♦ Pittsburgh Symphony Music Director Manfred Honeck leads a program featuring Johann Strauss Jr.'s Overture to Die Fledermaus, Dvo?ák's Symphony No. 9 ("From the New World"), and Mozart's Violin Concerto No. 5 with Christian Tetzlaff. (November 14-16)
♦ Acclaimed Spanish conductor Pablo Heras-Casado leads the Orchestra in a program of showpieces featuring Concertmaster David Kim. Tchaikovsky's Sérénade mélancolique and his Valse-scherzo are meaningful to Kim, who was the only American awarded a prize at the 1986 quadrennial Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow. The performance also features Ravel's Rapsodie espagnole and Stravinsky's ballet Petrushka. (December 12-14)
♦ Russian conductor Tugan Sokhiev takes the podium to lead the ensemble in the final week of its Tchaikovsky Celebration. Violinist Vadim Gluzman (also making his debut) joins Sokhiev in a performance of Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto. Also featured: Rimsky-Korsakov's "Battle of Kerzhenets" from The Legend of the Invisible City of Kitezh and the Maiden Fevroniya and Musorgsky's Pictures from an Exhibition. (January 23-24)
Philadelphia Orchestra Associate Conductor Cristian M?celaru also makes his subscription debut, in a program featuring Tchaikovsky's Rococo Variations, with Principal Cello Hai-Ye Ni, and Serenade for Strings; Borodin's Polovtsian Dances from Prince Igor; and Balakirev's Islamey. (January 16-18)
Guest Artists and Close Musical Collaborators
The Philadelphia Orchestra enjoys close, collaborative relationships with numerous guest artists throughout the course of the season. Ten violinists will grace the Verizon Hall stage to lend their dramatic and creative talents: Anne-Sophie Mutter (September 25); Augustin Hadelich (October 24-26); Christian Tetzlaff (November 14-16); Itzhak Perlman (November 21-24); Daniel Hope (November 29- 30); Vadim Gluzman (January 23-24); Nikolaj Znaider (March 6-8); Janine Jansen (March 27-29); James Ehnes (April 11-13); and Lisa Batiashvili (May 1-3). Ten accomplished pianists will also join the Orchestra this season: Yefim Bronfman (October 10-12); Lisa de la Salle (October 17-19); Yuja Wang (November 7-9); Hélène Grimaud (December 5-8); Stephen Hough (January 10-12); Radu Lupu (January 30-February 1); Emanuel Ax (February 6-8); Alexey Zuev (February 13-15); Eric Le Sage (February 28-March 1); and Jan Lisiecki (April 24-26). Renowned cellist Truls Mørk also makes an appearance. (February 20-23)
Many of the Orchestra's principal players are featured as soloists this season: Principal Oboe Richard Woodhams (October 4-6); Principal Flute Jeffrey Khaner (October 31 & November 2); Principal Harp Elizabeth Hainen (October 31-November 1); Principal Bassoon Daniel Matsukawa (November 1-2); Concertmaster David Kim (December 12-14); Principal Cello Hai-Ye Ni (January 16-18); and Principal Clarinet Ricardo Morales (April 3-5).
A long list of acclaimed guest vocalists have been invited to perform with the Orchestra this season, including soprano Christine Brewer, tenor Christian Elsner, and bass-baritone Shenyang (September 26-28); soprano Christiane Karg (October 4-6); soprano Tatiana Monogarova, tenor Vsevolod Grivnov, and baritone Sergei Leiferkus (February 13-15); soprano Susanna Phillips and bass-baritone Philippe Sly (March 13-15); and soprano Camilla Nylund, mezzo-soprano Birgit Remmert, tenor Jon Mac Master, and bass-baritone Alan Held. (May 8 & 10)
The Philadelphia Orchestra welcomes back choirs with which it has long relationships, including the Westminster Symphonic Choir directed by Joe Miller (September 26-28 and February 13-15 for Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 and Rachmaninoff's The Bells), and the Philadelphia Singers Chorale for Handel's Messiah (December 22) and Fauré's Requiem (March 13-15). The Orchestra also partners with the Philadelphia Dance Company (Philadanco) for the first time on a subscription concert (February 28- March 1) in the ensemble's first performances of Poulenc's Aubade.
Special Concerts and Programs
Alongside the Orchestra's wide-ranging subscription season lineup there remain many other special performances to be enjoyed in the 2013-14 season, including The Philadelphia Orchestra's signature holiday concert, The Glorious Sound of Christmas (December 19-21), named after the Orchestra's best-selling Christmas album and led this year by Sarah Hicks; Handel's Messiah (December 22); and the Orchestra's annual New Year's Eve celebration, led by Bramwell Tovey. (December 31) Other special performances include the annuAl Martin Luther King Jr. Tribute Concert (January 20) and the Academy of Music 157th Anniversary Concert and Ball, both led by Music Director Yannick Nézet- Séguin. (January 25)
Also this season, high-flying acrobatics meet a world-renowned Orchestra in Cirque de la Symphonie. Under the baton of Associate Conductor Cristian M?celaru, The Philadelphia Orchestra shares the stage with contortionists, aerialists, strongmen, jugglers, dancers, and more. This dramatic and collaborative venture combines the virtuosic playing of the Orchestra with a dazzling display of awe-inspiring athletic feats. Stunning symphonic repertoire, including Sibelius's soaring Finlandia, Wagner's "The Ride of the Valkyries," Chabrier's España, and selections from Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake, are carefully and uniquely choreographed to deliver a one-of-a-kind concert experience. (January 3-4)
Family Concerts with Yannick Nézet-Séguin and Cristian M?celaru
Reaching its youngest listeners to instill a love and appreciation for classical music, the Orchestra presents five Family Concerts over the course of the 2013-14 season that bring the joy of music to families and young children throughout the year. Programs feature some of the stellar guest artists on the subscription series and Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin reinforces his commitment to building relationships with younger audiences by conducting the culminating performance in the series. Entitled Mr. Mozart: Musical Genius (April 26), the program features popular works by Mozart and a performance by teenage piano virtuoso Jan Lisiecki, who is also featured in the Orchestra's subscription season. The remaining four concerts are led by Associate Conductor Cristian M?celaru and include: a Magical Musical Halloween (October 26) with astonishing magic acts by Cirque de la Symphonie (also featured in their own concerts in January); a Christmas Kids Spectacular! (December 14) with actors Michael Boudewyns and Sara Valentine, plus a visit from Santa Claus; The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra (February 1), again, with actors Boudewyns and Valentine-complete with an instrument petting zoo; and Pinocchio and Cartoon Classics (March 22), with narrator Charlotte Blake Alston.
2013-14 Season Subscriptions
Subscriptions for the 2013-14 season are now on sale. New and renewing subscribers may purchase subscriptions through Ticket Philadelphia by calling 215.893.1955 or visiting www.philorch.org/2014. Renewing subscribers will receive a special mailing of renewal information immediately and can renew now.
Subscribers will continue to have the benefit of free exchanges on all subscription tickets for the 2013-14 season. A monthly payment plan is available for subscribers, which allows them to split their subscription payment into monthly installments and an option to pay half now and half later. Other subscriber benefits include free ticket replacement, priority seating, and special promotional offers. Subscribers also have the option of purchasing additional individual tickets to any of the season's subscription concerts or special concerts. Discount parking is also available to subscribers. Subscribers may purchase individual subscription concert tickets now with their series purchase prior to tickets going on sale to the general public.
Orchestra subscribers may renew their subscriptions through the end of May. Single tickets traditionally go on sale after Labor Day at the beginning of September. The Orchestra offers subscription packages of six concerts for Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings as well as Sunday matinees. Packages of nine concerts are offered for Friday afternoons and Saturday evenings. Also available at this time is the popular Create-Your-Own 6-concert series, designed for audiences who like the flexibility of choosing their own concerts as well as the Family Concert series.
Subscription packages range from as little as $36 for Family Concert series seats in the 3rd Tier, to $1,041 for a Saturday evening, 9-concert series, with premium box seats located on the Orchestra floor. A Ticket Philadelphia processing fee of $19 is added to each subscription order.
Yannick Nézet-Séguin triumphantly opened his inaugural season as the eighth music director of The Philadelphia Orchestra in the fall of 2012. From the Orchestra's home in Verizon Hall to the Carnegie Hall stage, Nézet-Séguin's highly collaborative style, deeply-rooted musical curiosity, and boundless enthusiasm, paired with a fresh approach to orchestral programming, have been heralded by critics and audiences alike. The New York Times has called Yannick "phenomenal," adding that under his baton, "the ensemble, famous for its glowing strings and homogenous richness, has never sounded better."
In his first official season in Philadelphia, Yannick has taken the Orchestra to new musical heights in concerts at home, and has further distinguished himself in the community, with a powerful performance at the Orchestra's annuAl Martin Luther King Tribute Concert, working with young musicians from the School District of Philadelphia's All City Orchestra, establishing a relationship with the Curtis Institute, and ringing in 2013 with his Philadelphia audience with a festive New Year's Eve concert. Following on the heels of a February, 2013 announcement of a recording project with Deutsche Grammophon, Yannick and the Orchestra will record Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring together-the ensemble's first recording of that work since 1922, with Leopold Stokowski.
Over the past decade, Nézet-Séguin has established himself as a musical leader of the highest caliber and one of the most exciting talents of his generation. Since 2008 he has been music director of the Rotterdam Philharmonic and principal guest conductor of the London Philharmonic, and since 2000 artistic director and principal conductor of Montreal's Orchestre Métropolitain. He has made wildly successful appearances with the world's most revered ensembles-the Vienna Philharmonic, the Berlin Philharmonic, the Boston Symphony, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Dresden Staatskapelle, the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, and all the major Canadian orchestras, among many others. Throughout Europe and North America, Yannick's appearances have left indelible marks on the international classical music scene, making him one of the most sought-after conductors in the world.
Since his first appearance in Philadelphia in 2008, Yannick has made a deep connection with the musicians of the Orchestra as well as with audiences. His concerts of diverse repertoire offerings attract sold-out houses, and he has established a regular forum for connecting with concert-goers through Post- Concert Conversations following each of his subscription concerts.
Yannick has led The Philadelphia Orchestra in a breadth of repertoire ranging from the intimate-Bach's Brandenburg Concerto No. 5 (which he led from the keyboard)-to the monumental-Bruckner's Symphony No. 7, and launched a multi-year exploration of the world's great requiems with performances of the Mozart Requiem in January 2011 and Brahms's A German Requiem in November 2011. He opened the 2012-13 season and his tenure as music director with the Verdi Requiem in October 2012, which he also led in his Carnegie Hall debut. Yannick leads two additional performances at that historic concert hall during the 2012-13 season. Other highlights of his inaugural season include an Opening Night Concert featuring soprano Renée Fleming, a world premiere by Gabriela Lena Frank, and performances of Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring in collaboration with New York-based Ridge Theater, complete with dancers, video projection, and theatrical lighting.
Widely recognized for his musicianship, dedication, and charisma, Yannick Nézet-Séguin's talents extend beyond symphonic music into the world of opera and choral music. His critically acclaimed performances at New York's Metropolitan Opera (where he appears annually), Milan's La Scala, London's Royal Opera House, and the historic Salzburg Festival demonstrate that he is an artist of remarkable versatility and depth.
In July 2012 Yannick Nézet-Séguin and Deutsche Grammophon announced a major long-term collaboration, following highly successful DVD releases of Gounod's Romeo and Juliet from the Salzburg Festival and Bizet's Carmen from the Metropolitan Opera. He has made live recordings of Mozart's seven mature operas from the Baden-Baden Summer Festival. The first, Don Giovanni, with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, was released last year to outstanding reviews and will be followed in 2013 by the release of Così fan tutte, recorded last summer with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe. Yannick's discography with the Rotterdam Philharmonic includes recordings of Strauss and Berlioz for BIS Records, and three EMI/Virgin releases, including an Edison Award-winning album of Ravel's orchestral works. He has also recorded several award-winning albums with the Orchestre Métropolitain for the Canadian label ATMA Classique.
Yannick's appearances with other ensembles in the 2012-13 season include two separate tours to Japan and the Far East with the Rotterdam Philharmonic, a tour of Germany with the London Philharmonic, and a cycle of the complete Schumann symphonies and concertos with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe in Paris. He also returns to the Bavarian Radio Symphony and to the Metropolitan Opera for Verdi's La traviata.
A native of Montreal, Yannick Nézet-Séguin studied piano, conducting, composition, and chamber music at Montreal's Conservatory of Music and continued his studies with renowned conductor Carlo Maria Giulini; he also studied choral conducting with Joseph Flummerfelt at Westminster Choir College.
In 2012 Yannick was appointed a Companion of the Order of Canada, one of the country's highest civilian honors. His other honors include a Royal Philharmonic Society Award; an Echo Award; the Virginia Parker Prize from the Canada Council; Canada's National Arts Centre Award; the Prix Denise-Pelletier, the highest distinction for the arts in Quebec, awarded by the Quebec government; and an honorary doctorate by the University of Quebec in Montreal.
The Philadelphia Orchestra
Renowned for its distinctive sound, desired for its keen ability to capture the hearts and imaginations of audiences, and admired for an unrivaled legacy of "firsts" in music-making, The Philadelphia Orchestra is one of the preeminent orchestras in the world. While wholly committed to the exploration of classical music and repertoire, the Orchestra also continues to develop compelling programs that resonate with contemporary audiences. The Philadelphia Orchestra is focused on inspiring the future while transforming its rich tradition of achievement, and seeks to not simply sustain the highest level of artistic quality, but to challenge-and exceed-that level by creating powerful musical experiences for audiences at home and around the world.
Demonstrating a deep and abiding commitment to the highest levels of artistic excellence, The Philadelphia Orchestra has cultivated an extraordinary history of artistic leaders in its 112 seasons, including music directors Fritz Scheel, Carl Pohlig, Leopold Stokowski, Eugene Ormandy, Riccardo Muti, Wolfgang Sawallisch, and Christoph Eschenbach, and Charles Dutoit, who served as chief conductor from 2008 to 2012. Under such extraordinary guidance, The Philadelphia Orchestra has served as an unwavering standard of excellence in the world of classical music-and it continues to do so today.
Yannick Nézet-Séguin joined this small yet illustrious group in the 2012-13 season, and serves as the eighth music director of The Philadelphia Orchestra. An integral member of the Orchestra's leadership team since 2010 when he assumed the title of music director designate, Nézet-Séguin is also the music director of the Rotterdam Philharmonic, principal guest conductor of the London Philharmonic, and artistic director and principal conductor of Montreal's Orchestre Métropolitain. He brings a wealth of talent and vision that extends beyond symphonic music and into the vivid world of opera and choral music.
Philadelphia is Home
Philadelphia is home and the Orchestra continues to discover new and inventive ways to nurture its relationship with its loyal patrons who support the main season (September-May) in Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts. The Kimmel Center, for which the Orchestra serves as the founding resident company, has been the ensemble's performance hall since 2001. The Philadelphia Orchestra Association continues to own the Academy of Music-a National Historic Landmark and the oldest operating opera house in the nation-as it has since 1957. Each year, the Orchestra returns to the "Grand Old Lady of Locust Street"-where it performed for 101 seasons before moving to the Kimmel Center-for the Academy Anniversary Concert and Ball, one of the City's most highly anticipated and attended events.
Beyond its robust concert offerings at the Kimmel Center, the Orchestra also performs for Philadelphia audiences during the summer months at the Mann Center for the Performing Arts, as well as in venues across the region, including Penn's Landing, Longwood Gardens, and the Philadelphia Navy Yard. Many of these performances are part of the ensemble's free Neighborhood Concert Series as well as its educational and community partnership programs-all of which aim to create greater access and engagement with classical music as an art form.
Commitment to Education
The Philadelphia Orchestra also has an important legacy of presenting educational programs for local audiences-a tradition dating back to 1921 when Leopold Stokowski initiated concerts exclusively for children. Today the Orchestra reaches Philadelphia-area families, teachers, students, and children through a multitude of education and community partnership programs. From Sound All Around (designed for children ages 3-5) to Family Concerts (aimed at children ages 6-12 and their families) to eZseatU (a membership program for full-time college students), The Philadelphia Orchestra seeks to introduce orchestral music to a new generation of listeners through these special programs. Further, the Orchestra aims to engage adult audiences more deeply in its performances through learning programs, including free PreConcert Conversations, which occur before every subscription concert, and Lecture/Luncheons with guest speakers. Philadelphia Orchestra musicians serve a key role in growing young musician talent and love of classical music in their own dedicated roles as teachers, coaches, and mentors.
In an effort to more directly connect with the youth of Philadelphia, the Orchestra has implemented the Billy Joel School Concert Program, which improves access to the Orchestra's School Concerts for underserved city schoolchildren and serves approximately 80 elementary and middle schools chosen from within the School District of Philadelphia. The Orchestra's School Partnership Program also offers students incomparable exposure and access to The Philadelphia Orchestra and its musicians inside the classrooms of five selected schools in the Philadelphia region. The program's teaching artists work side by side with classroom teachers using curriculum and materials created by the Orchestra's education department. Finally, The Philadelphia Orchestra collaborates with schools interested in having Orchestra musicians work with their students through the Musicians in the Schools program. These school visits take the form of assembly programs, performances or demonstrations, clinics, and master classes or sectionals, and generally involve a solo musician.
A Cultural Ambassador Abroad
Through concerts, tours, residencies, presentations, and recordings, The Philadelphia Orchestra touches the lives of countless music lovers around the globe. Outside of Philadelphia, the Orchestra enjoys a three-week summer residency at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center in New York-a venue that was built for the Orchestra-as well as a strong partnership with the Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival, which brings the world's finest orchestras to Colorado each summer.
The Philadelphia Orchestra also has a long history of touring, having first performed outside of Philadelphia in the earliest days of its founding. The Philadelphia Orchestra was the first American orchestra to perform in the People's Republic of China in 1973. In 2012 the Orchestra reconnected with its historical roots in China and more deeply embraced its role as a cultural ambassador by launching a new partnership with the National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA) in Beijing, a pilot residency that united the Orchestra with talented young Chinese musicians and composers to further develop their orchestral skills. The residency also served to bring orchestral music, through performances and master classes, not only to China's major cities but also further into the provinces, and to connect through the hearts of local musicians to their supporting communities, through the sharing of musical talents between its own musicians and Chinese musicians, engaging in music education, and spreading the joy of classical music with citizens in residential neighborhoods and at landmark historic sites.
An Orchestra that Understands the Power of Innovation in its Art Form
The Philadelphia Orchestra has long pushed the boundaries of convention in the classical music realm. Signature to such a reputation are world and/or American premieres of such important works as Mahler's Symphony No. 8 ("Symphony of a Thousand"), Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring, Schoenberg's Gurrelieder, and Rachmaninoff's Symphonic Dances. As part of its commitment to bringing classical music to audiences where they are listening, the Orchestra was the first to create an online store for purchasing music. To further expand such distribution, the Orchestra formed a new partnership with Independent Online Distribution Alliance (IODA), making its live recordings available on popular digital music services such as iTunes and Amazon, among others. The Orchestra has also joined with Specticast in pioneering simulcasts of Orchestra concerts into theaters, schools, and performing arts centers. Most recently, The Philadelphia Orchestra announced a partnership with WRTI-FM to broadcast pre-recorded versions of its subscription concerts from February through May 2013. In addition, the Orchestra returns to the recording studio with Deutsche Grammophon and Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin for his first commercial recording with the ensemble: Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring and Stokowski transcriptions of Bach's Passacaglia and Fugue in C minor, Fugue in G minor ("Little"), and Toccata and Fugue in D minor.
More On: Richard Strauss, Oscar Wilde, Alan Held, Tan Dun, Westminster Symphonic Choir, Nico Muhly, Gustav Mahler.