Snow threats cancel arts and cultural events in Philly

Threats of big, bad snow disrupted cultural life in Philadelphia on Saturday - including that annual ritualized civic assembly of arts, business, and political leaders, the Academy of Music Anniversary Concert and Ball.

The event, planned for Saturday, was canceled for the first time since its start nearly six decades ago.

Other groups nixed concerts Friday and Saturday, and the fates of several Sunday concerts remained in doubt, pending the timing and severity of the storm. Jerry Blavat at the Kimmel was put off until Feb. 28. Fans of Italo Montemezzi's L'amore dei tre re won't be able to hear it Saturday, but the Academy of Vocal Arts is still offering two other performances.

The Philadelphia Museum of Art and Barnes Foundation were closed Saturday. But the Art Museum still planned to be open Sunday to host, along with its usual offerings, a concert by Imani Winds.

Revolution will have to wait at InterAct Theatre Company - or at least, take a pause. Two performances of #therevolution on Saturday were canceled. But impending snow apparently posed no problem for Tom Stoppard's The Hard Problem, which the Wilma Theater will continue to perform this weekend "for all who can arrive safely and wish to attend," managing director James Haskins said.

Among the concerts whose fate was uncertain is Saturday night's Curtis Opera Theatre production of Empty the House by Curtis composition student Rene Orth and Pulitzer Prize-winning librettist Mark Campbell.

Lyric Fest scrapped its Friday-night Brahms in Chestnut Hill. The Philadelphia Chamber Music Society was forced to cancel Friday's local debut of Europa Galante. Audience and performers could have been there before the fall of any serious snow, but a society spokesman said the group needed to return to Europe for a series of engagements there, leaving the United States before airports were closed.

Orchestra 2001 decided to beat the storm and hold a "pre-ponement" - canceling Saturday night's debut at World Cafe Live of conductor Ryan McAdams, a candidate for the group's next music director, but scheduling instead an open rehearsal Friday at Swarthmore College.

A decision was pending about Sunday's concert, which includes Joan Tower's Petroushkates - an amalgam of Stravinsky and ice skating that the composer once described as "a sort of musical carnival on ice."

And Grand Harmonie's much-awaited performance in Princeton of Beethoven's only opera, Fidelio, wasn't canceled - but it was moved up a day, taking place at 7:30 p.m. Friday in Richardson Auditorium.