Tereza Stanislav and Christina DayOn November 5, 1995, the Wild Ginger Philharmonic gave its debut concert at the Lutheran Church of the Holy Communion in Philadelphia. There were roughly twenty people in the audience. Over the years, Wild Ginger has built a substantial public following that consists of seasoned concert goers as well as young professionals, teenagers, and students who would not normally find themselves at a symphony orchestra concert. Many of our younger audience members are attracted by Wild Ginger's non-traditional approach to musical performance.

Beginning in 1997, Wild Ginger Philharmonic began rehearsing in a retreat setting. The orchestra found it greatly facilitated the communal feeling. It allowed for an unrestricted number of rehearsals and sectionals in preparation for each concert. Wild Ginger continues to rehearse on retreat, where the musicians are able to rekindle their love of music.

All of the musicians in the group are outstanding players. Many are international soloists and competition winners who come from the top music schools in America and abroad. The ample amount of rehearsal time combined with a supportive environment, allows all of this superb musicianship to be explored to its fullest. Wild Ginger is also able to experiment with performance practice techniques that have been lost over the past hundred years. These include increased use of tempo rubato, portamento, and the expressive use of ornaments such as the vibrato. Underlying the entire concept of the orchestra is the spirit of improvisation, a vital component of Western music until the early part of the 1900's. Paradoxically, Wild Ginger's generous amount of preparation allows much greater freedom and spontaneity during performance.

During performance, Wild Ginger is able takes enormous risks that inhibitions would otherwise censor. Our performances are truly extraordinary experiences. Because we develop a strong, loving connection to the music and to each other at retreats and at concerts, we simply open up that connection and invite the audience to participate in the experience. This makes for an intense excitement for both musicians and audience.

Stay in touch by e-mail at music@wildginger.org

 

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David Goodman

Photographs courtesy of

and William Irwin


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