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Hidden from small

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November 29, 2018

“Amahl” and the “television opera”: The creation of a rare, important genre

It’s not as if Gian Carlo Menotti sat down one day and said, “I think I’ll invent a new genre today.” Yet with the composition of Amahl and the Night Visitors in 1951 (the Philadelphians perform the work December 13 and 15), that is essentially what he did. Almost unwittingly, the Italian-born American created what has come to be considered the first opera composed for television.

November 29, 2018

Tovey’s Thoughts: A Guest Post on “Amahl and the Night Visitors” from Conductor Bramwell Tovey

Sometime in the early 1960s, when I was age 9 or 10, my father arrived home with an LP recording from a specialist gramophone store in Soho, London. The most memorable tracks on this anonymously recorded disc were Leroy Anderson’s Sleigh Ride and the Christmas song Mary’s Boy Child, each performed in slightly syrupy arrangements the style of which we came to associate with America. This was something quite alien to the so-called “sophisticated” world of Kings College Choir, Cambridge, heard then, as now, every Christmas Eve on BBC radio.

November 14, 2018

"Appalachian Spring" Like Never Before

Guest conductor Cristian Măcelaru leads The Philadelphia Orchestra in the full-orchestra version of Aaron Copland’s complete score for Appalachian Spring on November 23 and 24 (more information and tickets can be found here). The following excerpt from an essay in the score written by Aaron Sherber, former music director of the Martha Graham Dance Company, explains the history behind the piece and how this newly completed version of the ballet score came to be.

November 06, 2018

Back to Baroque

French conductor Emmanuelle Haïm makes her Philadelphia Orchestra debut November 16-18 with a program of works by two composers who dominated the English musical scene during the Baroque period: Henry Purcell and George Frideric Handel. We asked Emmanuelle to describe her program.

November 06, 2018

Some "Perspectives"

Yannick and the Orchestra perform the US premiere of Stacey Brown’s Perspectives November 29-December 1. Born in Kamloops, British Columbia, Stacey began Suzuki piano lessons at the age of five, and studied at the University of Victoria and the University of Montreal. Perspectives was inspired by a sculpture by Canadian composer Michel Longtin.

October 24, 2018

Stokowski & "Fantasia": A Quest for the Limelight

During Leopold Stokowski’s tenure as music director of The Philadelphia Orchestra (1912-41), patrons would often line up around the block of the Academy of Music, even in poor weather, to hear the world-renowned ensemble. Stokowski began to dream of new formats to bring classical music to an even wider audience. In The Philadelphia Orchestra: A Century of Music, Joseph Horowitz explains: “Foremost in his thinking was Hollywood—its glamour, its mass impact and appeal.

October 12, 2018

ListeningLAB: In the Spirit of Albert Barnes’s “Ensembles”

“Time present and time past

Are both perhaps present in time future…”

—T.S. Eliot, “Burnt Norton” from Four Quartets

SoundLAB presents two contemporary chamber concerts on October 16 and 18 as guest ensemble in The Philadelphia Orchestra’s Barnes/Stokowski Festival. The Festival is in celebration of Maestro Leopold Stokowski and Dr. Albert Barnes, two neighbors, art lovers, and innovators who had a lasting and indelible imprint on the artistic climate of Philadelphia and contemporary music’s home there.

October 01, 2018

Albert Barnes and Leopold Stokowski: Titans of Philadelphia Arts and Culture

Albert Barnes and Leopold Stokowski had a complex relationship, characterized at times by warmth and mutual respect, and at other times by disagreement and contentiousness. The businessman-turned-art collector and educator and the longtime Philadelphia Orchestra music director were titans of arts and culture in early-20th-century Philadelphia, forward-thinking visionaries who molded their respective institutions into world-renowned organizations.

October 01, 2018

A Tale of Two Innovators: The Barnes/Stokowski Festival

Courage in the art world and on the concert stage means taking risks. The Barnes/Stokowski Festival celebrates the innovations of two men who took risks, supported living artists, and gave greater access to the arts because they believed in the power of art to communicate.

October 01, 2018

Barnes, Stokowski, and Matisse: Music, Dance, and Painting

In 1911, Dr. Albert Coombs Barnes, 41, who had made a fortune from his co-invention of the antiseptic Argyrol, was intently investigating art and its use as an educational tool when he decided to reconnect with his public high school buddy William Glackens. Albert and William had played baseball and studied drawing together while attending Philadelphia’s prestigious Central High School, but had gone separate ways after graduation.

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