Yannick and Lisa Batiashvili have enchanted concert audiences all over the world; she returns to the Orchestra with Tchaikovsky's spectacular Violin Concerto anchoring two different programs over two weekends. This concert highlights Scandinavia: Sibelius's Seventh Symphony was a U.S. premiere for the Orchestra with Leopold Stokowski, long a champion of the Finnish master's works. And you may not be familiar with Sweden's Franz Berwald, but his beautiful Third Symphony, composed in 1845, makes a compelling pair with the Sibelius.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!