Philly’s Kimmel Center kicks out an orchestra

Philly’s Kimmel Center kicks out an orchestra


norman lebrecht

January 22, 2023

Just as it looked like the Philly Pops might be saved from bankruptcy, the concert hall has evicted them.


Read Peter Dobrin here.

America is at once generous and brutal to the arts.


  • MacroV says:

    It costs money to run a hall. You don’t think the Musikverein would stop accommodating a renter who fell so far behind on its fees?

  • Bedrich Sourcream says:

    This has nothing to do with America and everything to do with the Philadelphia Orchestra pulling a coup d’etat so they can have their own Pops series without competition. They have lost an enormous amount of audiences and are desperately hacking about to find anything to get more people in their seats, no matter how tasteless. So they resorted to bullying Philly Pops, rather than writing off their debt, or giving them more time to pay it off. It is unethical, uncollegial and unbrotherly. The head of the Orchestra, Tarnopolsky, should resign for doing this. That the Orchestra was able to take over management of the concert halls gave them a monopoly, and a complete conflict of interest. And they’re not going to get into the Academy of Music, either.

  • Hal Sacks says:

    The Philly Pops is 1 million dollars in debt to the Kimmel Center and its musicians have not been paid going back to last fall. They are “reorganizing”. But the landlord can’t wait.

  • Old Man in the Midwest says:

    As audiences continue to decline and consumer behavior favors digital concert halls that are done extremely well such as Berlin and MET HD, the live experience will become more like the Hunger Games. I can get a better experience at home or at my local movie theater for a fraction of the price.

    Large orchestras will add to their movie score nights, offer pops that includes selections by trashy Hip Hop artists and Abba, and woke selections by unproven composers but who are able to check off the correct boxes in order to be programmed.

    Glad I’m getting out of the business. And glad neither of my kids went into the business.

    May the Odds Ever be in Your Favor.

    • MacroV says:

      But I don’t see the DCH or other streaming services as a replacement of the live experience; if I lived in Berlin I’d be at the Philharmonie all the time, the DCH merely enhancing my understanding of the orchestra and strengthening my fandom. I’m just glad to have it since I live an ocean away.

      • Old Man in the Midwest says:

        I have retired to rural area outside of Chicago and am most happy never having to return to the city unless I have to. Parking is expensive, ticket prices rarely justify the performance quality, and crime is an issue along with weather, Covid, and lack of traditional programming. I love an overture, a concerto, and a symphony. A musical BLT without any vegans getting angry and upset.

        I understand your love of live music but having been in the profession for over 40 years, I don’t need to look at an overbeating conductor and a bored orchestra to enjoy music. I can turn on my Internet radio get WQXR or BBC3 and within a moment know if I will like the performance or whether I should watch TV.

        I’m glad that there are still some folks who enjoy the live experience but for me it’s Old Hat and technology is now my friend in Old Age.

  • Annon Y. Mouse says:

    It says a lot about society that no one has asked the musicians going through this how they feel. And the no one has expressed the least sympathy or empathy for them (the musicians).

  • Karden says:

    Beyond merely the Kimmel Center and the PhilOrch, If various cultural organizations are struggling to keep their attendees of the past while growing their customer base presumably of the future (ticket buyers into the au courant), why are so many of these art groups alienating the former – or making them increasingly apathetic – while not really luring in the latter?

    A formula for lose-lose instead of win-win.