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June 11, 2012

Inviting the Maestro

In my penultimate blog post for the June Stokowski Celebration Concerts, I share some of my ideas around inviting Leopold Stokowski himself to join us for these performances in the Academy of Music. My aim is to allow today’s audiences to hear some words of wisdom from the old Maestro. I want to share with you how, by inviting Stokowski to join us and literally pass the baton to the Orchestra’s new maestro, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, I convinced the Academy to give up one of its most famous ghosts!

June 08, 2012

Some Digital Renderings

We met today with James Alexander and Clark Productions, the stage director and team that are creating the incredible visual experience around our June Stokowski Celebration Concerts in the Academy. James and his team showed us some digital renderings projected onto a detailed scale model of the Academy of Music’s interior—take a look:


June 07, 2012

Day 10 - Shanghai

6/6/12, Shanghai, China: A view of Shanghai from the air. A small group of musicians and staff traveled ahead of the rest of the Orchestra for an afternoon Drexel University event. Photo by Chris Lee  
June 07, 2012

In the Hall, on the Radio

Stokowski wanted to control and perfect every aspect of how his orchestra sounded, live and over the airwaves. Stokowski had an experimental device created that allowed him to both conduct the orchestra and control the volume levels of the broadcast at the same time. This cartoon, which ran in the Philadelphia Public Ledger on December 28, 1930, depicts Stokowski’s multi-tasking talents as conductor and engineer.

June 06, 2012

Day Nine - Guangzhou Continued

6/5/12, Guangzhou, China: Associate Principal Second Violin Paul Roby enjoys a complimentary breakfast at the Orchestra’s hotel, where both Asian and Western-style foods are offered. Photo by Chris Lee

June 06, 2012

A Stokowski Sighting in China

A Stokowski sighting in China during the Orchestra's 2012 Residency and Tour! This photo is part of a special exhibit at the new Guangzhou Opera House featuring some of the most famous classical music talents of all time.

June 05, 2012

Day Eight - Guangzhou

6/4/12, Beijing, China: Violist Rachel Ku drops off her passport with Artistic Administrator Makiko Freeman prior to the Orchestra’s flight to Guangzhou. Photo by Chris Lee

June 05, 2012

Broadcasting With Color

A sketch of Leopold Stokowski from the early 1930s.

On January 27, 1933, Leopold Stokowski and The Philadelphia Orchestra teamed up with Bell Telephone Labs in New Jersey to experiment with new technology that allowed for a broadcast of a concert from Philadelphia to Washington, D.C. The Orchestra performed live in the Academy of Music while an audience in Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C., listened to the Orchestra remotely, the audio-only broadcast accompanied by a colored light show. But where was Stokowski?

June 04, 2012

Day Seven - Tianjin

6/3/12, Beijing, China: National Centre for the Performing Arts President Chen Ping (far left) chats with Orchestra President and CEO Allison Vulgamore (far right), and Ambassador Nicholas Platt (second from right). The two organizations met to sign an agreement extending their 2012 pilot partnership into future residency programs. Photo by Chris Lee