Virtual Philadelphia Orchestra to Offer Weekly Curated Programs in May and June Featuring New Digital Content and Gems from the Archives

Posted on April 21, 2020

Highlights include:
Yannick Nézet-Séguin’s first subscription concert as music director featuring Verdi’s Requiem;
a celebration of Principal Guest Conductor Stéphane Denève;
the Orchestra’s legendary woodwinds;
global relationships and community partnerships; Spanish-language offerings; and spotlights on the Orchestra’s history and signature sound, including 100th birthday concert from the Academy of Music in 2000

Thursdays at 8 PM—Concert videos
Preceded by live pre-concert conversations at 7 PM on select evenings

Fridays and Saturdays at 8 PM—Listen On Demand audio

Tuesdays at 6 PM—Panel discussions
Wednesdays at 1 PM—Master classes

(Philadelphia, April 21, 2020)—To continue connecting with audiences at home and around the world, Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin and The Philadelphia Orchestra will expand Virtual Philadelphia Orchestra programming through June 2020, with specially curated programs by Nézet-Séguin that highlight the Orchestra’s history and sound, music directors and musicians, global partnerships and community initiatives, and more. Three specific endeavors—WATCH, LISTEN, LEARN—offer audiences everywhere the chance to enjoy new and previously unreleased video and audio, as well as educational content at The Virtual Philadelphia Orchestra is generously funded, in part, by the William Penn Foundation. LEARN initiatives of the Virtual Philadelphia Orchestra are supported by Wells Fargo.

Expanding upon previously themed weeks exploring music of faith and the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth, upcoming Virtual Philadelphia Orchestra content will include a celebration of Stéphane Denève’s tenure as principal guest conductor, in lieu of his final subscription concerts previously scheduled for April 17–18 in Philadelphia, including a never-before-seen conversation between Denève and famed composer and conductor John Williams; a week featuring the Orchestra’s woodwind section, including a panel discussion with the principal winds including newly appointed Principal Oboe Philippe Tondre; and concerts and programs highlighting the institution’s longstanding relationship with China. Events will be added each week; visit for details.

Other highlights include live question-and-answer sessions with Nézet-Séguin, including one specifically for students; master classes with Orchestra musicians; and special discussions with Denève and famed Kimmel Center architect Rafael Viñoly. Leading conductors of the past and present, including former Music Director Wolfgang Sawallisch, Klaus Tennstedt, John Adams, Pablo Heras-Casado, Gianandrea Noseda, Igor Stravinsky, and Fritz Reiner, and exceptional soloists such as Lisa Batiashvili, Yuja Wang, Marian Anderson, and André Watts, perform beloved repertoire in never-before-released performances and unique recent concerts.


Stéphane Denève’s tenure as principal guest conductor with The Philadelphia Orchestra included festivals, Family Concerts, tours, and special events with John Williams. This week’s WATCH program is a family-friendly performance of a July 2015 Neighborhood Concert, during which the community experienced The Philadelphia Orchestra for free. Audiences will also get to watch a never-before-seen in-depth conversation between Denève and John Williams from 2016. Two LISTEN programs demonstrate the breadth of repertoire Denève brought to Philadelphia, from classical to contemporary.

Tuesday, April 21, 2020—6:00 PM
LEARN: Panel Discussion | Stéphane Denève Principal Guest Conductor

Wednesday, April 22, 2020—1:00 PM
LEARN: Master Class | Choong-Jin Chang Principal Viola

Thursday, April 23, 2020—8:00 PM
WATCH: Neighborhood Concert (from July 2015), plus bonus content with John Williams

Stéphane Denève Conductor

Williams Sound the Bells!
Higdon blue cathedral
Bernstein Overture to Candide
Berlioz “Dream of a Witches’ Sabbath,” from Symphonie fantastique
Ravel La Valse

Friday, April 24, 2020—8:00 PM
LISTEN: Russian Favorites (from October 2016)

Stéphane Denève Conductor
Denis Kozhukhin Piano

Tchaikovsky/arr. Stokowski Andante cantabile, from String Quartet No. 1
Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 1
Bach/arr. Siloti Prelude in B minor (encore)
Musorgsky/arr. and orch. Stokowski Boris Godunov: A Symphonic Synthesis
Tchaikovsky 1812 Overture

Saturday, April 25, 2020—8:00 PM
LISTEN: Pines of Rome (from April 2018)

Stéphane Denève Conductor
Nicholas Angelich Piano

Berlioz Roman Carnival Overture
Saint-Saëns Piano Concerto No. 5 (“Egyptian”)
Chopin Mazurka in F minor, Op. 63, No. 2 (encore)
Connesson E chiaro nella valle il fiume appare
Respighi The Pines of Rome

Tribute gifts to honor Stéphane Denève’s tenure as principal guest conductor have been generously made by Constance and Michael Cone, Edith R. Dixon, and Mari and Peter Shaw.

The original Neighborhood Concert was presented by Wells Fargo in partnership with the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts with additional support from the Annenberg Foundation, the City of Philadelphia, the National Endowment of the Arts, the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, and the Philadelphia Cultural Fund.


The “Philadelphia Sound” isn’t just about the strings. The virtuosity of the wind section is at the core of the ensemble’s character. Meet newly appointed Principal Oboe Philippe Tondre in conversation with his principal colleagues. WATCH a performance by former Principal Oboe Richard Woodhams, Tondre’s predecessor for 40 years, playing Christopher Rouse’s Oboe Concerto, along with a thrilling performance of Mahler’s Symphony No. 1. LISTEN to performances of concertos written for Philadelphia Orchestra principal players, as well as luxurious renditions of Mozart’s Sinfonia concertante for winds and Serenade for 12 winds and one double bass.

Tuesday, April 28, 2020—6:00 PM
LEARN: Panel Discussion | Principal winds meet newly appointed Principal Oboe Philippe Tondre, with Principal Flute Jeffrey Khaner, Principal Clarinet Ricardo Morales, Principal Bassoon Daniel Matsukawa, and Principal Horn Jennifer Montone

Wednesday, April 29, 2020—1:00 PM
LEARN: Master Class | Erica Peel Piccolo

Thursday, April 30, 2020—8:00 PM
WATCH: Former Principal Oboe Richard Woodhams Plays Rouse (from January 2011), plus Yannick Nezét-Séguin Conducts Mahler’s First Symphony (from May 2013)

Alan Gilbert Conductor
Yannick Nézet-Séguin Conductor
Richard Woodhams Oboe

Rouse Oboe Concerto (Gilbert/Woodhams)
Mahler Symphony No. 1 (Nézet-Séguin)

Friday, May 1, 2020—8:00 PM
LISTEN: Commissioned Works for Principal Players: Principal Flute Jeffrey Khaner Plays Jones (from January 2018), Principal Bassoon Daniel Matsukawa Plays Ludwig (from November 2013), Principal Timpani Don Liuzzi Plays Wright (from April 2016), Principal Percussion Christopher Deviney and She-e Wu Play Metheny and Mays (from March/April 2017)

Pablo Heras-Casado Conductor
Yannick Nézet-Séguin Conductor
Bramwell Tovey Conductor
Jeffrey Khaner Flute
Daniel Matsukawa Bassoon
Don Liuzzi Timpani
Christopher Deviney Vibraphone
She-e Wu Marimba

Jones Flute Concerto—world premiere—Philadelphia Orchestra commission (Heras-Casado/Khaner)

Ludwig Pictures from the Floating World, for bassoon and orchestra—world premiere—Philadelphia Orchestra commission (Nézet-Séguin/Matsukawa)
Wright Resounding Drums, for timpani and orchestra—world premiere—Philadelphia Orchestra commission (Nézet-Séguin/Liuzzi)
Metheny and Mays/arr. and orch. Deviney Imaginary Day, Duo Concerto for Vibraphone, Marimba, and Orchestra—world premiere—Philadelphia Orchestra commission (Tovey/Deviney/Wu)

Saturday, May 2, 2020—8:00 PM
LISTEN: Mozart’s Sinfonia concertante for Winds (from June 2019) and “Gran Partita” (from March 2014)

Yannick Nézet-Séguin Conductor
Herbert Blomstedt Conductor
Richard Woodhams Oboe
Ricardo Morales Clarinet
Daniel Matsukawa Bassoon
Jennifer Montone Horn

Mozart Sinfonia concertante, for winds and orchestra (Nézet-Séguin)
Mozart Serenade in B-flat major (“Gran Partita”) (Blomstedt)


The Philadelphia Orchestra was the first American orchestra to visit China, in 1973. Since then, the Orchestra has maintained a special relationship with Chinese audiences. WATCH former Music Director Wolfgang Sawallisch lead a concert at Beijing’s Great Hall of the People, the Orchestra’s first concert in China since its inaugural 1973 visit. Two additional WATCH programs pay homage to the Orchestra’s cultural exchange with China.

Thursday, May 7, 2020—8:00 PM
WATCH: Concert from Beijing’s Great Hall of the People (from May 1993)

Wolfgang Sawallisch Conductor

Schubert Symphony No. 8 (“Unfinished”)
Strauss Till Eulenspiegel’s Merry Pranks
Dvořák Symphony No. 9 (“From the New World”)


This week features never-before-seen video of a performance of Verdi’s Requiem from Yannick Nézet-Séguin’s inaugural weekend as music director in October 2012. The remainder of the week showcases concerts created in collaboration with the Philadelphia community. Composer-in-residence from 2016 to 2019, Hannibal Lokumbe premiered One Land, One River, One People with the Orchestra, exploring the resilience of the human spirit. Tod Machover’s Philadelphia Voices was created over the course of a year, uniquely capturing the words, sounds, and soul of Philadelphia.

Tuesday, May 12, 2020—1:00 PM
LEARN: Yannick Q+A for Students

Wednesday, May 13, 2020—1:00 PM
LEARN: Master Class with All-City Orchestra Students

Thursday, May 14, 2020—8:00 PM
WATCH: Verdi’s Requiem (from October 2012)

Yannick Nézet-Séguin Conductor
Marina Poplavskaya Soprano
Christine Rice Mezzo-soprano
Rolando Villazón Tenor
Mikhail Petrenko Bass
Westminster Symphonic Choir

Verdi Requiem

Friday, May 15, 2020—8:00 PM
LISTEN: Copland’s Appalachian Spring (from November 2015)

Yannick Nézet-Séguin Conductor
Laquita Mitchell Soprano
Rodrick Dixon Tenor
Delaware State University Choir
Lincoln University Concert Choir
Morgan State University Choir

Sibelius Finlandia
Copland Appalachian Spring
Hannibal One Land, One River, One People—world premiere of complete work—Philadelphia Orchestra commission

Saturday, May 16, 2020—8:00 PM
LISTEN: Philadelphia Voices (from April 2018)

Yannick Nézet-Séguin Conductor
Dante Michael DiMaio Boy Soprano
Westminster Symphonic Choir
Keystone State Boychoir
Pennsylvania Girlchoir
Sister Cities Girlchoir

Bernstein Chichester Psalms
Machover Philadelphia Voices—world premiere—Philadelphia Orchestra commission
Musorgsky/orch. Ravel Pictures from an Exhibition

WEEK OF MAY 18: La música trasciende el lenguaje

The Philadelphia Orchestra presents a special week featuring panel discussions and master classes in Spanish. WATCH Principal Clarinet Ricardo Morales perform Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto and LISTEN to a collection of newly released clarinet concertos performed by Morales over the past decade. Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos was a long-time collaborator with The Philadelphia Orchestra, having made his United States debut with the ensemble in 1969. LISTEN to his final performance as a guest conductor from 2013.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020—6:00 PM
LEARN: Panel Discussion | Erina Yashima Assistant Conductor; Lina Gonzalez-Granados Conducting Fellow

Wednesday, May 20, 2020—1:00 PM
LEARN: Master Class | Socrates Villegas Clarinet [en español]

Thursday, May 21, 2020—7:00 PM
LEARN: Pre-concert Lecture: Ricardo Morales Principal Clarinet; Ernesto Tovar Torres Horn; Matías Tarnopolsky President and CEO [en español]

Thursday, May 21, 2020—8:00 PM
WATCH: Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto (from January 2010)

Bernard Labadie Conductor
Ricardo Morales Clarinet

Mozart Clarinet Concerto

Friday, May 22, 2020—8:00 PM
LISTEN: Morales Plays Leshnoff’s Concerto (from April 2016), Weber’s First Concerto (from April 2014), Weber’s Second Concerto (from February 2019), Debussy’s Rhapsody and Rossini’s Introduction, Theme, and Variations (from November 2014), and Copland’s Concerto (from December 2011)

Yannick Nézet-Séguin Conductor
Christoph von Dohnányi Conductor
Joshua Weilerstein Conductor
Juanjo Mena Conductor
Marin Alsop Conductor
Ricardo Morales Clarinet

Leshnoff Clarinet Concerto (“Nekudim”)—world premiere—Philadelphia Orchestra commission (Nézet-Séguin)
Weber Clarinet Concerto No. 1 (Dohnányi)
Clarinet Concerto No. 2 (Weilerstein)
Rhapsody No. 1 (Mena)
Introduction, Theme, and Variations for Clarinet and Orchestra (Mena)
Clarinet Concerto (Alsop)

Saturday, May 23, 2020—8:00 PM
LISTEN: Frühbeck Conducts Lalo, Ravel, and Debussy (from October 2013)

Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos Conductor
Augustin Hadelich Violin

Lalo Symphonie espagnole, for violin and orchestra
Debussy La Mer
Ravel Suite No. 2 from Daphnis and Chloé


Hear from pioneering women artists and collaborators in this week’s panel discussions and master classes. WATCH leading women soloists and LISTEN to the music of women composers featured over the past several seasons.

Thursday, May 28, 2020—8:00 PM
WATCH: Bartók’s First Violin Concerto (from May 2014)

Yannick Nézet-Séguin Conductor
Lisa Batiashvili Violin

Bartók Violin Concerto No. 1

Friday, May 29, 2020—8:00 PM
LISTEN: Boulanger, Fung, Di Castri, and Higdon (from January and February 2020 [Boulanger, Fung, Di Castri], and December 2011 [Higdon])

Yannick Nézet-Séguin Conductor
Karina Canellakis Conductor

Boulanger Of a Sad Evening (Nézet-Séguin)
Fung Dust Devils (Nézet-Séguin)
Di Castri Lineage (Canellakis)
Higdon Concerto for Orchestra (Nézet-Séguin)

Saturday, May 30, 2020—8:00 PM
LISTEN: Coleman, Daugherty, Frank, and Farrenc (from September 2019 [Coleman], March 2015 [Daugherty], October 2012 [Frank], and January/February 2020 [Farrenc])

Yannick Nézet-Séguin Conductor
Gianandrea Noseda Conductor

Carol Jantsch Tuba

Coleman Umoja, Anthem for Unity, for orchestra—world premiere—Philadelphia Orchestra commission (Nézet-Séguin)
Daugherty Reflections on the Mississippi, for tuba and orchestra (Noseda)
Frank Concertino Cusqueño—world premiere—Philadelphia Orchestra commission (Nézet-Séguin)
Farrenc Symphony No. 2 (Nézet-Séguin)


Bruckner’s final, unfinished Symphony No. 9 leaves the listener wondering what the composer had left unsaid. Or was he so aware of his own demise that the wrenching Adagio, the last movement he would complete, are his parting words dedicated to “the beloved God?” LISTEN to two wonderous tales: Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique depicts the composer’s opium-induced hallucinations of his unrequited love and Maurice Ravel’s L’Enfant et les sortilèges depicts a child’s vivid daydreams of his childhood room coming to life. 

Thursday, June 4, 2020—8:00 PM
WATCH: Bruckner’s Final Symphony (from May 2014)

Yannick Nézet-Séguin Conductor

Bruckner Symphony No. 9

Friday, June 5, 2020—8:00 PM
LISTEN: Yannick and Yuja (from September 2016)

Yannick Nézet-Séguin Conductor
Yuja Wang Piano

Chopin Piano Concerto No. 2
Mozart/arr. Volodos and Say Third movement from Piano Sonata No. 11, K. 331 (encore)
Berlioz Symphonie fantastique

Saturday, June 6, 2020—8:00 PM
LISTEN: Sorcerers, Spells, and Magic (from February 2020)

Stéphane Denève Conductor
Isabel Leonard Mezzo-soprano (The Child)
Anna Christy Soprano (The Fire / The Nightingale / The Princess)
Meigui Zhang Soprano (The Bergère / The Bat / The Screech-Owl / A Country Lass)
Valentina Pluzhnikova Mezzo-soprano (The White Cat / The Squirrel / A Herdsman)
Sara Couden Contralto (Mama / The Chinese Cup / The Dragonfly)
Mathias Vidal Tenor (The Teapot / The Little Old Man / The Tree Frog)
John Moore Baritone (The Comtoise Clock / The Black Cat)
Yunpeng Wang Baritone (The Armchair / A Tree)
Westminster Symphonic Choir (The Shepherds / The Herdsmen / The Tree Frogs / The Animals / The Trees)
Philadelphia Boys Choir (The Bench / The Sofa / The Stool / The Wicker Chair / The Numbers)

Mozart Overture to The Magic Flute
Dukas The Sorcerer’s Apprentice
Williams Selections from Harry Potter
Ravel L’Enfant et les sortilèges


WATCH the Orchestra’s historic 100th birthday concert performed at the Academy of Music, conducted by Wolfgang Sawallisch. Plus, hear historic recordings from some of the greatest maestros ever to visit the Philadelphia podium. Throughout the week, we will pay tribute to musicians celebrating 25 years with the Orchestra and those who selflessly serve our community.

Thursday, June 11, 2020—8:00 PM
WATCH: The Philadelphia Orchestra’s 100th Birthday Concert (November 2000)

Wolfgang Sawallisch Conductor
André Watts Piano
Sarah Chang Violin
Thomas Hampson Baritone

Bach/orch. Stokowski Toccata and Fugue in D minor
Dukas The Sorcerer’s Apprentice
Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 2
Sarasate Carmen Fantasy, for violin and orchestra
Copland Selections from Old American Songs
Stravinsky Suite from The Firebird

Friday, June 12, 2020—8:00 PM
LISTEN: Reiner and Tennstedt (from November 1931 [Reiner] and November 1985 [Tennstedt])

Fritz Reiner Conductor
Klaus Tennstedt Conductor

Wagner Transformation Music, from Parsifal, Act I (Reiner)
Barber Adagio for Strings (Tennstedt)

Saturday, June 13, 2020—8:00 PM
LISTEN: Walter, Munch, and Toscanini (from March 1947 [Walter], March 1963 [Munch], and February 1942 [Toscanini])

Bruno Walter Conductor
Charles Munch Conductor
Arturo Toscanini Conductor

Debussy Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun (Walter)
Ravel Suite No. 2 from Daphnis and Chloé (Munch)
Berlioz “Queen Mab” Scherzo, from Romeo and Juliet (Toscanini)


WATCH the Orchestra’s inaugural concert in Verizon Hall and join a conversation with the hall’s renowned architect, Rafael Viñoly. Plus, LISTEN to the Orchestra perform in some of the world’s greatest concert halls.

Thursday, June 18, 2020—7:00 PM
LEARN: Pre-concert Lecture | Rafael Viñoly Kimmel Center Architect

Thursday, June 18, 2020—8:00 PM
WATCH: Kimmel Center Opening Concert (from December 2001)

Wolfgang Sawallisch Conductor
Emanuel Ax Piano
Itzhak Perlman Violin
Yo-Yo Ma Cello
The Philadelphia Singers Chorale

Kernis Color Wheel—world premiere—Philadelphia Orchestra commission
Beethoven Triple Concerto, for piano, violin, cello, and orchestra
Ravel Suite No. 2 from Daphnis and Chloé


WATCH and LISTEN to great works of Tchaikovsky led by Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin. These programs feature some of the composer’s lesser-heard symphonic works, including the Symphony No. 2, the Manfred Symphony, and selections from Swan Lake.

Thursday, June 25, 2020—8:00 PM
WATCH: Tchaikovsky’s Second Symphony (from December 2011)

Yannick Nézet-Séguin Conductor

Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 2

Friday, June 26, 2020—8:00 PM
LISTEN: Swan Lake and Bluebeard’s Castle (from March 2017)

Yannick Nézet-Séguin Conductor
John Relyea Bass (Bluebeard)
Michelle DeYoung Mezzo-soprano (Judith)

Tchaikovsky Selections from Swan Lake
Bartók Bluebeard’s Castle

Saturday, June 27, 2020—8:00 PM
LISTEN: Muhly’s Organ Premiere and Tchaikovsky’s Manfred (from March 2019)

Yannick Nézet-Séguin Conductor
James McVinnie Organ

Muhly Register, Concerto for Organ and Orchestra
Tchaikovsky Manfred Symphony

This program is part of the Fred J. Cooper Memorial Organ Experience, made possible through the generous support of the Wyncote Foundation.


The Philadelphia Orchestra has enjoyed relationships with the greatest composers of the last 120 years. This week’s presentations will highlight historic premieres and performances with the likes of Igor Stravinsky, Aaron Copland, and Zoltán Kodály, as well as the most notable composers of today. LISTEN to John Adams conduct his own music in a concert from September 2019.

Thursday, July 2, 2020—8:00 PM
WATCH: Barber, Ravel, and Shostakovich (from May 2014 [Barber] and January 2013 [Ravel and Shostakovich])

Yannick Nézet-Séguin Conductor

Barber Adagio for Strings
Ravel La Valse
Shostakovich Symphony No. 5

Friday, July 3, 2020—8:00 PM
LISTEN: Composers as Conductors: Copland, Kodály, and Stravinsky (from August 1976 [Copland], November 1946 [Kodály], and January 1947 [Stravinsky])

Aaron Copland Conductor
Zoltán Kodály Conductor
Igor Stravinsky Conductor
Marian Anderson Narrator

Copland Lincoln Portrait (Copland/Anderson)
Kodály Variations on a Hungarian Folksong (“The Peacock”) (Kodály)
Stravinsky Divertimento, Suite from The Fairy’s Kiss (Stravinsky)

Saturday, July 4, 2020—8:00 PM
LISTEN: Scheherazade.2 (from September 2019)

John Adams Conductor
Leila Josefowicz Violin

Ravel Alborada del gracioso
Stravinsky Song of the Nightingale
Adams Scheherazade.2, Dramatic Symphony for Violin and Orchestra

All programs subject to change and may be available for streaming for a limited time.

Due to rapidly evolving developments, and in accordance with the City of Philadelphia’s recommendation that all large gatherings be suspended to limit community transmission of COVID-19, all scheduled Philadelphia Orchestra rehearsals, performances, and events through the remainder of the 201920 subscription season (June 7, 2020) are cancelled.

Patrons are encouraged to contribute to The Philadelphia Orchestra’s future by donating their tickets for cancelled concerts back to the Orchestra, considering a gift of any size, and subscribing early to the 2020–21 season. To learn more about making a gift, visit



Ashley Berke 215.893.1939
[email protected]

Natalie Lewis 215.893.3136
[email protected]

Ashley Stahmer 215.893.3142
[email protected]

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