New video: Yannick and the Philly at the non-Carnegie pop-up concert

New video: Yannick and the Philly at the non-Carnegie pop-up concert


norman lebrecht

October 03, 2013

This was so much better than Carnegie Hall could ever have been. Maybe it’s what orchs should do every opening night: stage a pop-up.

Here’s one of Yannick’s phone shots from the stage.

yannick audience shot



  • Jeffrey Levenson says:

    Great PR move. Good leadership by management.

  • Carole Bailis says:

    So proud of our great orchestra! Turning lemons into lemonade and pleasing thousands of fans.

  • Jim Harris says:

    Love it! Could only have happened in the age of instant communication. Just like in old Russia – music for the PEOPLE. On the heels of a packed Independence Mall for a free opera last week, this bodes very well for the classical music scene in Philly. Bravo to all involved!

  • Russell Platt says:

    And what a fabulous orchestra it is.

  • Daniel Green says:

    Amazing experience. Been to a lot of concerts all over the world, but nothing like this. The news travelled through social media so rapidly! We were on our way to see Nabucco at the Academy of Music — a block and a half away — and stopped at the Kimmel to check it out. At 6:20 PM we had to hike to the top tier. The place was packed with young people — strollers parked outside the doors at every level, young parents with babies in their laps. Hundreds waiting outside to get in! People of all races, ethnic backgrounds, and ages — but mostly very young. From the final chords of Tchaikovsky’s Marche Slave, the roar from this crowd was like nothing I’ve ever heard before.

    Yannick was a charming host and entertainer, and the orchestra played like — well — the Philadelphia Orchestra. Then, we walk a block and half to the Academy for Opera Philadelphia’s Nabucco!

    Welcome to Philadelphia! What an experience.

    Norman, you are so right — no way Carnegie Hall could’ve matched this night. Brilliant idea by the Orchestra’s management, and extraordinary gift that these extraordinary musicians gave to their city — free of charge!

    • MWnyc says:

      I’ve heard and read elsewhere as well that the crowd’s reaction was extraordinary – ecstatic, delirious, etc.

      Unfortunately, you’d never know it from the Philadelphia Inquirer report, which focuses entirely on the reasons for the Carnegie cancellation and the amateur conducting contest before the concert.

      But for one sentence – the fourth paragraph – about Yannick’s spoken introduction (and what he was wearing), there’s not a word about the performance or the audience’s reaction, which I think is the real news. Honestly, I can’t help wondering if the writer didn’t actually stay for the concert.

      • Anon says:

        If you were a reporter writing a report, not a review, which item is more news-worthy? “Local orchestra comes good, playing a one-off unexpected concert after Carnegie stagehands strike”, or “Great audience reaction to usual great Philly concert”? The later I hope is something written about a lot, and while I would have liked to see some mention of it in the article, can well understand that it’s not the ‘news’ in the piece.

        • MWnyc says:

          But Dobrin’s article barely talks about the one-off unexpected concert. It talks some about the strike and a lot about the little amateur conducting competition beforehand. The latter is a nice piece of community outreach, but not completely unprecedented.

          Go back and read Daniel Green’s description again. It wasn’t just “[the usual] great audience reaction to usual great Philly concert.”

          It was “the roar from this crowd was like nothing I’ve ever heard before.” It was Verizon Hall packed with exactly the sort of younger, excited audience members for which every orchestra in America is desperate. And all those audience members turned up on about six hours’ notice or less (depending on when exactly an individual got word), and they were alerted almost entirely through social media and email.

          That is news, my friend. Big news.

          League-of-American-Orchestras-should-be-buzzing news. Greg-Sandow-should-be-doing-cartwheels news.

          • It’s the wrong news, though. A lot of those folks have invested themselves 100% for the last few years on the lip-smackingly imminent total failure of a Big 5 orchestra. They were salivating over the prospect of the Phila band going down in flames. Since the flames seem to have turned into booster rockets lately, it sort of tosses a wrench in their arguments.

          • MWnyc says:

            But which folks are those, @113yearslater?

            Yes, there have been some journalists who seemed to see the PhilOrch’s troubles primarily as a juicy narrative that they wanted to continue getting juicier, no matter if it hurts the orchestra.

            The Philadelphia Inquirer folks are not among them. They may run with the story as it happens; some of them may be very quick to call out what they see as failures on the part of management. But they absolutely do not want to see the Philadelphia Orchestra go down in flames; that’s been very clear to anyone who’s been reading the paper.

          • Sandow, mostly. 🙂 And he’s not alone — there are a lot of folks who are dying for the whole orchestra model to go ass over teakettle, and the fact that the Phila Orch seems to have pulled out of its nosedive so far as we can see interferes with the doomsday narrative.

            I was also surprised at the bland reporting at the Inquirer.

          • MWnyc says:

            I have no way of knowing, but I honestly get the impression that the Inquirer writer didn’t stay for the concert itself.

  • James Brinton says:

    If I were the Philadelphia Orchestra, I would feel APPRECIATED!

  • James Brinton says:

    Meanwhile, in the city where the rich start fires with musical scores:

    “Due to the huge demand for tickets, the Musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra have added an additional concert on Saturday, October 5, at 2:00 pm, Ted Mann Concert Hall, at the University of Minnesota. Tickets go on sale Friday, October 4, at 8:00 am.

    “The [two] concerts will be Vänksä’s farewell to the community and audience that have supported classical music so passionately. The program will feature piano soloist, Emanuel Ax in a program including Beethoven’s Egmont Overture, Piano Concerto No. 3, Mozart Piano Concerto No. 27, and Stravinsky’s Suite from the Firebird.”

    Would that the demand for new management in Minneapolis were as great as the demand for classical music, well played.

    • MWnyc says:

      There’s clearly loads of demand for new management at the Minnesota Orchestra. But if the old management – the Board, or at least the people leading it – is unwilling to step aside voluntarily, there doesn’t seem to be any way of making them do so.