Our 2022–23 season theme is transformation. What does this mean to you? Transformation is about trying new experiences, discovering things. I feel like when I wake up in the morning, I want to be a better version of myself. And I think that’s true for everybody. We also want to go back to the things that we know—that’s normal and healthy. But we also want a certain amount of discovery and excitement: the joy of reading a new book, watching a new movie, or eating a new food that we like. It’s the same with music. It’s great that we can play Beethoven, Mozart, and Brahms, and The Philadelphia Orchestra is still going to perform their works. I believe strongly that these composers can still tell us something. But they can interact with different voices, newer voices, voices that resonate with who we are today and with the diverse world. It’s not unlike food in a way. We can enjoy a favorite dish at a restaurant but also try the evening’s special, which could then be enjoyed regularly when it makes its way onto the main menu.
To me, the concert experience is the same. Having Beethoven played by itself is fantastic, but when Beethoven interacts with [Composer-in-Residence] Gabriela Lena Frank, then Beethoven’s music is different. Plus, we get to discover more of who this incredible new composer is, and this in turn reflects on us. The entire concert experience becomes enhanced, and more powerful and meaningful.
Transformation also can mean rebirth. Cultural institutions like The Philadelphia Orchestra have been influenced by a lot in recent years. And I believe more than ever that we must reflect our times and what the world is experiencing. We must respond not only to the difficulties and struggles but also to the hopes and what has become better in our world. I truly believe The Philadelphia Orchestra is now a reborn institution, one that's in tune with the city, the region, and the world. We bring the best music, the best artistic quality, and the best musicians in service to all the great composers. We also believe deeply in the collaborations we make with guest artists, with other art forms, and with other institutions. This is the new Philadelphia Orchestra.