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Celebrate the Holidays with The Philadelphia Orchestra

November 21, 2017

Four festive programs embrace the spirit of the season

with family programming, The Glorious Sound of Christmas,

Messiah, and a New Year’s Eve celebration


(Philadelphia, November 22, 2017)—Spend the holiday season with The Philadelphia Orchestra, as Verizon Hall comes to life with the joyful sounds of the season! December will kick off with the Christmas Kids’ Spectacular (December 2), a Family Concert featuring popular Christmas tunes and a special visit from the jolly man himself. Festivities continue with the beloved holiday program The Glorious Sound of Christmas (December 14-17), led by the charming Bramwell Tovey, and Handel’s famed oratorio Messiah (December 21-22), led by Cristian Măcelaru and featuring a world-class line-up of vocalists. Finally, the Orchestra closes out 2017 with its annual New Year’s Eve Concert (December 31), as Principal Guest Conductor Stéphane Denève takes the audience on a musical tour of the world.

Beyond the concert hall, The Philadelphia Orchestra recently released The Glorious Sound of Christmas album, a recreation of its 1963 gold record. In the updated release, guest conductor Bramwell Tovey leads the Orchestra and the Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia, putting his own spin on a number of classic carols with some of his own arrangements. The live recording, taken from performances in Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center in 2014 and 2015, also includes the world premiere of Tovey’s original “The Rittenhouse Carol,” written for The Philadelphia Orchestra. The album is available for purchase on iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, and other major digital retailers.

Fans are also reminded that the best gift this holiday season is the gift of music! Concert tickets and gift certificates make great gifts for loved ones. The Orchestra will hold a Cyber Monday sale on November 27, during which most individual concert tickets will be available for $49 with no additional fees. For a complete list of seating sections and concerts available at this price, visit www.philorch.org/cybermondaysavings.


Tickets for these and other events can be purchased online at www.philorch.org, by phone at 215.893.1999, or at the Kimmel Center Box Office. Prices and availability vary by event.

2017 Philadelphia Orchestra Holiday Programming

Christmas Kids’ Spectacular

December 2 at 11:30 AM––Saturday morning––Verizon Hall at The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts

Aram Demirjian Conductor

The Rock School for Dance Education

         Bojan Spassoff President and Director

Charlotte Blake Alston Narrator

Various                        Christmas Festival Overture

Korngold                      Overture to The Snowman

Rimsky-Korsakov         Polonaise, from Christmas Eve

Tchaikovsky                 Selections from The Nutcracker

Bizet                            "Farandole," from L'Arlésienne, Suite No. 2

Bass                             The Night Before Christmas

Various                        A Holly and Jolly Sing-Along

Anderson                     Sleigh Ride


Come for a festive celebration of your favorite Christmas tunes, including Sleigh Ride, music from The Nutcracker, and delightful sing-alongs. Listen up for those jingle bells, too—you never know who might pay a special visit! Come early for a “Pre-Concert Adventure” beginning at 10 AM (free for all ticket holders). Vocalist and pianist Suzanne Sweeny presents “Settlement’s Holiday Celebration,” an interactive workshop on the Plaza Stage featuring holiday stories and songs!


The Glorious Sound of Christmas

December 14 at 7:00 PM––Thursday evening––Verizon Hall at The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts

December 15 at 7:00 PM––Friday evening––Verizon Hall at The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts

December 16 at 7:00 PM––Saturday evening––Verizon Hall at The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts

December 17 at 2:00 PM––Sunday afternoon––Verizon Hall at The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts

Bramwell Tovey Conductor and Piano

J’Nai Bridges Mezzo-soprano

Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia (Paul Rardin, artistic director and principal conductor)

Traditional                   “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel”

Mendelssohn               “Hark! the Herald Angels Sing”

Adam                           “O Holy Night”

Holst                            “In the Bleak Midwinter”

Hairston                       “Mary's Boy Child”

Niles                            “I Wonder as I Wander”

Tovey                           “The Rittenhouse Carol”

Rimsky-Korsakov         “Dance of the Tumblers,” from The Snow Maiden

Anderson                     Sleigh Ride

Traditional                   “Go Tell It on the Mountain”

Pierpont                       Jingle Bells Overture

MacGimsey                  “Sweet Little Jesus Boy”

Traditional                   “God Rest Ye, Merry Gentlemen”

Kent                             “I’ll Be Home for Christmas”

Wade                            “O Come, All Ye Faithful”

The wildly popular Bramwell Tovey returns for this holiday tradition, inspired by the legendary Ormandy/Philadelphia Orchestra recording of the same name from 1963. From classics to seasonal favorites, Maestro Tovey brings his unique touch, whimsical sense of humor, and flair for the unexpected to the podium.


Handel’s Messiah

December 21 at 7:00 PM––Thursday evening––Verizon Hall at The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts

December 22 at 7:00 PM––Friday evening––Verizon Hall at The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts

Cristian Măcelaru Conductor

Ekaterina Siurina Soprano

Jamie Barton Mezzo-soprano

Nicholas Phan Tenor

Mark Stone Baritone

Philadelphia Symphonic Choir (Joe Miller, director)

Handel                         Messiah

Since its premiere in Dublin in 1742, Handel's beloved oratorio has earned all of those standing ovations. With its blend of sophisticated music and deep spirituality, Messiah is the perfect accompaniment to Christmas, and the ideal antidote for the hustle and bustle of the holiday season.

This concert is part of the Fred J. Cooper Memorial Organ Experience, supported through a generous grant from the Wyncote Foundation.


New Year’s Eve

December 31 at 7:30 PM––Sunday evening––Verizon Hall at The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts

Stéphane Denève Conductor

Stéphane Denève and the Orchestra dance around the world, ringing in the New Year from east to west! Starting with some surprising treats from Japan, China, and India, 2018 sweeps across Europe with musical selections such as Mozart’s Rondo alla turca, Falla’s “Ritual Fire Dance” from El amor brujo, “I Could Have Danced All Night” from My Fair Lady, and Offenbach’s Can-Can from Orpheus in the Underworld. Across the ocean, from Buenos Aires to New York, musical highlights will include Piazzolla’s “Libertango” and Bernstein’s “Mambo” from West Side Story. The concert concludes with the grand Viennese tradition of Johann Strauss, Jr.’s beloved “On the Beautiful Blue Danube” Waltz.



About The Philadelphia Orchestra



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Ashley Berke                       Amanda N. Conte

215.893.1939                       215.893.3136

aberke@philorch.org           aconte@philorch.org