Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Broad Street bravos

The Inquirer's Peter Dobrin has an outstanding essay in today's paper that reflects on the Philadelphia Orchestra's connection to the city and the community it serves. Especially notable is his commentary on Associate Conductor Rossen Milanov's role with the orchestra:

It's salient to realize that all this happened before the arrival of Charles Dutoit, who takes the podium in his new role as chief conductor and artistic adviser for the first time on Thursday. Rossen Milanov was the artistic leader last week, as he generally is for activities that used to fall dismissively into the category of "other" for the orchestra, but which now nearly constitute core identity.

Though the job of reviewing the Orchestra's concerts on Friday and Saturday fell to the Inquirer's other, equally able critic, David Patrick Stearns, Dobrin captures what those concerts meant to the Orchestra's presence in the city and viability for the future. A great piece for classical music fans, Philadelphians, and anyone eager to drown out the death-knell some would sound for professional orchestras and for classical music in general.

At the season's kick-off on Friday, held on a rainy afternoon, I was pleased to find a mostly-full orchestra section with plenty more in the balconies. I hope and expect that tonight's concert will be even better attended and that Milanov and the Orchestra will once again whip into a frenzy for Lutoslawski's Concert for Orchestra.

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