“Albert C. Barnes had a few opinions about art, and it turns out the famous art collector’s theories about music were no less idiosyncratic,” writes Peter Dobrin in Wednesday’s (10/10) Philadelphia Inquirer. Barnes established Pennsylvania’s Barnes Foundation, an outstanding collection of early-twentieth century art. Longtime Philadelphia Orchestra conductor “Leopold Stokowski found himself on the receiving end of Barnes’ philosophy of music in the 1920s. Barnes once told Stokowski that his programs were ‘hackneyed.’… In two weeks of concerts starting Thursday, the Philadelphia Orchestra and Barnes Foundation dip into the odd relationship of these two lions of early-20th-century Philadelphia. The idea came from Stéphane Denève, the Philadelphia Orchestra principal guest conductor who leads the orchestra in the festival. ‘Of course, I had heard about the Barnes, and when I went I was absolutely amazed,’ said Denève, who left the collection determined to develop a joint project.… When he learned that Barnes and Stokowski actually knew each other, it sparked new programming possibilities. Orchestral concerts in the festival are interwoven with theatrical scenes by playwright Didi Balle inspired by correspondence between Barnes and Stokowski…. Two chamber concerts of contemporary music promise as much edge in our time as Stokowski’s choices did in his.”

Posted October 10, 2018

In photo: Longtime Philadelphia Orchestra conductor Leopold Stokowski