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Inquirer Daily News

Archive: April, 2011

POSTED: Friday, April 29, 2011, 6:15 AM

One of the now-forgotten goals of the Kimmel Center was to wrap the Philadelphia Orchestra in friendlier packaging. The elegant Academy of Music was formal, some argued, and put the orchestra at arm's length. The Kimmel, it turns out, hasn't done a very good job of making new friends for the orchestra, and you might wonder if the move to the Kimmel has contributed to the orchestra's attendance problems and, by extension, its bankruptcy.

That's a bigger topic we'll soon explore - that, plus the questions of whether the Kimmel's rent is indeed high (as the orchestra claims), and the extent to which the arrival of a hungry new cultural organization has drawn fund-raising support away from the orchestra.

But for today, on the subject of whether the Kimmel can be made friendlier, we have coverage of a master plan for which Kimmel leaders are now raising money. The big renovation will come in phrases, with the most likely next steps (after this summer's already funded work) to involve the basement Innovation Studio, which will be given its own entrance and lobby space.

POSTED: Tuesday, April 26, 2011, 10:50 AM

Ricardo Morales, principal clarinetist of the Philadelphia Orchestra since 2003, will join the New York Philharmonic as principal clarinetist starting in September 2012.

Morales will continue with Philadelphia through the end of the 2011-12 season, and will return in 2012-13 for Yannick Nézet-Séguin's first season as music director in those weeks in which Nézet-Séguin conducts, a Philadelphia Orchestra spokeswoman said.

At the Philharmonic, Morales succeeds Stanley Drucker, principal clarinetist from 1960–2009. Morales was previously a principal in the Metropolitan Opera orchestra.

POSTED: Wednesday, April 20, 2011, 6:35 PM

The Philadelphia Orchestra Association's bankruptcy petition received its first hearing Wednesday. Details in The Inquirer here.

POSTED: Tuesday, April 19, 2011, 11:29 AM
Perez Hilton arrives on the red carpet at the MuchMusic Video Awards in Toronto, 2009. (AP)

Two names we never thought we'd see together: Perez Hilton and the Philadelphia Orchestra.

But the celeb blogger is "very, very sad" about the orchestra's bankruptcy, he writes: "Hopefully they can figure something out!"

We couldn't have said it better ourselves.

POSTED: Tuesday, April 19, 2011, 6:03 AM

The Philadelphia Orchestra Association's bankruptcy petition will be heard starting Wednesday by Judge Eric L. Frank. A few details, as well as reaction, here.

POSTED: Monday, April 18, 2011, 6:16 AM

Yannick Nézet-Séguin, slated to take over the Philadelphia Orchestra a year from this fall, responded to the orchestra's bankruptcy vote with this note to the board:

Dear All,

What is "the Philadelphia Sound"? To me, it is the most beautiful sound in the world, because it is the sound of the hearts and souls of a fantastic group of women and men, passionately commited to share the most wonderful art form to the widest audience possible. This is why I humbly accepted the wonderful task of guiding and nurturing this "Philadelphia Sound" for the years to come.

POSTED: Sunday, April 17, 2011, 7:11 AM

The Philadelphia Orchestra Association wasted no time between voting for bankruptcy and executing the actual filing. The orchestra's lawyers filed 1,704 pages of documentation Saturday, according to the database of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia).

The filing covers the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Academy of Music and the Philly Pops. I haven't had a chance to read the entire filing, but it appears to cover matters such as asking the court's permission to continue paying insurance, utilities, relationships with critical contractors, etc., and outlining administrative procedures.

It is Bankruptcy Petition #11-13098-elf.

POSTED: Saturday, April 16, 2011, 1:19 PM

The Philadelphia Orchestra board Saturday voted in favor of filing Chapter 11. More here.

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 pdobrin@phillynews.com.

Peter Dobrin Inquirer Classical Music Critic
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