New worlds, new times. They’re the talk of the re-launched Delaware Symphony Orchestra right now, which resumes full performances with special concerts Jan. 25 and Jan. 27. On deck: Dvořák’s New World Symphony and the DSO pianist Lura Johnson as soloist for Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 1. DSO Music Director David Amado will conduct. “When the DSO had its start more than a century ago as the Tankopanikum Orchestra, Dvořák’s New World Symphony, Humperdinck’s Hänsel and Gretel, and Rachmaninoff’s First Piano Concerto were new,” Amado says. “Now those works are classics, having withstood the test of time. The DSO, too, has withstood the test of time. After months of silence, I am thrilled to be conducting my wonderful colleagues once again. We are ready to make music that will transport our audience and remind all of us on both sides of the proscenium that great art—great music—can’t be silenced for long.” For those who missed it, DSO hit a snag over the summer, when it looked like financial issues would hobble the organization. Fortunately, the organization—on of our true cultural treasures—worked it all out. “It’s a whole new world at the DSO, and our decision to open the Classical Series with the New World Symphony reflects that. We have a new season and a new plan, and we have made a number of changes that will help us better serve our patrons and help return the DSO to solid financial footing,” says Diana Milburn, DSO’s general manager. “As we continue to rebuild from the financial difficulties that emerged earlier this year, we are thrilled to be able to fill the stage and the air with the musical magic that Maestro David Amado and our musicians are so exceptional at creating.” The New World program includes Humperdinck, Prelude to Hänsel and Gretel, and Rachmaninoff, Piano Concerto No. 1 in F-Sharp Minor, with soloist Lura Johnson. 656-7442, delawaresymphony.org
The Father of Illustration
“Before Howard Pyle and N.C. Wyeth rose to the height of their profession as illustrators, there was Felix Octavius Carr Darley, whose skill in book and magazine illustration made him one of the most popular artists of his time and earned him a reputation as the Father of American Illustration,” says Audrey Lewis, an associate curator at the Brandywine River Museum in nearby Chadds Ford. Go there to see his work in “The Magic Pencil of the Amazing F.O.C. Darley." The self-taught Darley, active till his death in 1888, drew for works by such literary giants as James Fenimore Cooper and Nathanial Hawthorne. He settled in Claymont at a time when his work was so popular, books were advertised as “illustrated by Darley.” Take a look through March 10. 610-338-2700, brandywinemuseum.org
Mackie’s Back in Town
Who is the bigger criminal: the man who robs a bank or the man who founds one? It’s a question for the times and the central theme of “The Threepenny Opera.” See it presented by UD’s Resident Ensemble Players through Feb. 2. “Brecht and Weill’s ‘The Threepenny Opera’ is of one of the high-water marks of 20th century writing for the theater,” says producing artistic director Sandy Robbins. Meet the unforgettable Mack the Knife—lover, murderer, and criminal mastermind—whose life takes a dangerous turn when he marries Polly Peachum, whose disapproving father wants him hanged. You’ll recognize tunes such as “Pirate Jenny” and “Mack the Knife,” and you’ll get a chance to see the work of director Matthew Earnest, whose talent has recently earned high praise from The New York Times. 831-2204, rep.udel.edu
Offering more than 100 performances a year makes The Music School of Delaware one of the biggest presenters in the region. Here’s one: the Music Masters concert by faculty members and friends at the Milford branch on Jan. 23. The performance features chamber music and solo performances of classical and non-classical music in a fine display of the school’s diversity, says president and CEO Kate Ransom. The concert includes Christopher Braddock, mandolin, dobro & oud; Lotus Cheng, piano; Eliezer Gutman, violin; Jessica Hoffman, violin; Oleg Maslov, piano; Julianne Murphy, violin and Douglas Seth, guitar. “Each and every one of them is a special person, a special performer and a special instructor,” Ransom says—which is reason enough for us to see them. 422-2043, musicschoolofdelaware.org
A Picture of Today
The year 2012 might have been Delaware Art Museum’s 100th anniversary year, but the celebration continues with “State of the Art: Illustration 100 Years After Howard Pyle” Feb. 9-June 1. The exhibition features more than 60 works from eight of the most important contemporary illustrators. In 2011, the museum launched its centennial celebration with a major retrospective dedicated to illustrator Howard Pyle. “State of the Art” marks the celebration's end and reflects on Pyle's legacy. In the century since his death in 1911, American illustration has diversified into a wide range of art forms, including animated films, computer-generated images to graphic novels and conceptual art. “No single exhibition could possibly do justice to the noisy, rambunctious history of illustration over the past century,” says curator David Apatoff. “I've chosen instead to feature eight individuals whose diverse talents demonstrate that illustration is no longer the singular profession it was in Pyle's day. It pervades our culture, reaching out to us from billboards, television, store windows, and computer screens.” Meet the artists.
Bernie Fuchs began his career creating realistic paintings for automobile advertisements. By the 1960s, he was at the forefront of illustrators whose impressionistic works redefined the field. He eventually became known around the world for his sense of color and design. He passed away in 2009.
Milton Glaser is among the world's most celebrated graphic and architectural designers. His achievements range from the “I ♥ New York” logo to complete graphic and decorative programs for public spaces. He has been the subject of one-man shows at the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris and the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
Mort Drucker is one of MAD magazine’s most famous artists. An influential caricaturist, he is renowned for his pen and ink work. His TIME covers are in the collection of the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C.
Phil Hale pushes the boundaries between fine art and illustration by making powerful compositions and combining traditional realism with moody, complex, evocative themes. Though highly regarded for his covers for books by Joseph Conrad and Steven King, Hale is recognized around the world for his fine art.
Sterling Hundley combines traditional artistic media with digital tools. His work has appeared in Rolling Stone, Vibe and The New York Times. Hundley has won gold and silver medals from the Society of Illustrators in New York and the Illustrators Club in Washington, D.C. He is an instructor at The Illustration Academy and a professor in the Department of Communication Arts at Virginia Commonwealth University.
John Cuneo's drawings have appeared in many major publications, including The New Yorker, Esquire, Sports Illustrated and The Atlantic. He is highly regarded for the humor in his work and has been awarded several medals from the Society of Illustrators.
Peter De Sève began as an editorial illustrator in the 1980s and is well known for his covers for The New Yorker, along with his illustrations for TIME and Newsweek. He has also created character designs for animated films produced by Disney, DreamWorks Studios, Pixar, and Twentieth Century Fox, including “Mulan,” “A Bug's Life,” “Monsters, Inc.” and “Ice Age.”
Ralph Eggleston was the art director at Pixar for “Toy Story,” the first full-length computer-animated film, as well as for “The Incredibles.” He was also the production designer for films such as “Finding Nemo” and “WALL·E.” His work has been recognized for its color, composition and sense of fantasy.
Curator David Apatoff began his career as a professional cartoonist and illustrator. He has illustrated children's books and worked in a commercial art studio. He is the author of “Robert Fawcett, The Illustrator's Illustrator” and “Albert Dorne, Master Illustrator,” and he writes the popular blog Illustration Art (illustrationart.blogspot.com). He has written extensively for Illustration Magazine and other publications. Apatoff practices technology law for a multinational law firm in Washington, D.C.
This promises to be one cool exhibition, with something for everyone in the family. 571-9590, delart.org
The Heart of The Bard
This just in from our friend David Stradley, artistic director of the Delaware Shakepeare Festival: "I wanted to let you know of a fun event that Delaware Shakespeare Festival is partnering with World Cafe Live on during Valentine's Week. The event is called Shakespeare + St. Valentine and it will be held Feb. 12 at 7 p.m. in the Upstairs Live venue. It will be a really fun mix of actors reading great Shakespeare love scenes (some serious, some not so much), a few Shakespeare pop songs, some special guests reading sonnets, and chances for audiences to flex their Shakespearean wooing skills." That sounds like an amazing way to celebrate. 994-1400, worldcafelive.com