The Philadelphians, led by music director Christoph Eschenbach, will perform Richard Strauss's tone poems Don Juan and Don Quixote and the composer's Four Last Songs. Cellist Yo-Yo Ma joins the orchestra for Don Quixote; soprano Ren_e Fleming is the soloist for Four Last Songs.
Tonight's concert, which will be broadcast on the PBS program Great Performances on October 27, is followed by a dinner at the Waldorf-Astoria hotel. Tickets for the concert and dinner range from $1,000 to $2,500.
The Philadelphia Orchestra's appearance was nearly derailed by its worst labor crisis since a 1996 strike. With their contract due to expire on the eve of the ensemble's season-opening concert last month, musicians voted to authorize a strike. But management and union representatives reached an 11th-hour agreement on September 20 to extend the current contract for 30 days.
The orchestra, a frequent performer at Carnegie, is scheduled to return four times this season, performing, among other works, Mahler's Ninth Symphony on January 11, 2005, and the New York premiere of James MacMillan's Symphony No. 3 on April 12.