

Leopold Stokowski, The Philadelphia Orchestra, and The Rite of Spring

Unidentified April 30, 1930, New York City newspaper clipping showing Martha Graham and two dancers from The Rite of Spring program

 

December 10, 2012

Rachmaninoff’s Third Piano Concerto: The Philadelphia Story

Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Third Piano Concerto is one of the best loved concertos in the Romantic piano literature. This past weekend’s performances by The Philadelphia Orchestra with Gianandrea Noseda conducting and Denis Matsuev as soloist were very well received, with sold-out concerts and standing ovations in Verizon Hall.

November 05, 2012

A Tale of Two Pianists

This week The Philadelphia Orchestra presents a series of concerts that, in part, are re-creations of a pair of concerts given by Leopold Stokowski and the Orchestra in December 1935. On the program this week are two pieces that Stokowski and the Orchestra performed on December 27 and 28, 1935: César Franck’s Symphony in D minor and Francis Poulenc’s Concerto in D minor for Two Pianos and Orchestra.

June 28, 2012

Barnes Prequel On The Parkway: The Unbuilt Temple Of Music

"Temple of Music," 1932 artist's rendering. Courtesy of Athenaeum of Philadelphia

With a booming economy about to go into free fall, a monumental new building on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway is proposed for an important Philadelphia cultural institution, requiring a contentious move from the institution’s beloved long time home. The high profile project has the support of many, though not all, of Philadelphia’s cultural and civic leaders.