Yannick and the Orchestra Announce 2017-18 Season

February 24, 2017

Subscriptions are now on sale for the Orchestra’s 2017-18 performances! Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin leads an exciting and diverse season commissioning new works, reexamining great repertoire, and showcasing the famous Philadelphia Sound.

“This is possibly the most varied season The Philadelphia Orchestra and I have undertaken together,” said Yannick. “It’s thrilling to be able to make music in every way possible, from playing piano with our wonderful principal strings in chamber music, to conducting new works, including commissions, to an oratorio I adore, to a semi-staged production of Tosca. We have some audience favorites, of course, and naturally we are celebrating the centenary of that amazing musical figure Leonard Bernstein. We hope everyone will join us!”

Highlights of the just-announced upcoming season include the world premiere of a distinctly Philadelphia composition, the crowd-sourced Philadelphia Voices by the innovative and entrepreneurial composer Tod Machover; Haydn’s choral masterpiece The Seasons, which returns after an absence of more than 20 years; American Sounds, a multi-year focus on works inspired by sounds indigenous to this country; the annual three-week Winter Festival, which explores music from the British Isles; new works by Jennifer Higdon and Samuel Jones written for Philadelphia Orchestra principal players; and a celebration of the centenary of the legendary American conductor and composer Leonard Bernstein, including rare performances of the full West Side Story in concert.

The 2017-18 season will be Yannick’s sixth with the Philadelphians, and he begins it with a commitment to lead the world-renowned ensemble through at least 2025-26, continuing a relationship between music director and musicians that has garnered praise around the globe.

“We truly are celebrating Yannick in every musical way this season, and we’re also celebrating our wonderful city of Philadelphia,” said Orchestra President and CEO Allison Vulgamore. “Machover’s crowd-sourced Philadelphia Voices, which will ultimately have many Philadelphia partners; 11 of our own musicians in featured roles; two works from Philadelphia-based Jennifer Higdon; and continuing our tradition of commissioning works for our principal players all bring the keen focus of our musical lens to our home and its rich artistic treasures.”

Yannick, who becomes music director designate of the Metropolitan Opera in the 2017-18 season, will also lead The Philadelphia Orchestra and a cast of star soloists in Puccini’s Tosca, with staging by James Alexander. Principal Guest Conductor Stéphane Denève, who recently extended his contract with the Orchestra for another three years, leads four subscription programs with a multi-concert focus on works by French composer Guillaume Connesson. Ten other guest conductors join the Philadelphians on the podium for the main subscription season, including eight returning artists and two making their debuts.

Violinist Hilary Hahn is the season’s artist-in-residence. The Orchestra welcomes back a number of special guests, many of whom are Philadelphia favorites, including pianist Emanuel Ax, who opens the season with Yannick; violinist Joshua Bell and pianist Hélène Grimaud, who each appear in four concerts this season; and pianist Daniil Trifonov, who returns for more live recordings of works by Rachmaninoff. Hannibal Lokumbe continues his work as Music Alive Composer-in-Residence, visiting throughout the community and finding inspiration for his Healing Tones, the premiere of which is slated for the 2018-19 season.

Eleven Orchestra musicians also appear as featured soloists or chamber musicians during the season: Concertmaster David Kim, First Associate Concertmaster Juliette Kang, Principal Second Violin Kimberly Fisher, Principal Viola Choong-Jin Chang, Principal Cello Hai-Ye Ni, Principal Flute Jeffrey Khaner, Principal Trumpet David Bilger, Principal Trombone Nitzan Haroz, Co-Principal Trombone Matthew Vaughn, Bass Trombone Blair Bollinger, and Principal Tuba Carol Jantsch.

New next season: Wednesday and Thursday night subscription concerts begin at 7:30 PM.

The season also includes the Orchestra’s annual subscription series at Carnegie Hall; Family Concerts, Sound All Around presentations, and School Concerts; holiday performances and other special concert events; the Opening Night Concert and Gala; the 161st Academy of Music Anniversary Concert and Ball; residencies in three summer venues; selected concerts featuring the Orchestra’s LiveNote app; plus a screening of Amadeus with live orchestra.

Click here for complete details or to purchase subscriptions. Subscriptions can also be purchased by calling Ticket Philadelphia at 215-893-1955. Single tickets will go on sale at a later date.

See you in the concert hall!

Photo by Chris Lee