Saturday, August 29, 2015

Archive: May, 2012

POSTED: Saturday, May 5, 2012, 1:19 PM

A Curtis Institute of Music student died Thursday night in the school’s Locust Street dorm in Lenfest Hall, school officials said. Louisa Womack, 20, a double bass player from Rochester, N.Y., was in her second year at the music conservatory. No further information about her death was available Friday.

School faculty, students and administrators “gathered formally on Friday morning, by which time all students, faculty, and staff had been notified. Curtis’s team of student services and mental health professionals has been and will continue to be onsite and available to students 24/7, and all students have been offered counseling whenever and wherever they need it,” a spokeswoman said.

Curtis has curtailed its performance schedule at least through the weekend.

POSTED: Thursday, May 3, 2012, 11:44 AM
The Rhinemaidens from the Met's current production of The Ring (Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera).

New York radio station WQXR took down a blog post critical of the Metropolitan Opera’s new “Ring” cycle after Met general manager Peter Gelb complained to the station's chief, the New York Times reports.

I guess we know who reads his reviews.

Here's Dan Wakin's piece on the episode (scroll down to May 1).

POSTED: Wednesday, May 2, 2012, 10:33 AM

This strange ballet has been playing out in my head recently: the dancers come out on stage and move in complete silence. After a minute or two, audience members start to shift around in their seats. Children lose focus and start asking "When will it be over?" Five or ten minutes of this, and people are asking for their money back.

This would only happen, of course, if, for some bizarre reason, a ballet company decided it no longer needed music. It couldn't really happen, but Pennsylvania Ballet raises the question with its marketing materials for Peter Pan, which opens Thursday. Postcards and advertisements mention Trey McIntyre as choreographer of the company premiere. But if you want to know whether there's music, you have to go the ballet's website. There you learn that there is music, and it was written by Edward Elgar.

Ballet companies routinely slight the music (as do many critics in reviews), so Pennsylvania Ballet isn't the first to commit this small crime. But isn't it reasonable to expect one art form to be respectful of another? "Music is the floor we dance on," said Balanchine. Do the musicians in the pit contribute less to the experience than dancers on stage?

POSTED: Wednesday, May 2, 2012, 8:07 AM

Reed and Carlisle Sts., 4 p.m., May 1, 2012.

About this blog

Peter Dobrin is a classical music critic and culture writer for The Inquirer. Since 1989, he has written music reviews, features, news and commentary for the paper, covering such topics as the Philadelphia Museum of Art at the Venice Biennale, expansion of the Curtis Institute of Music, the Philadelphia Orchestra's bankruptcy declaration in 2011, Philadelphia's evolving performing arts center and the general health of arts and culture.

Dobrin was a French horn player. He earned an undergraduate degree in performance from the University of Miami, and received a master's degree in music criticism from the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University, where he studied with Elliott Galkin. He has no time to practice today.

Reach Peter at

Peter Dobrin Inquirer Classical Music Critic
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