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Music Director Yannick Nezet-Seguin And The Philadelphia Orchestra Announce 2023-24 Season

Yo-Yo Ma returns for two additional performances throughout the season.

Music Director Yannick Nezet-Seguin And The Philadelphia Orchestra Announce 2023-24 Season

The GRAMMY Award-winning Philadelphia Orchestra and Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin announce a musical journey of discovery, beauty, and inspiration: the 2023-24 season.

As The Philadelphia Orchestra and Kimmel Center, Inc., continues to create a unique, inclusive, and multi-faceted context for the performing arts, the season's concerts, programs, and ideas reflect an evolving role of the orchestra in society today. From suggesting a new perspective on the 20th-century American orchestral sound, to a more inclusive idea of composition in the 21st century, the season is imbued with Nézet-Séguin's singular sense of joy, curiosity, and exploration.

"The unmistakable sound, beauty, and grandeur of The Philadelphia Orchestra is always present on our stages, while our view of the art of music is always evolving," said Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin. "In the 2023-24 season, we will continue to create a greater, more inclusive perspective on classical music, across centuries and cultures. We will welcome friends, familiar and new, to perform music that is known and beloved as well as music, as we believe in our hearts, that should be heard and known, now and for the future. We will climb to the most magnificent heights of the human voice and bring the season to a poetic culmination with a project close to my operatic soul, a staged concert version of Puccini's La bohème. This is a season full of joyful opportunity and musical adventure."

"The 2023-24 season of The Philadelphia Orchestra is a chance to explore the breadth of music across continents, time, and generations," said Matías Tarnopolsky, president and CEO of The Philadelphia Orchestra and Kimmel Center, Inc. "What makes every concert special are the extraordinary experiences that Yannick and the Orchestra create, and that so many legendary musicians and friends contribute to throughout the season. As our beloved city of Philadelphia is refreshed and reinvigorated, so too is Your Philadelphia Orchestra."

Nézet-Séguin will open the 2023-24 season-his 12th with the Orchestra-on September 28 with a special program featuring Yo-Yo Ma performing Shostakovich's Cello Concerto No. 1. The concert includes performances of Jennifer Higdon's Fanfare Ritmico as well as Rachmaninoff's Symphonic Dances, part of the Orchestra's continued commemoration of the composer's 150th birthday. The Opening Night Celebration is one of three appearances by Yo-Yo Ma throughout the season. The renowned cellist, artist, and musical citizen will deepen his relationship with Philadelphia by helping to shape and participate in community activities surrounding his performances.

Immediately following Opening Night, and continuing through January 2024, Nézet-Séguin will conduct three programs that cumulatively expand perceptions of American music of the last century, beginning with performances of influential Black composer William Grant Still's Symphony No. 4 ("Autochthonous"). Programs featuring the music of William Grant Still are supported by the Pew Center for Arts & Heritage. Following GRAMMY and Diapason d'Or de l'Année wins for its Deutsche Grammophon recording of Florence Price's First and Third Symphonies, the Orchestra will continue to explore the music of Price, the first Black woman composer to have a symphonic work premiered by a major American orchestra, with performances of her Symphony No. 4. The Marcus Roberts Trio will make its subscription debut to celebrate the centenary of George Gershwin's iconic Rhapsody in Blue.


Nézet-Séguin will lead the Orchestra in four world premieres by some of today's most celebrated composers who demonstrate the future of composition and the global, connected musical sensibility of our time. Brazilian-American composer Clarice Assad's new concerto for Principal Bassoon Daniel Matsukawa will premiere alongside performances of Rachmaninoff's First and Second Symphonies (October 12-14). This commission from the Orchestra and Nézet-Séguin is generously supported by Dr. Richard M. Klein for The Philadelphia Orchestra and Daniel Matsukawa. Argentinean composer Esteban Benzecry's MUYUY, The circle of life, a Philadelphia Orchestra and Nézet-Séguin commission, is based on the Andean idea that life flows in an endless circle ("muyu") that is intertwined with disease ("muyuy"). The new work will debut in a program also featuring Florence Price's Symphony No. 4 (December 7-10). Violinist Gil Shaham will perform the world premiere of GRAMMY Award-winning composer Mason Bates's Violin Concerto, co-commissioned by the Orchestra and Nézet-Séguin, on a program that includes Brahms's A German Requiem (January 26-28). And the Orchestra will continue its relationship with acclaimed composer Valerie Coleman, performing the world premiere of her Concerto for Orchestra, her fourth commission for the ensemble (May 30-June 2).

In addition, conductor Rafael Payare will lead the Orchestra in the U.S. premiere of Peruvian-American composer Jimmy López Bellido's Ephemerae, Concerto for Piano and Orchestra, a co-commission featuring pianist Javier Perianes in his Philadelphia Orchestra debut (December 1-3), and Paavo Järvi leads the U.S. premiere of French composer Guillaume Connesson's Concerto da Requiem with organist Christian Schmitt in his Philadelphia Orchestra debut (March 21-23). This concert is part of the Fred J. Cooper Memorial Experience, Frederick R. Haas, Artistic Advisor, with generous support from the Wyncote Foundation.

The Orchestra will continue to highlight women composers throughout the season, including co-commissioned works by Pulitzer Prize-winning composers Julia Wolfe and Du Yun. Wolfe's new piece will be performed in a program led by David Robertson (November 17-18). Du Yun's new Pipa Concerto will be performed by Wu Man in its world premiere led by Anna Sułkowska-Migoń in her Philadelphia Orchestra debut (January 11 and 13). In addition, Nézet-Séguin will conduct Anna Clyne's This Moment, commissioned through the League of American Orchestra's Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation Orchestral Commissions Program (October 6-8). Nézet-Séguin and the Orchestra will premiere the work in July 2023 at the Bravo! Vail Music Festival in Colorado.


Two legends will unite on the Verizon Hall stage for a one-night-only performance on February 20, 2024. Renowned composer and conductor John Williams will lead the Orchestra in selections from his iconic film scores and a special performance of his Cello Concerto featuring Yo-Yo Ma.

Tony-, GRAMMY-, and Emmy Award-winning star Audra McDonald will return for a special performance led by conductor Andy Einhorn (October 3).

Famed conductor and composer Esa-Pekka Salonen, music director of the San Francisco Symphony and former music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, will join the Orchestra for a two-week residency, leading programs that feature his own works. His Kínēma will highlight the talents of Principal Clarinet Ricardo Morales on a program paired with Sibelius's Symphony No. 5 (May 9-11). His mesmerizing Karawane for chorus and orchestra will be performed alongside Ravel's complete Daphnis and Chloe (May 16-18).

Classical music's biggest stars will take center stage throughout the season in a brand-new Spotlight recital series. Yo-Yo Ma will join pianist Kathryn Stott for an inspiring evening of cello and piano (April 12). Superstar pianist Yuja Wang will return (April 30). And the series will conclude with a performance by famed pianist Evgeny Kissin (May 15). The Philadelphia Orchestra will not perform in the Spotlight recital series.


The human voice, in its many iterations in music, can console, memorialize, create narrative, and tell the most poetic love stories. Exceptional choral masterworks will inspire audiences throughout the 2023-24 season. Nézet-Séguin will lead Brahms's A German Requiem, which explores the joy of remembrance in loss (January 26-28). Fabio Luisi will lead Orff's monumental portrait of life, Carmina burana, (March 15-17). Principal Guest Conductor Nathalie Stutzmann will channel her celebrated career as a contralto as she leads performances of Mozart's Requiem (April 26-28). The season will conclude with a theatrically inspired production of Puccini's La bohème led by Nézet-Séguin (June 7 and 9). The concert will provide an experience not heard in the opera house, as the Orchestra performs on stage instead of in the pit, bringing the full power and intricacies of the score front and center.


The Philadelphia Orchestra will continue to celebrate the 150th birthday of Sergei Rachmaninoff and his longstanding relationship with, and love for, the Orchestra by performing works by the legendary composer. In addition to a performance of his Symphonic Dances on Opening Night (September 28), Nézet-Séguin will lead performances of his First Symphony (October 12) and Second Symphony (October 13-14). Pianist Leif Ove Andsnes and conductor Lahav Shani will unite for Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 3 (May 3-4).

Rachmaninoff's close, collaborative relationship with The Philadelphia Orchestra began in November 1909, during his initial three-month tour of America. His second appearance with the ensemble took place in March 1919. The following season, the Orchestra presented an all-Rachmaninoff program in February 1920, featuring the composer performing his Piano Concerto No. 3 and Music Director Leopold Stokowski conducting the American premiere of The Bells. Stokowski and The Philadelphia Orchestra performed and recorded with Rachmaninoff many times in the 1920s and '30s and the Orchestra gave the world premieres of five of his compositions while he was alive: the Piano Concerto No. 4 (with the composer as soloist) and Three Russian Songs in March 1927 (led by Stokowski), the Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini in November 1934 (with the composer as soloist and Stokowski), the Third Symphony in November 1936 (conducted by Stokowski), and Symphonic Dances in January 1941 (led by Eugene Ormandy). (The ensemble also gave the world premiere of Act I of his opera Monna Vanna in August 1984.)

Lead support for the Rachmaninoff 150 Celebration is provided by Tatiana Copeland. Mrs. Copeland's mother was the niece of Sergei Rachmaninoff, and Tatiana Copeland was named after the composer's daughter, Tatiana Sergeyevna Rachmaninoff.


- Daniil Trifonov returns to perform Brahms's Piano Concerto No. 1 under the baton of Yannick Nézet-Séguin on a program that features William Grant Still's Symphony No. 4 ("Autochchthonous") (October 6-8).

- Principal Horn Jennifer Montone will take center stage in Haydn's Horn Concerto No. 1 in its first Philadelphia Orchestra performances on a program led by Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla (October 20-22).

- David Robertson leads Principal Cello Hai-Ye Ni in Haydn's Cello Concerto No. 1 (November 17-18).

- Constantine Kitsopoulos leads the Orchestra in Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas as the film plays on a giant screen above the stage (November 24-26).

- Hélène Grimaud performs Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 20 on a program led by Nézet-Séguin (December 7-10).

- William Eddins returns to lead The Glorious Sound of Christmas (December 14-16).

- Nicholas McGegan conducts Handel's Messiah (December 20-21).

- Thomas Wilkins and the Orchestra ring in 2024 with a New Year's Eve Celebration (December 31).

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