Musicians can still talk, even if they can’t play. The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia has canceled all the concerts originally scheduled for the first months of the new season but it’s come up with an appealing alternative. It’s presenting a series of YouTube events that feature conversations—with some musical interludes—with the guest performers who would have been the headliners at the canceled concerts.
Playing it by ear
COP hopes to reschedule the performances early in 2021. In the meantime, the conversations are being streamed live around the time they would have taken place. They’ll remain available on the Chamber Orchestra’s YouTube channel.
The next event in the series will be a Sunday afternoon talk with violinist Elena Urioste, discussing Vaughan Williams’ The Lark Ascending and other British violin solos. The first two were streamed in September and spotlighted violinist Bella Hristova and conductor David Hayes, who led the Philadelphia Singers for 15 years. Hristova's video includes a Bach unaccompanied sonata and a discussion of Mozart’s violin concertos. Hayes discusses the canceled program he was scheduled to conduct—a program that included string orchestra transcriptions of three string quartets, Schubert’s Death and the Maiden, Beethoven’s Grosse Fugue, and Shostakovich’s quartet for the victims of fascism and war.
COP is calling the series Musical JewelBox. Future events include a composer’s forum; a talk on film composing with COP’s music director, Dirk Brossé; and an online holiday party featuring musical games and other “well-mannered frivolities.”
What, When, Where, and Accessibility:
The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia will present Musical JewelBox with Elena Urioste on Sunday, October 11, at 4pm. You can access all the Musical JewelBox events on the COP website.
Image description: a violinist in an advanced yoga pose with the violin in front of them, in a wooded area for the backdrop.