Philadelphia classical music events, discussion, and directory
President of the Kimmel Center, Anne Ewers, announced at the final Keyboard Conversations® with Jeffrey Siegel that the series would not continue next season there due to financial difficulties. This left many fans deeply disappointed and wondering if any action could be taken to keep the series running in Philadelphia. Sharon Torello of LocalArtsLive believes that this type of programming is very important to maintain long term interest in classical music in the region so she is currently working on finding alternative solutions to continuing the series without interruption.
Please use this discussion to describe your experiences with the series and your interest in programs like Keyboard Conversations®.
I have attended only one of Mr. Siegel's presentations, on Chopin, but I enjoyed it, and I thought that that concert was well-attended. I would like to understand how it is that classical music events that appear to draw an audience are not financially viable. It would be interesting to see a profit & loss statement. Of course, presenting classical music is not a money-making proposition, and its existence depends upon the generosity of donors and government handouts, as well as ticket sales to a limited audience. However, what I find particularly disappointing about this case is that Mr. Siegel's format is what I believe classical music events need to reinvigorate public interest. If you educate your audience about the music, they will be better prepared and more ready to hear more of it. Therefore, I hope that Sharon will be successful, and that I and others will have the opportunity to attend more of Mr. Siegel's concerts, in Philadelphia.
Last night I attended the third program in a series called Keyboard Conversations. The series is a unique concert plus commentary format led by the utterly charming, witty, and delightful painist Jeffrey Siegel. This past year, the program included an evening devoted to Beethoven, one to Liszt, and last night's program of Brahms.
Mr. Siegel presents information about the composer, his life, intricacies in his music, things to listen for, melodic components, and makes the playing of the pieces that follow just a lovely and moving experience. The performances take place in the intimate surroundings of the Perelman theater and each time I have been there it is nearly full. The performances are wonderful for young people, those somewhat less experienced with the nuances of classical music, and those looking for a deeper understanding of a composer's work.
After the program there is a question and answer period. Last night we were informed that because of the desperate financial situation faced by the Kimmel, Keyboard Conversations would no longer be part of the season's programming. After ten years in Philadelphia the program was ending. Gasps of disappointment were heard throughout the audience.
Mr. Siegel has been performing Keyboard Conversation programs throughout the country for over thirty years. The fact that he can no longer be supported in Philadelphia is such sad and disappointing news. I don't know if anyone else has ever attended these programs, but I have found them to be such wonderfully intimate and illustrative programs.........very akin to what we try to share in meetings of our Classical Music Group.
I am stunned by this loss and astonished by the desperate financial straits of the Kimmel. I am hoping that efforts of the members of my Philadelphia Classical Music Meetup Group can result in saving this programming for the classical music audiences of the Philadelphia area.
I am so disappointed because the format of Keyboard Conversations is unique. There is no other opportunity in Philadelphia to hear a musician speak about a single piece of music in depth and play the complete work. Jeffrey Siegel has filled an important gap in the classical music scene in Philadelphia. It is sad to see the void.
I hope that the efforts of many individuals will lead to the reinstatement of this series.
Thanks for your testimonials. There is some interest in finding a way to keep this series intact in Philadelphia, so please encourage others to contribute their experiences. It would be great to hear from a student or parent of a student. In order to maintain high quality content on this site, contributors will need to be a member, but it's simple to sign up, and free: http://localartslive.com/main/authorization/signUp?
I was fortunate to be able to attend this year's Keyboard Conversations with Mr. Siegel. It was the first time I attended this series. I am a novice when it comes to understanding classical music, and I greatly enjoyed Keyboard Conversations because I learned about the composer, the time period of the piece, and the different types of arrangements available for the music. Mr. Siegel is a wonderful teacher and a talented performer. He brings the music to the audience with immense knowledge and enjoyment. I am greatly disappointed that Keyboard Conversations is not returning to the Kimmel Center next year. It was always a well attended and lively event with a involved audience. I do hope that something can be worked out so Mr. Siegel can return.
Information about this cut made it into the Philadelphia Inquirer today: http://www.philly.com/philly/entertainment/20120523_Kimmel_cuts_cos...
Congratulations!! The folks who expressed their passionate support for Keyboard Conversations may now pat themselves on the back. That public outcry was noticed by the management company that schedules these events and they decided to continue the series themselves. Check it out here: http://www.kimmelcent...
More detail on the effort to keep the Keyboard Conversations series alive here.