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November 23, 2015

Alfredo Casella: Rediscovering an Italian Master

Introducing new music is part of the Orchestra’s storied heritage, from great pieces of the past such as Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini (premiered in 1934, and on the bill this week), to Hannibal’s exciting new One Land, One River, One People unveiled earlier this month.

This week the Philadelphians are performing Alfredo Casella’s Second Symphony, in its U.S. premiere. But there’s a twist: The piece was written over 100 years ago. Who was Casella? And why has it taken so long for this composition to reach our shores?

November 20, 2015

“The sound is in the DNA of the Orchestra”

That’s how our very good friend guest conductor Gianandrea Noseda describes the experience of conducting the Philadelphians in Rachmaninoff’s beloved Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, during his second week on the Verizon Hall podium this season (November 27-28).

Noseda isn’t exaggerating. Rachmaninoff famously said he composed with the sound of The Philadelphia Orchestra in his head; when the Orchestra premiered the Rhapsody in 1934, the composer was at the keyboard (Leopold Stokowski conducted).

November 13, 2015

Hannibal Community Events

Prior to the Orchestra’s world premiere performances of Hannibal’s One Land, One River, One People November 13-15, the composer and a number of musicians participated in three days of extraordinary community events around Philadelphia. Principal Second Violin Kimberly Fisher, Assistant Principal Second Violin Dara Morales, Associate Principal Viola Kirsten Johnson, cellist Derek Barnes, and violist Judy Geist performed with jazz vocalist Tulivu-Donna Cumberbatch and Hannibal for inmates at Philadelphia Prison System’s Detention Center; for Play On, Philly! students at St.

November 06, 2015

Taking the Message to the Community

“This commission is going to resonate all over the city.”

That’s how Philadelphia Orchestra Director of Collaborative Learning Dan Berkowitz describes the impact Hannibal’s brilliant “spiritatorio,” One Land, One River, One People is sure to have in Philadelphia.

November 02, 2015

For Love of Nation - This Season The Philadelphia Orchestra Explores National Pride

The explosion of nationalism in the mid-19th century fostered a love of one’s region and the history and traditions of the civilizations that emerged there, as well as a sense of self-determination—of taking that history and tradition in hand to build something greater. And its artistic yield was considerable: Artists in all disciplines, and musicians particularly, worked hard to identify the distinct ways their people perceived the world.

October 21, 2015

Putting It in Perspective: The Philadelphia Orchestra’s 2015 Annual Meeting

The words “annual meeting” in most organizations constitute a review of the events of the past 12 months. It is necessarily a much broader review when you are The Philadelphia Orchestra and you are only a few years removed from what will long be remembered as our nadir—a declaration of bankruptcy.

October 16, 2015

Music Saved Me: Hannibal and One Land, One River, One People, a Philadelphia Orchestra World Premiere

How did Hannibal Lokumbe get from the cotton fields of segregated 1950s Texas to the concert halls of the world? (Including, on November 13-15, Verizon Hall, for the world premiere of his new “spiritatorio” as he has named it, One Land, One River, One People, commissioned by The Philadelphia Orchestra.)

September 29, 2015

The Keeper of the Sound - As He Begins his Fourth Season as Music Director, Yannick Talks about the Philadelphia Sound

It’s a concept that’s so familiar to fans of The Philadelphia Orchestra it seems to need no explanation: the Philadelphia Sound. Born under the legendary Leopold Stokowski, burnished under the equally legendary Eugene Ormandy, the Sound has been part of the orchestral landscape for generations, acknowledged and enjoyed in Philadelphia and in concert halls literally around the globe.

Photo by Jessica Griffin

September 29, 2015

A Season of the Sound

With all the excitement surrounding the papal visit, and the Orchestra’s starring role in it, you might forget that the 2015-16 season is about to begin. But it is, kicking off with a bang on September 30 with the Opening Night Concert and Gala at the Kimmel Center. This fourth season under Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin is highlighting the legendary Philadelphia Sound, lauded for a century, and very much alive today.

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