Orchestra Today

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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

March 01, 2017

Voices of a City: The Orchestra’s 2017-18 Season Presents an Abundance of Variety

The way to have good ideas, as Nobel Prize-winning scientist Linus Pauling used to say, is to have lots of ideas. In recent years The Philadelphia Orchestra has dramatically increased the range and scope of its activities both locally and globally, and the 2017-18 season just announced underscores an ever-expanding breadth of vision that reflects the Orchestra’s storied legacy, its ongoing commitment to deep community involvement, and its role as a global ambassador for the arts.

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!”

January 04, 2017

With a Little Help from Our Friends: the Young Friends of The Philadelphia Orchestra and the Academy of Music

Sure, the concerts are incredible. But wouldn’t it be great if, after a wonderful evening with The Philadelphia Orchestra, you could hang out with some of the musicians? Mitch Ginsburg gets to do that, several times a year. “It’s been really great to get to know them on a personal level, to talk about the concert, and their lives as musicians. We might not necessarily always talk about Orchestra stuff. Just the other night, I was speaking with [trumpeter] Tony Prisk about Star Wars toy collections from when we were kids! It makes you feel connected on a very personal level.”

January 03, 2017

An Aria for Bassoon: Daniel Matsukawa Performs the Mozart Bassoon Concerto

We don’t usually think of the bassoon as a solo instrument, basking in the spotlight like a violin or piano. But believe it or not, Mozart wrote his very first wind concerto for the bassoon, in 1774, when he was just 18 years old. The piece has since become the bedrock of the bassoon repertoire (and an audition hurdle for all aspiring symphony bassoonists).

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