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Preparing for the Concert

Online Program Notes

The Philadelphia Orchestra's program notes appear online approximately one week prior to each performance. Just click on the Individual Concert information page and the program notes will be listed at the bottom of the page. You will need to download Adobe Acrobat to view the program notes.

PreConcert Conversations

Beginning one hour before every Philadelphia Orchestra subscription concert, a special PreConcert Conversation will give you insights into the music and music-makers you will hear on the program. PreConcert Conversations are free to all ticket holders and include informal interviews with renowned guest artists and composers, discussions led by distinguished area faculty, and behind-the-scenes information. These lively and engaging programs are held in the Rendell Room located on Tier 1 of the Kimmel Center or in Verizon Hall on Friday afternoons.

For a schedule of lecturers, click here.

Concert Attire

Attending a Philadelphia Orchestra concert is always a special occasion; therefore, most patrons enjoy dressing up slightly—in suits or ties, or "nice" dresses or pantsuits. Many people come to the concerts from work and are dressed in professional business attire. Formal dress—evening gowns and tuxedos—are generally worn only to Philadelphia Orchestra gala events, such as Opening Night or Academy Ball concerts.

Length of Performance

Program length varies, but a typical Philadelphia Orchestra performance lasts about two hours, including one intermission. Most other events run about the same length, some a little shorter, some a little longer. You can always call us at 215.893.1999 for an estimated length.


Many works in classical music, such as a Beethoven symphony or Mozart piano concerto, have three or more movements or sections. A short pause usually falls between each of them. It has become customary over time not to clap during these short pauses. To find out the number of movements (and corresponding number of pauses) in a piece, turn to the program page in your program book. You will find that each work is subdivided by movement (usually indicated by tempo markings in Italian). After the last movement, clap to your heart's content.

Cell Phone Etiquette 

Patrons carrying cell phones, wearing alarm watches, and/or carrying electronic paging systems are requested to turn them off before entering the concert hall. Please contact the house manager before entering the auditorium if emergency notification might be required.

Picture Etiquette 

Cameras as well as other recording devices in Verizon Hall can create major distractions for the musicians and audience members around you. As a result, no still/video cameras, or tape recorders are permitted. All equipment should be checked with the house manager prior to entering the auditorium.

Children at The Philadelphia Orchestra 

Children eight years and older are welcome at Philadelphia Orchestra concerts. Philadelphia Orchestra Family Concerts are programmed specially for children ages five through twelve. Every child, regardless of age, must have a ticket to enter Verizon Hall.

During the Performance

Once a concert is underway, we request that you don't talk, whisper, sing, hum, or move personal belongings. This will ensure that you, other patrons, and the performers enjoy the full benefits of the performance. Patrons should also refrain from entering and exiting the hall while a performance is in progress. Ushers are stationed at entrances and exits. If you must leave your seat, please proceed quickly and quietly to the nearest door or ask the nearest usher for assistance. Please note that if you leave during the performance, you will not be allowed back into the hall until an appropriate break in the program.

During Intermission

During intermission, patrons may use the Center's facilities, or enjoy food and beverages in the lounge areas of the Kimmel Center. No food or beverage is allowed inside the hall during Philadelphia Orchestra concerts.

Inclement Weather and Snow Policy

We very rarely cancel a concert due to snow or bad weather. If a concert is cancelled, we will update the website for patrons as well as send an email and notify all ticket holders by phone. We also will notify television and radio stations of any cancellation.

Patrons unable or unwilling to attend a concert as a result of inclement weather can exchange their tickets for another concerts date. Philadelphia Orchestra subscribers can exchange all tickets throughout the season at no additional cost. Patrons who are not subscribers and purchase individual tickets can exchange tickets for a $10.00 per-ticket fee.

Tickets can be exchanged at the Kimmel Center Box Office, by phone at 215.893.1999, or online under My Account. All exchanged tickets are subject to availability and to additional costs associated with an upgraded seat section or change in day of week. Tickets may not be exchanged once a concert has passed. Please destroy outdated tickets. Twenty-four hour notice is appreciated.