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.

1. Yannick Nezet-Seguin Looks Like He’s About to Fly Off the Conductor’s Podium: Yes, Nezet-Seguin is known for his high energy while leading his musical troops, but this past Thursday evening, the opening of the Saint Petersburg Festival, he particularly looked like he was about to sprout wings and soar off in ecstatic glee. He lead the Orchestra in a masterful program of Tchaikovsky and Glazunov that was nothing short of stunning.

2. The Music Is Played to Near Perfection: The repertoire that the Orchestra is tackling during this series of concerts is not easy, to put it lightly. I was utterly impressed with the precision the musicians demonstrated this past Thursday, especially apparent in the fast-moving and spirited opening number “Winter” from Glazunov’s The Seasons. You don’t find this type of mastery every day.

3. You Can Be One of the First Audiences To Hear a New Song: During the concerts on January 22nd and 23rd, the Orchestra will have the North American debut of Turnage’s “Piano Concerto.” Turnage, most widely known for his operatic treatment of Anna Nicole Smith (yes, that Anna Nicole), is a total force to be reckoned with. Yannick speaks about the work below:

4. Yes, You Can Get Cheap Tickets: The Orchestra prides itself on providing affordable options for all concertgoers. You can try your luck at the Community Rush program: tickets go on sale the day of the performance at 5:30 for $10 at the Kimmel Center box office. The line starts quite early, and they often sell out quick. If waiting around doesn’t quite sound like your idea of a good time, you can get seats for as low as $56 for certain performances.

5. These Are World-Class Musicians In Our Backyard: We often times forget that the Fabulous Philadelphians are widely regarded as one of the greatest orchestras in the world, and that’s not an exaggeration: The group is highly in-demand in concert halls around the globe (see our recent story about their upcoming landmark trip to Europe). You don’t have to jump on a plane to catch this type of musical excellence.