In March 1916, Leopold Stokowski’s performance of the Symphony of 1,000, its US premiere, pushed news of Verdun off the front pages and put the upstart Philadelphia on the world map. Next season, Yannick Nézet-Séguin will try to regenerate that excitement.
Press release below.
(Philadelphia, January 27, 2015)—Philadelphia Orchestra Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin and President and CEO Allison Vulgamore today announce The Philadelphia Orchestra’s 2015-16 season, a year-long exploration of the famous Philadelphia Sound and the composers and artists who have been drawn to, and inspired by it, over a century of music-making.
“I am excited and inspired by our 2015-16 season, which presents multiple ways for audiences to experience the legendary Philadelphia Sound, and focuses on an important aspect of our roots, the championing and premiering of new repertoire,” says Nézet-Séguin, who will be embarking on his fourth season with the world-renowned ensemble. “We will revisit great works that the Orchestra has premiered throughout its rich history, premiere new commissions, celebrate the musical legacy of the noble city of Vienna, and collaborate with the world’s finest guest artists, eager to share in the making of this magnificent Sound.”
“Since his arrival in Philadelphia, Yannick has brought boundless musical inspiration to our audiences, and an astonishing vitality to the Orchestra. He is undoubtedly the consummate guardian of the legendary Philadelphia Sound, and the ideal artistic leader to propel our ensemble forward,” says Philadelphia Orchestra President and CEO Allison Vulgamore. “For the past three seasons we’ve been opening a window on the rich and venerable Philadelphia Orchestra legacy, collaborating with the most accomplished conductors and artists. With our new season, we open our programming window even further, confident that thanks to the support of our entire community, we are grounded institutionally, providing curated seasons of musical discovery together.”
For over 100 years The Philadelphia Sound has captivated audiences around the globe and attracted the world’s most accomplished composers and soloists—from Rachmaninoff, Mahler, Sibelius, and Stravinsky, to John Williams, Yo-Yo Ma, Lang Lang, James Levine, and more. Chief among the works embodying the Philadelphia Sound is Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 (“Symphony of a Thousand”), which received its U.S. premiere a century ago. The masterpiece will be featured prominently in the 2015-16 season along with 11 other works that received world or U.S. premieres by The Philadelphia Orchestra.
Other season highlights include the world premiere of a new oratorio by American composer Hannibal, commissioned by The Philadelphia Orchestra; new works for Philadelphia Orchestra principal players; a three-week festival focusing on the music of Vienna; a tribute to composer and conductor John Williams featuring cellist Yo-Yo Ma and, in a separate, special event, the composer himself; artistic collaborations with Stage Director James Alexander; as well as guest appearances from the world’s most esteemed and revered conductors and soloists. Music ranges from the Baroque and period-informed to the contemporary and includes new works and beloved masterpieces, as well as some great composers—Miaskovsky, Janáček, Casella—that have been underrepresented in the repertoire.
The 2015-16 season also includes the Philadelphians’ annual subscription series at Carnegie Hall plus Family Concerts and Collaborative Learning activities, holiday performances, a return to China, residencies in three summer venues, a Florida tour, and other special events.
2015-16 Season Highlights Overview:
¨ Yannick Nézet-Séguin assembles massive forces for performances of Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 (“Symphony of a Thousand),” marking the centennial of the U.S. premiere, which was given by The Philadelphia Orchestra and Leopold Stokowski at the Academy of Music in 1916.
¨ A yearlong exploration of the famous Philadelphia Sound with a dozen works that were given world or U.S. premieres by The Philadelphia Orchestra.
¨ Nézet-Séguin leads a three-week Music of Vienna festival in January.
¨ Nézet-Séguin leads the Orchestra in the world premiere of American composer Hannibal’s new oratorio, One Land, One River, One People,commissioned by The Philadelphia Orchestra.
¨ Principal Guest Conductor Stéphane Denève presents a two-week tribute to composer and conductor John Williams with subscription concerts featuring Yo-Yo Ma and a special one-night-only event starring the composer himself on the podium.
¨ Artistic collaborations with Stage Director James Alexander, including theatrically informed presentations of Handel’s Messiah conducted byYannick Nézet-Séguin and a staged, complete version of Stravinsky’s The Soldier’s Tale led by Conductor-in-Residence Cristian Măcelaru.
¨ A number of esteemed conductors return to lead The Philadelphia Orchestra. Conducting two-week residencies are Donald Runnicles andGianandrea Noseda. Also returning for subscription concerts are Marin Alsop, Robin Ticciati, Fabio Luisi, Vladmir Jurowski, and James Levine. Andrés Orozco-Estrada, Ton Koopman, and Pablo Heras-Casado make their conducting debuts. Bramwell Tovey returns to lead the Glorious Sound of Christmas concerts.
¨ Many notable soloists return, including Lang Lang, Hilary Hahn, Gil Shaham, Yefim Bronfman, Simon Trpčeski, and Hélène Grimaud.Soloists making their subscription debuts include Daniil Trifonov and Alexandre Tharaud.
¨ Five principal players of The Philadelphia Orchestra appear as soloists: Concertmaster David Kim, Principal Cello Hai-Ye Ni, and Principal FluteJeffery Khaner. Principal Clarinet Ricardo Morales and Principal Timpani Don Liuzzi premiere new works commissioned for them.
¨ Season highlights also include the Orchestra’s annual subscription series at Carnegie Hall; educational and community performances including a Family Concert series, Neighborhood Concerts, and the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Tribute; plus holiday programs and other special events.