Sting to Join Philadelphia Orchestra for Academy's 153rd Birthday

Classic Arts Features   Sting to Join Philadelphia Orchestra for Academy's 153rd Birthday
The Orchestra announced that world-renowned singer/composer Sting will appear as its special guest for the Academy of Music's 153rd Anniversary Concert on Jan. 30, 2010.


In addition, esteemed conductor Rafael Fr‹hbeck de Burgos, who made his North American debut with the Orchestra at the Academy of Music 40 years ago, will celebrate by leading a program of classical favorites. This occasion marks Mr. Fr‹hbeck's third appearance leading the Academy of Music Anniversary Concert. Additional guest artist and program information for the concert will be announced at a later date. The Anniversary Concert is created and produced by Wayne Baruch and Charles F. Gayton, who also produced the Academy 150th, 151st, and 152nd anniversary concerts.

The Academy Ball, which immediately follows the Anniversary Concert, takes place at the Park Hyatt Philadelphia at the Bellevue. The gala is being chaired by Mrs. Fred L. Hudson III and Mr. Joseph A. Frick. Invitations will be mailed in early October. For additional information on this event, please call the Academy of Music Restoration Fund Office at 215.893.1978.

The region's premier gala benefit, the annual Academy of Music Anniversary Concert and Ball has been held each January for 53 years. The first Anniversary Concert and Ball took place on January 26, 1957, and celebrated the Centennial Jubilee of the Academy of Music. Chaired by Mr. G. Stockton Strawbridge, with Mrs. Francis Boyer as program book chairman, the event showcased a star-studded line-up in which Eugene Ormandy shared his podium with Danny Kaye. Guest performers included classical artists Marian Anderson, Hilde Gueden, Arthur Rubinstein, and Isaac Stern, and popular singer Dinah Shore. It has always been one of the region's most successful fundraisers, raising significant funds for the Academy of Music Restoration Fund and The Philadelphia Orchestra. Owned by The Philadelphia Orchestra Association, this National Historic Landmark served as the home of The Philadelphia Orchestra for more than a century, from the ensemble's founding in 1900 to the opening of The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts in December 2001.

Concert-only tickets, priced at $200 and located in the Amphitheatre level, go on sale on September 15, 2009. Tickets can be purchased by calling 215.893.1999 or by visiting

About the Artists

A composer, singer, actor, author, and activist, Sting has remained at the forefront of the public consciousness for four decades and has written some of the most enduring songs of our time. A milkman's son from Newcastle, England, Sting was a teacher, soccer coach, and ditchdigger before turning to music. Inspired equally by jazz and the Beatles, he formed the Police with drummer Stewart Copeland and guitarist Andy Summers in 1977. The band quickly became a success both in the UK and U.S. scoring several No. 1 hits including "Roxanne," "Every Breath You Take," "King of Pain," and "Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic." The Police earned five Grammy Awards and two Brits. In 2003 the group was inducted into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and in 2007, The Police reformed and embarked on a world tour that played to over 3.7 million people on five continents.

Sting launched his solo career in 1985 with the release of Dream of the Blue Turtles and has since evolved into one of the world's most distinctive and highly respected performers, collecting an additional 11 Grammys, two Brits, a Golden Globe, an Emmy, three Oscar nominations, Billboard Magazine's Century Award, and MusiCares 2004 Person of the Year. He has released nine additional solo records, including Nothing Like The Sun (1987), Ten Summoner's Tales (1993), Brand New Day (1999,) All This Time (2001), and Songs From the Labyrinth, which featured the music of Elizabethan songwriter John Dowland. His forthcoming album, If on a Winter's Night... to be released this Fall on Deutsche Grammophon, presents an arc of songs that conjure the season of spirits, featuring a collection of carols and lullabies spanning the centuries, resulting in a haunting, spiritual and reflective musical journey.

Born in Burgos, Spain, in 1933, Rafael Fr‹hbeck de Burgos studied violin, piano, music theory, and composition at the conservatories in Bilbao and Madrid, and conducting at Munich's Hochschule f‹r Musik, where he graduated summa cum laude and was awarded the Richard Strauss Prize. He currently is chief conductor and artistic director of the Dresden Philharmonic.

Mr. Fr‹hbeck has served as general music director of the Rundfunkorchester Berlin, principal guest conductor of the National Symphony and Tokyo's Yomiuri Nippon Symphony, and music director of the Deutsche Oper Berlin, the Vienna Symphony, the Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della RAI Turin, the Bilbao Orchestra, the National Symphony of Spain (where he was later appointed emeritus conductor), the D‹sseldorf Symphony, and the Montreal Symphony. He made his North American debut in 1969 with The Philadelphia Orchestra at the Academy of Music. Mr. Fr‹hbeck is a regular guest conductor with many of the world's ensembles including London's Philharmonia Orchestra; the Berlin, Munich, Hamburg, and Israel philharmonics; the Vienna Symphony; and the major Japanese orchestras. He has also made extensive tours with ensembles such as the London Symphony, the Vienna Symphony, the Spanish National Orchestra, the National Orchestra of Madrid, and the Swedish Radio Orchestra.

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 an unparalleled 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).

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