Philadelphia Orchestra Plays Saratoga Springs Aug. 5-22

Classic Arts Features   Philadelphia Orchestra Plays Saratoga Springs Aug. 5-22
The Philadelphia Orchestra kicked off its summer run in Saratoga on Aug. 5 with a star-studded Opening Night Concert featuring Copland's Lincoln Portrait narrated by Alec Baldwin.


Also on the program was Brahms's Piano Concerto No. 2 with Yefim Bronfman, and Musorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition.

The Orchestra's 2009 residency at SPAC features an array of world-renowned guest artists including pianists Andr_ Watts (August 6), Emanuel Ax (August 13), Jean-Yves Thibaudet (August 19), and Kirill Gerstein (August 22); violinists Joshua Bell (August 8) and Gil Shaham (August 15); and cellist Yo-Yo Ma (August 12). Two young artists: violinist Arabella Steinbacher and cellist Sol Gabetta: also make their respective Philadelphia Orchestra debuts during the 2009 residency (August 21).

Charles Dutoit and the Orchestra perform a special program, entitled An Evening with Degas, which celebrates famed French artist Edgar Degas and the music that inspired many of his works (August 15). The evening features music by Bizet, Chabrier, Debussy, Saint-SaêŠns, and Offenbach. Violinist Gil Shaham is soloist in two Sarasate compositions: Fantasy on Gounod's Faust, for violin and orchestra and Fantasy on Bizet's Carmen, for violin and orchestra: as well as Massenet's "Meditation" from ThaÇs, for violin and orchestra. Throughout the program, images of Degas's famous works will be projected on SPAC's cinema screens. An Evening with Degas was developed to complement the Hyde Collection's special exhibit, Degas & Music, which features paintings that reflect Degas's fascination with music, including portraits of musician friends, dramatic images of cabaret singers, and stunning scenes of the music-filled world of ballet.

Three exciting evenings of popular music are featured this season. Conductor Jeff Tyzik, who made his Philadelphia Orchestra debut last summer at SPAC, leads an evening of music from classic movies, including Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Adventures of Robin Hood, Casablanca, and more (August 7). Erich Kunzel, conductor of the Cincinnati Pops, conducts the Fabulous Philadelphians in an evening of Broadway favorites including selections from West Side Story, Grease, Movin' Out, The Wiz, Wicked, Fame, Jersey Boys, and Hairspray (August 14). Kirsten Bracken, Christina Marie Norrup, Zachary Prince, and Mark Willett are featured vocalists. Renowned composer, conductor, and pianist Marvin Hamlisch leads the Orchestra and guest vocalist J. Mark McVey in an evening of popular music entitled Great American Composers, featuring music by Mr. Hamlisch, Irving Berlin, George Gershwin, Scott Joplin, Jerome Kern, and Richard Rodgers (August 20).

The Saratoga Performing Arts Center is located at 108 Avenue of the Pines in Saratoga Springs, NY.

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