Archive | Concerts

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Review: Cher at The Theater at MGM National Harbor

Accompanied by a phalanx of golden shield-carrying gladiators, The Goddess of Pop strode onstage last night in a massive afro and shimmering turquoise and silver ensemble that exposed one singular, very buff, perfectly rounded butt cheek. Seventy is the new twenty, if it’s Cher we’re talking about.  Glamorous, fit and fierce, she seized the night […]

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Ben Dibble

Review: ‘Ben Dibble: Are We There Yet? Just a Little Father(hood Cabaret)’ at the Arden Cabaret Series

Ben Dibble might be as fine a cabaret performer as anyone in that field. He demonstrated that with the presentation of Are We There Yet? Just a Little Father(hood Cabaret), produced by the Arden Theatre Company in Philadelphia. Many excellent singers have failed in their attempts at that delicate art. Cabaret demands naturalism, which requires […]

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Michael Tilson Thomas. Photo by Kristen Loken.

Review: The Philadelphia Orchestra Performs Seeger, Berg & Beethoven with Guest Conductor Michael Tilson Thomas

Contrast was stark in the concert which Michael Tilson Thomas led with The Philadelphia Orchestra. The first half displayed two radically dissonant pieces from the 1930s — Ruth Crawford Seeger’s Andante for Strings and Alban Berg’s Violin Concerto, while the second half was devoted to Beethoven’s classic Symphony No. 3 (the Eroica). You could make […]

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The viola section, featuring Rachel Ku,. Photo by Jessica Griffin.

Review: The Philadelphia Orchestra Performs Brahms’ Eleven Chorale Preludes, Bach’s Cantata No. 150, and Brahms’ Symphony No. 4

The Philadelphia Orchestra set of concerts during the last weekend of February was one of the most imaginatively conceived in recent memory. The program consisted of selections from Brahms’ Eleven Chorale Preludes, Bach’s Cantata No. 150, and Brahms’ Symphony No. 4. Johannes Brahms is the favorite composer of Yannick Nézet-Séguin. Most musicians will avoid picking a favorite, […]

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Interview: Dionne Warwick on Performing Tomorrow, 2/28 and Wednesday, 3/1 at 8 PM at Bethesda Blues & Jazz Supper Club’s 4th Anniversary Show

I recently had the privilege to interview the music legend, Dionne Warwick. The occasion for the interview is to celebrate Ms. Warwick’s illustrious career, ask some related questions, and to highlight Ms. Warwick’s upcoming performances at the Bethesda Blues & Jazz Supper Club. Ms. Warwick will perform Tomorrow and Wednesday night, February 28th and March 1st at […]

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Ilmar Gavilán, Melissa White, Felix Umansky, Jaime Amador, Arturo Stable. (Photo taken at the sound check.) Photo by Brian Buttler.

Review: LiveConnections Presents Harlem Quartet + Arturo Stable

Once again, LiveConnections Presents (“LCP”) curator Mary Wheelock Javian’s musical matchmaking has produced a lively evening of musical discovery. This time it was the pairing of the Harlem Quartet with percussionist and University of the Arts professor Arturo Stable. As usual with LCP’s offerings, the first set featured the invited string players. The Harlem Quartet’s […]

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Review: NSO Pops: An Evening with Ledisi at The Kennedy Center

“Peaches” was in the house. Inspired by the spirit of Nina Simone, acclaimed American R&B and jazz recording artist, songwriter and actress, Ledisi performed an eclectic program of blues, jazz and R&B in concert performance of NSO Pops: An Evening with Ledisi. Under the musical direction of guest conductor Darin Atwater, the NSO Pops added contemporary […]

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Review: ‘Famous Contemporaries: Music by Gliere, Medtner, Rachmaninov, Rimsky-Korsakov, and Tcherepnin’ at the Russian Chamber Art Society

As a novice opera aficionado, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from Masterpieces of Russian Vocal Music: Famous Contemporaries, the Russian Chamber Art Society’s most recent offering at La Maison Francaise, the Embassy of France. This concert series is dedicated to Russian chamber vocal music, especially music rarely heard in the United States, and […]

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featured_Herbert Blomstedt

Review: The Philadelphia Orchestra Performs Mozart and Brahms

During the 44 years when Eugene Ormandy was music director of The Philadelphia Orchestra (1936 to 1980), he led almost every concert. There was scant need for guest conductors. Now the symphonic world is different. All prominent conductors dash from one city to another, and Yannick Nézet-Séguin needs to do this more than others because […]

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Review: ‘Luther Re-Lives’ at the Publick Playhouse

The velvet voice and beautiful love ballads of one of the greatest R &B crooners of all time, Luther Vandross, lives on through the magnetic stage presence of William “Smooth” Wardlaw’s  Luther Re-Lives. As if channeling the body, soul and spirit of the man, Luther Re-Lives, which played Saturday night at the Prince George’s Publick […]

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featured_Ingrid Rosenback and Jack Scott at Marple Public Library, Marple, PA

Music with a Mission: Interview with Last Chance, a Great American Musical Duo

Last Chance, Philadelphia’s much-talked-about musical duo of singer-songwriter Jack Scott (vocals, banjo, and guitar) and Ingrid Rosenback (vocals, fiddle, and harmonica), has been performing as a duo since 2012. Featuring only original songs, they play extensively in Philadelphia and the surrounding area to a wide range of music lovers of all ages and backgrounds—ready to […]

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Maryland Opera Studio to Premiere University of MD’s Opera Composition Contest Winner ‘The Young King’ on Friday, 2/10@7:30 PM at The Clarice

The first-year members of the Maryland Opera Studio present a semi-staged New Work Reading every year, but this year’s reading is unique. On February 10, the Maryland Opera Studio premieres the winning composition of the inaugural University of Maryland (UMD) Opera Composition Contest: Martin Hennessy and librettist Tom Rowan’s adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s short story The Young […]

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Review: ‘Jerry Blavat’s Gospel, Soul and Doo Wop Reunion’ at The Kimmel Center

Jerry Blavat, “a Philadelphia borne dancer, radio and television disc jockey, performer, entertainer, producer and nightclub owner” (according to the program insert), produced his 38th show at The Kimmel Center, called Jerry Blavat’s Gospel, Soul and Doo Wop Reunion, on Saturday night. Blavat has worked in the music business for more than fifty years, and is […]

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Review: Soprano Ailyn Pérez at The Barns at Wolf Trap

There’s no business like show business, but does that include opera? If in a few years people finally agree that opera is genuinely another form of musical theater, it may be because of the current career rocketship of American soprano Ailyn Pérez. Never mind her recent run as the star of the Metropolitan Opera’s uber-popular […]

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