Film

Courtesy of The Philadelphia Orchestra Association Archives

During the Cultural Revolution of 1966 to 1976 in the People's Republic of China, Western classical music all but disappeared from Chinese cultural life. The Philadelphia Orchestra's trailblazing 1973 trip to China helped turn that around. Led by Music Director Eugene Ormandy, and part of a larger plan of cross-cultural exchange, the tour planted the seeds for a relationship between China and the Orchestra that has grown and blossomed in the last three decades.

The song "Strange Fruit" was written by a man named Abel Meeropol in the 1930s — but it will forever be associated with Billie Holiday. The lyrics vividly describe a lynching, and this haunting protest song is central to the new movie The United States Vs. Billie Holiday. The Grammy-nominated singer Andra Day plays the title character. The role is Day's acting debut, but she has already won a Golden Globe for her performance.

Wikpedia/U.S. Library of Congress Music Division/ Wiliam R. Gottlieb

Some folks—even jazz fans—wouldn’t know that 'Robert Chudnick' was the real name of the musician whose handle was Red Rodney.  The once well-known jazz trumpeter from Philadelphia was born back on September 27th, 1927.

Harriet Tubman may be the best-known conductor of the Underground Railroad, but a new album highlights another key figure: William Still, who helped nearly 800 enslaved African Americans escape to freedom in the years before the Civil War.

Greenwich Entertainment

The film looks beyond the 16-time Grammy-winning musician to see the polio survivor whose parents emigrated from Poland to Israel, and the young man who struggled to be taken seriously as a music student when schools saw only his disability.

Composer Jerry Goldsmith was honored Tuesday with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He was a force at the movies for more than 50 years, until his death in 2004 at the age of 75. But unlike many of the honorees on the Walk of Fame, Goldsmith isn't much of a household name. The best way to get a Goldsmith introduction is by sampling a few of his more than 200 film scores.

When you think of an orchestra, you're probably picturing refined woodwinds, brass, and strings. But one ensemble I recently met is made up mostly of kids who play instruments made out of literal trash. This is the Recycled Orchestra from Cateura, Paraguay, and their group is the subject of a new documentary film.

Was Florence Foster Jenkins In On The Joke?

Aug 15, 2016

The world is laughing at Florence Foster Jenkins once again in the new film of the same title. Meryl Streep plays the 1940s society matron who thought she was good enough to sing at Carnegie Hall, but was so sorely mistaken. The Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns, however, has stumbled onto the theory that Jenkins was laughing last.

The Socialite Who Sang At Carnegie Hall

Aug 8, 2016

Arriving in theaters this week, a new film starring Meryl Streep tells the story of Florence Foster Jenkins, the notoriously untalented singer and socialite who, in 1944, gave a historically dreadful public performance at New York's Carnegie Hall. Now, the Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns attempts to understand the legend.

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