The Philadelphia Orchestra to Perform Live to Empty Verizon Hall for Free Livestream on March 12, 2020

Posted on March 12, 2020

Livestream to take place in response to recent concert cancellations due to COVID-19

WRTI-FM 90.1 to broadcast performance on March 13 at 2 PM and March 15 at 1 PM

WHYY-TV to broadcast performance at a later date

(Philadelphia, March 12, 2020)—In response to its recent event cancellations through March 23, 2020, to help limit community transmission of COVID-19, The Philadelphia Orchestra and Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin will perform tonight’s previously scheduled concert to an empty Verizon Hall for live broadcast on beginning at 7:30 PM EST.

“As The Philadelphia Orchestra suspends concerts and events in response to COVID-19, we offer this special concert—performed to an empty Verizon Hall—to be streamed live to audiences throughout Philadelphia and around the world,” said Orchestra President and CEO Matías Tarnopolsky. “To share music with our communities in this way speaks beautifully to the power of music to connect us all—even when we cannot be together in the concert hall. We are very grateful to WRTI for their long-term support of the Orchestra on the radio and to WHYY for responding so warmly and swiftly in the current circumstances.”

The Orchestra’s radio partner, WRTI-FM 90.1, will broadcast tonight’s performance on March 13 at 2 PM EST and March 15 at 1 PM EST.

The performance will also be available on WHYY-TV at a later date.

All scheduled Philadelphia Orchestra rehearsals, performances, and events through March 23, 2020, are cancelled.

This impacts the following performances at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts and the Academy of Music:

  • BeethovenNOW: Symphonies 5 & 6 (March 12, 14, and 15)
  • BeethovenNOW: Symphonies 2 & 3 (March 19, 21, and 22)
  • Sound All Around: Ensemble (March 21 and 23) 

Ticketholders may exchange tickets to an upcoming performance or support The Philadelphia Orchestra by donating tickets.

To offer increased flexibility, exchange fees will be waived through May 2, 2020, for ticketholders who wish to exchange tickets to upcoming performances.

For those who wish to help with the serious financial impact that concert cancellations will have on The Philadelphia Orchestra, donors can choose to contribute their tickets back as a charitable gift (and receive a tax deduction for the total ticket value).

To exchange or donate tickets, ticketholders may contact Patron Services at 215.893.1999 or Group Sales at 215.893.1968 with any group ticket questions.

Information about supporting The Philadelphia Orchestra through donations can be found online at

As the situation develops, all updates and information can be found online at



BeethovenNOW: Symphonies 5 & 6


Yannick Nézet-Séguin Conductor

Habibi Jeder Baum spricht—World Premiere—Philadelphia Orchestra Commission

Beethoven Symphony No. 5

Beethoven Symphony No. 6 (“Pastoral”)


The indelible four-note opening of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony lays the foundation for a truly fateful symphonic journey. Written in 1804, and on the program when The Philadelphia Orchestra gave its first concert in 1900, it's an epic tour de force that resonates in 2020. Following its rousing conclusion come the verdant valleys and sweet smells of the woods and the Austrian countryside, an exposition of Beethoven's love of nature. Composed and premiered at the same time, the “Pastoral” offers a striking contrast to the assertive Fifth. Also inspired by nature, and based on a direct quote from Beethoven, composer Iman Habibi’s Jeder Baum spricht imagines Beethoven’s response to today’s climate crisis.


Habibi on Jeder Baum spricht

Jeder Baum spricht (Every Tree Speaks) is a direct quote from Beethoven. If he were alive today, what is a topic that Beethoven would really care about? We know from Beethoven’s letters that he took frequent walks in nature and that he loved the forest. My work is a commentary on the environmental catastrophe that we’re living today. It’s too late to reverse what we’ve done to the environment, but there are things we can do to slow down that process and save the planet. The piece ends with that hope for our future.



About The Philadelphia Orchestra


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Natalie Lewis


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Ashley Stahmer


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