About the Program
eZseatU memberships for the 2018-19 season are on sale now! Purchase your membership today.
Here is how the program works:
Buy membership: Purchase your $25 eZseatU membership online and create your personal online account.
Reserve your FREE tickets: Each Tuesday morning, you will receive an e-mail outlining the concerts offered that week, reservation procedures, and other important information. Every week, tickets will be made available on Tuesday at 4 PM. The link to purchase tickets will be included in the e-mail, or found under the eZseatU 2018-19 tab when you log in to "My Account." Each eZseatU member is entitled to one ticket per concert. Tickets will generally sell out quickly after the release. It is encouraged that you attempt to reserve your ticket as soon as possible.
Bring friends: eZseatU members may purchase $8 student add-on tickets for most performances. Each student guest with an $8 add-on ticket must also have a valid full-time college student ID. The number of add-on tickets made available is subject to change each week.
Concert night: Print out your tickets and bring them to the concert with your valid full-time college student ID (guest student add-on ticket holders must have valid full-time college student ID as well). Anyone who fails to present a college student ID will not be admitted. Your tickets will be scanned at the eZseatU table in the Kimmel Center lobby, and you will be seated by an usher 10 minutes before the performance starts. No late seating will be available for any concerts. You cannot be checked-in after the usher has seated the students.
Additional generous support is provided by the Amy P. Goldman Foundation.
Have more questions? Read our FAQs to find out more.
- You must have a valid current full-time college student ID for the current academic year to participate.
- Reservations and seating are subject to availability.
- All artists, dates, prices, and programs subject to change.
- eZseatU memberships are valid for all regular subscription Philadelphia Orchestra concerts September through June at the Kimmel Center. Memberships expire at the end of the 2018-19 season.
- All add-on tickets must be used by full-time students with valid student IDs.
- Always bring your printed ticket and valid student ID to concerts. Anyone who fails to present a valid student ID will not be admitted.
- Tickets issued are general admission. Seating location in the concert hall is dependent on availability. If someone has a purchased ticket for the seat you have been placed in at a particular concert, please allow them to take their seat and find an usher who will reseat you.
- If eZseatU reservations have been sold out for a particular concert, there are still other options for students!
- Some concerts may not have tickets available through the eZseatU program should they sell out in advance of a weekly e-mail alert for ticket reservations. Keep checking this page throughout the season for the most up to date concert availability information.
Celebrate 10 years of music-making between Yannick and the Philadelphians. André Watts soloed at Yannick's Philadelphia Orchestra debut in 2008; he celebrates the 10th anniversary with Grieg's stirring Piano Concerto. With the Metropolitan Opera giving the U.S. premiere of Nico Muhly's sensational opera Marnie, based on Winston Graham's book and Alfred Hitchcock's film, we present the world premiere of the companion orchestral suite (a Philadelphia Orchestra commission).
Lisa Batiashvili returns for Tchaikovsky’s spectacular Violin Concerto with Yannick at the podium.
Join us on a whirlwind tour of the music of South America and, courtesy of New Yorker George Gershwin, the Caribbean! His 1932 Cuban Overture is awash in rhumba rhythms. Principal Harp Elizabeth Hainen shines in Ginastera's Harp Concerto, given its world premiere by The Philadelphia Orchestra in 1965. Fellow Argentinian Astor Piazzolla's Tangazo mines the tango's rich emotional depths as only he could.
This first program features two Stokowski orchestrations: “Adoramus te Christe” by Palestrina (a composer Barnes felt affinity for) and Debussy's “The Sunken Cathedral.” Concertmaster David Kim solos in Chausson's elegant Poème, and Debussy's La Mer paints an indelible picture of the sea.
In this second program, we witness The Creation of the World, courtesy of Frenchman Darius Milhaud, who was energized by the jazz he heard on a visit to Harlem. Francis Poulenc's Organ Concerto is a dazzling showpiece for the marvelous Fred. J. Cooper Memorial Organ. The Rite of Spring—first brought to America by Leopold Stokowski and the Philadelphians— remains a primal, shattering musical masterpiece. Albert Barnes once wrote about the strong link he saw between the works of Henri Matisse and Stravinsky's compositions. This program reveals the intellectual and artistic zeal Barnes and Stokowski shared, which resonates to this day.
Louis Langrée returns to lead this feast of French favorites, some of them especially attuned to the spooky season! Dukas's The Sorcerer's Apprentice, immortalized in Fantasia, returns on subscription. The Saint-Saëns is delightfully macabre. And Franck's Accursed Huntsman tells the cautionary tale of a hunter who broke the Sabbath, to his eternal regret.
A pair of Philadelphia Orchestra debuts, by two rapidly rising stars: David Afkham on the podium and Seong-Jin Cho at the keyboard. Cho brings his prize-winning technique to Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 20. Beethoven's stirring Coriolan Overture was inspired by a play about war and peace in ancient Rome. Brahms was daunted by Beethoven's towering legacy; that may be why it took him so long to finish his majestic Symphony No. 1. For almost 150 years, audiences have agreed it was worth the wait.
Yannick teams up with mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato, one of the biggest vocal talents in the world, a rare combination of exceptional skills and winning personality. She'll shine in Chausson's musical poem about love, death, and the sea. The Philadelphians take center stage in Wagner's Prelude to Act I of Lohengrin and Respighi's Fountains of Rome. And we are eager to welcome back American composer Mason Bates after the resounding success of his fascinating and futuristic Alternative Energy in 2017.
Acclaimed French conductor Emmanuelle Haïm makes her Philadelphia Orchestra debut, presenting two of the leading lights of English Baroque music. Handel's Music for the Royal Fireworks has been lighting up the sky (in concert halls!) since 1749. In his cantata Il delirio amoroso (The Delirium of Love), soprano Erin Morley brings the “silken clarity … and the needlepoint precision of her coloratura” (The New York Times) to this Orpheus-like tale based on classical mythology.
You may think you know Appalachian Spring, but the newly completed version performed here is the complete chamber ballet score orchestrated for a large ensemble. (Eugene Ormandy himself asked Copland to expand the orchestration a half century ago.) Consider it our “simple gift” to you! Our good friend Cristian Macelaru leads this all-American program. He's arranged a suite from Jake Heggie's opera Moby Dick (“a masterpiece of clarity and intensity”—San Francisco Chronicle).
Don't miss hearing this powerful musical partnership. The legendary Emanuel Ax solos in Brahms's stirring Second Piano Concerto (he seems “to enfold every listener in a metaphorical embrace”—The Seattle Times). And Yannick and the Orchestra present Dvorák's Seventh Symphony, inspired by Brahms (and by Dvorák's intense Czech patriotism).
Handel's immortal oratorio as you've never experienced it! One of music's greatest Christmas traditions comes to life, with Yannick leading a brilliant array of singers and musicians. Our soloists include the exciting Baroque specialist Carolyn Sampson, lyrical countertenor Christophe Dumaux, the versatile Jonas Hacker, and the brilliant Philippe Sly, beautifully supported by the Westminster Symphonic Choir.
Bramwell Tovey brings his delightful spirit to this charming program that's just right for kids of all ages. Britten's Young Person's Guide is surely the most enjoyable music-appreciation class ever, especially under Tovey's enchanted baton (he also delivers the captivating narration). Once an annual staple on network television, Amahl tells the story of Christmas through a shepherd boy's encounter with the Magi, as they journey to meet a miraculous newborn child. You'll never forget this mystical encounter with the three Night Visitors. The program kicks off with the royally inspired Crown Imperial for orchestra and organ.
We continue our celebration of Leonard Bernstein's birth centenary with his dramatic, spiritual Symphony No. 3 (“Kaddish”), programmed with Rossini's Stabat Mater. Yannick describes the pairing of these two works as “A program which is very much in the vein of what I think personally about spirituality: the work of a Catholic composer, Rossini's Stabat Mater, and a Jewish composer, Leonard Bernstein, his Third Symphony, ‘Kaddish.'
The breadth and depth of Tchaikovsky's musical genius are on display in this dazzling celebration of his music, led by our dynamic Assistant Conductor Kensho Watanabe. Inspired by a trip to sunny Italy, Tchaikovsky transforms the sounds he heard all around him into a delightful “Italian Fantasia” (his original title for Capriccio italien). He turns to Mozart for inspiration in his Rococo Variations, the closest Tchaikovsky came to writing a cello concerto, performed by rising star Edgar Moreau.
Cristian Macelaru returns to take us to sunny Spain, joined by the Grammy™-winning Los Angeles Guitar Quartet. They star in Rodrigo's Concierto andaluz, a sparkling blend of Baroque music and traditional Spanish sounds. Chabrier may have been a Frenchman, but his España was inspired by a trip to Spain; this piece will take you there.
We welcome back Esa-Pekka Salonen for a program of music that's sure to win hearts, minds, and ears. There's more to Richard Strauss's Zarathustra than the few notes heard in Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey: It's a unique experience in the concert hall with orchestra and the Fred J. Cooper Memorial Organ. The Viola Concerto was one of Bartók's last compositions.
A Czech composer's take on a Russian-Ukrainian novelist's (Gogol) tale of a Cossack hero—Janácek's tone poem Taras Bulba is gorgeous music! And so, of course, is Weber's Clarinet Concerto No. 2, thrillingly realized by our brilliant Principal Clarinet Ricardo Morales. Brahms's penultimate symphony shows the master composer at the peak of his musical powers, a fitting conclusion to this dynamic program, led by Andrés Orozco-Estrada.
An acclaimed contralto turned conductor, Nathalie Stutzmann wowed the audience at her 2016 debut conducting Messiah. She returns to make her subscription debut with a program featuring Benjamin Grosvenor in Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 1. A Gramophone “Young Artist Award” winner, Grosvenor has established himself as one of today's finest pianists. Beethoven's Fourth Symphony, and the ever-surprising Symphony No. 94 by Haydn (Beethoven's teacher), are sublime musical companions.
A piano prodigy returns! Jan Lisiecki may be young, but he's already a seasoned master at the keyboard (and a regular with the Orchestra—he made his debut at age 18). He'll shine in Mendelssohn's innovative Piano Concerto No. 1. Yannick also brings us Haydn's stirring Overture to the opera L'isola disabitata, part of his focus on that composer's music, as well as Schubert's Symphony in C major, his final completed symphony, and absolutely deserving of its less formal title: the “Great.”
Soloist James McVinnie cut his teeth in the great British cathedrals (he played for William and Kate's wedding at Westminster Abbey) and consistently wows the critics (“musically and technically immaculate”—Los Angeles Times). He joins the Orchestra in the East Coast premiere of Nico Muhly's Organ Concerto, a co-commission with the Los Angeles Philharmonic. In McVinnie's hands, hear the Fred J. Cooper Memorial Organ in all its glory.
Hannibal completes his tenure as composer-in-residence with the world premiere of Healing Tones, a hymn for the City of Brotherly Love. He's spent the past two years immersing himself in Philadelphia, collecting inspiration, texts, and music from all walks of life. Given his past triumphs here (including One Land, One River, One People), Hannibal's new piece is sure to enthrall. Yannick continues his complete cycle of the Sibelius symphonies with the Second.
Twentieth-century musical titan meets Elizabethan genius playwright: Prokofiev's three suites from Romeo and Juliet are concert favorites. Here, we present much more of the music that has made Shakespeare's immortal tragedy come alive in performances around the globe. If you've never seen the ballet, you'll be amazed at how Prokofiev's searing score captures all the drama and heartbreak of this immortal story!
Mozart's haunting Requiem is accompanied by glimpses of the composer at different stages of his all-too-brief life. He was only 17 when he wrote his Symphony No. 25. (You may know it from the opening of the film Amadeus.) The Masonic Funeral Music is a product of his late 20s, composed in memory of two of his fellow Masons, both Viennese aristocrats. And of course, the Requiem came at the very end of Mozart's life: He died before he could finish it. The version heard on these concerts was completed by the brilliant Mozart scholar Robert Levin.
Jonathan Biss once declared himself “a fanatic for every note Schumann wrote.” Reap the benefits as he performs the composer's only piano concerto, strongly championed by his wife, Clara, who played the work's premiere in 1846. From its indelible opening theme to its thundering finale, the “Eroica” Symphony is one of Beethoven's most popular works. It simply must be experienced live; no one does it better than the Fabulous Philadelphians!
With a premiere performance by Fritz Kreisler, and a premiere recording by a teenaged Yehudi Menuhin, Elgar's Violin Concerto was no doubt destined to become a staple of the violin repertoire. Our soloist, Nikolaj Znaider, is internationally renowned as a violinist. And he has a special connection to the Elgar Concerto: He plays Kreisler's Guarneri violin! Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 5 is among his most popular works, with its stirring evocation of “fate,” from somber to triumphant.
Yannick continues his deeply felt exploration of Gustav Mahler's symphonies with the Ninth, the last of the great symphonies he was able to complete before his death in 1911. Critics, musicians, and music lovers have struggled to convey the enormous scope of this piece; the great conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic Herbert von Karajan described the Ninth as “music coming from another world … from eternity.” Musically ingenious and emotionally intense—Is it about the wonder of life?
Igor Stravinsky composed his Funeral Song in 1908, as a memorial tribute to his teacher, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov. The score was lost for over 100 years and was only rediscovered in 2015. It now offers fascinating insights into Stravinsky's emerging orchestral technique. The score to Rachmaninoff's Symphony No. 1 was also lost for a time after the composer left Russia; it is now firmly established in the symphonic repertoire. Prokofiev's Third Piano Concerto is his most popular.
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The Rachmaninoff Symphony No. 1 gets a well-deserved encore. Richard Woodhams, principal oboe from 1977 until his upcoming retirement at the end of the 2017-18 season, returns for this encore collaboration with his principal colleagues in this charming work for a quartet of winds and orchestra.
In a capstone to our Leonard Bernstein centenary celebration, we present his quirky, complex, irreverent, and very humorous operetta Candide, with orchestral staging. First performed in 1956, the work has come into its own in recent decades, thanks to Bernstein's endless musical inventiveness and collaborators from Stephen Sondheim to Dorothy Parker (and of course, Voltaire, who wrote the original story, published in 1759).