Overnight, Philly gives Yannick a tacky upgrade

Overnight, Philly gives Yannick a tacky upgrade


norman lebrecht

February 06, 2023

Last night, the Philadelphia Orchestra renewed its contract with music director Yannick Nézet-Séguin through to 2030.

He is to be retitled Music and Artistic Director, a device that usually enables a non-profit to pay two salaries.

So far, so reasonable.

But we also learn that the orchestra has inducted a ‘Philly Loves Yannick Week’ into its regular calendar.

There are special gifts to be claimed:
– ‘a specialty cocktail celebrating Nézet-Séguin’s French-Canadian roots’;
– ‘a limited-edition bobblehead of Nézet-Séguin’;
– ‘digital release of Nézet-Séguin gifs will be available for public use on social media’.

A tad de trop?


  • soavemusica says:

    Will the sold merchandise bobbleheads lack a shirt, like the Maestro does?

    Wouldn`t two salaries enable him to buy one?

  • CA says:

    So over this guy. And this orchestra, once a shining star.

  • steveb says:

    He can afford to pay a tailor to make shirts that fit him better.

  • Bruce Mahler says:

    Gay guys like attention that way. Yannick is flamboyant. Anyway he tries to do too much. He’ll have a nervous breakdown in the future….guaranteed.

  • Tiredofitall says:

    This can’t be for real. Is it some sort of early April Fool joke? Adulation used to be freely given, not mandated by contract.

    How can we tell the bobblehead from the real bobblehead?

    • MWnyc says:

      I’m pretty sure “Philly Loves Yannick Week” is not in his contract. (And if it is, it’s so that he’s contractually required to be in Philadelphia that week.)

      “Philly Loves Yannick Week” is a marketing gimmick. Let’s hope it does its job and sells tickets.

  • Thornhill says:

    U.S. nonprofits can pay employees however much they want — there are no rules that impose salary caps because of someone’s job title.

    It’s likely that YNS demanded a big salary bump which the orchestra is worried that they’ll be criticized for agreeing to (isn’t he already one of the top paid conductors in the U.S.?), so they’ll claim that the salary is justified because he took on new responsibilities. Because the highest paid employee section of 990s are usually a year or two behind the current fiscal year, it will be a while until we see just how much more he’s being paid.

  • Mock Mahler says:

    Drink enough of the cocktails, you won’t need the bobblehead.

  • Sam McElroy says:

    I was in the hall last night when the contract extension and second job title were announced. The news was greeted with roaring approval and a prolonged standing ovation by the public / subscribership.

  • Jobim75 says:

    What is Yannick doing for French music or even Canadian? He’s just being himself….

    • Emil says:

      Take a look at the programme of the Orchestre Métropolitain. It’s full of both, as well as Québécois musicians and conductors.

      The first concert of the season, for instance, comprised a world premiere of a piece by Québec First Nations artist Elisapie and Ravel’s Daphnis et Chloé. The second concert was French music, with Emmanuel Pahud . The fourth was also French (guest conducted). In February, one has a world premiere of a theremin concerto by a Montréal composer, Simon Bertrand (guest conductor) and a world premiere cello and harp concerto by Denis Gougeon (dir. 1st guest conductor Nicolas Ellis). Und so weiter…

  • Ramanuji says:

    Geez, aren’t we all just dishin’ today, girls…?

  • John R. says:

    I lost all respect for him once he started championing Florence Price.

  • save music says:

    Whatever high-falutin attitude leads one to deride the “tackyness” of something like this is precisely why the world of classical music is in sad trouble (and ironically, why such public attention getting gimmicks are now a necessity)

  • Karen Fiske says:

    Pas du tout trop! Je l’adore! If flamboyance is a problem in the classical music world, that’s a problem for the world of classical music. Stop criticizing the micro dresses and stilettos of brilliant Yuja, and very out there gay artists who are great artists! Look at the art. YNS generates huge enthusiasm for an art form we all want to see thrive. He is approachable, not prim. Thank goodness! I want a bobblehead!!!