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The Philadelphia Orchestra and Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin Launch the 2015-16 Season with the Opening Night Concert and Gala, September 30 at The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts

August 18, 2015

Program highlights Disney’s Fantasia, celebrating its monumental 75th anniversary


(Philadelphia, August 18, 2015)—The Philadelphia Orchestra begins the 2015-16 season, the fourth under Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin, with the musical and social event that kicks off the Philadelphia cultural season: the Opening Night Concert and Gala on Wednesday, September 30, at The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts. Headlining the program are selections from Disney’s Fantasia, which celebrates its 75th anniversary in 2015. As a special treat for concertgoers, selections from Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker will be performed with the accompanying film: the famous dancing flowers, mushrooms, and snowflakes will come to life projected above the Orchestra. The Philadelphia Orchestra maintains a long history with the film, as its score was performed by the Orchestra under the baton of former Music Director Leopold Stokowski in 1940. Also on the program, which celebrates the Orchestra’s past and present, are Stokowski’s arrangements of Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D minor and Debussy’s “Clair de lune."

The Opening Night Concert and Gala begins with a Chairmen’s Reception at 5:30 PM for Benefactors in Perelman Theater. The concert begins at 7 PM in Verizon Hall and will be performed without intermission. Immediately following the concert, gala attendees will enjoy a black-tie dinner in the Kimmel Center’s Commonwealth Plaza, with catering by Garces. Opening Night Gala décor is by TableArt.

The musicians of The Philadelphia Orchestra have graciously donated their services for this concert. All gala events are organized by The Philadelphia Orchestra’s Volunteer Committees under the direction of Volunteer Committees President Caroline B. Rogers. Lisa Weber Yakulis and Henry N. Nassau are co-chairs of the Opening Gala 2015 Committee. Early support of the Opening Night Concert and Gala was led by The Philadelphia Orchestra’s extraordinary Board of Directors and dedicated Volunteers.

Gala tickets and are currently on sale, start at $500, and are available by calling 215.893.1956. Concert-only tickets range from $50-95 and are available through Ticket Philadelphia at 215.893.1999 or by visiting philorch.org. For more information on attending the Gala, visit philorch.org/opening-night. Young Friends of The Philadelphia Orchestra are invited to attend the Opening Night Concert and Gala for the specially discounted price of just $175.

This year marks the 29th season for which The Philadelphia Orchestra’s Volunteer Committees have presented the Opening Night festivities. The Volunteer Committees were formed in 1904, four years after the Orchestra’s first concerts. The Women’s Committee, as it was originally called, was the first permanent organization of its kind in the U.S., and has since come to serve as a model for similar groups in the United States and abroad. The current Volunteer Committees include the Central Committee for the Philadelphia Orchestra, Chestnut Hill, Chestnut Hill Musical Cocktails, Main Line, New Jersey, Rittenhouse Square, and West Philadelphia. Through their endeavors over the past century, thousands of members of the Volunteer Committees have given countless hours and their innumerable talents in service to The Philadelphia Orchestra and the people of the greater Philadelphia region.

Yannick Nézet-Séguin
Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin continues his inspired leadership of The Philadelphia Orchestra, which began in the fall of 2012. His highly collaborative style, deeply rooted 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 Nézet-Séguin “phenomenal,” adding that under his baton, “the ensemble, famous for its glowing strings and homogenous richness, has never sounded better.” He has taken the Orchestra to new musical heights. Highlights of his third season as music director included an Art of the Pipe Organ festival; the 40/40 Project, in which 40 great compositions that haven’t been heard on subscription concerts in at least 40 years were performed; and Bernstein’s MASS, the pinnacle of the Orchestra’s five-season requiem cycle.

Yannick has established himself as a musical leader of the highest caliber and one of the most exciting talents of his generation. He has been music director of the Rotterdam Philharmonic since 2008 and artistic director and principal conductor of Montreal’s Orchestre Métropolitain since 2000. He also continues to enjoy a close relationship with the London Philharmonic, of which he was principal guest conductor. He has made wildly successful appearances with the world’s most revered ensembles, and he has conducted critically acclaimed performances at many of the leading opera houses.

Yannick Nézet-Séguin and Deutsche Grammophon (DG) enjoy a long-term collaboration. Under his leadership The Philadelphia Orchestra returned to recording with a CD on that label of Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring and Leopold Stokowski transcriptions (Yannick won a 2014 Echo Klassik Award as conductor of the year for this album). He continues a fruitful recording relationship with the Rotterdam Philharmonic on DG, EMI Classics, and BIS Records; the London Philharmonic and Choir for the LPO label; and the Orchestre Métropolitain for ATMA Classique.

A native of Montreal, Yannick Nézet-Séguin studied at that city’s Conservatory of Music and continued lessons with renowned conductor Carlo Maria Giulini and with Joseph Flummerfelt at Westminster Choir College. Among Yannick’s honors are an appointment as Companion of the Order of Canada, one of the country’s highest civilian honors; a Royal Philharmonic Society Award; Canada’s National Arts Centre Award; the Prix Denise-Pelletier, the highest distinction for the arts in Quebec; and honorary doctorates from the University of Quebec in Montreal and the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia.

To read Yannick’s full bio, please visit philorch.org

The Philadelphia Orchestra
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 imagination and innovation on and off the concert stage. The Orchestra is 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.

Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin’s highly collaborative style, deeply-rooted musical curiosity, and boundless enthusiasm, paired with a fresh approach to orchestral programming, have been heralded by critics and audiences alike since his inaugural season in 2012. He is embraced by the musicians of the Orchestra, audiences, and the community itself. The New York Times has called Nézet-Séguin “phenomenal,” adding that under his baton, “the ensemble … has never sounded better.” Under Nézet-Séguin’s leadership the Orchestra returned to recording on the Deutsche Grammophon label. The Orchestra also reaches thousands of listeners on the radio with weekly Sunday afternoon broadcasts on WRTI-FM.

The Philadelphia Orchestra has a decades-long tradition of presenting learning and community engagement opportunities for listeners of all ages across the Delaware Valley. Current initiatives that take musicians off the traditional concert stage and into the community include the highly-successful PopUP Concerts and PlayINs, SingINs, and ConductINs. The Orchestra’s musicians, in their own dedicated roles as teachers, coaches, and mentors, serve a key role in growing young musician talent and a love of classical music, nurturing and celebrating the wealth of musicianship in the Philadelphia region.  

Through concerts, tours, residencies, presentations, and recordings, the Orchestra is a global ambassador for Philadelphia and for the United States. Based in the historic visit to China, today The Philadelphia Orchestra boasts a new partnership with the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing that calls for tours and residencies in China’s major cities and outlying provinces, and which has been hailed by the U.S. Department of State for exemplary people-to-people exchange. In 2015 Yannick Nézet-Séguin and the Orchestra toured Europe together for the first time. They were joined by the Commonwealth and the Pennsylvania Governor’s office as part of a trade exchange with the major capitals of Europe. Domestically the ensemble annually performs at Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center while also enjoying summer residencies in Saratoga Springs, New York, and Vail, Colorado.

For more information on The Philadelphia Orchestra, please visit philorch.org.

Opening Night
September 30 at 7 PM – Wednesday evening – Verizon Hall at The Kimmel Center for the Performing Art

The Philadelphia Orchestra
Yannick Nézet-Séguin Conductor

Bach/orch. Stokowski              Toccata and Fugue in D minor
Dukas                                     The Sorcerer’s Apprentice
Debussy/orch. Stokowski        “Clair de lune,” from Suite bergamasque
Tchaikovsky                            Selections from The Nutcracker (feat. Disney’s Fantasia)

It's our most cherished fall tradition. The Philadelphia Orchestra Opening Night marks the beginning of Philadelphia's cultural season. It is a wonderful celebration of all that lies ahead.

Join Yannick and our Fabulous Philadelphians at the 2015 Opening Night Concert and Gala. This year's black-tie event promises the fellowship of friends gathering to celebrate the unique Philadelphia Sound of our Orchestra. Come join our shared revelry of incredible food, drink, and memorable music, all under the Kimmel Center's soaring roof of stars.

The concert will be performed with no intermission. The musicians of The Philadelphia Orchestra have graciously donated their services for this concert.

For gala information and tickets, please call 215.893.1956 or visit philorch.org/opening-night.

For concert-only tickets: Call 215.893.1999 or visit www.philorch.org.

The Philadelphia Orchestra would like to extend our sincere gratitude to our 2015 Opening Night Supporters.

Our Heartfelt Thanks and Utmost Appreciation to our Cocktail Reception Benefactor
Caroline and Sidney Kimmel

With Special Thanks to our Champagne Benefactors
Edith R. Dixon
Joseph Neubauer and Jeanette Lerman-Neubauer
Leslie A. Miller and Richard B. Worley

With Gratitude and Appreciation to our Platinum Benefactors

With Great Appreciation to our Gold Benefactors
Marie and Joseph Field
Fortis Partners, LLC
The Franklin Institute
Marcy Gringlas and Joel Greenberg
Harry and Kay Halloran
Neal Krouse
Drs. Elsa and Leon Malmud
Parx Casino
Louise and Alan Reed
Lorraine and David Popowich
Lyn M. Ross
Cynthia and Scott Schumacker
Deborah H. and David F. Simon
Willis Personal Lines, Inc.

Our Utmost Gratitude to our Principal Benefactors
Dennis Adams
Ann Young Bloom
Ms. Judith Broudy
Laura and Bill Buck
Richard and Florence Celender
Sara A. Cerato
R. Putnam Coes III and Amy M. Coes
Sarah Miller Coulson
Suzanne and Norman Cohn
Tobey and Mark Dichter
Henry and Kathy Donner
Mark and Rebecca Foley
Linda Frankel
Annette Y. Friedland
Nancy and John Galloway
Carole and Emilio Gravagno
Lynn and Tony Hitschler
Lynne and Harold Honickman
Osagie and Losenge Imasogie
Betsy J. Joyce
Andrea and Warren Kantor
Ms. Ruth Sarah Lee
Elizabeth and Edwin Mahoney
Lisa Kabnick and John McFadden
Lynn and Joe Manko
Hilarie and Mitchell Morgan
Mr. Robert E. Mortensen
Caroline B. Rogers
Harold S. and Franny Rosenbluth
Dianne and Jeffrey Rotwitt
Lynn and Anthony C. Salvo
Adele and Harold Schaeffer
Constance Smukler
Ann and Harold Sorgenti
Jack and Ramona Vosbikian
Joanne and Raymond Welsh
Felice and Tom Wiener
Dr. & Honorable Sankey V. and Constance Williams
Lisa and Paul Yakulis
F. Gordon Yasinow

With Great Thanks to our Benefactors
Mr. Peter A. Benoliel and Ms. Willo Carey
Ellen and Peter Bodenheimer
Mrs. Robert M. Brasler
Elia D. Buck
Roland and Sally Bullard
Robert Capanna and Cathryn Coate
Mr. and Mrs. James L. Crowell
Mr. and Mrs. Robert A. Fox
Judy and John Glick
Martin and Cynthia Heckscher
Lenora and Eric Hume
Bernice J. Koplin
Dr. Morton and Rhea Mandell
Despina F. Page
Alexandra and David Pennington
Dr. and Mrs. Milton L. Rock
Faye Senneca and Richard Weisenberg
Richard and Diane Woosnam
Renee M. Zuritsky and Joseph S. Zuritsky

Thank you to our Opening Night 2015 Donors
Sandy and David Marshall
Anita and Frank Leto

**List complete as of July 17, 2015 

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