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The Philadelphia Orchestra and Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin Welcome World to Philadelphia, Performing for Pope Francis, Visiting Pilgrims, and a Global Audience for Festival of Families and Papal Mass, September 26 and 27

September 23, 2015

(Philadelphia, September 23, 2015)—The Philadelphia Orchestra and Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin welcome the world to Philadelphia just days prior to the opening of Orchestra’s 116th season, the fourth under Nézet-Séguin, when His Holiness Pope Francis makes a historic journey to Philadelphia for the conclusion of the World Meeting of Families. As part of this significant weekend, Nézet-Séguin and the Orchestra perform with a 500-member Papal Choir on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway for its culminating event: the Papal Mass on Sunday, September 27, where an expected million-and-a-half pilgrims will gather. The Papal Choir is comprised of singers from throughout Philadelphia’s diverse communities, including an Expanded Archdiocesan Choir, a Black-Catholic Community choir, a Spanish choir, a Vietnamese choir, an Archdiocesan Children’s Choir, and an All-Catholic High School Choir. In addition to performing the liturgical music for the celebration, the Orchestra performs a prelude prior to the start of the 4 PM Mass, and a postlude following its conclusion. This follows the Orchestra’s Saturday, September 26, performance for the Holy Father at the Festival of Families, when the ensemble joins legendary tenor Andrea Bocelli, Latin-American superstar Juanes, “Queen of Soul” Aretha Franklin, and the Philadelphia Heritage Chorale, led by J. Donald Dumpson. Academy Award-nominated actor Mark Wahlberg hosts the evening.

"As a global ambassador, The Philadelphia Orchestra has shared our music in many cities and countries. This week, we welcome one of the world’s great emissaries, His Holiness Pope Francis, and a global audience to our home," said Orchestra President and CEO Allison Vulgamore. "It is indeed a great honor to play a critical role, both for the Saturday evening Festival Concert and at Sunday’s Mass, performing almost three hours of music with a diverse set of artists and community members. Along with superstars Aretha Franklin, Juanes, and Andrea Bocelli, singers from throughout the city’s parishes join together onstage for this momentous occasion. We open our arms musically and embrace the many people who are coming to Philadelphia, creating world fellowship through the power of music. We are deeply grateful to the World Meeting of Families for selecting and welcoming us, and to our many supporters who have made our participation possible."

"When we first began planning the Festival of Families, we wanted to ensure that we brought together performers that represented the world," said Donna Crilley Farrell, executive director for the World Meeting of Families—Philadelphia 2015. "To have Andrea Bocelli and Aretha Franklin, two of the world’s great vocalists, and Juanes, one of the most popular performers in all of Latin America, as well as the Fray and Marie Miller come to Philadelphia for the Festival of Families is an extraordinary gift. And to be able to have these incredible individuals perform with our hometown jewel, The Philadelphia Orchestra, brings this event together in spectacular fashion. Without a doubt, these performances will not only capture the hearts and imaginations of the thousands who will watch them live on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway but also the millions around the world who will watch on television and online. This will be a shared moment and we are deeply grateful to all performers, including The Philadelphia Orchestra, led by Yannick Nézet-Séguin, for being part of this once-in-a-lifetime moment."

The Orchestra’s participation in the Festival of Families concert on September 26 and the Papal Mass on September 27 has been made possible through the generous support of the Maguire Foundation, Harry and Kay Halloran, Chris Donahue/Federated, the Connelly Foundation, Andrew Lesko, Thomas Ajamie, Christian and Adrianna Henkels Fund/Schwab Charitable, Jeremiah and Kathleen O’Grady, and Ed Kicak, in addition to an extraordinary partnership with Senator Robert P. Casey and the advocacy of Senator Pat Toomey and Congressman Brendan Boyle.

For more information regarding the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia, visit WorldMeeting2015.org.

Festival of Families
September 26 at 7:30 PM — Saturday evening — Benjamin Franklin Parkway

The Philadelphia Orchestra
Yannick Nézet-Séguin Conductor
Mark Wahlberg Host
Andrea Bocelli Vocalist
Juanes Vocalist
Aretha Franklin Vocalist
Philadelphia Heritage Chorale (J. Donand Dumpson, director)

The Festival of Families, held on Saturday, September 26, is an international celebration of family, community, and faith. This joyful, global celebration of support and love features high-level performers, musical and visual, entertaining and educating participants from around the world, as well as His Holiness Pope Francis. The Philadelphia Orchestra under the baton of Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin joins Andrea Bocelli, Juanes, Aretha Franklin, and the Philadelphia Heritage Chorale under director J. Donald Dumpson.

The Orchestra’s participation in the Festival of Families concert on September 26 and the Papal Mass on September 27 has been made possible through the generous support of the Maguire Foundation, Harry and Kay Halloran, Chris Donahue/Federated, the Connelly Foundation, Andrew Lesko, Thomas Ajamie, Christian and Adrianna Henkels Fund/Schwab Charitable, Jeremiah and Kathleen O’Grady, and Ed Kicak, in addition to an extraordinary partnership with Senator Robert P. Casey and the advocacy of Senator Pat Toomey and Congressman Brendan Boyle.

This concert will be streamed live around the world. For more information, please visit worldmeeting2015.org.

Papal Mass
September 27 at 4 PM — Sunday afternoon — Benjamin Franklin Parkway

The Philadelphia Orchestra
Yannick Nézet-Séguin Conductor
Papal Choir

Musical selections to be performed include*:

Beethoven                    “Welten singen Dank und Ehre,” from Christ on the Mount of Olives
Brahms                         Third movement from Symphony No. 3
Mendelssohn                “Verleih’ uns Frieden”
Dvořák                         Second movement from Symphony No. 9 (“From the New World”)
Latona                          “Look Up and Count the Stars”
Duruflé                         “Sanctus,” from Requiem
Beethoven                    Fourth movement from Symphony No. 7
Lam                              “A Gift of Love”
Parry                            “I Was Glad”
Stopford                       “The Spirit of the Lord”
Joncas                         “Exultate, Justi”
Chepponis                    Festival Alleluia
Gouin                           “Sound the Bell of Holy Freedom”
DeBruyn                       “Great Amen,” from Mass of the Resurrection
Revie                            “The Love of God”
Kreutz                           “Gift of Finest Wheat”
Jacob                           “I Received the Living God”
Mozart                          Ave verum corpus
Bach                             “Sheep May Safely Graze”
Chepponis                    “To Jesus Christ Our Sovereign King”
Saint-Saëns                  Finale from Symphony No. 3 (“Organ”)
Saint-Saëns                  “Tollite hostias,” from Christmas Oratorio
Rutter                           “O Clap Your Hands” 

*Program subject to change

The Philadelphia Orchestra, under the direction of Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin, performs the liturgical music for the World Meeting of Families’ mass celebrated by His Holiness Pope Francis, on Sunday, September 27, on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.

The Orchestra’s participation in the Festival of Families concert on September 26 and the Papal Mass on September 27 has been made possible through the generous support of the Maguire Foundation, Harry and Kay Halloran, Chris Donahue/Federated, the Connelly Foundation, Andrew Lesko, Thomas Ajamie, Christian and Adrianna Henkels Fund/Schwab Charitable, Jeremiah and Kathleen O’Grady, and Ed Kicak, in addition to an extraordinary partnership with Senator Robert P. Casey and the advocacy of Senator Pat Toomey and Congressman Brendan Boyle.

The Papal Mass will be streamed live around the world. For more information, please visit worldmeeting2015.org.

 

The Philadelphia Orchestra
Prior to the occasion of performing for His Holiness Pope Francis during the World Meeting of Families—Philadelphia 2015, The Philadelphia Orchestra has regularly been called upon to perform on the world’s stage. In 1973, at the request of President Richard Nixon, the Philadelphians became the first American orchestra to perform in China, representing a bridge for cultural, education, and diplomatic exchange between the People’s Republic and the United States; in September 2014, the Orchestra and Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin performed on the Occasion of the 69th Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York; and throughout moments of great triumph and tragedy, has supported the people of Philadelphia with the gift of music. As an institution that brings communities together through forging partnerships across the Delaware Valley, The Philadelphia Orchestra joined the Dialogue Institute at Temple University to present a series of interfaith dialogues in April 2015, as a means of exploring the nature of Bernstein’s MASS and the questions it raises about religion, faith, and peace. The performances of the massive theater piece, led by Nézet-Séguin, were not only a critical success, but also a profound moment of solidarity.

Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin’s highly collaborative style, deeply-rooted musical curiosity, and boundless enthusiasm, paired with a fresh approach to orchestral programming, have been heralded by critics and audiences alike since his inaugural season in 2012. He is embraced by the musicians of the Orchestra, audiences, and the community itself. The New York Times has called Nézet-Séguin “phenomenal,” adding that under his baton, “the ensemble … has never sounded better.” Under Nézet-Séguin’s leadership the Orchestra returned to recording on the Deutsche Grammophon label. The Orchestra also reaches thousands of listeners on the radio with weekly Sunday afternoon broadcasts on WRTI-FM.

The Philadelphia Orchestra has a decades-long tradition of presenting learning and community engagement opportunities for listeners of all ages across the Delaware Valley. Current initiatives that take musicians off the traditional concert stage and into the community include the highly-successful PopUP Concerts and PlayINs, SingINs, and ConductINs. The Orchestra’s musicians, in their own dedicated roles as teachers, coaches, and mentors, serve a key role in growing young musician talent and a love of classical music, nurturing and celebrating the wealth of musicianship in the Philadelphia region.  

The Philadelphia Orchestra is one of the preeminent orchestras in the world, renowned for its distinctive sound, desired for its keen ability to capture the hearts and imaginations of audiences, and admired for a legacy of imagination and innovation on and off the concert stage. The Orchestra is transforming its rich tradition of achievement, sustaining the highest level of artistic quality, but also challenging—and exceeding—that level by creating powerful musical experiences for audiences at home and around the world.

Through concerts, tours, residencies, presentations, and recordings, the Orchestra is a global ambassador for Philadelphia and for the United States. Based in the historic visit to China, today The Philadelphia Orchestra boasts a new partnership with the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing that calls for tours and residencies in China’s major cities and outlying provinces, and which has been hailed by the U.S. Department of State for exemplary people-to-people exchange. In 2015 Yannick Nézet-Séguin and the Orchestra toured Europe together for the first time. They were joined by the Commonwealth and the Pennsylvania Governor’s office as part of a trade exchange with the major capitals of Europe. Domestically the ensemble annually performs at Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center while also enjoying summer residencies in Saratoga Springs, New York, and Vail, Colorado.

For more information on The Philadelphia Orchestra, please visit philorch.org

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