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Barnes/Stokowski Festival

Both Leopold Stokowski, music director of The Philadelphia Orchestra, and Dr. Albert C. Barnes, founder of the Barnes Foundation, were cultural pioneers, bringing the latest in art and music to Philadelphia in the early 1900s and presenting it in bold, new ways. Stokowski spoke at the dedication of the Barnes Foundation in 1925 and was a regular visitor to the collection, and Barnes was a frequent attendee of Stokowski’s performances of the Orchestra. Through a series of letters, they debated aesthetics and contemporary music, shedding light on their individual passions.

Now, you can explore their relationship through a dynamic, two-week Barnes/Stokowski Festival, October 11-21, 2018. The Festival will feature two weekends of Orchestra concerts led by Principal Guest Conductor Stéphane Denève; theatrical scenes by playwright Didi Balle, based on historical accounts and correspondence between the two men; a panel discussion on October 13 at the Barnes Foundation; and two chamber concerts of contemporary music, one on October 16 and one on October 18.

Lobby displays featuring letters, photos, and programs, curated by local historian Jack McCarthy, will be on view in the Kimmel Center lobby during the concert dates.

The Barnes/Stokowski Festival is generously sponsored through a gift from Mari and Peter Shaw.

The participation of SoundLAB in the Barnes/Stokowski Festival has been made possible through the New Music Fund, a program of FACE Foundation, with generous funding from the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the United States, the Florence Gould Foundation, Fondation CHANEL, the French Ministry of Culture, the Institut Français-Paris, and SACEM (Société des Auteurs, Compositeurs, et Editeurs de Musique). Additional support is provided by the University of Pennsylvania Music Department’s Contemporary Music Series and the American Composers Forum Philadelphia Chapter.