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Celebrate 10 years of music-making between Yannick and the Philadelphians. André Watts soloed at Yannick's Philadelphia Orchestra debut in 2008; he celebrates the 10th anniversary with Grieg's stirring Piano Concerto. With the Metropolitan Opera giving the U.S. premiere of Nico Muhly's sensational opera Marnie, based on Winston Graham's book and Alfred Hitchcock's film, we present the world premiere of the companion orchestral suite (a Philadelphia Orchestra commission).
Principal Guest Conductor Stéphane Denève leads two weeks of concerts inspired by the glorious art of the Barnes Foundation. Albert Barnes and Leopold Stokowski were both importing the best of European culture into Philadelphia in the 1930s, with a shared desire to make that culture accessible to the public. They debated art and music in a series of letters; Stokowski even spoke at the dedication of the original Barnes Foundation building in Merion.
A pair of Philadelphia Orchestra debuts, by two rapidly rising stars: David Afkham on the podium and Seong-Jin Cho at the keyboard. Cho brings his prize-winning technique to Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 20. Beethoven's stirring Coriolan Overture was inspired by a play about war and peace in ancient Rome. Brahms was daunted by Beethoven's towering legacy; that may be why it took him so long to finish his majestic Symphony No. 1. For almost 150 years, audiences have agreed it was worth the wait.
Handel's immortal oratorio as you've never experienced it! One of music's greatest Christmas traditions comes to life, with Yannick leading a brilliant array of singers and musicians. Our soloists include the exciting Baroque specialist Carolyn Sampson, lyrical countertenor Christophe Dumaux, the versatile Jonas Hacker, and the brilliant Philippe Sly, beautifully supported by the Westminster Symphonic Choir.
We welcome back Esa-Pekka Salonen for a program of music that's sure to win hearts, minds, and ears. There's more to Richard Strauss's Zarathustra than the few notes heard in Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey: It's a unique experience in the concert hall with orchestra and the Fred J. Cooper Memorial Organ. The Viola Concerto was one of Bartók's last compositions.
Hannibal completes his tenure as composer-in-residence with the world premiere of Healing Tones, a hymn for the City of Brotherly Love. He's spent the past two years immersing himself in Philadelphia, collecting inspiration, texts, and music from all walks of life. Given his past triumphs here (including One Land, One River, One People), Hannibal's new piece is sure to enthrall. Yannick continues his complete cycle of the Sibelius symphonies with the Second.
With a premiere performance by Fritz Kreisler, and a premiere recording by a teenaged Yehudi Menuhin, Elgar's Violin Concerto was no doubt destined to become a staple of the violin repertoire. Our soloist, Nikolaj Znaider, is internationally renowned as a violinist. And he has a special connection to the Elgar Concerto: He plays Kreisler's Guarneri violin! Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 5 is among his most popular works, with its stirring evocation of “fate,” from somber to triumphant.
Igor Stravinsky composed his Funeral Song in 1908, as a memorial tribute to his teacher, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov. The score was lost for over 100 years and was only rediscovered in 2015. It now offers fascinating insights into Stravinsky's emerging orchestral technique. The score to Rachmaninoff's Symphony No. 1 was also lost for a time after the composer left Russia; it is now firmly established in the symphonic repertoire. Prokofiev's Third Piano Concerto is his most popular.
In a capstone to our Leonard Bernstein centenary celebration, we present his quirky, complex, irreverent, and very humorous operetta Candide, with orchestral staging. First performed in 1956, the work has come into its own in recent decades, thanks to Bernstein's endless musical inventiveness and collaborators from Stephen Sondheim to Dorothy Parker (and of course, Voltaire, who wrote the original story, published in 1759).