New organization will reimagine the power of the arts
to bring joy, create community, and effect change
PHILADELPHIA (June 17, 2021) – The Kimmel Center and The Philadelphia Orchestra today announced that the two organizations are joining forces to form a new parent company, The Philadelphia Orchestra and Kimmel Center, Inc.
The Philadelphia Orchestra and Kimmel Center, Inc. will be led by Matías Tarnopolsky as president and CEO. Uniting from a position of strength, these signature Philadelphia cultural organizations are poised to bring the greatest performances and most impactful education and community programs, in person and digitally, to audiences in Philadelphia and beyond.
The Philadelphia Orchestra and Kimmel Center, Inc. will provide vast opportunities for world- class, wide-ranging performances by a diverse and inclusive roster of artists and companies in an atmosphere where all feel welcome. Furthermore, this innovative structure will strengthen business operations and enable more flexible scheduling and collaborative partnerships across the Philadelphia performing arts community.
Anne Ewers, Kimmel Center president and CEO since 2007, initiated these discussions and championed this plan. Ewers and Tarnopolsky, Philadelphia Orchestra president and CEO, have worked closely together over the last three years and have collaborated to ensure the Kimmel Center and The Philadelphia Orchestra are positioned to powerfully contribute to Philadelphia’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I’m approaching my 70th birthday,” Ewers said. “And in December 2019, I informed our Kimmel Center Board Chair Michael Zisman that I planned to retire at the end of my current contract.” Ewers is responsible for the Kimmel Center’s transformation—retiring its debt; raising tens of millions for endowment, capital projects, and programs; and overseeing an ambitious master plan for renovation. Ewers will continue as president and CEO of the
Kimmel Center through the formation of the new parent organization. She has been invited to serve as a member of the board of The Philadelphia Orchestra and Kimmel Center, Inc., where she will continue to realize her vision of a more streamlined and cohesive partnership between the Kimmel Center and the Philadelphia Orchestra.
“This visionary model creates a centralized artistic hub with a vibrant campus and active venues,” Ewers said. “I am delighted that the Kimmel Center and The Philadelphia Orchestra are forming this partnership under Matías’ superb leadership. An exemplary performing arts producer and presenter with an extensive range from fine arts to entertainment, our alliance will offer something for everyone.”
“We recognize that deepening our partnership will accelerate change and progress toward a more vibrant, equitable, and engaged artistic environment in Philadelphia,” Tarnopolsky said. “This new organization will write a powerful next chapter in quality, access, and diversity within our storied cultural landscape.”
Tarnopolsky joined The Philadelphia Orchestra in August 2018. During his tenure, Tarnopolsky—working in partnership with Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin and the musicians of The Philadelphia Orchestra—helped to secure the largest gift in the Orchestra’s history, launched a visionary free ticket program for the School District of Philadelphia, strengthened the Orchestra’s historic and deep ties with China through new partnerships, and negotiated an extraordinary early contract with the musicians to provide a stable and secure financial future. He has deep experience molding the artistic profiles of orchestras and cultural centers, and brings extensive experience from key leadership roles at the New York Philharmonic, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and the BBC Symphony Orchestra. Prior to moving to Philadelphia he was executive and artistic director of Cal Performances at the University of California, Berkeley, the largest multi-disciplinary, multi- venue, university-based arts presenter in the United States.
The finalization of this transaction is subject to obtaining all necessary regulatory approvals. Upon completion, each organization, and their current Boards of Directors, will remain intact as subsidiaries of the parent organization. The Board of Directors of The Philadelphia Orchestra and Kimmel Center, Inc. will be drawn equally from existing boards of The Philadelphia Orchestra and the Kimmel Center. Philadelphia Orchestra Board Chair Ralph Muller and Kimmel Center Board Chair Michael Zisman will serve as co-chairs of The Philadelphia Orchestra and Kimmel Center, Inc.
About the Kimmel Center, Inc.
Located in Philadelphia, the Kimmel Center, Inc. is the region's most impactful performing arts center, and the second largest in the country. Seeking to engage the region's diverse communities with art through performance and education, its Cultural Campus serves more than one million guests per year at three venues including Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, the Academy of Music, and the Merriam Theater. The Kimmel Center has achieved financial success with over 11 years of balanced budgets due to strong earned revenue generation. Through strategic programming and an emphasis on campus services and venue rental, the Center’s operating budget often resulted in multi-million dollar surpluses that have funded important capital improvements. In 2018 it more than doubled its Broadway subscription base, adding over 8,000 new subscribers, and is currently experiencing record early sales for 20–21 performances. The Kimmel Center is home to eight Resident Companies: The Philadelphia Orchestra, Opera Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Ballet, The Philly POPS, PHILADANCO, The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, The Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, and Curtis Institute of Music.
About The Philadelphia Orchestra
Founded in 1900, The Philadelphia Orchestra is one of the world’s preeminent orchestras. Through extraordinary performances, innovative programming, and robust educational and community initiatives, the Orchestra strives to share the transformative power of music with the widest possible audience, and to create joy, connection, and excitement through music in the Philadelphia region, across the country, and around the world. For almost a decade, the Orchestra has been on strong financial footing, achieving balanced budgets each year and raising hundreds of millions of dollars with an endowment of $240 million. At the close of 2019, it had its strongest fundraising year ever, and during the pandemic attracted over 2,500 new donors. The Philadelphia Orchestra originally performed at the Academy of Music, a National Historic Landmark, and in 2001 moved its performances to its permanent home at the Kimmel Center’s state-of-the-art Verizon Hall. The Philadelphia Orchestra also performs annually at Carnegie Hall and during summer residencies at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center in Saratoga, New York; the Bravo! Vail Festival in Vail, Colorado; and its summer home at the Mann Center for the Performing Arts in Philadelphia. The Philadelphia Orchestra's music director is Yannick Nézet-Séguin.
The Philadelphia Orchestra The Kimmel Center
Natalie Lewis Leslie Patterson-Tyler
[email protected] [email protected]
# # #