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In today's Washington Post:

The Philadelphia Orchestra: No Void in Vitality, by Anne Midgette.

And good news for Baltimore: Marin Alsop extends her contract with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra through 2015. I've had some reservations about Alsop's conducting of standard repertory, but I've also enjoyed some of her performances, like that memorable Bernstein "Mass." And there's no question that her dynamic involvement has helped animate the orchestra and its community. In fact, she's the perfect illustration of a 21st-century American music director: it's not just about the music.

By Anne Midgette  |  June 5, 2009; 10:42 AM ET
Categories:  local reviews , news  
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Next: To Comment, or Not to Comment


I think the Philadelphia Orchestra should nominate Charles Dutoit as music director. Unlike Ivan Fischer at NSO, Dutoit wants the job and what he did so far is wonderful. The way this great conductor was treated is shameful. I attended a few concerts in Philadelphia under both him and guest conductors and I think the orchestra is in terrific shape.

Posted by: cicciofrancolando | June 5, 2009 1:46 PM | Report abuse

I was happy to read your review on the Jennifer Higdon violin concerto that was made for and performed by Hilary Hahn. I had the opportunity to hear the concerto at Strathmore on Saturday as well as the comments of soloist, composer, and conductor following the concert (I am not certain whether the Baltimore audience also had such an opportunity for questions and answers). I found all of their comments insiteful, particularly concerning the difficulties on listening to new pieces of music. Unlike art that you can visualize as a single work, it is more like a scroll that opens and closes continually moving forward. Clearly I was impressed by the technical skill required to play such a work (how an artist can memorize something so complicated is beyond my imagination and how Hilary explained it made it sound so simple), but not with its beauty. It was nice to hear the composer say you needn't like the work to appreciate it. I was interested in knowing from your standpoint as a critic did you find this work beautiful or technically challenging? I left the performance impressed, but not remembering the music or being touched by it.

Posted by: donahues11 | June 8, 2009 12:15 PM | Report abuse

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