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The Philadelphia Orchestra Takes Audiences on a Trip to the British Isles During Three-Week Winter Festival, January 11-26, 2018

December 11, 2017

(Philadelphia, December 11, 2017)—As winter arrives and the desire to travel grows, The Philadelphia Orchestrawill present an opportunity to experience the splendor of the British Isles during its annual Winter Festival. Presented each year in January with a specific focus on the sounds and cultures of the world’s musical capitals, the Winter Festival provides the ultimate musical escape. This season, Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin will lead a tour of the sea-bound British Isles, a destination for composers for centuries that has inspired timeless music. Three weeks of varied programs, January 11-26, 2018, will explore music inspired by locations such as Scotland and England written by eight different composers including James MacMilan, Handel, Britten, and Peter Maxwell Davies. In addition to Nézet-Séguin, the Festival will feature pianist Yefim Bronfman performing Beethoven, First Associate Concertmaster Juliette Kang in a solo role, and conductor Fabio Luisi, who will lead the final week of performances.

 

“Every season in January, we travel with the Orchestra while staying here in Philadelphia,” said Nézet-Séguin. “I think in the winter we all start dreaming of foreign places. This year will be an opportunity to discover the folklore, diverse culture, and majestic beauty of the British Isles paired with the stylistic taste of the Orchestra.”

 

The repertoire will showcase the Orchestra in different sizes and configurations, presenting a new experience for audiences each week of the Festival.

 

“There is such a rich tapestry of music that represents the countryside, islands and seas of the British Isles, that choosing just three programs was not an easy task,” said Jeremy Rothman, Vice President of Artistic Planning for the Orchestra. “What we’ve assembled is a great variety of beloved masterworks and novelty that we know will make for a memorable experience.”

 

Week One: Handel and Britten (January 11-13)

Yannick Nézet-Séguin begins this three-week journey with Scottish composer James MacMillan’s A Scotch Bestiary, performed by organist Paul Jacobs and described by the composer as a musical caricature of “individuals and archetypes encountered in Scottish life over the years.” With its subtitle of Enigmatic Variations on a Zoological Carnival at a Caledonian Exhibition, this witty work brings the personalities of a menagerie of characters through the music’s energy and humor. The program also features Suite No. 1 from Handel’s Water Music, written for an outdoor concert on the Thames, and Britten’s evocative Four Sea Interludes from his opera Peter Grimes, set in the Suffolk fishing village that was also the composer’s home.

 

Week Two: Bruch and Mendelssohn (January 18-20)\

In the second week of the Festival, Yannick Nézet-Séguin conducts the first Philadelphia Orchestra performances of Peter Maxwell Davies’s An Orkney Wedding, with Sunrise, which features a bagpipe solo. First Associate Concertmaster Juliette Kang is the violin soloist for Bruch’s Scottish Fantasy, invoking traditional folk songs from the Highlands and beyond. The program concludes with Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 3 (“Scottish”), inspired by his tour of Scotland as a young man.

 

Week Three: Haydn and Beethoven (January 24-26)

Frequent collaborator Fabio Luisi leads the final week of the British Isles tour, opening with Haydn’s Symphony No. 104 (“London”). When Haydn departed Vienna for England, he left behind an amazingly gifted pupil already making a name for himself as a piano virtuoso, 23-year-old Ludwig van Beethoven; legendary soloist Yefim Bronfman joins the Orchestra for his Piano Concerto No. 3. The 2017-18 Winter Festival concludes with a Celtic myth: the Prelude and “Liebestod” from Wagner’s Tristan and Isolde.

 

Tickets

Tickets for these and other events can be purchased online at www.philorch.org, by phone at 215.893.1999, or at the Kimmel Center Box Office. Prices and availability vary by event.

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British Isles Festival

Week One: Handel and Britten

 

January 11 at 7:30 PM––Thursday evening––Verizon Hall in the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts

January 12 at 8:00 PM––Friday evening––Verizon Hall in the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts

January 13 at 8:00 PM––Saturday evening––Verizon Hall in the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts

 

Yannick Nézet-Séguin Conductor

Paul Jacobs Organ

 

MacMillan                                A Scotch Bestiary, for organ and orchestra—FIRST PHILADELPHIA ORCHESTRA PERFORMANCES

Handel                                     Suite No. 1 from Water Music

Britten                                      Four Sea Interludes, from Peter Grimes

 

This concert is part of the Fred J. Cooper Memorial Organ Experience, supported through a generous grant from the Wyncote Foundation.

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British Isles Festival

Week Two: Bruch and Mendelssohn

 

January 18 at 7:30 PM––Thursday evening––Verizon Hall in the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts

January 19 at 2:00 PM––Friday afternoon––Verizon Hall in the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts

January 20 at 8:00 PM––Saturday evening––Verizon Hall in the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts

 

Yannick Nézet-Séguin Conductor

Juliette Kang Violin

 

Maxwell Davies                       An Orkney Wedding, with Sunrise—FIRST PHILADELPHIA ORCHESTRA PERFORMANCES

Bruch                                       Scottish Fantasy

Mendelssohn                           Symphony No. 3 (Scottish)

 

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British Isles Festival

Week Three: Haydn and Beethoven

 

January 24 at 7:30 PM––Wednesday evening––Verizon Hall in the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts

January 25 at 7:30 PM––Thursday evening––Verizon Hall in the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts

January 26 at 2:00 PM––Friday afternoon––Verizon Hall in the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts

 

Fabio Luisi Conductor

Yefim Bronfman Piano

 

Haydn                                      Symphony No. 104 (London)

Beethoven                               Piano Concerto No. 3

Wagner                                    Prelude and Liebestod, from Tristan and Isolde

 

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About The Philadelphia Orchestra

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CONTACTS:

Ashley Berke                                                 Amanda N. Conte

215.893.1939                                                 215.893.3136

aberke@philorch.org                                    aconte@philorch.org