Yannick Nézet-Séguin and The Philadelphia Orchestra Launch 2019/20 Season with Opening Night Concert and Gala featuring Audra McDonald

The Philadelphia Orchestra launches its 120th season on Wednesday, September 18, at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Artswith a special Opening Night Concert and Gala, featuring a performance by award-winning singer and actor Audra McDonald. Led by Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin, the Fabulous Philadelphians officially kick off the 2019-20 season with a celebratory program featuring selections by Gershwin, Sondheim, Rodgers and Hammerstein, and more. Acclaimed soprano Adela Zaharia will make her Philadelphia Orchestra debut, performing an aria from Verdi's La traviata. The concert will also include audience participation in the first Philadelphia Orchestra performance of Pauline Oliveros's "Tuning Meditation," from Four Mediations for Orchestra.

"We are thrilled to have the sensational Audra McDonald and Adela Zaharia joining Your Philadelphia Orchestra on stage for our Opening Night Concert," said Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin, who will begin his eighth season with the Orchestra. "In the spirit of togetherness, we also look forward to having our beloved audience join in Pauline Oliveros's 'Tuning Meditation,' which will undoubtedly be a magical moment of the evening."

Orchestra President and CEO Matías Tarnopolsky adds, "From the breadth and power of women in music, to the contemporary relevance of Beethoven on his 250th birthday, to Music that Transforms, there is much to look forward to this season! Our Opening Night Concert and Gala is made possible thanks to the dedication of our Volunteer Committees, resulting in what is sure to be an unforgettable evening and an extraordinary start to a season full of musical memories with Your Philadelphia Orchestra."

The Opening Night Concert and Gala begins with the Benefactors' Gala Reception at 5:30 PM in the Kimmel Center's Tier Two Lounge. The concert begins at 7 PM in Verizon Hall and will be performed without intermission. Immediately following the concert, gala attendees will enjoy a black-tie, Asian-inspired dinner-in celebration of the Orchestra's upcoming fall Tour of Asia-in Commonwealth Plaza, catered by Garces, with décor by Evantine Design, Inc.

Concert and gala tickets, as well as concert-only tickets, are currently on sale. Gala tickets start at $500 and are available online or by calling 215.893.3124. Concert-only tickets range from $95-$250 and are available through Ticket Philadelphia at 215.893.1999 or by visiting www.philorch.org. Young Friends of The Philadelphia Orchestra are invited to attend the Opening Night Concert and Gala for the special price of $175. For more information, visit www.philorch.org/openingnight.

The musicians of The Philadelphia Orchestra and Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin are graciously donating their services for this concert. All gala events are organized under the direction of Volunteer Committees President Nancy Galloway. Early support of the Opening Night Concert and Gala was led by Opening Night Co-Chairs Richelle Rabenou, Peter Shaw, and Assistant Principal Cello Yumi Kendall, as well as The Philadelphia Orchestra's Board of Directors and dedicated Volunteers.

The Volunteer Committees for The Philadelphia Orchestra were formed in 1904, four years after the Orchestra's first concerts. The Women's Committee, as it was originally called, was the first permanent organization of its kind in the U.S., and has since come to serve as a model for similar groups in the U.S. and abroad. The current Volunteer Committees for The Philadelphia Orchestra include Central, Chestnut Hill, Main Line, Musical Cocktails, New Jersey, Rittenhouse Square, and West Philadelphia. Through their endeavors over the past century, thousands of members of the Volunteer Committees have given countless hours and innumerable talents in service to The Philadelphia Orchestra and the people of the greater Philadelphia region.

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