Orchestra Today


May 17, 2016

Donating Has its Rare Privileges: Sitting on Stage at a Rehearsal

Hearing The Philadelphia Orchestra live in Verizon Hall is a thrill shared by thousands of music lovers every season. Listening to the Fabulous Philadelphians at a rehearsal is a special pleasure enjoyed by a much smaller group of devotees. But how about watching a rehearsal from a unique vantage point: on stage.

May 02, 2016

Yo-Yo Ma Joins the Orchestra for Concerts and a PlayIN

World famous cellist Yo-Yo Ma is a frequent guest and good friend of The Philadelphia Orchestra but his appearances last week were his first subscription performances in 20 years. He joined Principal Guest Conductor Stéphane Denève to kick off the Orchestra’s two-week celebration of the music of John Williams, performing the composer’s Cello Concerto, written specifically for him. Ma and Denève were also special guests at the Orchestra’s Cello PlayIN, where over 100 cellists from the Philadelphia region performed alongside Ma and the entire cello section of the ensemble.

April 19, 2016

On that Note - A Great Success

The Volunteer Committees for The Philadelphia Orchestra hosted On that Note on Friday, April 15, at World Café Live. Cocktails and hors d’oeuvres kicked off the evening, which then continued with dinner and a live auction, concluding with a performance by Jason DePue and Friends. Additional musical entertainment was provided by a cappella group the Tonics, who also led the live auction.

April 15, 2016

Talent in Spades

It’s not enough that Robert Cafaro and Paul Krzywicki are top musicians, proud present and former members, respectively, of The Philadelphia Orchestra, and dedicated to their craft as only the best can be. Now there’s yet another reason to admire these accomplished gentlemen: They’ve each just written a book that takes you deep inside their artistic brilliance and personal struggles. 

April 08, 2016

Orchestra Announces HEAR, a New Portfolio of Community-Focused Collaborative Initiatives

In front of a capacity audience for its Free PopUP Concert in Verizon Hall on Thursday, April 7, Philadelphia Orchestra President and CEO Allison Vulgamore stood alongside Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin and announced HEAR, a series of collaborative learning initiatives that represents the most comprehensive and dynamic community engagement in the Orchestra’s recent history.

March 31, 2016

In Search of the “Confident Playground”: Pablo Heras-Casado’s Philadelphia Orchestra Debut

How does an international conducting superstar fly into Philadelphia (or Berlin, or New York, or San Francisco, or London) and, with limited rehearsal, produce the thrilling musical performances that have critics raving about “the thinking person’s idea of a hotshot young conductor”? (The New York Times) This week (March 31, April 1-2), we get to hear 38-year-old Pablo Heras-Casado work his magic with The Philadelphia Orchestra in Tchaikovsky’s The Tempest, Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No. 2 with Akiko Suwanai, and Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 3 (“Scottish”).

March 21, 2016

Side-by-Side with the All-City Orchestra

Under the baton of guest conductor Damon Gupton, The Philadelphia Orchestra and the All-City High School Orchestra sat side-by-side for a special collaborative learning experience this past Saturday, March 19. The rehearsal, part of the Orchestra's deepened partnership with the School District of Philadelphia and the All-City Orchestra, sat developing musicians alongside their professional counterparts for one-on-one coaching. Together, the students and Philadelphians performed Copland's "Hoe Down," the first movement from Dvořák's Symphony No.

March 10, 2016

Bravo! A Thousand Times

From 353 different zip codes and from as far away as Japan and the United Kingdom, 1,000 people from around the world have become donors to The Philadelphia Orchestra Association as part of its “1,000 New Donors Campaign.” The initiative is part of a larger celebration surrounding the centennial anniversary of the Orchestra’s U.S.

March 08, 2016

Did Mozart Really Dislike the Flute?

Maybe you’ve heard that Mozart disliked the flute. He once wrote his father that he “couldn’t bear” the instrument, possibly because the one played in his day was a pale shadow of the technical marvel used by modern musicians. The Mozart-era flute was much simpler and was harder to play in tune. 

A modern copy of an 18th-century flute