Celebrate the rich history of the home where The Philadelphia Orchestra first made its sound famous—the glorious “Grand Old Lady of Locust Street.”
This subscription package includes performances that feature chorus and therefore Conductor’s Circle seating is not available for one or more event. For your convenience we will seat you in Orchestra Tier, Tier 1, or the Orchestra at no additional price for these performances.
Umoja, a world premiere commission by American composer Valerie Coleman, launches our 2019-20 season. Ms. Coleman's spirited music draws from Afro-Cuban, jazz, and classical genres. Umoja—meaning unity in Swahili—is alive with all these influences. Bartók's gorgeous Third Concerto, performed by Yannick's good friend Hélène Grimaud, is as vibrant today as the day The Philadelphia Orchestra and Eugene Ormandy gave the world premiere at the Academy of Music in 1946.
Max Bruch may have struggled to write it, but Concertmaster David Kim calls this violin concerto “the perfect combination of beautiful melodies and themes, virtuosic yet accessible.” Brahms's Second Symphony, possibly his most popular, is said to be his personal favorite as well. Its pastoral aura surely accounts for some of its appeal; but Brahms being Brahms, there is tension and drama as well, building to an extraordinary, triumphant finale. Conductor Nathalie Stutzmann returns to demonstrate her superb chemistry with The Philadelphia Orchestra.
Pulitzer Prize-winner Wynton Marsalis switches from jazz band to symphony orchestra for his Blues Symphony. “Blues is affirmation with absolute elegance,” says Marsalis, and he uses the classic 12-bar musical form as the basis for this work, which celebrates all types of American and African-American music, from spirituals to ragtime, from marches to bluegrass. This Philadelphia premiere is conducted by our long-time friend Cristian Macelaru. Shostakovich's emotional First Violin Concerto reveals the pure power and technical prowess of orchestra and soloist.
The Philadelphia Orchestra celebrates Valentine's weekend with spellbinding music, beginning with Mozart's bewitching The Magic Flute. Magic takes a darker turn in The Sorcerer's Apprentice, Dukas's symphonic poem immortalized by Mickey Mouse battling demonic brooms in Fantasia. Stéphane Denève is a passionate exponent of John Williams's endlessly creative music for the cinema, represented here by his spookily charming Harry Potter scores.
The indelible four-note opening of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony lays the foundation for a truly fateful symphonic journey. Written in 1804, and on the program when The Philadelphia Orchestra gave its first concert in 1900, it's an epic tour de force that resonates in 2020. Following its rousing conclusion come the verdant valleys and sweet smells of the woods and the Austrian countryside, an exposition of Beethoven's love of nature.
Italian conductor Fabio Luisi returns to conduct a program that opens with Bent Sørensen’s Evening Land. The piece was inspired by an image of the evening light that Sørensen recalled from his childhood in Denmark. Principal Flute Jeffrey Khaner is especially pleased to be performing the Nielsen Concerto. “I love the back and forth in the orchestration; it's a lot of fun to play and listen to!” Famous for its ingenious use of a “fate” theme, Tchaikovsky's Fifth Symphony progresses from a somber beginning to an uplifting, triumphant march in the final movement. It's Tchaikovsky at his soulful best!
Brahms wrote just two piano concertos. He was 25 when he completed his youthful and vigorous First Concerto. Two decades later he composed his tremendous Second; Yannick compares the final, fourth movement to playing in heaven, surrounded by angels. The fiery Yuja Wang, Curtis Institute of Music graduate and Philadelphia favorite, returns to her second home for four performances, bringing her technical virtuosity and thoughtful depth of music-making to these two corresponding and harmonious works. Hear them both, paired with Sibelius's Symphony No. 3, a masterpiece of the Finnish national hero.