5 Non-Fringe Arts Events to Check Out This Month

Conrad Tao is bringing his new work featuring iPad to The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia.

Conrad Tao is bringing his new work featuring iPad to The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia.

Don’t get us wrong: We love the Fringe Festival (we put together two whole guides for it here and here), but September is also the kick off of many other performing arts events in the Philly region. We rounded up some of our favorite picks for shows opening this month that will surely kick your fall into high gear.

The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses

A crowd favorite, the Zelda Symphony Orchestra is returning to the Mann Center with a new installment of their concert series, simply titled “Master Quest.” They’ll be performing a four-movement symphony that incorporates tunes inspired by the video games The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, The Wind Waker, Twilight Princess, A Link to the Past, and more. Friday, September 18th, 8 pm, $40-100, Mann Center, 5201 Parkside Avenue. Read more »

Philly Orchestra Kicks Off New Season With Disney’s Fantasia and More

Details are rolling out about the performance that will kick off the Philadelphia Orchestra’s 2015-2016 season. For the fourth year, the season will run under the direction of renowned Music Director Yannick Nézet-Seguin, who is scheduled to open the Metropolitan Opera’s season in September with Verdi’s Otello.

The Opening Night Concert and Gala will happen on Wednesday, September 30th at the Kimmel Center. As the name suggests, it’s a posh, high-price ticketed event that promises to be one of the first see-and-be-seen soirees of the fall arts season. It better be—entry will set you back $500 per ticket—and that’s the starting price.

Read more »

Carnegie Hall and Philly Orchestra Partnership to Offer Training to Underserved Philly Youth

A unique partnership between the Philadelphia Orchestra and Carnegie Hall’s youth-serving Weill Music Institute will offer an innovative training program for teens starting in summer 2016.

The program, called NYO2, will have a simple, but much-needed, mission: “NYO2 will support greater diversity within the classical orchestral field with a particular focus on attracting talented students who have been traditionally underserved by local music programs, offering an opportunity for participants to play alongside exceptionally talented peers and learn from a world-class faculty.” In short, NYO2 will provide access to resources for young musicians who otherwise may not have the ability to pay or experience an in-depth training. Private lessons can be utterly expensive, and even though admission to top musical conservatories often times comes with a scholarship, it takes an extensive amount of training (and money) to become “good enough” to get in. Read more »

Philadelphia Orchestra Playing Two Free Concerts This Summer


Photo by Jessica Griffin

For the fifteenth year in a row Philadelphians can witness live performances by a world-renowned ensemble for free. The Philadelphia Orchestra performs two shows this summer at no cost: one at the Great Plaza on July 2nd and another at the Kimmel Center on July 30th.

For the first one, audiences can roll out their picnic blankets and enjoy a lineup of patriotic favorites for a pre-Independence Day celebration performed on the RiverStage at Penn’s Landing. In addition to the American classics, the Orchestra is presenting a collection of pieces from Michael Daugherty’s Reflections of the Mississippi. The show doesn’t end when the conductor drops his baton. Be sure to stick around for the landslide firework display that will light up the night sky after the show.

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Andrea Bocelli, Philly Orchestra to Perform for the Pope

Photo of Andrea Bocelli (left) from Andrea Raffin / Shutterstock.com

Photo of Andrea Bocelli (left) from Andrea Raffin / Shutterstock.com

The musical lineup for the Pope’s visit to Philadelphia in September is beginning to be announced. Word about the first three acts performing at the Festival of Families came from the Vatican this morning, where Mayor Nutter and Archbishop Charles J. Chaput are currently visiting to plot out details about the Pope’s stay.

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REVIEW: Bernstein’s MASS With The Philadelphia Orchestra an Otherworldly Delight

A scene from 'MASS.'

A scene from ‘MASS.’

If you missed The Philadelphia Orchestra’s staging of Leonard Bernstein’s MASS, you didn’t miss a performance: You missed a major, major event.

How else can you describe the Kimmel Center’s Verizon Hall stage filled with not only the Philadelphia Orchestra, but the Westminster Symphonic Choir, the Temple University Concert Choir, The American Boychoir, members of the Rock School for Dance, and the Temple University Diamond Marching Band, plus nearly 20 Broadway actors and opera singers…all at once. Add the excitement of Yannick Nezet-Seguin at the podium, and you sort of wonder how the entire building didn’t shatter due the sheer insane sound and energy from this cast of hundreds (Fun fact: this production is the first time that Verizon Hall’s orchestra pit was used. There were so many people on the stage, they couldn’t fit everyone). Read more »

18 Things to Do in Philly This Weekend

Yannick Nezet-Seguin Extends Philadelphia Orchestra Contract Through 2022

Yannick Nézet-Séguin

He’s not going anywhere: The Philadelphia Orchestra announced today that everyone’s favorite energetic maestro, Yannick Nezet-Seguin, has signed a contract renewal through 2022.

“The warm embrace of The Philadelphia Orchestra and its audiences has been humbling and exhilarating since I made my debut in 2008. Knowing that this love affair with the Orchestra and the City of Philadelphia will continue is an immense joy. I believe what we are doing artistically is so important, and it’s having a big impact on this community,” said Nezet-Seguin of the announcement. “But to do this work takes time, so I am thrilled that I will continue here as music director for at least another five years. Our work together is in many ways really just beginning, and now being able to settle in and think and plan long-term is really wonderful.”

The Board of Directors also renewed Chairman Richard B. Worley and Orchestra President & CEO Allison Vulgamore.

For a sneak peek of what’s to come out of The Philadelphia Orchestra in 2015-16, see our piece on the preview of the season.

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