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The Philadelphia Orchestra and Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin Announce New Programs and Updates to 2018-19 Season

August 1, 2018

 Details Released as Individual Tickets Go On Sale

 (Philadelphia, August 1, 2018)—As The Philadelphia Orchestra prepares to launch its 119th season, the seventh under Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin,changes and additions have been made to select programs of the 2018-19 concert calendar. In addition to individual program updates, the Orchestra has released new details about the upcoming season of Sound All Arounda series of concerts that introduce young children to orchestral music through interaction and storytelling, each of which has a sensory-friendly presentation––as well as pre-season events that include a Fringe Festival performance featuring musicians of the Orchestra and a Free Neighborhood Concert at Penn’s Landing. 


Individual tickets go on sale today, August 1, to current subscribers, donors, Young Friends, and volunteers, and on August 10 to the general public at www.philorch.org.


Please note that these updates supersede previous press materials related to these concerts. An updated version of the chronological calendar can be found HERE for your use.


For more information, and to purchase tickets to any of these programs, please visit www.philorch.org.




Season-long programSound All Around


            Event addition: Full season of Sound All Around programs added to season calendar


                        September 15* & 17, 2018—Strings


                        October 20* & 22, 2018—Brass


                        December 1* & 3, 2019—Winds


                        March 2* & 4, 2019—Percussion


                        April 6* & 8, 2019—Ensemble


            Location: Academy of Music Ballroom


            Time: Concerts begin each date at 10:00 AM and 11:15 AM


Sound All Around, presented by PNC Grow Up Great, introduces young audience members to the joy of music through fun, engaging programs designed for 3-5 year-olds. Each performance focuses on a different family of instruments, giving young music lovers an informal opportunity to listen to stories with live music performed by members of The Philadelphia Orchestra and to get an up-close look at instruments. Concerts are 45 minutes and are hosted by award-winning storyteller Charlotte Blake Alston.


* indicates sensory-friendly performance




Season-long programOrgan Postludes featuring Peter Richard Conte


            Event addition: Full season of organ postlude recitals added to season calendar


                        November 30 & December 1, 2018


                        February 8 & 9, 2019


                        March 14 & 16, 2019


            Artist addition: Peter Richard Conte, organ


            Location: Verizon Hall


            Time: Immediately following each preceding subscription concert performance



            Programming to be announced at a later date. Organ postludes are part of the Fred J. Cooper      Memorial Organ Experience.




September 7-8, 2018Fringe Festival: Songs of Wars I Have Seen


            Event addition: Concert added to calendar


Location: FringeArts


            Time: Concerts begin each date at 8:00 PM


A work of theater as much as one of music, Songs of Wars I Have Seen juxtaposes modern and period instruments, electronic atmospherics, Baroque compositions, Modernist harmonies, and the haunting text of Gertrude Stein’s World War II memoir to create a bittersweet lament on war’s insidious effects. Led by Estonian conductor Anu Tali, the staged concert sees performers from Philadelphia’s leading classical music groups—The Philadelphia Orchestra and Baroque ensemble Tempesta di Mare—speak Stein’s words and play Heiner Goebbels’s compositions, bridging centuries of music through a variety of music styles. Tickets are available at www.fringearts.com.




September 8, 2018Free Neighborhood Concert at Penn’s Landing


            Event addition: Concert added to calendar


Location: RiverStage at the Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing


            Time: Concert begins at 8:00 PM


The Philadelphia Orchestra returns to Penn’s Landing for a FREE Neighborhood Concert on the Riverstage at the Great Plaza, presented by Wells Fargo, in partnership with the Delaware River Waterfront Corp., featuring a selection of musical favorites. Program will be announced at a later date.




September 13, 2018Opening Night


            Repertoire additions: Bernstein’s Overture to Candide and a surprise chamber performance


Artist replacement: André Watts will no longer appear on this concert but will still make his subscription appearances that weekend. His Opening Night performance will be replaced with a special chamber performance by Yannick Nézet-Séguin and musicians from the Orchestra.


The Opening Night Concert and Gala for the 2018-19 season promises to be a highlight of the cultural year. Yannick and the Fabulous Philadelphians are planning a special celebratory program that features musical masterworks and audience favorites, including Strauss’s Don Juan, Rossini’s famous Overture to William Tell, Bernstein’s Overture to Candide, plus a special surprise chamber music performance by Yannick and musicians from the Orchestra.




September 14-16, 2018Opening Weekend


            Repertoire update: Title of suite for Nico Muhly’s piece has been added: Liar


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, Liar (a Philadelphia Orchestra commission). It’s the first of many fruits of Yannick Nézet-Séguin’s upcoming dual role leading both the Fabulous Philadelphians AND the Met. Rachmaninoff wrote his final work, the Symphonic Dances, specifically for The Philadelphia Orchestra. Here’s another chance to hear the special Philadelphia Sound of the Yannick era! (LiveNote® enabled)




September 29, 2018Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto


            Repertoire addition: Muhly’s Liar, Suite from Marnie replaces Dvořák’s Othello Overture


Yannick and Lisa Batiashvili have enchanted concert audiences all over the world; she returns to the Orchestra with Tchaikovsky’s spectacular Violin Concerto anchoring a program bookended by the Liar Suite from Nico Muhly’s opera Marnie and Rachmaninoff’s Symphonic Dances, the composer’s final piece, written expressly for The Philadelphia Orchestra. (LiveNote® enabled)



October 5, 2018Chamber Postlude


Event addition: Postlude program added to calendar


Repertoire addition: Villa-Lobos’s Quintet in the Form of a Chôros, and Piazzolla’s “Oblivion,” “Libertango,” “Fugata,” and “Adiós Nonino”


Artist additions: Patrick Williams, flute; Peter Smith, oboe; Socrates Villegas, clarinet; Angela Anderson Smith, bassoon; Ernesto Tovar Torres, horn; Che-Hung Chen, viola; Marvin Moon, viola; Burchard Tang, viola; Meng Wang, viola 


Philadelphia Orchestra Chamber Postludes are a season-long series of intimate chamber music performances. Created in collaboration with the musicians of the Orchestra, each Postlude offers music carefully chosen to continue the experience of the afternoon’s matinee concert.




October 11-21, 2018The Barnes/Stokowski Festival


            Artist addition: Didi Balle, writer and director

Principal Guest Conductor Stéphane Denève leads two weeks of concerts inspired by the glorious art of the Barnes Foundation. The Festival will include a panel discussion on the impact of Barnes Foundation founder Dr. Albert C. Barnes and Philadelphia Orchestra Music Director Leopold Stokowski on the American art scene, chamber performances of contemporary repertoire, composer workshops, and scripted vignettes entitled “The Artful Titans” during the Orchestra performances, written and directed by Didi Balle and based on the text of letters between Barnes and Stokowski, as well as historical accounts of their interactions. Barnes and Stokowski were both importing the best of European culture into Philadelphia in the 1930s, with a shared desire to make that culture accessible to the public. They debated art and music in a series of letters; Stokowski even spoke at the dedication of the original Barnes Foundation building in Merion, Pennsylvania. Additional details about festival events surrounding both concert weekends will be unveiled at a later date. (LiveNote® enabled)


The October 19-21 concerts as part of this Festival are part of the Fred J. Cooper Memorial Organ Experience.




November 2, 2018Chamber Postlude


Event addition: Postlude program added to calendar


Repertoire addition: Brahms’s Trio in E-flat major, Op. 40, for horn, violin, and piano


Artist additions: Jeffrey Lang, horn; Juliette Kang, violin; Natalie Zhu, piano (guest)




November 16-18, 2018The Best of English Baroque


            Artist additions: Soprano Lenneke Ruiten (Philadelphia Orchestra debut) replaces Erin Morley


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, and in his cantata Il delirio amoroso (The Delirium of Love), soprano Lenneke Ruinten, in her Philadelphia Orchestra debut, will enchant in this Orpheus-like tale based on classical mythology. Purcell’s brilliant score for The Fairy Queen quickly became a favorite after its rediscovery early last century and opens the program.




November 29-December 1, 2018Yannick and Manny


Repertoire addition: Stacey Brown’s Perspectives (United States Premiere)


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 Dvořák’s Seventh Symphony, inspired by Brahms (and by Dvořák’s intense Czech patriotism). Stacey Brown’s Perspectives, which received its world premiere in spring 2017 by Yannick and his Orchestre Métropolitain in Montreal, is inspired by a sculpture by Michel Longtin. The Canada-based composer invokes a sense of traveling around the art, viewing its various angles and shifting shapes. 




December 20-23, 2018The Glorious Sound of Christmas


Artist additions: Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia (Paul Rardin, Artistic Director and Principal Conductor)    


This is the holiday concert, combining treasured yuletide favorites with the brilliant virtuosity of The Philadelphia Orchestra. Many people look forward to this festive season highlight all year. (Maybe Bramwell Tovey isn’t really Father Christmas, but are they ever seen in the same room together?) Make it your family tradition!




January 24-25, 2019Music of Faith


            Artist additions: Charlotte Blake Alston, narrator (Philadelphia Orchestra subscription debut); Nadine Sierra, soprano (Philadelphia Orchestra debut); Elizabeth DeShong, mezzo-soprano (Philadelphia Orchestra debut); John Osborn, tenor (Philadelphia Orchestra debut); Krzysztof Bączyk, bass (Philadelphia Orchestra debut); Philadelphia Symphonic Choir (Joe Miller, Director)


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’—These are two very different choral works, from different faiths, but combined together they offer a message of welcoming and living all together through music.” The large vocal forces and Bernstein’s inimitable writing create a powerful impact on listeners to the “Kaddish,” based on the Jewish prayer for the dead. No less moving is Rossini’s Stabat Mater, rarely performed in Philadelphia. Rossini had retired from writing operas when he composed this setting of a traditional Catholic hymn. With its deeply felt music, it’s a worthy pairing for the “Kaddish.”




February 15, 2019Chamber Postlude


Event addition: Postlude program added to calendar


Repertoire addition: Bartók’s String Quartet No. 2, Op. 17


Artist additions: Miyo Curnow, violin; Elina Kalendarova, violin; Kerri Ryan, viola; Kathryn Picht Read, cello




February 22, 2019Chamber Postlude


Event addition: Postlude program added to calendar


Repertoire addition: Hummel’s Septet militaire in C major, Op. 114, for flute, clarinet, trumpet, violin, cello, bass, and piano


Artist additions: Erica Peel, flute; Paul Demers, clarinet; Anthony Prisk, trumpet; Jeoung-Yin Kim, violin; Robert Cafaro, cello; Nathaniel West, bass; Luba Agranovsky, piano (guest)




April 26, 2019Chamber Postlude


Event addition: Postlude program added to calendar


Repertoire addition: Brahms’s Piano Quartet No. 2 in A major, Op. 26


Artist additions: Julia Li, violin; Burchard Tang, viola; Priscilla Lee, cello; Jonathan Biss, piano (guest)




May 10, 2019Chamber Postlude


Event addition: Postlude program added to calendar


Repertoire addition: Hough’s Was mit den Tränen geschieht, for piccolo, contrabassoon and piano; and Haydn’s Divertimento in D major, for three cellos


Artist additions: Erica Peel, piccolo; Holly Blake, contrabassoon; Derek Barnes, cello; John Koen, cello; Alex Veltman, cello




May 11, 2019The Animated Orchestra: A Sensory-Friendly Concert


            Artist addition: Conductor Aram Demirjian replaces Kensho Watanabe

Marvel at the wonder of The Philadelphia Orchestra and all its instruments through the help of Ari, a playful ferret who’s full of shenanigans. Gregory Smith’s The Animated Orchestra invites you to put your imagination caps on, and even be part of the story, as Ari’s adventures take him through an old instrument repair shop. All are welcome to this concert, which has been designed to create a welcoming environment for families with children with special needs and sensory sensitivities, and anyone who may benefit from being in a more relaxed environment.




June 15-16, 2019Rachmaninoff and Mozart


            Repertoire addition: Anna Clyne’s Masquerade (First Philadelphia Orchestra performances)


The Rachmaninoff Symphony No. 1 gets a well-deserved encore. Richard Woodhams, principal oboe from 1977 until his 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. Anna Clyne’s Masquerade was premiered at the Last Night of the Proms in 2013 and “draws its inspiration from the original mid-18th-century promenade concerts held in London’s pleasure gardens” according to the composer. This richly orchestrated work includes an old English country dance melody and a drinking song to add a festive flair to the program. 




June 20-22, 2019Bernstein’s Candide


            Artist additions: Kevin Newbury, stage director


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). Yannick’s great love for Bernstein’s music has shown throughout the centenary and before, starting with the amazing production of MASS in 2015, and continuing through West Side Story and the complete symphonies. With Candide, we bring the celebration of this remarkable musician’s life to an altogether fitting, and joyous, conclusion.




The Sound All Around concert series is endowed in perpetuity by the Garrison Family Fund for


Children’s Concerts.



The Bernstein Centennial Celebration in its entirety is made possible in part by the generous support of the Presser Foundation.



LiveNote is funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the William Penn Foundation.



The Barnes-Stokowski Festival is generously sponsored through a gift from Mari and Peter Shaw.



The Fred J. Cooper Memorial Organ Experience (Frederick R. Haas, Artistic Advisor) is supported through a generous grant from the Wyncote Foundation.



The Free Neighborhood Concert at Penn’s Landing is presented by Wells Fargo, in partnership with the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation.




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