Gay Philly Selfies

Our mother publication, Philadelphia magazine, recently complied a collection of 75 selfies from notable faces around the region. Of course, the line-up wouldn’t be complete without a roundup of some great folks in the LGBT community. Below you’ll find some very familiar and famous faces sharing their smiles for our readers.

Yannick Nézet-Séguin rehearsing Leonard Bernstein’s Mass with the Westminster  Symphonic Choir of Princeton at the Kimmel Center, April 28, 2015.

Yannick Nézet-Séguin rehearsing Leonard Bernstein’s Mass with the Westminster
Symphonic Choir of Princeton at the Kimmel Center, April 28, 2015.

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Andrea Bocelli, Philly Orchestra to Perform for the Pope

Photo of Andrea Bocelli (left) from Andrea Raffin /

Photo of Andrea Bocelli (left) from Andrea Raffin /

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 »

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.

5 Reasons to See The Philadelphia Orchestra’s Saint Petersburg Festival

Yannick Nézet-Séguin

I don’t think you need a good reason to see The Philadelphia Orchestra play the breathtaking Verizon Hall, but over the next several weeks, the fabulous musicians are putting on quite a series of shows: The Saint Petersburg Festival, which celebrates great Russian composers, gives a compelling reason to take in some gorgeous classical music. But, if you need more convincing, here are five reasons why a trip to the Kimmel Center is in high order. Read more »

Philadelphia Orchestra Embarks on Landmark Trip to Europe In May


The members of the Philadelphia Orchestra will pack their bags this May for a voyage to Europe: It is the first time that the Fabulous Philadelphians will embark on a European tour with Music Director Yannick Nezet-Seguin.

“I have long anticipated the first tour of Europe that I will take with the musicians of The Philadelphia Orchestra,” said Nezet-Seguin. “At the conclusion of three years of our partnership I am proud to bring to European audiences this current embodiment of the great Philadelphia Sound that we have collaborated on together.” Read more »

Hello, Conductor: Here’s a Shirtless Pic of Yannick Nezet-Seguin

Yannick Shirtless

If you’re looking for a way to hit the high notes, might I suggest heading over to the Facebook page of the Philadelphia Orchestra‘s music director, openly gay Yannick Nezet-Seguin, who is rocking out a mighty hot shirtless snapshot as his profile pic.

The busy conductor, who recently lead the Fabulous Philadelphians in a New Year’s Eve Concert starring Susan Graham, was catching some sun and “recharging his batteries” in the Caribbean over the holidays.

And that tattoo is pretty sweet, too, if I do say so myself.

If you want to catch Yannick live in-action (and in a tux), check out the Orchestra’s upcoming St. Petersburg Festival, a three-week celebration of great Russian composers at the Kimmel Center. You can find out more info here.

Follow Yannick on Twitter, @nezetseguin.

One of Us: Yannick Nézet-Séguin

Illustration by Andy Friedman

Illustration by Andy Friedman

My name is … Yannick Nézet-Séguin, since I was 16. I was born Yannick Séguin, but I decided to legally add my mother’s last name, Nézet, because we were the only family in North America with that name. And my mother is the only child of her family, so I wanted to make a future for that very strange name. People assume I am Egyptian or Hungarian or Turkish, but it is very plainly Celtic French.

My friends call me … Yannick. I was desperate when I was younger to get friends to call me Yan or Nick. But I never got anyone to do it.

I am a … lover of life.

I grew up in … Montréal, in the city and very close to everything — so much so that I never bothered to take driving lessons. I still don’t have a driver’s license. A conductor but not a driver.

My secret junk food obsession is … poutine. But the problem is, I am lactose-intolerant. So when I have those cheese curds and poutine, I assume the consequences.

The thing most people don’t understand about my job … is how much psychology is involved. I have a mysterious job to begin with, but everything has to do with using the right amount of psychology and diplomacy.

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Philadelphia Orchestra Makes History With Free Live-Stream China Concert Broadcast


On Sunday, May 25, the Philadelphia Orchestra will be making history, but they won’t be at the Kimmel Center: they’ll be in China, and guess what? You’ll have a chance to be part of the milestone concert.

The Orchestra’s performance from the Shanghai Grand Theatre will mark the first symphonic webcast from China to an international audience. The concert, which takes place at 7:30 PM in China, can be streamed live at 7:30 AM EST via a-Peer Synergy Shanghai Culture and Technology’s newly developed digital platform; listeners must pre-register at As an added bonus, those who “attend” this digital concert will have the opportunity to share up to three minutes of the concert via social media, which includes Mozart’s Symphony No. 41 (“Jupiter”) and Mahler’s Symphony No. 1.

The Philadelphia Orchestra has a long history with China that stems from President Nixon’s 1973 request to have the ensemble be the first American orchestra to perform in China. They have returned in 1993, 1996, 2001, 2008, 2010, 2012, and 2013.

Expect to hear the signature styles of music director Yannick Nezet-Seguin on the webcast; The Philadelphia Orchestra’s 2014 tour of Asia and China marks his inaugural tour with the company after becoming music director of the Orchestra in 2012.

For more information on The Philadelphia Orchestra, visit their website.

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