Society News Publications Highlight
ACTIVITIES FOR PHILADELPHIA MUSIC SCENE
Each season has much to offer; with the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, one may learn of the new artists selected by visiting their web page. Having welcomed a variety of new music and a uniquely significant musical voice in repertoire of the past, there abound internationally celebrated artists. Other venues invite performances throughout the globe each season, including numerous orchestras and conductors who have appeared at Carnegie Hall, New York; Konzerthaus Vienna; Berlin Philharmonic; Palais Garnier/ Opera de Paris; Lucerne Festival; Mozarteum Salzburg. There is also the Ballet, formerly Pennsylvania Ballet, now with its new name, the Philadelphia Ballet, its’ season well expanded beyond the Nutcracker, and its’ more than 50-year history, has sponsored world-class performances and it has also presented classes for students throughout the community. The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia has a mission of excellence and artistry with world-class performances to the City with vital programming in support of its music making. The Network for New Music with a mission to commission and perform a diverse style of newly composed music of our time. Its’ commission of new compositions of diverse styles by emerging composers in reflecting contemporary times is a vital part of the programing. Among the musical heritage of the city of Philadelphia, having begun in colonial times with attention to classical music, opera, jazz and other forms of music, it has an amiable history. The diverse population has influenced a wide range of music venues, including the early development of popular music as well as a prosperous classical music and folk music in its’ representation. The Philadelphia Orchestra with its’ conductor, Leopold Stokowski challenged the inclusion of Contemporary American classical music of the 20th century. One of his notable presentations was in the Walt Disney 1940 animated film Fantasia for the viewing of a broad American public its’ premiere. The Curtis Institute of Music located on Rittenhouse Square was founded in 1924 by the esteemed Curtis Publishing Company of which the heiress, Mary Louise Curtis Bok stood by the institution from the founding until her death. The institution has trained a great number of the world’s most highly respected and prestigious artists…Philadelphia has a vast variety of venues for music. One of the Oldest is the Academy of Music which was established in 1859. It is the longest operating opera house in the United States, still in use for its original purpose. It is the home of many internationally recognized performance ensembles, including the Opera Company. It also presents touring artists and musical theatre of the highest order. Among the recent additions to the city’s venues in the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts which is now the home of the Philadelphia Orchestra from its opening in 2001. The Philadelphia Singers also performed at this institution. It also presents the Philadanco dance group and the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society which was established in 1986. Among the music schools which included the prestigious Curtis Institute, the Academy of Vocal Arts (AVA) is a school dedicated to providing higher education to aspiring singers in the field of opera. It is the only tuition-free institution in the world devoted solely to operatic training and performance. The school was founded in 1934 by Helen Corning Warden and is located at 1920 Spruce Street in Center City Philadelphia. This prestigious music school hosted a vast number of notable artists alumni. The Carnegie Mellon School of Music in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania is a degree-granting institution founded in 1912 as one of five divisions of Carnegie Mellon University‘s College of Fine Arts. Though not affiliated with the city of Philadelphia, it shares much of the same dedication to music as that of the City of Brotherly Love! One can visit any of these institutions’ web page for information of concerts and potential involvement.
Philadelphia and surrounding communities continue with its constituents in a variety of cultural events, many which compete for attention and many who generously deserve recognition for the sheer energy of each organizations input into our cultural life. Being near other major cities, especially, New York City, Baltimore and Washington, one might expect a waning of interest in our own contributions to the cultural society at large. This is not so, as we continue to find new avenues of cultural expression. There are several Universities and Conservatories, Art Centers and Dance Companies to add to the mix. The Curtis Institute of music has in addition to the Alumni Concert Series a free series of Student Recitals.