Presenting: the brass family! Philadelphia Orchestra musician Matt Vaughn will guide the audience through this regal instrument family.
This subscription package includes performances that feature chorus and therefore Conductor’s Circle seating is not available for one or more event. For your convenience we will seat you in Orchestra Tier, Tier 1, or the Orchestra at no additional price for these performances.
Composer, conductor, teacher, writer, thinker—John Adams is an American musical icon. His work—exciting and beautiful—unflinchingly confronts, defines, and embraces contemporary culture. He wrote Scheherazade.2 for the stellar violinist Leila Josefowicz, inspired by an art exhibit about The Tales of the Arabian Nights and Rimsky-Korsakov's original. Josefowicz's solo violin plays the role of a modern Scheherazade. Adams's musical exploration of the present-day struggle of women in a patriarchal society reverses the roles, putting the woman in a position of strength.
This work of towering musicality and deep spirituality is a fitting summation of J.S. Bach's epochal career; he finished it the year before he died. It's “above and beyond every piece of music that's been created for liturgical purposes,” says Yannick Nézet-Séguin. A setting of the complete Latin Mass, it demands superlatives, at the same time rendering them inadequate.
Mendelssohn wrote his Second Piano Concerto right after he got married and there's plenty of joy expressed, especially in the final movement, which the composer himself described as “piano fireworks.” He was the soloist at the premiere in 1837. The young French pianist Lise de la Salle (“For much of the concert, the audience had to remember to breathe…” –The Washington Post) is a riveting choice to interpret this concerto. Berlioz's Symphonie fantastique is a tour de force of compositional color, a breakthrough that set the stage for his most assured writing.
This American classic is the story of a man trying to rescue a woman from her distressing life. To help create his masterpiece, George Gershwin immersed himself in African-American life and culture on Charleston's Catfish Row, honoring the area's folk traditions with timeless melodies. Pioneering conductor Marin Alsop leads our performances of this tale of oppression, struggle, hope, and love. The cast includes soprano Angel Blue and celebrated baritone Lester Lynch.
Buoyant and humorous, the Eighth Symphony belies none of the composer's worsening health issues or what had to be the devastating end of a love affair, detailed in a famous letter written around the same time to his “Immortal Beloved.” Perhaps the least known, the Fourth was widely admired: Schumann compared it to “a slender Greek maiden” between the two “Norse giants” of the Third and Fifth; Berlioz insisted it was the work of an angel.
George Gershwin's Jazz Age tone poem An American in Paris both inspired the now-classic Hollywood movie and provides the score for its groundbreaking finale: a dreamy—and, at 17 minutes, unheard of—ballet sequence starring Gene Kelly and Leslie Caron. The 1951 film, directed by Vincente Minnelli, swept the Academy Awards, winning six Oscars, including Best Picture.
Bruckner is “one of the great symphonists of all time,” says Yannick. His music is “spiritual, romantic, dreamy, imposing, cataclysmic … music that excites all the emotions and magnifies the results of the symphony.” A Bruckner champion and world-renowned interpreter, Yannick's deep affinity for the composer shines in passionate performances of the thrilling Third Symphony, “an unquestioned masterpiece, a citadel that no critic can pull down.