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Helen Mirren to Join Yannick Nézet-Séguin and The Philadelphia Orchestra as Special Guest for the Academy of Music 162nd Anniversary Concert and Ball

December 19, 2018

Helen Mirren to Join Yannick Nézet-Séguin

and The Philadelphia Orchestra as Special Guest

for the Academy of Music 162nd Anniversary Concert and Ball

(Philadelphia, December 19, 2018)—For decades the Academy of Music Anniversary Concert and Ball has been among Philadelphia’s most highly anticipated charity events of the year in support of one of the region’s most important cultural landmarks. On Saturday, January 26, 2019, supporters of the Academy of Music will come together for a concert featuring Academy Award-winning actor Dame Helen Mirren and The Philadelphia Orchestra led by Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin. Mirren, a multi-faceted performer of stage and screen, whose father played viola with the London Philharmonic, will help to celebrate the legacy of the Academy of Music, the Orchestra’s original home. Immediately following the concert, guests will enjoy an evening of spirited music, dinner, and dancing.

“The Academy of Music is a beacon of historic Philadelphia, and The Philadelphia Orchestra’s annual visit is a treasured moment,” said Philadelphia Orchestra Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin. “I am thrilled to be returning next month with Helen Mirren, one of the greatest actors of our time and an artist I very much admire, for an evening of words and music to remember.” 

Reflecting the Academy’s rich history as the crown jewel of Philadelphia’s Avenue of the Arts, the theme for the 162nd Anniversary Concert and Ball is Cornerstone of Culture. The annual fundraiser benefits the Academy of Music Restoration Fund and The Philadelphia Orchestra.

“The Anniversary Concert and Ball is a special evening; however, the important work of the Restoration Fund goes on all year long,” said Caroline B. Rogers, chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Academy of Music. “This iconic event is a critical source of the funds we need to invest in ensuring that the character and integrity of one of the city’s truly venerable buildings will last for generations to come.”

“The Academy of Music is a treasured landmark that is vital to the arts in Philadelphia,” said Matías Tarnopolsky, president and CEO of The Philadelphia Orchestra. “We extend our deepest gratitude to the supporters of the 2019 Anniversary Concert and Ball, co-chairs Sarah Marshall and Jack Ginter, and the Academy’s devoted Board of Trustees, without whom the important restoration work of this spectacular building would not be possible.”

The white-tie celebration will begin at 5:00 PM with the Chairman’s Pre-Concert Reception at the Academy of Music. The evening will continue with the concert in the Academy auditorium at 7:00 PM, for which the musicians of The Philadelphia Orchestra have graciously donated their services.

The post-concert celebrations will begin with the traditional promenade up the Avenue of the Arts from the Academy to the Bellevue Hotel. Dinner and Ball attendees will fill the reception rooms, from the stylish State Drawing Room to the sophisticated Grand Ballroom to the rooftop grandeur of XIX. Six of the region’s most prominent dance orchestras and bands will perform music ranging from the classic American songbook to popular dance hits.

Concert and Ball tickets are available at www.TheAcademyBall.org or by calling the Academy of Music Restoration Fund Office at 215.893.1978. Concert-only tickets, priced at $75.00, can be purchased at www.TheAcademyBall.org or by calling 215.893.1999.

This year’s gala is co-chaired by Sarah Marshall and Jack Ginter. Mr. and Mrs. Eric W. Noll serve as honorary co-chairman. The 162nd Academy of Music Anniversary Concert and Ball is underwritten as of this release by The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Philadelphia Daily News, and Philly.com; Wells Fargo & Co. / Abbot Downing, A Wells Fargo Business; The Bellevue Hotel; Karma Agency; Philadelphia magazine; Independence Blue Cross; Innisfree Foundation; Joanna McNeil Lewis; PNC Bank; Stradley Ronon Stevens & Young LLP; Boyds Philadelphia; Garces Events; Halfgenius; Mr. and Mrs. Thomas A. Leonard; Jeanette Lerman-Neubauer and Joseph Neubauer; Leslie Miller and Richard Worley Foundation; Neiman Marcus; Mr. and Mrs. Eric W. Noll; PECO; Penn Medicine; Philadelphia Style magazine; The Ritz-Carlton, Philadelphia; aajdesign; Becker & Frondorf; BlackRock; Lisa and Phil Buckingham; The Capital Grille, Philadelphia; Drexel University; Katie and Jack Ginter; Glenmede; Mr. and Mrs. Harry Edward Hill III; Sarah and Brad Marshall; Milliman Financial Risk Management; Yannick Nézet-Séguin; Oracle Construction and Engineering; SPW Productions; Accenture; Ballard Spahr LLP; Catering by Design; Sarah Miller Coulson; Dechert LLP; Dilworth Paxson LLP; EisnerAmper LLP; FirstTrust Bank; Goldman Sachs Asset Management; Mr. and Mrs. S. Matthews V. Hamilton, Jr.; Hamilton Lane; Philadelphia Eagles; PwC; Caroline B. Rogers; Linda and Steven Siegfried; State Street Global Advisors; Springhouse Productions; WRTI-FM.

History of the Academy of Music and the Anniversary Concert and Ball

Designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1963, the Academy of Music was home to The Philadelphia Orchestra for more than a century, from the ensemble’s founding in 1900 to the opening of the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts in 2001. The first Anniversary Concert and Ball, which took place in January 1957, featured a star-studded line-up in which Eugene Ormandy shared his podium with Danny Kaye. The historic evening’s guest performers included classical artists Marian Anderson, Hilde Gueden, Arthur Rubinstein, and Isaac Stern, and popular singer Dinah Shore. Since 1957 numerous luminaries of the musical world have performed with The Philadelphia Orchestra as part of the Academy of Music Anniversary concerts. Notable guest artists include sopranos Audra McDonald, Jessye Norman, and Kiri Te Kanawa; mezzo-soprano Marilyn Horne; violinists Anne-Sophie Mutter and Itzhak Perlman; cellist Yo-Yo Ma; pianists Evgeny Kissin and Lang Lang; popular artists such as Rod Stewart, James Taylor, Billy Joel, Sting, and Paul Simon; and performers such as Hugh Jackman, Al Pacino, and Steve Martin.

About the Artists

Helen Mirren has won an Oscar®, Emmy, Screen Actors Guild (SAG®) Award, Tony, multiple BAFTA awards and Golden Globes, as international recognition for her work on stage, screen, and television. For her portrayal of Queen Elizabeth II in The Queen (2006), she received an Academy Award®, Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Award, and BAFTA Award for Best Actress. She was also named Best Actress by virtually every critic’s organization from Los Angeles to London. In 2014 she was honored with the BAFTA Fellowship for her outstanding career in film. In 2018 she was honored with the Chaplin Award career achievement recognition from the Film Society of Lincoln Center in New York.

She has just completed filming a limited series for HBO in the title character’s role of Catherine the Great. Mirren will next be seen in Saban Films’ Berlin, I Love You, Lionsgate’s Anna, and Warner Bros.’ The Good Liar.

Most recently, she was seen in Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures’ The Nutcracker and the Four Realms, IFC’s third season of Documentary Now!, Sony Pictures Classics’ The Leisure Seeker, CBS Films’ Winchester, portraying Sarah Winchester, and Universal Pictures’ The Fate of the Furious. Other recent films include Warner Bros.’ Collateral Beauty, Bleecker Street Media’s Eye in the Sky and Trumbo.

Mirren was recently heard narrating the documentary Cries from Syria. She will next be heard voicing a character in the animated film The One and Only Ivan. Additionally, she voiced the character of Dean Hardscrabble in Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures’ Monster’s University.

On stage, Mirren reprised her role as Queen Elizabeth II on Broadway in The Audience, a play by Peter Morgan, directed by Stephen Daldry, for which she won the 2015 Tony Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role. In 2013 she debuted her stage role of Elizabeth II in The Audience in London’s West End, for which she received the Olivier Award and Evening Standard Award, and the 2014 WhatsOnStage Award, for Best Actress.

Mirren earned her first Oscar nomination for her portrayal of Queen Charlotte in Nicholas Hytners The Madness of King George, for which she also won Best Actress honors at the 1994 Cannes Film Festival. Her second Oscar nomination came for her work in Robert Altmans 2001 film Gosford Park. Her performance as the housekeeper also brought her Golden Globe and BAFTA Award nominations, several critics groupsawards, and dual SAG awards, one for Best Supporting Actress and a second as part of the winning ensemble cast. Most recently, Mirren earned both Oscar and Golden Globe nominations for her performance in The Last Station, playing Sofya Tolstoy.

On television, Mirren starred in the award-winning series Prime Suspect as Detective Chief Inspector Jane Tennison. She had earned an Emmy Award and three BAFTA awards, as well as numerous award nominations, for her role in early installments of the Prime Suspect series. She won another Emmy Award and earned a Golden Globe nomination when she reprised the role of Detective Jane Tennison in 2006s Prime Suspect 7: The Final Act, the last installment in the PBS series. Most recently she starred with Al Pacino in the HBO biopic Phil Spector, for which she won a SAG Award and was nominated for an Emmy and a Golden Globe. Mirren was also honored for her performance as Queen Elizabeth I in the HBO miniseries Elizabeth I, winning an Emmy Award, a Golden Globe, and a SAG Award.

Her long list of television credits also includes Losing Chase, The Passion of Ayn Rand, Door to Door, and The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone, earning Golden Globe, Emmy, and SAG Award nominations and awards.

Mirren has also worked extensively in the theater. She received an Olivier Award nomination for Best Actress for her performance in Mourning Becomes Electra at Londons National Theatre. In 2009, she  returned to the National Theatre to star as the title role in Phèdre, directed by Nicholas Hytner.

Helen Mirren became a Dame of the British Empire in 2003.

Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin is an inspired leader of The Philadelphia Orchestra. His highly collaborative style, deeply rooted in musical curiosity, and boundless enthusiasm, paired with a fresh approach to orchestral programming, have been heralded by critics and audiences alike. The New York Times has called him “phenomenal,” adding that under his baton, “the ensemble, famous for its glowing strings and homogenous richness, has never sounded better.” To read his complete bio, please visit https://www.philorch.org/yannick-n%C3%A9zet-s%C3%A9guin-0#/ .

The Philadelphia Orchestra is one of the preeminent orchestras in the world, renowned for its distinctive sound, desired for its keen ability to capture the hearts and imaginations of audiences, and admired for a legacy of innovation in music-making. The Orchestra is inspiring the future and transforming its rich tradition of achievement, sustaining the highest level of artistic quality, but also challenging—and exceeding—that level by creating powerful musical experiences for audiences at home and around the world. For more information on The Philadelphia Orchestra, please visit www.philorch.org.

Academy of Music 162nd Anniversary Concert and Ball

January 26, 2019, at 7:00 PM – Saturday evening – Academy of Music

The Philadelphia Orchestra

Yannick Nézet-Séguin Conductor

Helen Mirren Special Guest

The musicians of The Philadelphia Orchestra have graciously donated their services for this concert.

This concert will be performed without an intermission.

For more information on the Anniversary Concert and Ball, please call the Academy of Music Restoration Fund Office at 215.893.1978 or visit www.AcademyOfMusic.org.


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Ashley Berke



Amanda N. Olszewski



Liz Allison