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.
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 »
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.
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 »
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 theMississippi. 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.
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 MayorNutter and Archbishop Charles J. Chaputare currently visiting to plot out details about the Pope’s stay.
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 »
Lovers of The Philadelphia Orchestra will have a unique opportunity to listen live to their Sunday, March 22 concert…without having to actually go to the Kimmel Center’s Verizon Hall. The Orchestra has teamed up with WRTI 90.1 FM to broadcast their program live on air and via the web. Read more »
If you're a JFK groupie, then it is imperative that you head over to the National Constitution Center: The new exhibit "Creating Camelot: The Kennedy Photography of Jacques Lowe" opens this Friday and runs through September. The interactive showcase features over 70 portraits of JFK, Jackie, and their children, and visitors can play with a touchscreen monitor that includes dozens of Lowe's contact sheets with never before seen images. Friday, February 13, 9:30am, $10, National Constitution Center, 525 Arch Street.
The Greatest Show on Earth has become even greater in this newest edition of the Ringling Brothers and Barnum Bailey circus, playing the Wells Fargo Center all weekend. The performance features extraordinary acts, animals, and fun that are exclusive to the Circus XTREME show, including dancing dogs, high-flying aerial artists, and lots and lots of camels and elephants. Friday, February 13 through Sunday, February 15, Various Times, $15-130, Wells Fargo Center, 3601 South Broad Street.
From Foobooz: The weekend of Valentine’s Day will be the official grand opening of the upstairs lounge and cabaret space at Mark Bee’sFranky Bradley’s. The upstairs will kick off with a cabaret hosted by Foxy Tann, the the Boss of Burlesque, on Friday, February 13th. On Saturday, February 14th, the upstairs will host the official after-party of the Philadelphia Tattoo Arts Convention. Admission is free with a convention wristband or handstamp. Sailor Jerry’s drinks will be on special for $5 all night. More here.
Attention four-legged furry friend lovers: Celebrate your love for humans (and animals) at Nest's Fourth Annual Tweetheart Social, benefitting PAWS. Guests will enjoy a photo booth, beer, wine, a candy bar, heart-shaped Rice Crispy treats, and a silent auction. There will also be plenty of adorable dogs visiting from PAWS, and you can help by bringing cleaning supplies or canned dog/cat food as a donation. Friday, February 13, 4:00pm, $35, Nest, 1301 Locust Street.
I'm pretty sure you won't find your typical "I Love Mom" tattoos at this extremely popular show that runs throughout Valentine's Day weekend. The Philadelphia Tattoo Arts Convention features dozens of famous tattoo artists (many from TV's Ink Master series), plus vendors, contests, and seminars. If you're still down over your ex, it's a great way to get something else (permanent) that you'll soon regret. (February 13-15, various times, Pennsylvania Convention Center, 1101 Arch St., Philadelphia)
Wear your best dance shoes and head over to the Philadelphia Museum of Art's "Art After 5" this Friday to immerse yourself in the world's sexiest dance: the tango. Watch tango dancers strut their stuff, and be ready to do the same as lessons will be included in this perfect way to kickstart Valentine's weekend. Don't forget all those tasty nibbles and cocktails served up by Stephen Starr. Friday, February 13, 5:00pm, $17.50-23.50, Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway.
Despite having only one full-length album under their belt, PHOX has already made impressive musical strides: the group has opened for bands such as The Lumineers, and played big-name gigs like Lollapalooza. The six-piece outfit plays alternative folk-meets-indie pop, with tracks worthy of getting caught in your head. Tickets are available for purchase online. Listen before you go: "Slow Motion/Blue and White." Friday, February 13th, 8 p.m., Union Transfer, 1026 Spring Garden Street.
Five-time World Music award winner 50 Cent is playing a one-night only concert at Philly's Electric Factory on Friday. The rapper, who rose to public fame after one of his singles was featured in the film 8 Mile, has sold over 6.4 million copies of his debut album, Get Rich or Die Tryin'. He'll be joined on stage by Quilly, Kidd Kidd, Tony Yayo, Lloyd Banks, and Young Buck. Friday, February 13, 8:30pm, $49.50-55, Electric Factory, 421 North 7th Street.
The PHS Pop Up Garden returns to The Shops at Liberty Place this Saturday, but this year, there's a twist: The floral extravaganza will also serve as a beer garden for happy hours through Saturday from 4 to 7pm. Guests at Liberty Place will be able to get a sneak peek at this year's Flower Show movie theme, and, for your convenience, you can purchase Flower Show tickets right there at the mall. Saturday, February 14, 9:30am, Free, The Shops at Liberty Place, 1625 Chestnut Street.
It is a landmark on Broad Street, and now you can experience it for free. The Abraham Lincoln Foundation is sponsoring their annual Union League Open House on Saturday, and art and history lovers alike will enjoy the program. Guests can take a guided tour to experience the over 300 paintings, sculptures, and other pieces of art housed in the building, while actors playing historical figures offer storytelling. Saturday, February 15, 11:00am, Free, The Union League, 140 South Broad Street.
Clearly not for the squeamish, the Academy of Natural Sciences opens their new exhibit on giant snakes titled "Titanoboa" on Saturday. It's any Ophidiophobe's worst nightmare: See live snakes, learn about venom, and witness a life-sized model of an actual titanoboa, a prehistoric snake that weighed 2,500 pounds and was 48 feet long. What a romantic way to spend Valentine's Day! Saturday, February 14, 10am, $16.95-18.95, Academy of Natural Sciences, 1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway.
From Shoppist: On February 14, stop by Old City’s Moko for Valentine’s Day beauty packages, a champagne elixir and rose facial and all-around girly fun. The best part? If you wear your pajamas, you’ll receive 10 percent off your services that day. That’s right, it’s totally appropriate—nay, encouraged—to wear cozy loungewear and get pampered tomorrow. Who needs dinner and a movie? Details here.
Ever wonder how lions and tigers and bears (oh my!) fall in love? The Philadelphia Zoo has the answer at their "Wild at Heart" weekend. Visitors can take a self-guided "wildlife couples" tour of famous animal pairs at the zoo while local ice artists create giant animal sculptures throughout the facilities. This is family-friendly heartwarming fun for all ages. Saturday, February 14 and Sunday, February 15, 10am, $16, Philadelphia Zoo, 3400 West Girard Avenue.
The words of the Bard will be transformed by The Philadelphia Orchestra and the Philadelphia Shakespeare Theatre this Valentine's Day as they present a one-of-a-kind evening of music from four composers who were inspired by Shakespeare. Selections will include Walton's As You Like It, Berlioz's Beatrice and Benedict, Tchaikovsky's Romeo and Juliet, and Mendelssohn's A Midsummer Night's Dream. The large-scale musical forces will be led by guest conductor Stéphane Denève. Saturday, February 14, 8pm, $58-160, Kimmel Center, 300 South Broad Street.
Set the mood on Saturday with an intimate performance by Knoxville folk band Cereus Bright (pictured), along with husband and wife duo, Elenowen. Both acts are known for emotionally driven lyrics and impassioned harmonies–a set sure to woo any valentine. Tickets are available for purchase online. Listen before you go: Bright's "Some Strange Hold." Saturday, February 14th, 8:30 p.m., 21+, MilkBoy, 1100 Chestnut Street.
Local singer-songwriter Joshua Thomas–whose album The Harboring was released in September–is recognized for his exceptionally strong vocals. When coupled with his masterful piano playing, Thomas's tunes carry passion "you can feel shooting straight through your headphones." Tickets are available for purchase online. Listen before you go: "Beast." Sunday, February 15th, 7 p.m., 21+, Tin Angel, 20 S. 2nd Street.
“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.