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The Philadelphia Orchestra Returns to Princeton for First Performance in Nearly 50 Years

May 13, 2013

William and Judith Scheide Welcome The Philadelphia Orchestra for Sixth Annual Scheide Midsummer Celebration on July 17

Guest Conductor Mark Laycock Leads Renowned Orchestra 

(Philadelphia, May 13, 2013)—The Philadelphia Orchestra returns to Princeton, New Jersey, for the first time in nearly 50 years as William and Judith Scheide welcome the ensemble for the Sixth Annual Scheide Midsummer Celebration concert in July. The performance will be led by guest conductor Mark Laycock­ who made his Philadelphia Orchestra conducting debut at the age of 21 as winner of the Leopold Stokowski Memorial Conducting Competition nearly 35 years ago. The concert will take place at Princeton University’s Richardson Auditorium in Alexander Hall on July 17, 2013, at 8:00 PM and will feature Prokofiev’s Symphony No. 1 (“Classical”), Weber’s Overture to Oberon, Brahms’s Variations on a Theme of Haydn, and Schumann’s Symphony No. 1 (“Spring”). This will mark the first Philadelphia Orchestra performance in Princeton since its last appearance, at McCarter Theater in 1964.

Each year Princeton-area philanthropists and devoted patrons of the arts William and Judith Scheide welcome distinguished soloists and renowned ensembles the world over to their Midsummer Celebration—an annual summer concert celebrating Princeton’s place in the New Jersey classical music scene. In celebration of the success of this community concert each summer, the Scheides thought it very fitting to welcome The Philadelphia Orchestra back to Princeton this year.

Judith Scheide comments, “Bill and I are thrilled to bring the world renowned Philadelphia Orchestra with conductor Mark Laycock to Princeton. These two artistic forces have given both of us great pleasure and many memorable performances over the years, and to have them appear together on stage at Richardson Auditorium makes for a very special night and a dream come true.”

“It is with great excitement that we return to Princeton after nearly 50 years, and we look forward to greeting our many friends and loyal supporters in their own community,” said Allison Vulgamore, Philadelphia Orchestra CEO and president. “The Orchestra has a long and proud history of performing throughout New Jersey, so we are delighted and honored to reconnect with Princeton’s musical legacy and rich cultural fabric. Our heartfelt thanks go to both William and Judith Scheide for their generosity, hospitality, and vision in welcoming us back, and bringing this landmark concert to fruition.” 

The Philadelphia Orchestra’s Princeton performance history dates back to 1908, when Carl Pohlig first conducted the ensemble at Princeton University with soprano Marie Zeckwer. Since 1902 the Orchestra has performed all over the state, giving concerts in Atlantic City, Camden, Fort Dix, Holmdel, Newark, New Brunswick, Sewell, Trenton, and Wrightstown. Acclaimed conductors such as Leopold Stokowski and Eugene Ormandy led the ensemble in concerts throughout New Jersey, and Ormandy conducted the Orchestra’s culminating Princeton performance on February 17, 1964, at McCarter Theater.

All proceeds from the performance will benefit The Philadelphia Orchestra’s educational activities. Tickets range from $62-$92. Tickets are available beginning today, and can be purchased by visiting www.princeton.edu/utickets or calling 609.258.9220.

Sponsorship opportunities are now available. For information on individual sponsorships, contact Linda Hopkins at 215.893.1916 or lhopkins@philorch.org. For more information on corporate sponsorships, contact Doris Parent at 215.893.1984 or dparent@philorch.org. For more information on group rates, call 215.875.7695 or e-mail groupsales@philorch.org


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.


Mark Laycock

Mark Laycock made his conducting debut at age 21 with The Philadelphia Orchestra, as winner of the only Leopold Stokowski Memorial Conducting Competition in Association with the Orchestra. Since then he has conducted more than 2,000 works, and international invitations have come from a wide array of orchestras and opera companies in Asia and Europe, as well as Israel and North and South America.

Mr. Laycock appears regularly with the Vienna Chamber Orchestra at the Wiener Konzerthaus, the Bogotá Philharmonic, and the Georges Enescu Philharmonic in Bucharest, and he returns to the English Chamber Orchestra in London in November. 

Mr. Laycock’s productions with Opera New Jersey have included Donizetti’s Don Pasquale, Rossini’s The Barber of Seville, and Gilbert and Sullivan’s H.M.S. Pinafore, all of which received sparkling response from audiences and critics alike. Additionally, a concert of Mendelssohn’s rarely performed Symphony No. 2 (“Lobgesang”) with the combined forces of Opera New Jersey and the New Jersey Symphony excited an enthusiastic review in the New York Times.

Music director of the Princeton Symphony for more than 20 years, Mr. Laycock transformed the orchestra from a small chamber ensemble into a full and critically acclaimed professional symphony orchestra awarded Citations of Excellence for two consecutive years from the State Arts Council of New Jersey for “exhibiting the highest standards of artistic excellence.” He was also associate conductor of the New Jersey Symphony from 2000 to 2003 and has developed a reputation for stepping in to conduct without rehearsal, including performances of Strauss’s Ein Heldenleben, Orff’s Carmina burana, Brahms symphonies, and a complete production of Bizet’s Carmen to great acclaim.

As a published composer, he is currently working on a new commission based on the Via Dolorosa for orchestra, chorus, and soprano, as well as a Flute Concerto for the principal flute of the Vienna Symphony Orchestra.

Although Mr. Laycock appeared numerous times with The Philadelphia Orchestra between 1979 and 1994, this concert marks his return to that ensemble after 19 years.


The Philadelphia Orchestra: Sixth annual Scheide midsummer celebration

July 17 at 8:00 PM – Wednesday evening—Princeton University’s Richardson Auditorium in Alexander Hall

The Philadelphia Orchestra
Mark Laycock Conductor

Prokofiev  Symphony No. 1 (“Classical”)
Weber Overture to Oberon
Brahms Variations on a Theme of Haydn
Schumann Symphony No. 1 (“Spring”)