Nathalie Stutzmann appointed principal guest conductor, beginning in 2021–22 season; will lead two Digital Stage concerts
Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin conducts 10 new programs
Soloists include Michelle Cann, Michelle DeYoung, Gil Shaham, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Russell Thomas, Davóne Tines, and more
Works by Mason Bates, Valerie Coleman, Florence Price, Caroline Shaw, Melinda Wagner, and more
Annual Martin Luther King, Jr., Tribute Concert presented online January 18, 2021
Lunar New Year Concert February 4, 2021
Brian Sanders’ JUNK returns for new collaboration February 18, 2021
“Vigil” by opera singer and activist Davóne Tines and Igee Dieudonné to receive Philadelphia Orchestra premiere May 6, 2021
Our City, Your Orchestra free digital community concert series continues
Educational offerings include:
Digital School Concert February 22, 2021
Sound All Around January 5, 2021, and March 9, 2021
(Philadelphia, December 8, 2020)—Following a fall season described by the Philadelphia Inquirer as “an enormous success,” Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin and The Philadelphia Orchestra will present new concerts and programs on the Digital Stage January through June 2021. A crucial way of connecting with audiences, the Orchestra’s Digital Stage presentations have reached households beyond Philadelphia and across the globe. Reflecting the 2020–21 season theme Our World NOW, the remainder of the Digital Stage season will include new concerts filmed in Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts without audiences, featuring 10 performances led by Nézet-Séguin. Broadcasts will be available every two weeks beginning Thursdays at 8 PM ET and available for on-demand streaming through the following Thursday at 11:00 PM ET. Subscription packages and single tickets to the Digital Stage are on sale now at www.philorch.org/digital-stage-2021 or by calling Ticket Philadelphia at 215.893.1999. A chronological calendar of performances as well as hi-res photos and videos is available at www.philorch.org/digital-stage-2021/press.
“We began offering these digital performances as a way to connect with our audiences safely," said Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin. “It is so inspiring to know that our music has earned a place in peoples’ homes, and that our performances have provided solace, joy, and hope to so many around the world. We are proud to continue sharing our music in response to the world around us."
“Born from necessity, and now vital to our mission, the Digital Stage has broadened our audience in ways that, at one time, may not have been possible—traversing state lines and crossing oceans and international borders,” said President and CEO Matías Tarnopolsky. “We look forward to expanding on the success and creativity of our fall season on the Digital Stage while continuing to lead in finding new ways to share the transformative power of music with as many people as possible at a time when we all need it most.”
Nathalie Stutzmann Named Principal Guest Conductor
The Philadelphia Orchestra has appointed Nathalie Stutzmann as principal guest conductor for three years, beginning in the 2021–22 season. A familiar and powerful presence on the podium, Stutzmann made her Philadelphia Orchestra debut as a vocalist in 1997 performing Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 under the direction of Simon Rattle, and her conducting debut in 2016 leading Handel’s Messiah. She returned to Philadelphia in February/March 2019 for her subscription series debut and most recently in October 2019 for a program featuring Mendelssohn’s Hebrides Overture (“Fingal’s Cave”), Bruch’s Violin Concerto No. 1 with Concertmaster David Kim, and Brahms’s Symphony No. 2 to wide acclaim. In addition to her October 2019 subscription performances, Stutzmann also participated in a Philadelphia Orchestra collaboration with Make-A-Wish Philadelphia, Delaware, and Susquehanna Valley to make a child’s wish for a cello come true. Stutzmann will return this season for two Digital Stage broadcasts featuring works by Beethoven (January 28), and Mendelssohn and Bach’s Concerto for Two Violins with Kim and First Associate Concertmaster Juliette Kang (broadcast date TBD).
“It is my great pleasure to welcome Nathalie Stutzmann to the Philadelphia Orchestra family,” said Nézet-Séguin. “Nathalie is a kindred spirit whose background as a contralto and work as an opera conductor have influenced her dynamic and highly successful career. She brings a depth of artistry, charismatic musicianship, and creativity to her work, making her an ideal collaborator. I look forward to watching her connection with the musicians of the Orchestra grow even deeper in the coming years and to experiencing her contributions to our artistic vision.”
“We are delighted to expand our relationship with Nathalie Stutzmann through this important appointment,” said President and CEO Matías Tarnopolsky. “Anyone who has experienced her performances with the Orchestra knows that we have an exciting three years ahead. We look forward to an ever deeper exploration of her singular artistry and inspiring musicianship here at home, on the Digital Stage, in our communities, and beyond.”
As principal guest conductor, Stutzmann will spend multiple weeks each season in Philadelphia leading programs ranging from subscription and Family Concerts to special projects, community initiatives, and more. She will also serve as a key member of the creative planning process.
“It is a privilege and an honor to become the principal guest conductor of the iconic Philadelphia Orchestra—outstanding music-making, heartfelt playing, and emotional moments inhabit my soul every time I think about those marvelous musicians,” said Stutzmann. “I have always felt close to Yannick Nézet-Séguin and I am thrilled that through this new role I have the opportunity to work under the same roof. The teamwork off stage is just as important to the success of a partnership with an orchestra as what happens on stage, and I am also very much looking forward to the teamwork with Matías Tarnopolsky, Vice President of Artistic Planning Jeremy Rothman, and the whole management team. In these deeply uncertain and stressful times of pandemic, the strength of our partnerships is more important than ever, and it is so exciting to embark on this next stage of our relationship as we navigate these tricky times together. I look forward to spending more time in Philadelphia with my new American family, and we cannot wait to share more wonderful music with you.”
Nathalie Stutzmann is in her third season as chief conductor of the Kristiansand Symphony in Norway, and from 2017 to 2020 was principal guest conductor of the RTÉ National Symphony of Ireland. She studied conducting with the legendary Finnish teacher Jorma Panula and was mentored by Seiji Ozawa and Simon Rattle. Stutzmann continues to keep a few projects as a singer each season, primarily recitals and performances with her own ensemble. In January 2019 she was admitted into the Ordre National de la Légion d’Honneur, France’s highest honor, at the rank of Chevalier. She is also Chevalier de l’Ordre National du Mérite and Officier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in France. Stutzmann is an exclusive recording artist of Warner Classics/Erato, as both singer and conductor. Click HERE for a complete bio of Nathalie Stutzmann.
Guest Artists on the Digital Stage
Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin will return to the Digital Stage for 10 programs, leading Schubert’s Fourth Symphony, Schoenberg and Riehn’s chamber orchestra arrangement of Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde with mezzo-soprano Michelle DeYoung and tenor Russell Thomas, the US premiere of Mason Bates’s Undistant, and newer works by Valerie Coleman, Michael-Thomas Foumai, Caroline Shaw, Melinda Wagner, and others. Nézet-Séguin and the Orchestra will also revisit Louise Farrenc’s Symphony No. 2, and newly appointed Principal Oboe Philippe Tondre will make his Philadelphia Orchestra solo debut in Mozart’s Oboe Concerto.
The Digital Stage will also turn the spotlight on world-renowned soloists. Jean-Yves Thibaudetwill perform the original jazz band version of Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue andPaul Jacobs will be the featured soloist for Poulenc’s Organ Concerto. Paul Jacobs’s appearance on the Digital Stage is part of the Fred J. Cooper Memorial Organ Experience, generously supported by the Wyncote Foundation.
On the heels of the first complete Philadelphia Orchestra performance of Florence Price's Symphony No. 1, pianist Michelle Cann makes her Philadelphia Orchestra debut with Price's Piano Concerto in One Movement. This marks the first performance of the original orchestration of the work since the composer’s death in 1953. Cann's performance is supported by ONEcomposer, an initiative dedicated to musicians whose contributions have been historically erased, housed at Cornell University. In providing a platform for the study, performance, and discussion of a single, underrepresented composer's life and legacy, ONEcomposer promotes a more complete understanding of musical histories.
Bass-baritone Davóne Tines, a recent guest on the Orchestra’s HearTOGETHER podcast, will perform "SERMON" a collection of arias, orchestral song, and readings to include "Shake the Heavens" from John Adams's El Niño, “You Want the Truth, but You Don’t Want to Know” from Anthony Davis’s X: The Life and Times of Malcolm X, as well as “Vigil,” both a work of art and a call to action co-written by Tines and Igée Dieudonné, and dedicated to the memory of Breonna Taylor.
Known for their provocative and physically intense performance experiences, Philadelphia-based dance company Brain Sanders’ JUNK will return for a new collaboration featuring Shchedrin’s Carmen Suite (after Bizet).
In keeping with a time-honored tradition, and in service to the communities it calls home, The Philadelphia Orchestra will proceed with its annual Martin Luther King, Jr., Tribute Concert. The digital concert will feature new performances and excerpts from previous Our City, Your Orchestra performances, including vocalist Patrice Hawthorne performing the spiritual “Go Tell It on the Mountain” from the Historic Belmont Mansion/Underground Railroad Museum. Nézet-Séguin will lead a performance of John Rosamond Johnson’s “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” known as the Black national anthem, and celebrated storyteller Charlotte Blake Alston will reprise her stirring narration, which includes excerpts from Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, to Samuel Barber’s Adagio for Strings. In addition, the broadcast will highlight prominent Philadelphians who are carrying on the work of Dr. King today. More details, including FREE ticket reservation information, will be available at a later date. The Martin Luther King, Jr., Tribute Concert is presented by PECO with additional support from the Annenberg Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.
The Orchestra’s Lunar New Year Concert will feature Yannick Nézet-Séguin conducting the premiere recording of Tan Dun’s Nu Shu: The Secret Songs of Women, Symphony for Microfilms, Harp, and Orchestra with Principal Harp Elizabeth Hainen as soloist, as well as David Robertson leading a performance of The Butterfly Lovers Violin Concerto with soloist Gil Shaham. The work by Tan Dun explores the secret Nu Shu language that has been passed on for centuries from mothers to daughters and sisters in the rural Hunan province of China. Tan Dun learned of its existence and inaugurated a multi-year project to help in its documentation and preservation. Co-commissioned by The Philadelphia Orchestra, Japan’s NHK Symphony, and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, this previously unreleased performance was recorded in 2018.
Resolute in its commitment to the communities of Philadelphia, the Orchestra will continue the Our City, Your Orchestra series at Black-owned businesses and iconic cultural institutions throughout the region. Upcoming performances will take place at Taller Puertorriqueño, NextFab, and AR Workshop Chestnut Hill. More information, including broadcast dates and additional locations, will be announced at a later date. All Our City, Your Orchestra performances will be available for FREE, on-demand streaming on www.philorch.org and www.facebook.com/philorch. Our City, Your Orchestra is supported in part by the William Penn Foundation, with additional support provided through the PNC Arts Alive initiative, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Presser Foundation.
Educational and Family-Friendly Offerings
Sound All Around, the popular family-friendly concert series hosted by award-winning storyteller Charlotte Blake Alston, will return with two new installments. Through the art of creative storytelling, Principal Trumpet David Bilger (January 5) and flutist Olivia Staton (March 9) will introduce virtual audiences of all ages to the world of classical music. Performances are pay what you wish and will be available for on-demand viewing on www.philorch.org. Advance registration required. The Sound All Around concert series is endowed in perpetuity by the Garrison Family Fund for Children's Concerts.
The Orchestra will also resume its education programming with the Jane H. Kesson Virtual School Concert, available for viewing February 22–26. Led by Assistant Conductor Erina Yashima, “The Elements of the Universe” features music by Falla, Smetana, Beethoven, Dvořák, and Valerie Coleman, and will be accessible to educators who have registered in advance at www.philorch.org/school-concerts. Upon registration, educators will gain access to a virtual Teachers’ Lounge containing free lesson plans, multi-media resources, and more to help enhance the listening experience for students.
Digital Stage tickets cost $17 and Create-Your-Own subscription packages begin at $45. College and university students can access unlimited Digital Stage concerts for $25 with an eZseatU membership, and the Orchestra’s APPLE program will continue with free tickets for employees of the School District of Philadelphia. Current eZseatU and APPLE subscribers can continue to access Digital Stage performances with their memberships. The eZseatU program is funded in part by the Amy P. Goldman Foundation and an anonymous donor. The APPLE program is funded in part by the Nancy and William Loeb Student Education Fund. The Orchestra’s high-resolution performance videos are accessible on mobile devices and on TV via Chromecast and similar apps and will be made available for on-demand streaming each Thursday at 8 PM ET until the following Thursday at 11:59 PM ET.
Lead support for the Digital Stage is provided by:
Elaine W. Camarda and A. Morris Williams, Jr.
The CHG Charitable Trust
The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation
Gretchen and M. Roy Jackson
Neal W. Krouse
John H. McFadden and Lisa D. Kabnick
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
Leslie A. Miller and Richard B. Worley
Ralph W. Muller and Beth B. Johnston
William Penn Foundation
Peter and Mari Shaw
Constance and Sankey Williams
About The Philadelphia Orchestra
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