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Reviews

“Accompanying them was the Lyric Opera Orchestra under the capable direction of Philip Morehead, head of Lyric’s music staff.” (Review of “The Magic Victrola”, Lyric Opera of Chicago — John von Rhein, Chicago Tribune, January 18, 2015)

“Philip Morehead conducted the Lyric Orchestra (opening with the Overture to Mozart’s “The Marriage of Figaro”) supportively and energetically… The audience loved it all.” (Review of “The Magic Victrola”, Lyric Opera of Chicago — Andrew Patner, Chicago Sun-Times, January 18, 2015)

“The composer’s husband, Philip Morehead, conducted with every attention to detail.” (Review of Patricia Morehead “Disquieted Souls” on CUBE concert “ Chicago Connections”
 — M.L. Rantala, Hyde Park Herald, June 15, 2010)

Philip Morehead, Lyric [Opera of Chicago]’s indispensable head of music staff, ably conducted the superb Lyric Opera Orchestra in the 18 widely varied selections. (Rising Stars in Concert 2009 — Andrew Patner, Chicago Sun-Times, April 6, 2009)

“Pianist Philip Morehead also gave touching accounts of three charming salon pieces by Brazilian pioneer Chiquinha Gonzaga.” (Review of “Musica Latina”
 — Michael Cameron, Chicago Tribune, Nov 20, 2007)

“The highlight of Laura Elise Schwendinger’s “Lontano” for oboe, cello, and percussion was a gesture that overlapped the same sustained pitches between instruments, such as bowed vibraphone and artificial harmonics from the cello. These subtle waves of sound (along with some ostinati and cello pizzicati) provided a backdrop for melodic figures and passagework from the oboe.
The other excellent musicians were percussionist Douglas Brush, Krzysztof Wolek on electronics, conductor Phillip Morehead, cellist Paula Kosower, violinist Jeffrey Yang, and pianist Phillip Seward.” (Review of “Chiaroscuro CUBE” 
—  Michael Cameron, Chicago Tribune, Mar 17, 2003)

“Holloway’s singing was captivating, even when his upper notes sounded strained. Under Philip Morehead’s exacting guidance, the ensemble consisting of CUBEsters Caroline Pittman (flutes), Patricia Morehead (oboe), and friends Christie Vohs (clarinets), Jeffrey Yang (violin), Paula Kosower (cello) and Douglas Brush (percussion) accompanied with fluency and flair.” (Review of “Tell-Tale Heart” by the CUBE Ensemble at Columbia College
 — Ted Shen, Chicago , March 9, 2002)

“Arnold Schoenberg’s ghost hovers over the century, and not only for his later 12-tone theoretical exercises. Philip Morehead’s clear presentation of the Six Small Piano Pieces, Op. 19 of 1913 showed the ways this master bent notes and reshaped harmonics within the confines of conventional tonality. (Review of Mostly Music and CUBE at Goodspeed Hall
 — Andrew Patner, Chicago Sun-Times, Jan 20, 1998)

“Thanks to the careful conducting of Philip Morehead, the orchestra never overpowered the singers. There was an occasional uneasiness in the very fast choruses, but nothing tragic. The overture, somewhat sluggish in the middle, was commendably crisp at the beginning and end.” (Review of Gilbert & Sullivan “Pirates of Penzance,” Tulsa Opera —
John Toms, Tulsa Tribune, May 7, 1984)

“Conductor Philip Morehead kept a good relationship between stage and pit, and except for a slow tempo or two in the latter part of the second act, the opera moved well.” (Review of Puccini “Madama Butterfly,” Tulsa Opera — John Toms, Tulsa Tribune, May 4, 1983)

“The orchestra for last night’s performance was composed of ISU [Illinois State University] music professors and students and was meticulously and skillfully directed by Philip Morehead, an assistant conductor of the Lyric Opera of Chicago and a music coach and conductor with the opera’s Center for American Artists.” (Review of Rossini “Cinderella,” Lyric Opera Center for American Artists — Bob Simpson, Daily Pantagraph, Bloomington, IL, March 3, 1983)

“The work was given full length, conducted from the harpsichord by Philip Morehead, who brought out unusually delicate nuance to a score which is too often inflated beyond toleration.” (Review of Handel Messiah, Tafelmusik — Ronald Hambleton, Toronto Star, November 1980)

“The performance involved a number of superior musicians; outstanding in the cast were Raymond Sepe and the ever-improving Cheryl Cobb in the anomolous roles of Gretchen and Mephisto, James Maddalena as the warm-voiced Faust, and the lively Valerie Walters as the trashy Martha. Everyone seemed thoroughly secure, which is a tribute to the thorough musical preparation of Louise Costigan; the semistaging looked more professional than what the BSO inflicted on Gluck’s “Orfeo” a week ago. And it was good to have that confident, competent and responsible musician Philip Morehead back in town, and on the podium.” (Phaust Premieres – Color it Phlawed —
Richard Dyer, Boston Glove, April 7, 1980)

“The performance as a whole was a distinct success. There are problems in performing Bach with a large choir and a modern orchestra in a concert hall, but conductor Philip Morehead seemed well aware of these, and led a reading of the work which reached the best possible compromise.” (Review of Bach “Mass in B Minor,” Bach-Elgar Choir — Anthony Hammond, Hamilton (Ontario) Spectator, November 12, 1979)

“Conductor Philip Morehead gave the concert an atmosphere of informality, talking to the audience and introducing numbers… Morehead shows a flair for this kind of music.” (Review of Rodgers & Hammerstain selections, Bach-Elgar Choir — Ken Gee, Hamilton (Ontario) Spectator, June 1979)

“Morehead handles his forces with surprising ease, thus allowing them to sing with conviction. Possibly most important in his direction is his excellent care to rhythm. Despite tonal and textural confusion in some pieces, Morehead was still able to project the music through the choir.” (Review of a concert of polychoral music with brass, Bach-Elgar Choir — Lorne Betts, Hamilton (Ontario) Spectator, March 1979)

“Philip Morehead conducted a carefully chosen and highly competent professional free-lance orchestra — he knew enough not to dawdle over the more mawkish parts of the score.” (Review of Menotti Amahl and the Night Visitors, Boston Lyric Opera — Richard Dyer, Boston Globe, December 1977)

“Philip Morehead conducted the small but expert orchestra with brisk elegance.” (Review of Mozart “Zaïde,” Boston Lyric Opera — Lloyd Schwartz, Boston Herald American, February 1977)

“Conductor Morehead ran a clean, tight performance, but his somewhat vertical stick technique was better adapted to securing entrances and accents than to eliciting the intense, singing quality of the score from the players. This matter gradually took care of itself, and the end of the first act was simply first-rate music-making all around.” (Review of Mozart Zaïde, Boston Lyric Opera — David Noble, Lynn Patriot Ledger, February 1977)

“It was better to concentrate on the music, the capable singers and the good playing of a small chamber group (Martha Moor, harp; Maynard Goldman, violin; Patricia Morehead, oboe and english horn; Richard Greenfield, horn) under the spirited direction of conductor Philip Morehead.” (Review of Paul Earls “A Grimm Duo,” New England Chamber Opera Group — Richard Dyer, Boston Globe, January 1977)

“Throughout, Philip Morehead directed (didn’t quite conduct) four expert musicians expertly while playing percussion and harpsichord himself.” (Review of Paul Earls “A Grimm Duo,” New England Chamber Opera GroupDavid Noble, Lynn Patriot-Ledger, January 1977)

“Philip Morehead led an orchestra of free-lance players through the two complicated scores with a confident sense of direction and clarity.” (Review of Earls The Death of King Phillip, New England Chamber Opera Group — Ellen Pfeifer,, Musical America, July 1976)

“I found “King Phillip” an adventurous, exciting, and very accomplished opera, enhanced by astonishing light effects devised by the M.I.T. Center for Advanced Visual Studies—laser-projected images solidifying in the spaces of the church, luminous silhouette snapshots of battle actions lingering onstage after the actors had moved on—and by some excellent performers. Beverly Morgan as the young Mrs. Rolandson, Kim Scown as her husband, and Thomas Olsen and Jerrold Pope as two warriors deserve special mention. The words were exceptionally clear, even during passages of simultaneous discourse. Rafael de Acha directed, and Philip Morehead conducted.” (Review of Paul Earls “The Death of King Phillip,” New England Chamber Opera Group — Andrew Porter, The New Yorker, April 19, 1976)

“There was much to commend in the Boston performance. Philip Morehead, the conductor, directed a little band of baroque instruments and did so pleasingly, except when he treated minuet rhythms with too deliberate and even an emphasis.” (Review of Handel Imeneo, New England Chamber Opera Group — Andrew Porter, The New Yorker, May 12, 1975)

“It has primarily well-paced, thoughtful, and knowing leadership in the pit thanks to conductor Philip Morehead who is able to coax ouf of the insecure technical resources of his orchestra a viable musical product. Coming as infrequently as it does even in the most prestigious opera companies, this ia always something to be thankful for.” (Review of Mozart “The Abduction from the Seraglio,” New England Chamber Opera Group — Ellen Pfeifer, Boston Herald American, May 1974)