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April 04, 2017

Rachmaninoff’s Philadelphia

“Philadelphia has the finest orchestra I have ever heard at any time or any place in my whole life. I don’t know that I would be exaggerating if I said that it is the finest orchestra the world has ever heard.”—Sergei Rachmaninoff

Sergei Rachmaninoff and Eugene Ormandy looking over a score at the Academy of Music. Photo: Philadelphia Orchestra Archives/Adrian Siegel Collection

April 04, 2017

Pat Metheny and the American Beat, Part IV: Extraordinary Day: A Musical Idea Comes to Glorious Fruition

Principal Percussion Christopher Deviney says performing Imaginary Day, Duo Concerto for Vibraphone, Marimba, and Orchestra, was a bit of a shock. It had taken years to get his idea of arranging the music of jazz guitarist Pat Metheny onto a Philadelphia Orchestra program. Imaginary Day finally had its world premiere Thursday evening, March 30, with repeat performances Friday afternoon and Saturday evening.

March 28, 2017

Pat Metheny and the American Beat, Part III: A Joyous Soundscape

Chris Deviney says fans of Pat Metheny’s jazz guitar and lovers of The Philadelphia Orchestra may have more in common than they think. He’s predicting both groups will love Imaginary Day, Duo Concerto for Vibraphone, Marimba, and Orchestra, his arrangement of three Metheny jazz tunes, premiering at Verizon Hall March 30, 31, and April 1. But for those unfamiliar with the guitarist’s work, what’s the Concerto going to sound like?

March 23, 2017

Pat Metheny and the American Beat, Part II: The Long Road to Verizon Hall

How does an idea like Chris Deviney’s, taking three jazz tunes by Pat Metheny and Lyle Mays and arranging them for symphony orchestra, make it to the concert hall? (His Imaginary Day, Duo Concerto for Vibraphone, Marimba, and Orchestra, an arrangement of Metheny and Mays’s music, has its world premiere with The Philadelphia Orchestra at Verizon Hall on March 30, 31, and April 1).

Very slowly, as it happens.

March 21, 2017

Pat Metheny and the American Beat, Part I: Jazz Guitar as Classical Muse

Jazz and classical music aren’t exactly strangers. Ravel, Stravinsky, Copland, and Bernstein among many others were inspired by jazz. Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue was commissioned for a “jazz meets the classics” concert. Stravinsky wrote his Ebony Concerto for Woody Herman (it was later recorded by Benny Goodman).

Christopher Deviney. Photo by Jessica Griffin

February 24, 2017

Yannick and the Orchestra Announce 2017-18 Season

Subscriptions are now on sale for the Orchestra’s 2017-18 performances! Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin leads an exciting and diverse season commissioning new works, reexamining great repertoire, and showcasing the famous Philadelphia Sound.

February 07, 2017

Encore: Stéphane Denève Extends His Contract as Principal Guest Conductor

Quick! Name this member of The Philadelphia Orchestra family:

“He makes the gap between the audience and the stage vanish.” (Philadelphia Orchestra President and CEO Allison Vulgamore)

“He possesses an overwhelming urge to communicate his love for music to all he encounters.” (Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin)

“He has brought such artistry, excitement, and excellence to our numerous collaborations on stages in Philadelphia and across the United States.” (Concertmaster David Kim)

January 31, 2017

Celebrating Rachmaninoff: The Philadelphia Orchestra Presents a Rachmaninoff Festival this April

Long before Stéphane Denève began nurturing dreams of a career on the podium, let alone becoming The Philadelphia Orchestra’s principal guest conductor, he was an aspiring pianist, living in northern France and tuning in to Belgian television to watch the Queen Elisabeth International Music Competition.

January 31, 2017

Top Notes: Guest Conductor Fabio Luisi Has a “Secret Passion” … Perfume!

It’s hard to believe that world-class conductors have time for anything but music.

January 19, 2017

Harold in Italy: A Musical Journey for Viola

Just as it can be difficult to categorize the viola (a big violin? a small cello?), it’s hard to label Berlioz’s viola showcase Harold in Italy. “It’s more of a symphony than a concerto for sure,” says Principal Viola Choong-Jin (C.J.) Chang. “But it’s just great music, period!”

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