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The Philadelphia Orchestra Honors Wolfgang Sawallisch: Dedicates Final Season Subscription Concerts to His Memory

March 28, 2013

Celebrates Former Music Director’s Lasting Legacy as 2012-13 Season Comes to a Close

 

(Philadelphia, March 28, 2013)—The Philadelphia Orchestra will honor its former music director and conductor laureate, Wolfgang Sawallisch–who passed away February 22, 2013—on its closing subscription concerts for the season, May 23-25, 2013. All three performances, conducted by Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin, will be dedicated to his memory and feature repertoire that reflects Mr. Sawallisch’s indelible artistic imprint on the Orchestra. Scheduled guest artist, violinist Gil Shaham, was a favorite collaborator of the esteemed conductor and will be featured on the concert performing Brahms’s Violin Concerto. The remainder of the program will be altered slightly, now opening with the third movement from Schumann’s Symphony No. 2 (Adagio espressivo), which will be dedicated specifically to Maestro Sawallisch. Janāček’s Sinfonietta will be performed as scheduled and the program will conclude with Dvořák’s Slavonic Dance Nos. 1, 10, and 8—originally slated to open the concerts. The previously scheduled Enescu Romanian Rhapsody will not be performed.  A display in the Kimmel Center lobby curated by archival consultant Jack McCarthy will showcase archival materials and memorabilia from Sawallisch’s era to commemorate his ten years as the artistic leader of the Orchestra.

As the Orchestra’s sixth music director, Mr. Sawallisch fostered the rich tradition of the ensemble’s legendary Philadelphia Sound while strengthening and securing its artistic future, hiring 40 musicians into the Orchestra. He made his debut as guest conductor in 1966 and nearly 40 years later made his final appearance leading The Philadelphia Orchestra on March 1, 2005, in a program of Grieg’s Piano Concerto with Yundi Li and Schubert’s Symphony in C major (“Great”). During his decade-long tenure as music director of The Philadelphia Orchestra, Mr. Sawallisch not only led the ensemble in subscription concerts but also in Family Concerts, at summer residencies at the Mann Center for the Performing Arts and the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, and frequently performed with the musicians of the Orchestra in Chamber Concerts. He also built on the ensemble’s nearly century-long tradition of touring by appearing annually with the Orchestra in a series of concerts at Carnegie Hall and conducting the Orchestra in major concert halls throughout the world on five U.S. tours and nine international tours (three to Europe, four to Asia, and two to Central and South America). Mr. Sawallisch became conductor laureate of The Philadelphia Orchestra in September 2003, directly following the conclusion of his tenure as music director.

Tickets to each concert are available for purchase by visiting www.philorch.org or by calling 215.893.1999.


The Philadelphia Orchestra

Renowned for its distinctive sound, beloved for its keen ability to capture the hearts and imaginations of audiences, and admired for an unrivaled legacy of “firsts” in music-making, The Philadelphia Orchestra is one of the preeminent orchestras in the world. 

Yannick Nézet-Séguin became the eighth music director of The Philadelphia Orchestra beginning in the 2012-13 season and brings a vision that extends beyond symphonic music into the vivid world of opera and choral music. He follows an extraordinary history of artistic leaders in the Orchestra’s 112 seasons, including music directors Fritz Scheel, Carl Pohlig, Leopold Stokowski, Eugene Ormandy, Riccardo Muti, Wolfgang Sawallisch, and Christoph Eschenbach, and Charles Dutoit, who served as chief conductor from 2008 to 2012.

The Philadelphia Orchestra maintains a strong commitment to collaborations with cultural and community organizations on a regional and national level. Since Orchestra President and CEO Allison Vulgamore’s arrival in 2010 The Philadelphia Orchestra has reinvigorated or launched new partnerships with the Pennsylvania Ballet, Philadelphia Live Arts (Fringe Festival), Philadanco, the Curtis Institute of Music, the Marian Anderson Award, the Ridge Theater Company, and stage director James Alexander, among others.

Philadelphia is home and the Orchestra nurtures an important relationship not only with patrons who support the main season at the Kimmel Center but also those who enjoy the Orchestra’s other area performances at the Mann Center, Penn’s Landing, and other venues. The Philadelphia Orchestra Association also continues to own the Academy of Music, a National Historic Landmark.

Through concerts, tours, residencies, presentations, and recordings, the Orchestra is a global ambassador for Philadelphia and for the U.S. Having been the first American orchestra to perform in China, in 1973 at the request of President Nixon, today The Philadelphia Orchestra boasts a new partnership with the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing. The Orchestra annually performs at Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center while also enjoying a three-week residency in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., and a strong partnership with the Bravo! Vail festival.

The ensemble recently joined with SpectiCast to deliver simulcasts of Orchestra concerts into theaters, schools, and performing arts centers. The Orchestra also recently announced a partnership with WRTI (90.1 FM) to broadcast pre-recorded versions of its subscription concerts from February through May 2013. The ensemble maintains an important Philadelphia tradition of presenting educational programs for students of all ages. Today the Orchestra executes a myriad of education and community partnership programs serving nearly 50,000 annually, including its Neighborhood Concert Series, Sound All Around and Family Concerts, and eZseatU. In February 2013 the Orchestra announced a recording project with Deutsche Grammophon, in which Yannick and the ensemble will record Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring.

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