They’re renowned international ambassadors of culture and good will. So it’s fitting that The Philadelphia Orchestra has been honored by an invitation to appear this Monday, September 22, to celebrate the opening of the 69th Session of the United Nations General Assembly. Led by Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin, a dozen Orchestra musicians will perform at the United Nations Delegates Dining Room during a private gala dinner for heads of state, first ladies, diplomats, and leading entrepreneurs from all over the world. They’ll be joined onstage by a dozen choristers from the Philadelphia Singers for the U.S. premiere of Wang Ning’s Ode to Humanity. The composition was specially arranged for this occasion by Ke-Chia Chen, in collaboration with the Shenzhen International Culture Exchange Association. The Orchestra’s good friend and 2014-15 season opening guest artist, pianist Lang Lang, will emcee the evening.
“It is a privilege to be invited to perform at the United Nations during the opening of the UN General Assembly,” said Philadelphia Orchestra President and CEO Allison Vulgamore. “In our historic, century-long role as a global cultural ambassador, The Philadelphia Orchestra has shared music’s unique ability to transcend cultural boundaries and touch people wherever they may live.” She says the invitation to perform for such a distinguished audience “is a direct result of our growing relationship with the people of China and, in particular, the City of Shenzhen, where we visited last spring. During our residency in that city our musicians joined those of the Shenzhen Symphony side-by-side to perform this special work, which interprets the core values of Confucian culture in the form of a Western symphony and advocates humanistic thought and temperament, wisdom, and tolerance. This performance of Ode to Humanity is the next step for the Orchestra in our commitment to fostering shared, cross-cultural understanding and to creating people-to-people connections.”
The lineup of players: Associate Concertmaster Ying Fu; Associate Principal Second Violin Paul Roby; violinists Hirono Oka and Philip Kates; violists Judy Geist and Anna Marie Ahn Petersen; Principal Cello Hai-Ye Ni; Acting Assistant Principal Cello John Koen; Associate Principal Flute David Cramer; oboist Jonathan Blumenfeld; Principal Bassoon Daniel Matsukawa; and horn player Jeffry Kirschen.
Can’t find your diplomatic credentials? Not to worry! You can see and hear the concert streamed live on Monday at 7:15 PM ET, via the United Nations website at http://webtv.un.org. Join us for another extraordinary musical experience on the world stage with our Philadelphia Orchestra!