The Inquirer reports that Yannick Nézet-Séguin will be skipping this week’s Philadelphia Orchestra concerts—both here and at Carnegie Hall in New York—with a sinus problem.
A press release from the Philadelphia Orchestra:
The Philadelphia Orchestra today announced details of its upcoming 157th Academy of Music Anniversary Concert and Ball to be held Saturday, January 25, 2014, beginning at 5:30 PM. Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin and The Philadelphia Orchestra welcome special guest artist and Philadelphia hero Jill Scott for this magnificent evening of music, dinner, and dancing in celebration of the Academy of Music, a National Historic Landmark.
Members of the celebrated Philadelphia Orchestra were in their final rehearsal Tuesday afternoon in Verizon Hall in the Kimmel Center.
Concertmaster and first-chair violin David Kim says it’s going to be a great night.
“Our opening night performance is going to be all Tchaikovsky. Romeo and Juliet Overture which everybody knows; the Violin Concerto, beloved.”
The concert on Wednesday, September 25, at 7 PM features an all-Tchaikovsky program with the incomparable virtuoso Anne-Sophie Mutter performing the composer’s Violin Concerto. Also on the program are Marche slave andRomeo and Juliet.
Yannick and Anne-Sophie toured Germany, Austria and Luxembourg in April with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and by all accounts their musical chemistry created onstage fireworks, which will be continued and transformed on stage at the Opening Night Concert with The Philadelphia Orchestra.
Just to get you in the mood, here’s an earlier version of the Philadelphia Orchestra—under conductor Eugene Ormandy—playing the opening movement to Violin Concerto in D Major.
Plane delays suck. But they suck a little less when the Philadelphia Orchestra is onboard. The orchestra, currently on tour in China, found itself stuck on a plane in Beijing that had been sitting on the tarmac for hours. So, several members of the orchestra whipped out their instruments (apparently they were carry-on size) and entertained the crowd.
The Philadelphia Orchestra performed “Rite of Spring” Friday night at Carnegie Hall in New York; today New Yorker music writer Russell Platt says the orchestra has risen from the ashes of bankruptcy in fine fashion:
Before attending the Philadelphia Orchestra’s Friday-evening concert at Carnegie Hall—which, as its highlight, featured a stunning hundredth-anniversary performance of Stravinsky’s “Rite of Spring”—I dropped by a brief press conference and get-together at the Weill Recital Hall bar. There, Allison Vulgamore, the orchestra’s president, asked Yannick Nézet-Séguin, its new music director, questions about the ramifications of his undeniably exciting appointment and about the orchestra’s upcoming season—questions that have a special urgency, since the orchestra, its board, and its staff are still emerging from several years in which its finances were shaky, audience attendance was falling precipitously, and musician-management relations were at a catastrophic low.
Such events are never free from the twin pitfalls of mock spontaneity and self-congratulation, but in this case, the congratulation is deserved. Philly’s orchestra—and, my God, what an orchestra it is—isn’t out of the woods yet. But the sense of confidence and relief with which they conversed foreshadowed the ovation that the audience, three hours later, would give Nézet-Séguin when, after the “Rite” ended, he threw his arms out to present his players: I’m here, they’re here, you’re here—it’s gonna be O.K.
The New York Times reports: “Ah, a conductor with benefits. Riding the train called Yannick Nézet-Séguin, the Philadelphia Orchestra said it will release its first recording on a major label in 16 years, on Deutsche Grammophon. Mr. Nézet-Séguin is the orchestra’s new music director, a rising star in the conducting world who has been recording for Deutsche Grammophon since 2008. The record deal shows how a highly touted conductor’s luster can bring extras. Mr. Seguin is in the middle of recording seven Mozart operas for Deutsche Grammophon and has an agreement for three orchestral recordings as conductor of the Rotterdam Philharmonic, another orchestra he leads. The Philadelphia deal comes to an orchestra that only recently emerged from bankruptcy court and is struggling to re-establish its footing.” Well. That makes it kind of sound sad instead of awesome, doesn’t it?
There’s a happier happy ending to Aidan Milligan’s story. The 9-year-old Drexel Hill boy made news last week when the Philadelphia Orchestra volunteered to replace his trombone, which was taken when he placed it outside his house—so he wouldn’t forget to take it to school with him the next morning. That was a gesture appreciated by the family of Milligan, who has Down syndrome, but they won’t need the replacement trombone after all: Police in Haverford say they’ve recovered the missing instrument. ”I’m just overjoyed, I’m delighted,” said Helen Milligan, Aidan’s mom. Police aren’t saying if anyone was arrested in the case, nor how the trombone was found [NBC 10 Philadelphia]
Yannick Nezet-Seguin has something very much in common with my friend “Andy” from Bristol. Nezet-Seguin is the new music director of the Philadelphia Orchestra, which, despite its recent financial troubles, is very much a world-renowned institution. Nezet-Seguin is certainly no slouch. He began to study piano at age five and decided he wanted to become an orchestra conductor at age 10. He became the musical director of the Choeur polyphonique de Montréal in 1994 and obtained the same post at Choeur de Laval in 1995. That same year he also founded his own professional orchestra. Besides his work with the Philadelphia Orchestra, he is currently the conductor of the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra and has conducted performances at the Metropolitan Opera in New York and the Royal Opera House in London. Read more »
The Philadelphia Orchestra had its reorganization plans approved in late June, but after some paper shifting and check signing on the last two days of July, it has officially emerged from bankruptcy. The ordeal took more than 15 months and cost nearly $10 million in fees and expenses.
“I can confirm we’re all done and out of bankruptcy, and the orchestra is back in its first day of business as a non-debtor in possession,” said orchestra lawyer Lawrence G. McMichael Tuesday morning.
The association succeeded in most of what it intended to achieve, though the action was not without substantial risk and high costs. A new, deeply concessionary labor deal with musicians was reached despite the threat of a strike. Several musicians have left or are planning to leave for other jobs. [Inquirer]