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Philadelphia Orchestra Award Presented to Wyncote Foundation and Members of Haas Family; David Haas, Frederick R. Haas, and Leonard C. Haas

June 23, 2014

(Philadelphia, June 23, 2014)—The Philadelphia Orchestra Association is proud to announce that the 2014 Philadelphia Orchestra Award will be presented to the Wyncote Foundation and to members of its board, David Haas, Frederick R. Haas, and Leonard C. Haas.

In announcing the award, Allison Vulgamore, the Orchestra’s President and CEO, noted, “A legacy grant from the Wyncote Foundation in honor of their parents, Chara C. Haas and John C. Haas, and the Haas brothers’ various individual activities and contributions, have together provided steadfast and invaluable support to The Philadelphia Orchestra. Their investment of time, energy, and financial support, as well as their passion for our music, have been instrumental in underpinning our Orchestra’s path of renewal.”

“With this Award, we recognize the remarkable role of the Wyncote Foundation and the Haas brothers in igniting creative engagement with our patrons and making possible the dramatic transformation of The Philadelphia Orchestra,” Vulgamore continued. “This commitment has encouraged our quest to honor our traditions and to grow as a creative organization that drives new ideas and programs, and draws in new audiences of all ages and backgrounds.”

“The Philadelphia Orchestra Award is presented by the Board of Directors to distinguish those who have made an exemplary contribution to our great Orchestra,” said Richard B. Worley, chairman of The Philadelphia Orchestra Association. “It is not an annual award, but one that is given when the record of achievement merits such recognition. The Wyncote Foundation and the Haas brothers have shown unparalleled leadership in Philadelphia’s philanthropic community. Their support of a multitude of initiatives has enriched the lives of many, and funding from the Wyncote Foundation makes an important statement about an organization’s value to the entire region.”

The Philadelphia Orchestra Award will be presented at the Orchestra’s 2014-15 season Opening Night Concert and Gala on Friday, October 10, 2014.

The Philadelphia Orchestra Award is presented by the Board of Directors. Recipients can be one or more persons in the Orchestra family of Board members, volunteers, musicians, staff, and friends, or to an organization that has made an outstanding contribution to The Philadelphia Orchestra Association. The recipient may be recognized for their musicianship, artistic leadership, philanthropy, fundraising, innovation, management, education, governance, or dedicated service.

The Wyncote Foundation was founded in December 2009 with funds from the Otto and Phoebe Haas Charitable Trusts, at the direction of John C. Haas. The mission of the Wyncote Foundation is to support efforts that strengthen and enrich culture, community and the natural environment.

The Wyncote Foundation and David Haas, Frederick R. Haas and Leonard C. Haas are the 17th recipients of the Philadelphia Orchestra Award. Previous recipients were Carole Haas Gravagno; Mrs. Eugene Ormandy and Norman Carol; Doris Frankel and Polly Newbold; Joseph dePasquale and Anthony Gigliotti; the Honorable and Mrs. Walter H. Annenberg; CIGNA Corporation; the Honorable and Mrs. Edward G. Rendell; David P. Eastburn; Mimi O’Malley; the Volunteer Committees for The Philadelphia Orchestra; Joseph and Jeanette Neubauer and the Neubauer Family Foundation; Joseph and Marie Field; Peter A. Benoliel; Frank and Mollie Slattery; Charles Dutoit; and the Musicians of The Philadelphia Orchestra. 

 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. His concerts of diverse repertoire attract sold-out houses, and he has established a regular forum for connecting with concert-goers through Post-Concert Conversations. The New York Times has called Nézet-Séguin “phenomenal,” adding that under his baton, “the ensemble … has never sounded better” and in a recent review stated: “The playing was uniformly exceptional: the Philadelphia strings showed the plushness they have long been famous for, combined with a versatility and flexibility of more recent vintage.” Under Nézet-Séguin’s leadership the Orchestra recently released a celebrated CD of Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring and Leopold Stokowski transcriptions on the Deutsche Grammophon label, continuing its history of recording success. The Orchestra also reaches thousands of listeners on the radio with weekly Sunday afternoon broadcasts on WRTI-FM. 

Philadelphia is home, and the Orchestra nurtures an important relationship with patrons who support the main season at the Kimmel Center and also with those who enjoy the Orchestra’s other area performances at the Mann Center, Penn’s Landing, and other cultural, civic, and learning venues.  As the proud owners of the venerable Academy of Music, a National Historic Landmark, the Orchestra supports upkeep of this iconic building so that opera, ballet and Broadway performances might thrive.   

The Philadelphia Orchestra maintains a strong commitment to collaborations with cultural and community organizations on a regional and national level. Since Orchestra President and CEO Allison Vulgamore’s arrival in 2010 the Orchestra has reinvigorated and launched new partnerships with the Pennsylvania Ballet, Philadelphia Live Arts (Fringe Festival), Philadanco, the Curtis Institute of Music, the Ridge Theater Company, and stage director James Alexander, among others. In the 2013-14 season the Orchestra joined forces with Opera Philadelphia for sold-out performances of a co-production of Strauss’s Salome, and in 2014-15 expands its community partnerships through its first-ever performance of Bernstein’s groundbreaking MASS

Through concerts, tours, residencies, presentations, and recordings, the Orchestra is a global ambassador for Philadelphia and for the United States. Having been the first American orchestra to perform in China, in 1973 at the request of President Nixon, 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 US Department of State for exemplary people-to-people exchange. Highlights of the Orchestra’s recent three-week tour of China, Japan, and Taiwan included a live concert simulcast from Shanghai that reached over 200,000 viewers worldwide, the first western musical performance to be streamed within and outside of China by a Chinese entity. In 2015 the Orchestra tours Europe and will represent 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. 

The Philadelphia Orchestra has a decades-long tradition of presenting learning and community engagement opportunities for listeners of all ages across the Delaware Valley. Concerts for families and schoolchildren; eZseatU, which allows full-time college students to attend an unlimited number of Orchestra concerts for a $25 annual membership fee; free Neighborhood Concerts; and PreConcert Conversations before every subscription concert are only a few examples of ways in which the Orchestra introduces orchestral music to a new generation of listeners. The Orchestra’s recent initiative, The Fabulous Philadelphians Offstage, Philly Style!, has taken musicians off the traditional concert stage and into the community, including highly-successful PopUP Concerts and “PlayINs” for Cello, Violin, Harp, Brass, and Double Bass; 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.    

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

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