Yannick Nézet-Séguin and The Philadelphia Orchestra Launch 2019–20 Season with Opening Night Concert and Gala featuring Audra McDonald September 18, 2019

Posted on August 21, 2019

Tony, Grammy, and Emmy Award winner Audra McDonald will perform selections by Gershwin, Sondheim, Rodgers and Hammerstein, and more

Soprano Adela Zaharia to make Philadelphia Orchestra debut

Audience to participate in program through Pauline Oliveros’s “Tuning Meditation”

Opening Night festivities presented by the Volunteer Committees for The Philadelphia Orchestra


(Philadelphia, August 21, 2019)—The Philadelphia Orchestra launches its 120th season on Wednesday, September 18, at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts with a special Opening Night Concert and Gala, featuring a performance by award-winning singer and actor Audra McDonald. Led by Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin, the Fabulous Philadelphians officially kick off the 2019–20 season with a celebratory program featuring selections by Gershwin, Sondheim, Rodgers and Hammerstein, and more. Acclaimed soprano Adela Zaharia will make her Philadelphia Orchestra debut, performing an aria from Verdi’s La traviata. The concert will also include audience participation in the first Philadelphia Orchestra performance of Pauline Oliveros’s “Tuning Meditation,” from Four Mediations for Orchestra.

“We are thrilled to have the sensational Audra McDonald and Adela Zaharia joining Your Philadelphia Orchestra on stage for our Opening Night Concert,” said Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin, who will begin his eighth season with the Orchestra. “In the spirit of togetherness, we also look forward to having our beloved audience join in Pauline Oliveros’s ‘Tuning Meditation,’ which will undoubtedly be a magical moment of the evening.”

Orchestra President and CEO Matías Tarnopolsky adds, “From the breadth and power of women in music, to the contemporary relevance of Beethoven on his 250th birthday, to Music that Transforms, there is much to look forward to this season! Our Opening Night Concert and Gala is made possible thanks to the dedication of our Volunteer Committees, resulting in what is sure to be an unforgettable evening and an extraordinary start to a season full of musical memories with Your Philadelphia Orchestra.”

The Opening Night Concert and Gala begins with the Benefactors’ Gala Reception at 5:30 PM in the Kimmel Center’s Tier Two Lounge. The concert begins at 7 PM in Verizon Hall and will be performed without intermission. Immediately following the concert, gala attendees will enjoy a black-tie, Asian-inspired dinner—in celebration of the Orchestra’s upcoming fall Tour of Asia—in Commonwealth Plaza, catered by Garces, with décor by Evantine Design, Inc.

Concert and gala tickets, as well as concert-only tickets, are currently on sale. Gala tickets start at $500 and are available online or by calling 215.893.3124. Concert-only tickets range from $95-$250 and are available through Ticket Philadelphia at 215.893.1999 or by visiting www.philorch.org. Young Friends of The Philadelphia Orchestra are invited to attend the Opening Night Concert and Gala for the special price of $175. For more information, visit www.philorch.org/openingnight.

The musicians of The Philadelphia Orchestra and Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin are graciously donating their services for this concert. All gala events are organized under the direction of Volunteer Committees President Nancy Galloway. Early support of the Opening Night Concert and Gala was led by Opening Night Co-Chairs Richelle Rabenou, Peter Shaw, and Assistant Principal Cello Yumi Kendall, as well as The Philadelphia Orchestra’s Board of Directors and dedicated Volunteers.

The Volunteer Committees for The Philadelphia Orchestra were formed in 1904, four years after the Orchestra’s first concerts. The Women’s Committee, as it was originally called, was the first permanent organization of its kind in the U.S., and has since come to serve as a model for similar groups in the U.S. and abroad. The current Volunteer Committees for The Philadelphia Orchestra include Central, Chestnut Hill, Main Line, Musical Cocktails, New Jersey, Rittenhouse Square, and West Philadelphia. Through their endeavors over the past century, thousands of members of the Volunteer Committees have given countless hours and innumerable talents in service to The Philadelphia Orchestra and the people of the greater Philadelphia region.


Opening Night

September 18 at 7:00 PM—Wednesday evening—Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts


The Philadelphia Orchestra

Yannick Nézet-Séguin Conductor


Audra McDonald Soprano


Strauss Suite from Der Rosenkavalier

Verdi “È strano! … Ah, fors’è lui … Sempre libera,” from La traviata

Oliveros “Tuning Meditation,” from Four Meditations for Orchestra

Gershwin, Sondheim, Rodgers and Hammerstein Selections


Audra McDonald is unparalleled in the breadth and versatility of her artistry as both a singer and an actor. The winner of a record-breaking six Tony Awards, two Grammy Awards, and an Emmy Award, she was named one of TIME magazine’s 100 most influential people of 2015 and received a 2015 National Medal of Arts. She joins Yannick and the Orchestra, performing beloved selections by Gershwin, Sondheim, Rodgers and Hammerstein, and more, for a truly unforgettable evening.

Join us to celebrate Yannick’s eighth season as music director and the lush sounds of Your Philadelphia Orchestra. Opening Night Co-Chairs Richelle Rabenou, Peter Shaw, and Assistant Principal Cello Yumi Kendall, and the Opening Night Gala Committee look forward to welcoming you to this celebratory evening with Philadelphia’s cultural leaders and arts patrons.

For gala information and tickets, please call 215.893.3124 or visit www.philorch.org/openingnight.

For concert-only tickets, call 215.893.1999 or visit www.philorch.org.


The Philadelphia Orchestra would like to extend sincere gratitude to our 2019 Opening Night Supporters.


Cocktail Benefactor

Edith R. Dixon


Diamond Benefactor

Patricia and John Imbesi

Joseph Neubauer and Jeanette Lerman-Neubauer

Mari and Peter Shaw

Richard B. Worley and Leslie Miller and the Leslie Miller and Richard Worley Foundation


Platinum Benefactor

Ralph Muller and Beth Johnston

Parx Casino

Stradley Ronon


Gold Benefactor

Mrs. Constance Benoliel-Rock

Judith Broudy

Tobey and Mark Dichter

John and Rosemary Diederich

Lisa and Peter DiLullo

Dilworth Paxsonb LLP

Mrs. Elise R.W. du Pont

Alexandra Edsall and Robert Victor

Joseph and Marie Field

Marcy Gringlas and Joel Greenberg

Stephen Klein and Toby Strogatz

Neal W. Krouse

Bong S. Lee and Soyoung Kim

Malmud-Kavitz Foundation

Dr. Morton and Rhea Mandell

Sandy and David Marshall

Priscilla Seibert McDougal

John McFadden and Lisa Kabnick

Mrs. Vivian Piasecki

Lyn M. Ross

Dianne and Jeffrey Rotwitt

Mr. and Mrs. Mark E. Rubenstein

Marilyn Sanborne and Richard Labowskie

Charles and Suzanne Valutas

R. Brian Wenzinger

Alison Young and David Maser


Principal Benefactor

Dennis L. Adams

Vijay and Susan Aggarwal

Sherrin Baky-Nessler and William Nessler III

Richard and Claudia Balderston

Edward and Melissa Barnes

Peter A. Benoliel and Willo Carey

Joanne M. Berwind

Charlotte H. Biddle

Sibby Brasler

Naomi and Stephen Breman

Elaine Camarda

Rick and Flo Celender

Sara Cerato

Dr. Robert Cody

Suzanne and Norman Cohn

Michael and Constance Cone

Sarah Miller Coulson

Christos Coutifaris

Nancy and Kenneth Davis

Stacy Maria Dutton and Charles McMahon

Drs. Bruce and Toby Eisenstein

Katharine and Bill Eyre

Mrs. Diane Foxman

Linda Frankel

Nancy and John Galloway

Judy and John Glick

Juliet J. Goodfriend

Kate Hall

Lauren Hart and Todd Carmichael

Martin and Cynthia Heckscher

Robert Heim and Eileen Kennedy

Eric and Lenora Hume

Osagie and Losenge Imasogie

Rachelle and Ronald Kaiserman

Dr. and Mrs. Roy M. Lerman

Elizabeth and Edwin Mahoney

Richard and Florence Maloumian

Joseph Manko, Sr.

Susan and Graham McDonald

George and Keiko Miller

Robert E. Mortensen

Ms. Cathy Moss and Mr. Mitchell Harris

Mr. and Mrs. John Moyer

Louise and Alan Reed

Caroline B. Rogers

Dr. Lee D. Rowe and Lauren Rowe

Adele K. Schaeffer

Carole L. Schultz

Mr. Lee F. Shlifer

Constance Smukler

Mrs. Ann R. Sorgenti

Dr. Judith Sills Swartz and Randy Swartz

Dr. Norman L. Sykes

Leonard and Barbara Sylk

Barbara Augusta Teichert

Barbara Y. Tiffany and H. Robert Tiffany III

Maria Vickers

Ramona and Jack Vosbikian

Alex Westenfield

F. Gordon Yasinow

Michael Zisman and Linda Gamble



George D. Beatty

Maggie and Bob Beck

Sally and Roland Bullard

Mr. and Mrs. James Crowell

Alice B. Cullen

Kali and Vincent Curran

Henry and Kathy Donner

John and Gloria Drosdick

Larry Dubinski

Barbara Eberlein and Jerry Wind

Phyllis and Howard Fischer

Toni and Bob Garrison

Marie and Jeffrey Kenkelen

Joseph Kluger and Susan Lewis

Keith A. Layton

Melanie and Harry Martin

Mr. and Mrs. James W. McLane

Mr. Mark Mills

Lynn and Anthony C. Salvo

Ms. Adrienne Simpson and Ingres H. Simpson

Dr. and Mrs. Alan E. Tasoff

Pat West and Tom Vernon

Paul and Lisa Yakulis



Franny and Franny Abbott

Kim and David Adler

Dr. Susan C. Aldridge

Betsy Anderson

Alexis and Martha Barron

Jane Crawford Baumgardner

Frank and Suzanne Binswanger

Harris Block

Ellen and Peter Bodenheimer

Dr. and Mrs. Kirk Brandow

Jennifer and David Cardy

Barbara Chimicles

Peggy Cooke

John and Karen Cunningham

Richard Davidson and Linda Golden

Colleen DeMorat and Ray Domboski

Helen H. Ford

Ms. Noël Butcher Hanley

Benjamin Harbold

Russell Harris, M.D., and Carmen Zinni

Jeff and Breanna Harvey

Marybeth Henry

Dr. and Mrs. Gregory Hillyard

James and Hollie Holt

Andrea and Warren Kantor

Bernice J. Koplin and Guy A. Veroli

Drs. Gary and Deborah Ledley

Hon. and Mrs. Stephen Levin

Dr. David W. Low and Dr. Marija Ugrinich

Constance Madara

Terry and Betty McCabe

Mrs. Philippus Miller, Jr.

Anna and Michael Minkovich

Mattie Moore

David and Arlene Morgan

Dr. Gareth Morris-Stiff

Mr. and Mrs. Steven G. Park

Richelle and Kameron Rabenou

Robert and Catharine Rauscher

Diana M. Regan

Dr. and Mrs. David J. Richards

Katherine and Hugh Roome

Roslyn and Frank Roth

Robin Sagoskin

Carol C. Sherman

Stephen and Carol Spinelli

Mrs. Erna Talapan

Mr. and Mrs. David Teppe

Deborah and Andrew Webster

Richard Weisenberg and Faye Senneca

Harriet and Ken Wiseman

Lisa Witomski and James Scott


Young Friend

Miss Heather Aspras

James and Micaela Brandau

Francesco Caruso

Courtney Carey

Kristin Detterline

Drs. John and Jennifer Fontana

J. Andrew Greenblatt

Mr. and Mrs. Kevin Heilig

Ari S. Kaplan

Ronald Kolla, Esq.

Phoebe Loh

Dr. Nina Radcliff and Carmen Radcliff

Hugo M. Rocha

Len S. and Katie K.

Nicole Salomone

Mr. and Mrs. Justin Shipe

Christopher Stearns and Jared Susco

Alvaro Zarate



Margaret and Robert Morris

Mr. Barclay Whitaker

David A. Wickard


About The Philadelphia Orchestra


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Ashley Berke


[email protected]


Natalie Lewis


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