The Philadelphia Young Pianists' Academy surely offers a considerable service to emerging talents. But pardon me for being more interested in contributions from artists who have already emerged, starting with artistic director Ching-Yun Hu. The Taiwanese pianist opened the festival Tuesday at the Curtis Institute with a recital program that showed how far her interests extend beyond Chopin, the composer so central to her repertoire.
Tangible Assets. No one should interpret the closing of the F.Y.E. at Broad and Chestnut Streets as the twilight of classical music. It's just that recorded music is moving to nonphysical formats, so who needs a physical store? There is a silver lining: a
The 20th century was neither kind nor easy - one reason violinist Yehudi Menuhin (1916-99) captured the public's affection at the earliest possible age, with music-making infused with ease and kindness, as documented in this year's 100th-birthday boxed sets. But when the magic aura of the Menuhin name is a more distant memory, reactions to his recordings become endlessly complicated.
Curtis encores. The main classical season may be over, but you can revisit some high points from recent performances at the Curtis Institute of Music via videos on the school's website. Captured is a nicely developing interpretation by Bolai Cao of the Br
'Just when you think you've heard everything, there's. . . ." That sentence, uttered by a listener at the Crossing's "Seven Responses" concerts Friday and Saturday at the Philadelphia Episcopal Cathedral, could've been completed many different ways. The Crossing choir premiered newly written companion piec
Philadelphia Orchestra watchers know that the small army of hyperalert people navigating the back-row percussion hardware in Verizon Hall must lead intricate professional lives. But could anybody guess that an orchestral percussionist could write such a rich, entertaining memoir as Patti Niemi's Sticking It Out (ECW Press, 249 pages, $24.95)?
Flourishing Firebird. The Firebird myth didn't begin and end with Stravinsky - rather, it was plucked by him after weaving its way through various cultures. The myth is traced through illustrated books, costume sketches, advertisements, and other material
Can Moondog survive his own mystique? More discussed than heard, Moondog has become a paragon of outsider music. Blind since he was a teenager and influenced equally by 1950s jazz and Native American music, the Kansas-born Louis Thomas Hardin (1916-1999) evolved into a Viking-garbed New York City street musician who named himself after a dog that barked at the moon, and created music that felt like the unmediated, pure expression of a (possibly) holy fool. Or so we think.
Requiem for Orlando. Musicians will gather at 3 p.m. Sunday at First Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia, 21st and Walnut Streets, in a musical memorial to victims of last week's mass murder in Orlando. Church music director Andrew Senn will lead musician
NEW YORK - Trinity Church near Wall Street is the place to be for serious music-seeking New Yorkers in January. When many major institutions are on hiatus, all manner of left-of-center concerts fill the gap. And two Philadelphia groups that have been steadily gaining traction here would have been part of it had a snowstorm not intervened early this year.
Anyone wanting a tsunami of exotic sound at Saturday's meeting of the Prism Quartet and the Partch ensemble (in its East Coast debut) could easily have left alternately fascinated, underwhelmed, and puzzled at the Kimmel Center's Perelman Theater for so many reasons.
David Patrick Stearns is a classical music critic and columnist for the Philadelphia Inquirer.