Led by Maestro Charles Dutoit in his second season as chief conductor and artistic adviser, the orchestra sails into the Kimmel Center's Verizon Hall this September with world-class conductors; peerless soloists, including an adventurous selection of new faces; durable classics and fresh-off-the- page music by leading international composers; a new series of Access Concerts called Beyond the Score; and birth-anniversary commemorations for Samuel Barber (b. 1910), Felix Mendelssohn (b. 1809), and Robert Schumann (b. 1810).
Here is a schedule of opening-week events:
Fallen Heroes Tribute Concert
Sunday, September 20, 6:00 PM
The Mann Center for the Performing Arts
The Philadelphia Orchestra salutes the men and women in blue with its Fallen Heroes Tribute Concert, a special concert honoring the Philadelphia Police Officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty. All proceeds from sponsorships and donations raised around this concert will benefit the Fraternal Order of Police Survivors Fund. This event is free (with a suggested donation of $20) and open to the public.
Philadelphia Orchestra Donor Open Rehearsal
Tuesday, September 22, 2:00 PM
The Philadelphia Orchestra thanks over 1,200 loyal donors who have made contributions for at least five years by inviting them to a special open rehearsal. This event is by invitation only, however press cameras are welcome to attend. Please contact Kate Johnston to make arrangements.
Philadelphia Orchestra eZseatU College Night
Wednesday, September 23, 8:00 PM
College students are invited to attend a special, free concert to launch the second season of the Philadelphia Orchestra's popular eZseatU ticket program. Chief Conductor Charles Dutoit leads the Orchestra in this first full concert of the season. A party in Commonwealth Plaza follows the concert, featuring live music by the Capitol Years and free refreshments. This event is open to college students between the ages of 17 and 30 with a student ID. Press cameras are welcome at the beginning of the concert at 8:00 PM or at the after-party, at approximately 10:00 PM.
Charles Dutoit conducts Saint-SaêŠns
Thursday, September 24, 8:00 PM
Charles Dutoit ushers in his second season as The Philadelphia Orchestra's chief conductor with two cornerstones of the French Romantic repertoire, both with substantial organ parts to highlight the Kimmel Center's 7,000-pipe Fred J. Cooper Memorial Organ. Saint-SaêŠns's thunderous Third Symphony keeps the organist so busy it feels like a concerto, and Berlioz's martial Te Deum combines organ with vocal and orchestral forces to highlight a sense of grand architectural space. The juxtaposition of the mature Te Deum and the early Resurrexit (written when the composer was only 19) are part of Mr. Dutoit's multi-season celebration of Berlioz's music.
Philadelphia Orchestra Opening Gala
Saturday, September 26, 7:00 PM
Charles Dutoit, Conductor
Alec Baldwin, Narrator
One of Hollywood's most richly textured voices meets Aaron Copland's tribute to Abraham Lincoln, as actor Alec Baldwin joins a venerable line of dignitaries and celebrities who have narrated this 1942 piece: from Katharine Hepburn to Barack Obama, Gregory Peck to Carl Sandburg. The evening begins at 6:00 PM with a champagne toast for concert-goers. The concert also features Hector Berlioz's shimmering Roman Carnival Overture and Saint-SaêŠns's "Organ" Symphony, showcasing Verizon Hall's Fred J. Cooper Memorial Organ.
As part of this special week (September 20 to 26), the Orchestra is offering a new subscription package that allows patrons to choose 3 concerts from a selected list for as low as $35 per ticket. Please visit www.philorch.org/choose3 for complete details.
Additional information about Your City, Your Orchestra can be found at www.philorch.org/yourorchestra.
Founded in 1900, The Philadelphia Orchestra has distinguished itself as one of the leading orchestras in the world through a century of acclaimed performances, historic international tours, best-selling recordings, and its unprecedented record of innovation in recording technologies and outreach. The Orchestra has maintained unity in artistic leadership with only seven music directors throughout its history: Fritz Scheel (1900-07), Carl Pohlig (1907-12), Leopold Stokowski (1912-41), Eugene Ormandy (1936-80), Riccardo Muti (1980-92), Wolfgang Sawallisch (1993-2003), and Christoph Eschenbach (2003-08).
This rich tradition is carried on by Chief Conductor Charles Dutoit. Mr. Dutoit has a long-standing relationship with the Orchestra, having made his debut with the ensemble in 1980. Highlights of his second season include performances of Berlioz's Te Deum and Symphonie fantastique, part of Mr. Dutoit's four-year focus on the works of that composer, and a celebration of the 100th anniversary of Samuel Barber's birthday. During his tenure, Mr. Dutoit will also showcase the music of the Ballets Russes, continuing in the 2009-10 season with performances of Stravinsky's Petrushka and The Rite of Spring.
Recent Philadelphia Orchestra highlights include the opening of the Orchestra's Online Music Store, www.thephiladelphiaorchestra.com; regular broadcasts on NPR; a series of critically acclaimed recordings on the Ondine label; and a $125 million endowment campaign.