Yannick Nézet-Séguin and The Philadelphia Orchestra Announce 2013-2014 Season
- Yannick Nézet-Séguin’s second season as music director builds on the momentum of his inaugural season with an emphasis on traditional works paired with new commissions, operatic performances, large-scale choral works, collaborations with world-renowned soloists, and the next installment in his multi-season focus on requiems with Fauré’s Requiem
- Strauss Turns 150: To commemorate the 150th anniversary of this iconic composer’s birth, Nézet-Séguin draws on his wealth of operatic experience and close relationships with vocalists of international renown to present a production of Richard Strauss’s provocative one-act opera Salome; the celebration also includes an array of Strauss’s concertos, symphonies, and serenades
- Nézet-Séguin and three of the Orchestra’s principal players present the world premieres of commissions from Behzad Ranjbaran, and David Ludwig, and the U.S. premiere of a commission from Tan Dun, as part of a weekend micro-festival; another four of the Orchestra’s principal musicians take center stage in prominent solo roles
- A return to the classics, with a Mozart marathon, the beginning of a two-year Beethoven Cycle kicking off with Beethoven’s powerful Ninth Symphony, a Tchaikovsky Celebration showcasing his major works alongside those of his Russian contemporaries, and several programs featuring paired works by two of the greatest symphonists of the 19th and 20th centuries—Beethoven and Shostakovich
- Nézet-Séguin and The Philadelphia Orchestra launch Carnegie Hall’s 2013-14 season with a Gala Opening Night performance—the first of four Philadelphia Orchestra performances at Carnegie this season—which will be heard globally via the Carnegie Hall Live broadcast and digital series, produced by Carnegie Hall and WQXR 105.9 FM in collaboration with American Public Media
- Guest conductors Stéphane Denève, Vladimir Jurowski, and Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos—who celebrates his 150th Philadelphia performance with the Orchestra—enjoy extended, multi-week conductor residencies; three renowned conductors—Manfred Honeck, Pablo Heras-Casado, and Tugan Sokhiev—make their Philadelphia Orchestra debuts
- Collaborations with the Philadelphia Dance Company (Philadanco), as well as with choral ensembles such as the Westminster Symphonic Choir and the Philadelphia Singers Chorale
- Internationally-acclaimed guest artists including pianists Emanuel Ax and Yuja Wang, violinists Anne-Sophie Mutter (who is featured in an Opening Night Gala at Verizon Hall on September 25) and Itzhak Perlman, cellist Truls Mørk, sopranos Christine Brewer and Camilla Nylund (making her Orchestra debut), bass-baritone Alan Held; and others
(Philadelphia, February 20, 2013)—Philadelphia Orchestra Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin and President and CEO Allison Vulgamore today announce the 2013-14 season of The Philadelphia Orchestra.
On the heels of his triumphant inaugural season as the Orchestra’s new music director, Nézet-Séguin returns to Philadelphia for a highly-anticipated second season of subscription concerts that build upon the foundation established at the beginning of his tenure, including the next phase of his multi-season focus on the requiem; exciting collaborations with the world’s most acclaimed soloists; and unique combinations of new and familiar works lending a refreshing aesthetic to the concert season. Nézet-Séguin’s highly collaborative style, indelible musical curiosity, and boundless enthusiasm, paired with a fresh approach to orchestral programming, have been heralded by critics and audiences alike.
A conductor who finds inspiration from music of all generations and genres, Nézet-Séguin’s approach juxtaposes traditional, beloved works from the orchestra repertoire with more provocative, leading-edge works, emphasizing dramatic operatic repertoire, new and innovative compositions, and choral music. Committed to reinvigorating the concert experience for audiences, he has introduced immersive performances featuring a variety of ensembles, sections, and individual players that extend the boundaries of traditional orchestral programming, and capture the imagination of audiences.
“I chose the programs for this season with the musicians of our Orchestra in mind–collectively, they are like the perfect musical instrument,” says Yannick Nézet-Séguin. “It was very important for me to play with style, pace, and format, to expand the boundaries of this ensemble and allow our audience to hear us in a completely new way. We will showcase the virtuosity of our musicians—allowing this remarkable orchestra to perform as a living, breathing, entity; a group that can exist in so many different forms and combinations.”
“A spark ignited between Yannick and the Orchestra from the very beginning,” said Philadelphia Orchestra President and CEO Allison Vulgamore. “It is evident how much the relationship has deepened. When we combine the magic of this partnership with the thoughtfully-curated season that Yannick has put together, the stars will be aligned for exemplary artistry on the stage and enthusiastic audiences in the house, at the edge of their seats, eager to catch every moment.”
Controversy and Creativity Collide: Yannick Nézet-Séguin Celebrates Richard Strauss’s 150th Anniversary with Salome
Increasingly known and admired for his work in the great opera houses of the world, Yannick Nézet-Séguin brings his passion for opera to Verizon Hall in May 2014 for epic performances of Richard Strauss’s Salome, as part of a celebration of the composer’s 150th birthday. Considered scandalous when it first premiered in 1905, Richard Strauss’s adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s play has not lost its ability to shock. As the first complete performance of the score by The Philadelphia Orchestra, the composer’s most controversial opera comes to life for the first time on the Verizon Hall stage.
For this performance, Yannick draws on his close relationships with a constellation of acclaimed vocalists, including soprano Camilla Nylund (Salome), mezzo-soprano Birgit Remmert (Herodias), tenor John Mac Master (King Herod), and bass-baritone Alan Held (John the Baptist). At the core of the story exists a tangled and disturbing triangle: the persecuted John the Baptist, a lecherous King Herod, and the monarch's pathologically seductive stepdaughter, Salome, who eventually demands the head of the prophet on a silver platter. (May 8 & 10)
The Strauss celebration continues across two seasons with a performance of his Oboe Concerto (October 4-6); autobiographical symphony Ein Heldenleben and the Serenade for Winds (November 7-9); Burleske for piano and orchestra (February 6-8); and Metamorphosen for 23 strings (February 20-23).
Yannick Nézet-Séguin Spearheads Philadelphia Commissions Micro-Festival
Passionately committed to, and passionate about, the work of current-day composers, and equally committed to showcasing the incredible artistry within the Orchestra, Yannick Nézet-Séguin spearheads a three-day micro-festival that will shed new light on the complex process that exists between creator and soloist. Three leading international composers have been commissioned to compose solo works for three of the Orchestra’s principal players. Principal Harp Elizabeth Hainen will premiere Chinese-born Tan Dun’s Nu Shu: The Secret Songs of Women, Symphony for 12 Micro Films, Harp, and Orchestra; Principal Flute Jeffrey Khaner will premiere a Flute Concerto by Iranian-born Behzad Ranjbaran; and Principal Bassoon Daniel Matsukawa will premiere Philadelphia native David Ludwig’s new Bassoon Concerto. Over the course of three days, the Orchestra will present three distinct programs, each containing two of the three commissions in different pairings. All three composers will be in residence over the weekend to share their insights into the creative process. Also featured on each of the programs are Bernstein’s Overture to Candide and Rachmaninoff’s Symphonic Dances. (October 31-November 2)
Yannick Nézet-Séguin’s Second Season
In assembling the 2013-14 season, Nézet-Séguin has drawn from classic orchestral repertoire to present time-honored masterworks, while finding inspiration in the fresh, bold work of today’s composers—folding both types of works into programs that tell a unique and individual story. Nézet-Séguin has also assembled programs that, whether through solo passages, smaller ensembles, or exquisite sectional playing, highlight the incredible virtuosity, versatility, and dedicated artistry that is a trademark of The Philadelphia Orchestra.
Nézet-Séguin comments, “The way I chose each piece of repertoire for this season was very intentional, and you will see this in how I pair new pieces with more familiar works in every program. It adds textural variety, all woven together to tell a story, one that I feel creates a more dynamic concert experience. The outcome is so exciting to me, and I cannot wait to share this with our audiences.”
Further, Nézet-Séguin finds unusual ways to illuminate the work of current-day composers while honoring the musical traditions of the past, with such varied programs as a groundbreaking Philadelphia Commissions micro-festival; a Tchaikovsky Celebration that puts the great Russian composer’s works in a greater context of the Russian composers of his day; a Mozart marathon that explores and celebrates some of his most famous works; and a presentation of Richard Strauss’s Salome.
- An Opening Night Concert and Gala on Wednesday, September 25, 2013, featuring an all-Tchaikovsky program with the incomparable Anne-Sophie Mutter performing Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto. Also on the program are Marche slave and Romeo and Juliet. (September 25)
- Nézet-Séguin opens the subscription season on Thursday, September 26, 2013, with Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 (“Choral”) featuring the Westminster Symphonic Choir, soprano Christine Brewer, tenor Christian Elsner, and bass-baritone Shenyang. This marks the beginning of a two-year cycle during which the Orchestra will perform all nine of Beethoven’s symphonies. Additional works include Beethoven’s setting of Goethe’s Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage and the premiere of a new orchestration commissioned by The Philadelphia Orchestra of American composer Nico Muhly’s Bright Mass with Canons. (September 26-28)
- Soprano Christiane Karg and Philadelphia Orchestra Principal Oboe Richard Woodhams in a program that brings together three of the greatest composers of all time—Gustav Mahler (Symphony No. 4), Richard Strauss (Oboe Concerto), and Benjamin Britten (Variations and Fugue on a Theme of Purcell). Widely considered one of the best “guides to the orchestra,” Britten’s work prominently features ensemble passages from all the sections of the orchestra, as well as solos from its principal players. (October 4-6)
- As a vehicle for highlighting principal players from the Orchestra, Nézet-Séguin has assembled a program featuring commissions from three leading international composers—Tan Dun, Behzad Ranjbaran, and David Ludwig—each from three distinctly different backgrounds, to compose solo works for three of the ensemble’s principal players in a Philadelphia Commissions micro-festival. Each composer will be present for the weekend to facilitate open dialogue with the audience—offering a rare look into the complex creative process that exists between creator and soloist. The new works for harp (Elizabeth Hainen), flute (Jeffrey Khaner), and bassoon (Daniel Matsukawa) will be performed in varying combinations over the course of the weekend. Also featured on every concert is Bernstein’s Overture to Candide and Rachmaninoff’s Symphonic Dances—his final composition, which he dedicated to the Orchestra in 1941. (October 31-November 2)
- Curtis-trained pianist Yuja Wang performs Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 3—the most popular of the composer’s five piano concertos—alongside Strauss’s majestic tone poem Ein Heldenleben and his Serenade for Winds as part of the Strauss 150th anniversary celebration. (November 7-9)
- Pianist Hélène Grimaud’s unmatched musical style brings the robust and challenging Second Piano Concerto by Brahms to life with the Orchestra at Verizon Hall, as well as at Carnegie Hall in New York. The Orchestra also performs Berlioz’s epic and sweeping Symphonie fantastique—with its dichotomy of ecstasy and despair—in this same program. (December 5-8)
- Nézet-Séguin and the Orchestra take the audience on a journey to Eastern Europe with a program featuring Romanian pianist Radu Lupu in performances of Bartók’s Piano Concerto No. 3. Also featured is Smetana’s “The Moldau,” from Má vlast and Dvořák’s Symphony No. 6, which each draw their inspiration from Bohemian and native folk melodies. (January 30-February 1)
- The Orchestra, Nézet-Séguin, and Norwegian cellist Truls Mørk perform Shostakovich’s Cello Concerto No. 1, which received its U.S. premiere by The Philadelphia Orchestra, Eugene Ormandy, and cellist Mstislav Rostropovich in 1959. The ensemble also made the work’s premiere recording that same year. Strauss’s Metamorphosen, composed for 23 solo strings, and Beethoven’s masterful Symphony No. 3 (“Eroica”) will be performed on this same program (February 20, 22-23), which also travels to Carnegie Hall as the Orchestra’s third of four 2013-14 performances there this season. (February 21)
- Nézet-Séguin’s multi-season exploration of the great requiems continues with performances of Fauré’s Requiem, following earlier performances of those by Mozart, Brahms, and Verdi. These will be the Orchestra’s first complete performances of this work. The cathedral-inspired program includes antiphonal brass performing Gabrieli’s Canzon septimi toni, No. 2, from Sacrae symphoniae; Duruflé’s Four Motets on Gregorian Themes for a cappella chorus; and Franck’s Organ Chorale No. 1 for solo organ performed on the Fred J. Cooper Memorial Organ in Verizon Hall. Also included is the Villa-Lobos Bachianas brasileiras No. 5 for soprano and cellos. Featured in the program: Susanna Phillips, soprano (subscription debut); Philippe Sly, bass-baritone (Philadelphia Orchestra debut); Michael Stairs, organ; and the Philadelphia Singers Chorale. (March 13-15)
- One of Nézet-Séguin’s signatures in the 2013-14 season will be a three-day, five performance Mozart marathon featuring some of the composer’s most celebrated writing: symphonies, operas, and piano concertos. Three vastly different programs feature Mozart’s overtures to Così fan tutte, Don Giovanni, and The Marriage of Figaro; his late Piano Concerto Nos. 20, 21, and 22 featuring the prodigious Jan Lisiecki in his Orchestra debut; and three final symphonies: Nos. 39, 40, and 41 (“Jupiter”). (April 24-26) Nézet-Séguin, Lisiecki, and the Orchestra will also present a Saturday morning Family Concert on the life of Mozart entitled Mr. Mozart: Musical Genius. (April 26)
- As a bookend to the season that began with Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Nézet-Séguin leads the Orchestra in performances of Bruckner’s Symphony No. 9, which draws its inspiration from Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. Violinist Lisa Batiashvili, one of Yannick’s frequent collaborators, performs Bartók’s Violin Concerto No. 1 (May 1 & 3). The program is the Orchestra’s final 2013-14 season performance at Carnegie Hall. (May 2)
- Nézet-Séguin and the Orchestra bring the season to a close as Richard Strauss’s epic Salome comes to life on the Verizon Hall stage with an interpretation that conveys the deeply graphic and psychological nature of this one-act opera. These performances feature soprano Camilla Nylund (Salome), mezzo-soprano Birgit Remmert (Herodias), tenor Jon Mac Master (Herod), and bass-baritone Alan Held (John the Baptist). (May 8 & 10)
January marks the beginning of a three-week Tchaikovsky Celebration, with a series of performances showcasing this great composer’s work alongside his Russian contemporaries, including members of the “Mighty Five”—Borodin, Musorgsky, Rimsky-Korsakov, and Balakirev. This multi-week series commences with British conductor Robin Ticciati conducting Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4, the composer’s First Piano Concerto with pianist Stephen Hough, as well as Liadov’s tone poem The Enchanted Lake. (January 10-12)
The second week of the Tchaikovsky Celebration marks Philadelphia Orchestra Associate Conductor Cristian Măcelaru’s subscription debut, in a program featuring Tchaikovsky’s Rococo Variations, with Principal Cello Hai-Ye Ni, and Serenade for Strings; Borodin’s Polovtsian Dances from Prince Igor; and Balakirev’s Islamey. (January 16-18)
Young Russian conductor Tugan Sokhiev makes his Philadelphia Orchestra debut in the third and final week of the Tchaikovsky Celebration in a program featuring the composer’s Violin Concerto with violinist Vadim Gluzman, Musorgsky’s Pictures from an Exhibition, and Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Battle of Kerzhenets” from the opera The Legend of the Invisible City of Kitezh and the Maiden Fevroniy. The Orchestra and Leopold Stokowski gave the U.S. premiere of the Rimsky-Korsakov excerpt in 1923. (January 23 & 24)
Continued Collaboration with Carnegie Hall
The Philadelphia Orchestra has a long and celebrated history performing at Carnegie Hall, having given its first performance there more than 100 years ago, in 1902. Yannick Nézet-Séguin and the Orchestra open Carnegie’s 2013-14 season with an October 2 Gala performance, which will be heard live around the globe as part of the Carnegie Hall Live broadcast and digital series, produced by Carnegie Hall and WQXR in collaboration with American Public Media. The concert will feature Grammy Award-winning jazz vocalist and double-bassist Esperanza Spalding and violinist Joshua Bell. Works by Tchaikovsky, Saint-Saëns, and Ravel will be performed, as well as three Carnegie Hall-commissioned orchestrations by American jazz pianist Gil Goldstein of songs by Spalding, Leonardo Genovese, and Dimitri Tiomkin/Ned Washington, performed by Spalding. One of these works will feature Bell, who will also perform Ravel’s Tzigane and Saint-Saëns’s Introduction and Rondo capriccioso during this same concert.
Philadelphia Orchestra President and CEO Allison Vulgamore comments, “The Philadelphia Orchestra has been performing at Carnegie Hall for over a century, and New Yorkers love the Orchestra. Now, audiences cannot say enough about the unique and phenomenal connection that exists between Yannick and our musicians. We are elated to open the season at Carnegie Hall, with a live broadcast on WQXR-FM, and are honored to continue to share our Philadelphia Sound with New Yorkers, Philadelphians, and listeners all over the world.”
The Orchestra and Nézet-Séguin return for three additional Carnegie Hall performances in the 2013-14 season, with repertoire to include Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique, and Brahms’s Piano Concerto No. 2 with Hélène Grimaud; Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3 (“Eroica”), Strauss’s Metamorphosen, and Shostakovich’s Cello Concerto No. 1 with Truls Mørk; Barber’s Adagio for Strings and Bartók’s Violin Concerto No. 1 with Lisa Batiashvili; and Bruckner’s Symphony No. 9. (December 6, February 21, May 2)
Multi-Week Conductor Residencies
The Philadelphia Orchestra has long enjoyed collaborative partnerships with many of the world’s greatest and most distinguished conductors. This season, it builds on this tradition by welcoming back three close musical friends for extended, two-week residencies.
- Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos celebrates his 150th Philadelphia performance with the Orchestra during a two-week residency that begins with a program featuring Beethoven’s Overture to King Stephen and Symphony No. 8, Respighi’s The Pines of Rome, and Liszt’s Piano Concerto No. 2 with pianist Lise de la Salle in her Philadelphia Orchestra debut. (October 17-19) The following week brings violinist Augustin Hadelich to Philadelphia, also celebrating his Philadelphia Orchestra debut with performances of Lalo’s Symphonie espagnole. The program also features Debussy’s La Mer and Ravel’s Suite No. 2 from Daphnis and Chloé. (October 24-26)
- Longtime collaborator Vladimir Jurowski leads the Orchestra in Bach’s Orchestral Suite No. 2 and Mahler’s Todtenfeier. And, as part of the Strauss 150th Anniversary year, legendary pianist Emanuel Ax performs the composer’s youthful Burleske for piano and orchestra and Bach’s Piano Concerto No. 1. (February 6-8) Jurowski’s residency continues the following week with Rachmaninoff’s setting of Edgar Allan Poe’s haunting poem “The Bells,” which received its U.S. premiere in Philadelphia with Leopold Stokowski in 1920. The work will be performed with the original English text recited between each movement of Rachmaninoff’s Russian treatment. Soprano Tatiana Monogarova and tenor Vsevolod Grivnov (both celebrating their Orchestra debuts), baritone Sergei Leiferkus, and the Westminster Symphonic Choir will be featured. The program also includes Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 4 performed by Alexey Zuev, also in his Philadelphia Orchestra debut. (February 13-15)
- Stéphane Denève returns to lead the Orchestra in a collaboration with the Philadelphia Dance Company (Philadanco) in Poulenc’s Aubade—a choreographic concerto for 18 instruments and solo piano with pianist Eric Le Sage (Philadelphia Orchestra debut). The concert also includes Stravinsky’s Dumbarton Oaks, also written for a smaller ensemble, excerpts from Prokofiev’s ballet Cinderella, and Stravinsky’s Suite from The Firebird. (February 28-March 1) Denève’s residency continues with violinist Nikolaj Znaider performing Beethoven’s Violin Concerto, as well as a performance of Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 10. (March 6-8)
In addition, Yannick Nézet-Séguin has invited a number of guest conductors to return to the Orchestra during the season:
- Russian-born Semyon Bychkov joins the Orchestra during its opening weeks for a program that pairs the symphonic music of Beethoven and Shostakovich—composers who lived over a century apart but remain two of the greatest symphonists of the 19th and 20th centuries. In the same program, the Orchestra teams up with pianist Yefim Bronfman for Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4. Also featured in this program is Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 11. (October 10-12)
- Cultural and musical icon Itzhak Perlman returns to Philadelphia as both conductor and violinist for subscription concerts featuring Beethoven’s First and Second romances for violin and orchestra, Dvořák’s Serenade for Strings, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 2, and Brahms’s Academic Festival Overture. (November 21-24)
- Early-music specialist Richard Egarr makes his Orchestra debut with performances of Vivaldi’s colorful Four Seasons with violinist Daniel Hope (also making his debut) as well as performances of 17th-century composer Henry Purcell’s Suite No. 1 from The Fairy Queen—his adaptation of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream—and Haydn’s Symphony No. 101 (“The Clock”). (November 29-30)
- Fresh off his Philadelphia Orchestra debut in 2012, British conductor Robin Ticciati returns to the Verizon Hall stage to launch the three-week Tchaikovsky Celebration, pairing the music of this great Russian composer with those of his contemporaries. The program opens with Liadov’s tone poem The Enchanted Lake and continues with Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1 featuring Stephen Hough, as well as Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4. (January 10-12)
- The illustrious Herbert Blomstedt joins the Orchestra for performances of Brahms’s Symphony No. 1 and Mozart’s “Gran Partita” Serenade for 12 winds and one double bass—drawing to a close a season-long collection of serenades. (March 20-22)
- Donald Runnicles joins the Orchestra for a centenary celebration of British composer Benjamin Britten’s birth. This performance features Britten’s Four Sea Interludes from the opera Peter Grimes and his Violin Concerto, with virtuosic violinist Janine Jansen; Arvo Pärt’s Cantus in Memory of Benjamin Britten; and Mozart’s Symphony No. 36 (“Linz”). (March 27-29)
- Venerable conductor Christoph von Dohnányi presents a program of German masterpieces featuring Principal Clarinet Ricardo Morales performing Carl Maria von Weber’s Clarinet Concerto No. 1. This work premiered in 1811, the same year as Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony, being performed on the same program. Also featured is Brahms’s Variations on a Theme of Haydn. (April 3-5)
- Collaborator and friend Gianandrea Noseda returns to Philadelphia in a program featuring the Saint-Saëns Symphony No. 3 (“Organ”), which will showcase the Fred J. Cooper Memorial Organ with organist Michael Stairs. The concert opens with a suite from Alfredo Casella’s opera La donna serpente, premiered just three years before the Prokofiev Violin Concerto No. 2, also performed on this program, with Philadelphia favorite James Ehnes. (April 11-13)
Additionally, Yannick Nézet-Séguin has invited three conductors to make their Philadelphia Orchestra debuts this season.
- Pittsburgh Symphony Music Director Manfred Honeck leads a program featuring Johann Strauss Jr.’s Overture to Die Fledermaus, Dvořák’s Symphony No. 9 (“From the New World”), and Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 5 with Christian Tetzlaff. (November 14-16)
- Acclaimed Spanish conductor Pablo Heras-Casado leads the Orchestra in a program of showpieces featuring Concertmaster David Kim. Tchaikovsky’s Sérénade mélancolique and his Valse-scherzo are meaningful to Kim, who was the only American awarded a prize at the 1986 quadrennial Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow. The performance also features Ravel’s Rapsodie espagnole and Stravinsky’s ballet Petrushka. (December 12-14)
- Russian conductor Tugan Sokhiev takes the podium to lead the ensemble in the final week of its Tchaikovsky Celebration. Violinist Vadim Gluzman (also making his debut) joins Sokhiev in a performance of Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto. Also featured: Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Battle of Kerzhenets” from The Legend of the Invisible City of Kitezh and the Maiden Fevroniya and Musorgsky’s Pictures from an Exhibition. (January 23-24)
Philadelphia Orchestra Associate Conductor Cristian Măcelaru also makes his subscription debut, in a program featuring Tchaikovsky’s Rococo Variations, with Principal Cello Hai-Ye Ni, and Serenade for Strings; Borodin’s Polovtsian Dances from Prince Igor; and Balakirev’s Islamey. (January 16-18)
Guest Artists and Close Musical Collaborators
The Philadelphia Orchestra enjoys close, collaborative relationships with numerous guest artists throughout the course of the season. Ten violinists will grace the Verizon Hall stage to lend their dramatic and creative talents: Anne-Sophie Mutter (September 25); Augustin Hadelich (October 24-26); Christian Tetzlaff (November 14-16); Itzhak Perlman (November 21-24); Daniel Hope (November 29-30); Vadim Gluzman (January 23-24); Nikolaj Znaider (March 6-8); Janine Jansen (March 27-29); James Ehnes (April 11-13); and Lisa Batiashvili (May 1-3). Ten accomplished pianists will also join the Orchestra this season: Yefim Bronfman (October 10-12); Lisa de la Salle (October 17-19); Yuja Wang (November 7-9); Hélène Grimaud (December 5-8); Stephen Hough (January 10-12); Radu Lupu (January 30-February 1); Emanuel Ax (February 6-8); Alexey Zuev (February 13-15); Eric Le Sage (February 28-March 1); and Jan Lisiecki (April 24-26). Renowned cellist Truls Mørk also makes an appearance. (February 20-23)
Many of the Orchestra’s principal players are featured as soloists this season: Principal Oboe Richard Woodhams (October 4-6); Principal Flute Jeffrey Khaner (October 31 & November 2); Principal Harp Elizabeth Hainen (October 31-November 1); Principal Bassoon Daniel Matsukawa (November 1-2); Concertmaster David Kim (December 12-14); Principal Cello Hai-Ye Ni (January 16-18); and Principal Clarinet Ricardo Morales (April 3-5).
A long list of acclaimed guest vocalists have been invited to perform with the Orchestra this season, including soprano Christine Brewer, tenor Christian Elsner, and bass-baritone Shenyang (September 26-28); soprano Christiane Karg (October 4-6); soprano Tatiana Monogarova, tenor Vsevolod Grivnov, and baritone Sergei Leiferkus (February 13-15); soprano Susanna Phillips and bass-baritone Philippe Sly (March 13-15); and soprano Camilla Nylund, mezzo-soprano Birgit Remmert, tenor Jon Mac Master, and bass-baritone Alan Held. (May 8 & 10)
The Philadelphia Orchestra welcomes back choirs with which it has long relationships, including the Westminster Symphonic Choir directed by Joe Miller (September 26-28 and February 13-15 for Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 and Rachmaninoff’s The Bells), and the Philadelphia Singers Chorale for Handel’s Messiah (December 22) and Fauré’s Requiem (March 13-15). The Orchestra also partners with the Philadelphia Dance Company (Philadanco) for the first time on a subscription concert (February 28-March 1) in the ensemble’s first performances of Poulenc’s Aubade.
Special Concerts and Programs
Alongside the Orchestra’s wide-ranging subscription season lineup there remain many other special performances to be enjoyed in the 2013-14 season, including The Philadelphia Orchestra’s signature holiday concert, The Glorious Sound of Christmas (December 19-21), named after the Orchestra’s best-selling Christmas album and led this year by Sarah Hicks; Handel’s Messiah (December 22); and the Orchestra’s annual New Year’s Eve celebration, led by Bramwell Tovey. (December 31) Other special performances include the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Tribute Concert (January 20) and the Academy of Music 157th Anniversary Concert and Ball, both led by Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin. (January 25)
Also this season, high-flying acrobatics meet a world-renowned Orchestra in Cirque de la Symphonie. Under the baton of Associate Conductor Cristian Măcelaru, The Philadelphia Orchestra shares the stage with contortionists, aerialists, strongmen, jugglers, dancers, and more. This dramatic and collaborative venture combines the virtuosic playing of the Orchestra with a dazzling display of awe-inspiring athletic feats. Stunning symphonic repertoire, including Sibelius’s soaring Finlandia, Wagner’s “The Ride of the Valkyries,” Chabrier’s España, and selections from Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake, are carefully and uniquely choreographed to deliver a one-of-a-kind concert experience. (January 3-4)
Family Concerts with Yannick Nézet-Séguin and Cristian Măcelaru
Reaching its youngest listeners to instill a love and appreciation for classical music, the Orchestra presents five Family Concerts over the course of the 2013-14 season that bring the joy of music to families and young children throughout the year. Programs feature some of the stellar guest artists on the subscription series and Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin reinforces his commitment to building relationships with younger audiences by conducting the culminating performance in the series. Entitled Mr. Mozart: Musical Genius (April 26), the program features popular works by Mozart and a performance by teenage piano virtuoso Jan Lisiecki, who is also featured in the Orchestra’s subscription season. The remaining four concerts are led by Associate Conductor Cristian Măcelaru and include: a Magical Musical Halloween (October 26) with astonishing magic acts by Cirque de la Symphonie (also featured in their own concerts in January); a Christmas Kids Spectacular! (December 14) with actors Michael Boudewyns and Sara Valentine, plus a visit from Santa Claus; The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra (February 1), again, with actors Boudewyns and Valentine—complete with an instrument petting zoo; and Pinocchio and Cartoon Classics (March 22), with narrator Charlotte Blake Alston.
2013-14 Season Subscriptions
Subscriptions for the 2013-14 season are now on sale. New and renewing subscribers may purchase subscriptions through Ticket Philadelphia by calling 215.893.1955 or visiting www.philorch.org/2014. Renewing subscribers will receive a special mailing of renewal information immediately and can renew now.
Subscribers will continue to have the benefit of free exchanges on all subscription tickets for the 2013-14 season. A monthly payment plan is available for subscribers, which allows them to split their subscription payment into monthly installments and an option to pay half now and half later. Other subscriber benefits include free ticket replacement, priority seating, and special promotional offers. Subscribers also have the option of purchasing additional individual tickets to any of the season’s subscription concerts or special concerts. Discount parking is also available to subscribers. Subscribers may purchase individual subscription concert tickets now with their series purchase prior to tickets going on sale to the general public.
Orchestra subscribers may renew their subscriptions through the end of May. Single tickets traditionally go on sale after Labor Day at the beginning of September. The Orchestra offers subscription packages of six concerts for Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings as well as Sunday matinees. Packages of nine concerts are offered for Friday afternoons and Saturday evenings. Also available at this time is the popular Create-Your-Own 6-concert series, designed for audiences who like the flexibility of choosing their own concerts as well as the Family Concert series.
Subscription packages range from as little as $36 for Family Concert series seats in the 3rd Tier, to $1,041 for a Saturday evening, 9-concert series, with premium box seats located on the Orchestra floor. A Ticket Philadelphia processing fee of $19 is added to each subscription order.
Yannick Nézet-Séguin triumphantly opened his inaugural season as the eighth music director of The Philadelphia Orchestra in the fall of 2012. From the Orchestra’s home in Verizon Hall to the Carnegie Hall stage, 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. The New York Times has called Yannick “phenomenal,” adding that under his baton, “the ensemble, famous for its glowing strings and homogenous richness, has never sounded better.”
In his first official season in Philadelphia, Yannick has taken the Orchestra to new musical heights in concerts at home, and has further distinguished himself in the community, with a powerful performance at the Orchestra’s annual Martin Luther King Tribute Concert, working with young musicians from the School District of Philadelphia’s All City Orchestra, establishing a relationship with the Curtis Institute, and ringing in 2013 with his Philadelphia audience with a festive New Year’s Eve concert. Following on the heels of a February, 2013 announcement of a recording project with Deutsche Grammophon, Yannick and the Orchestra will record Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring together—the ensemble’s first recording of that work since 1922, with Leopold Stokowski.
Over the past decade, Nézet-Séguin has established himself as a musical leader of the highest caliber and one of the most exciting talents of his generation. Since 2008 he has been music director of the Rotterdam Philharmonic and principal guest conductor of the London Philharmonic, and since 2000 artistic director and principal conductor of Montreal’s Orchestre Métropolitain. He has made wildly successful appearances with the world’s most revered ensembles—the Vienna Philharmonic, the Berlin Philharmonic, the Boston Symphony, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Dresden Staatskapelle, the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, and all the major Canadian orchestras, among many others. Throughout Europe and North America, Yannick’s appearances have left indelible marks on the international classical music scene, making him one of the most sought-after conductors in the world.
Since his first appearance in Philadelphia in 2008, Yannick has made a deep connection with the musicians of the Orchestra as well as with audiences. His concerts of diverse repertoire offerings attract sold-out houses, and he has established a regular forum for connecting with concert-goers through Post-Concert Conversations following each of his subscription concerts.
Yannick has led The Philadelphia Orchestra in a breadth of repertoire ranging from the intimate—Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 5 (which he led from the keyboard)—to the monumental—Bruckner’s Symphony No. 7, and launched a multi-year exploration of the world’s great requiems with performances of the Mozart Requiem in January 2011 and Brahms’s A German Requiem in November 2011. He opened the 2012-13 season and his tenure as music director with the Verdi Requiem in October 2012, which he also led in his Carnegie Hall debut. Yannick leads two additional performances at that historic concert hall during the 2012-13 season. Other highlights of his inaugural season include an Opening Night Concert featuring soprano Renée Fleming, a world premiere by Gabriela Lena Frank, and performances of Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring in collaboration with New York-based Ridge Theater, complete with dancers, video projection, and theatrical lighting.
Widely recognized for his musicianship, dedication, and charisma, Yannick Nézet-Séguin’s talents extend beyond symphonic music into the world of opera and choral music. His critically acclaimed performances at New York’s Metropolitan Opera (where he appears annually), Milan’s La Scala, London’s Royal Opera House, and the historic Salzburg Festival demonstrate that he is an artist of remarkable versatility and depth.
In July 2012 Yannick Nézet-Séguin and Deutsche Grammophon announced a major long-term collaboration, following highly successful DVD releases of Gounod’s Romeo and Juliet from the Salzburg Festival and Bizet’s Carmen from the Metropolitan Opera. He has made live recordings of Mozart’s seven mature operas from the Baden-Baden Summer Festival. The first, Don Giovanni, with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, was released last year to outstanding reviews and will be followed in 2013 by the release of Così fan tutte, recorded last summer with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe. Yannick’s discography with the Rotterdam Philharmonic includes recordings of Strauss and Berlioz for BIS Records, and three EMI/Virgin releases, including an Edison Award-winning album of Ravel’s orchestral works. He has also recorded several award-winning albums with the Orchestre Métropolitain for the Canadian label ATMA Classique.
Yannick’s appearances with other ensembles in the 2012-13 season include two separate tours to Japan and the Far East with the Rotterdam Philharmonic, a tour of Germany with the London Philharmonic, and a cycle of the complete Schumann symphonies and concertos with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe in Paris. He also returns to the Bavarian Radio Symphony and to the Metropolitan Opera for Verdi’s La traviata.
A native of Montreal, Yannick Nézet-Séguin studied piano, conducting, composition, and chamber music at Montreal’s Conservatory of Music and continued his studies with renowned conductor Carlo Maria Giulini; he also studied choral conducting with Joseph Flummerfelt at Westminster Choir College.
In 2012 Yannick was appointed a Companion of the Order of Canada, one of the country’s highest civilian honors. His other honors include a Royal Philharmonic Society Award; an Echo Award; the Virginia Parker Prize from the Canada Council; Canada’s National Arts Centre Award; the Prix Denise-Pelletier, the highest distinction for the arts in Quebec, awarded by the Quebec government; and an honorary doctorate by the University of Quebec in Montreal.
The Philadelphia Orchestra
Renowned for its distinctive sound, desired 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. While wholly committed to the exploration of classical music and repertoire, the Orchestra also continues to develop compelling programs that resonate with contemporary audiences. The Philadelphia Orchestra is focused on inspiring the future while transforming its rich tradition of achievement, and seeks to not simply sustain the highest level of artistic quality, but to challenge—and exceed—that level by creating powerful musical experiences for audiences at home and around the world.
Demonstrating a deep and abiding commitment to the highest levels of artistic excellence, The Philadelphia Orchestra has cultivated an extraordinary history of artistic leaders in its 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. Under such extraordinary guidance, The Philadelphia Orchestra has served as an unwavering standard of excellence in the world of classical music—and it continues to do so today.
Yannick Nézet-Séguin joined this small yet illustrious group in the 2012-13 season, and serves as the eighth music director of The Philadelphia Orchestra. An integral member of the Orchestra’s leadership team since 2010 when he assumed the title of music director designate, Nézet-Séguin is also the music director of the Rotterdam Philharmonic, principal guest conductor of the London Philharmonic, and artistic director and principal conductor of Montreal’s Orchestre Métropolitain. He brings a wealth of talent and vision that extends beyond symphonic music and into the vivid world of opera and choral music.
Philadelphia is Home
Philadelphia is home and the Orchestra continues to discover new and inventive ways to nurture its relationship with its loyal patrons who support the main season (September-May) in Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts. The Kimmel Center, for which the Orchestra serves as the founding resident company, has been the ensemble’s performance hall since 2001. The Philadelphia Orchestra Association continues to own the Academy of Music—a National Historic Landmark and the oldest operating opera house in the nation—as it has since 1957. Each year, the Orchestra returns to the “Grand Old Lady of Locust Street”—where it performed for 101 seasons before moving to the Kimmel Center—for the Academy Anniversary Concert and Ball, one of the City’s most highly anticipated and attended events.
Beyond its robust concert offerings at the Kimmel Center, the Orchestra also performs for Philadelphia audiences during the summer months at the Mann Center for the Performing Arts, as well as in venues across the region, including Penn’s Landing, Longwood Gardens, and the Philadelphia Navy Yard. Many of these performances are part of the ensemble’s free Neighborhood Concert Series as well as its educational and community partnership programs—all of which aim to create greater access and engagement with classical music as an art form.
Commitment to Education
The Philadelphia Orchestra also has an important legacy of presenting educational programs for local audiences—a tradition dating back to 1921 when Leopold Stokowski initiated concerts exclusively for children. Today the Orchestra reaches Philadelphia-area families, teachers, students, and children through a multitude of education and community partnership programs. From Sound All Around (designed for children ages 3-5) to Family Concerts (aimed at children ages 6-12 and their families) to eZseatU (a membership program for full-time college students), The Philadelphia Orchestra seeks to introduce orchestral music to a new generation of listeners through these special programs. Further, the Orchestra aims to engage adult audiences more deeply in its performances through learning programs, including free PreConcert Conversations, which occur before every subscription concert, and Lecture/Luncheons with guest speakers. Philadelphia Orchestra musicians serve a key role in growing young musician talent and love of classical music in their own dedicated roles as teachers, coaches, and mentors.
In an effort to more directly connect with the youth of Philadelphia, the Orchestra has implemented the Billy Joel School Concert Program, which improves access to the Orchestra’s School Concerts for underserved city schoolchildren and serves approximately 80 elementary and middle schools chosen from within the School District of Philadelphia. The Orchestra’s School Partnership Program also offers students incomparable exposure and access to The Philadelphia Orchestra and its musicians inside the classrooms of five selected schools in the Philadelphia region. The program’s teaching artists work side by side with classroom teachers using curriculum and materials created by the Orchestra’s education department. Finally, The Philadelphia Orchestra collaborates with schools interested in having Orchestra musicians work with their students through the Musicians in the Schools program. These school visits take the form of assembly programs, performances or demonstrations, clinics, and master classes or sectionals, and generally involve a solo musician.
A Cultural Ambassador Abroad
Through concerts, tours, residencies, presentations, and recordings, The Philadelphia Orchestra touches the lives of countless music lovers around the globe. Outside of Philadelphia, the Orchestra enjoys a three-week summer residency at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center in New York—a venue that was built for the Orchestra—as well as a strong partnership with the Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival, which brings the world’s finest orchestras to Colorado each summer.
The Philadelphia Orchestra also has a long history of touring, having first performed outside of Philadelphia in the earliest days of its founding. The Philadelphia Orchestra was the first American orchestra to perform in the People’s Republic of China in 1973. In 2012 the Orchestra reconnected with its historical roots in China and more deeply embraced its role as a cultural ambassador by launching a new partnership with the National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA) in Beijing, a pilot residency that united the Orchestra with talented young Chinese musicians and composers to further develop their orchestral skills. The residency also served to bring orchestral music, through performances and master classes, not only to China’s major cities but also further into the provinces, and to connect through the hearts of local musicians to their supporting communities, through the sharing of musical talents between its own musicians and Chinese musicians, engaging in music education, and spreading the joy of classical music with citizens in residential neighborhoods and at landmark historic sites.
An Orchestra that Understands the Power of Innovation in its Art Form
The Philadelphia Orchestra has long pushed the boundaries of convention in the classical music realm. Signature to such a reputation are world and/or American premieres of such important works as Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 (“Symphony of a Thousand”), Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring, Schoenberg’s Gurrelieder, and Rachmaninoff’s Symphonic Dances. As part of its commitment to bringing classical music to audiences where they are listening, the Orchestra was the first to create an online store for purchasing music. To further expand such distribution, the Orchestra formed a new partnership with Independent Online Distribution Alliance (IODA), making its live recordings available on popular digital music services such as iTunes and Amazon, among others. The Orchestra has also joined with Specticast in pioneering simulcasts of Orchestra concerts into theaters, schools, and performing arts centers. Most recently, The Philadelphia Orchestra announced a partnership with WRTI-FM to broadcast pre-recorded versions of its subscription concerts from February through May 2013. In addition, the Orchestra returns to the recording studio with Deutsche Grammophon and Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin for his first commercial recording with the ensemble: Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring and Stokowski transcriptions of Bach’s Passacaglia and Fugue in C minor, Fugue in G minor (“Little”), and Toccata and Fugue in D minor.
For more information on The Philadelphia Orchestra, please visit www.philorch.org.