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.
Umoja, a world premiere commission by American composer Valerie Coleman, launches our 2019-20 season. Ms. Coleman's spirited music draws from Afro-Cuban, jazz, and classical genres. Umoja—meaning unity in Swahili—is alive with all these influences. Bartók's gorgeous Third Concerto, performed by Yannick's good friend Hélène Grimaud, is as vibrant today as the day The Philadelphia Orchestra and Eugene Ormandy gave the world premiere at the Academy of Music in 1946.
Yannick leads an all-Mozart program displaying the seemingly infinite range of his musical gifts. The “Haffner” Symphony, named for the commissioning Salzburg family, began as a serenade, but Mozart tweaked and enhanced it into its present form, now recognized as a true breakthrough in his musical style. The Symphony No. 40, perhaps his most famous symphony, is also hailed as a turning point in composition.
The Orchestra returns to the Academy of Music for its first subscription concerts since moving to Verizon Hall in 2001. It's a fitting venue for Rachmaninoff's nostalgic, romantic Symphony No. 3, premiered by the composer's cherished Philadelphians in 1936 on that very same stage, with Leopold Stokowski conducting. The gentle, lone piano chords that open the Fourth Concerto were a radical construct when Beethoven premiered the wide-ranging and emotional work in 1808. Yefim Bronfman says he's always been drawn to its tenderness.
Daniil Trifonov, the Orchestra's Grammy-winning recording partner, returns for four performances. Amplifying the programs are two underappreciated works by formidable women composers: Lili Boulanger, the first woman to win, in 1913, the prestigious Prix de Rome composition prize, and Louise Farrenc, whose Symphony No. 2 dialogues with Beethoven, and leaves us asking why her works are not a more integral part of the canon today.
The reviews were rapturous for Yannick's “blazing and urgent, yet richly nuanced account of Strauss's still-shocking score” (The New York Times) when he led Elektra at the Metropolitan Opera in 2018. He reprises the triumph with these symphonically staged performances starring The Philadelphia Orchestra and a cast of vocal powerhouses. Christine Goerke sings the title role, a tormented daughter obsessed with avenging the death of her father, Agamemnon. Mikhail Petrenko portrays the brother she hopes will kill the murderous culprits: their mother and her lover.
Brahms wrote just two piano concertos. He was 25 when he completed his youthful and vigorous First Concerto. Two decades later he composed his tremendous Second; Yannick compares the final, fourth movement to playing in heaven, surrounded by angels. The fiery Yuja Wang, Curtis Institute of Music graduate and Philadelphia favorite, returns to her second home for four performances, bringing her technical virtuosity and thoughtful depth of music-making to these two corresponding and harmonious works. Hear them both, paired with Sibelius's Symphony No. 3, a masterpiece of the Finnish national hero.