Academy of Music Cancels Anniversary Ball Due to Winter Storm Jonas

The 159th birthday party for the "Grand Old Lady of Locust Street" has been nixed because of the expected blizzard.

Photo via the Kimmel Center Facebook page.

Photo via the Kimmel Center Facebook page.

The Academy of Music has cancelled its 159th anniversary concert and ball, which was scheduled to take place Saturday evening. This is said to be the first time in its history that the event, a winter tradition in Philadelphia, has been canceled because of anticipated bad weather.

The board’s news release announcing the cancellation stated that the decision was made “out of respect for the safety of our patrons” and in light of the state of emergency declared by Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf as well as the snow emergency declared by Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney.

Sources said the board “very reluctantly, but unanimously” voted to cancel the ball “based on the state of emergency declared by Gov. Wolf” at a 1 p.m. emergency board conference call.

In the news release, the board thanked all the musicians and entertainers who had arrived ahead of the event to perform, including the Philadelphia Orchestra and its music director, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, as well as the Hyatt at The Bellevue dance band and special guest Martin Short.

The board is making arrangements to donate the food that was going to be served at the ball to local food banks and shelters. The board has also asked patrons who purchased tickets to the concert and ball to donate their entire cost to the Academy of Music Restoration Fund for a full tax deduction. Those who purchased tickets for the concert only should call Ticket Philadelphia at 215-893-1999.

The annual ball is the chief fundraiser for the building preservation and restoration fund of the Academy of Music, a National Historic Landmark built in 1857 and the home of the Philadelphia Orchestra for more than a century, from its founding in 1900 until the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts opened in 2001.

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