Our Commitment to Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access Strategies (IDEAS)

Guided by our vision and values, The Philadelphia Orchestra is committed to creating an inclusive, diverse, equitable, and accessible culture. We believe that diversity equals excellence, and excellence equals diversity. We strive to listen intently, unite purposefully, and respond profoundly to the world around us by harnessing the transformative power of music. Using a data-driven approach to evaluate our efforts and measure effectiveness, we will ensure lasting change. 

Vision and Values


Our Vision
: To inspire and connect humanity through the transformative Philadelphia Sound.

The Philadelphia Way
The Philadelphia Way is the embodiement of our values and vision, guiding who we are, what we do, and how we do it.

Exceptional

We model excellence and generate joy—from our famed Philadelphia Sound to our rigorous fiscal discipline. We share our music with the many communities we serve, in person and online.

Authentic

We are open and honest. We act with acceptance, kindness, and trust.

Diverse and Inclusive

We respect and value each other's diverse life experiences and perspectives.

Innovative

We experiment and innovate in performance, education, business practices, and the advancement of our society through music.

Convener

We bring together a symphony of ideas, disciplines, and people, where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

The Impact of IDEAS

Leadership and Commitment

  • Fully supported by top leadership—Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin, President and CEO Matías Tarnopolsky, and Board Chair Ralph Muller—the Orchestra is committed to integrating our core values into everything we do.  
  • The Orchestra appointed Doris Parent vice president of IDEAS and strategic partnerships in October of 2020, becoming one of the first US orchestras to add this important position to the senior leadership team.  
  • The musicians of the Orchestra formed a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee, and in our own community, the American Federation of Musicians Local 77 formed an IDEAS Committee.

Diverse Programming

  • The Orchestra’s Digital Stage concerts prominently feature BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) and women artists and composers, including an ongoing exploration of the work of Florence Price, and performances such as Davóne Tines’s Sermon, a combination of contemporary works including “Vigil,” composed by Igee Dieudonné and Tines in memory of Breonna Taylor, and “You Want the Truth, but You Don’t Want to Know,” from Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Anthony Davis’s X: The Life and Times of Malcolm X.  
  • WomenNOW was significant theme of the Orchestra’s 2019–20 season, featuring and celebrating women composers, conductors, and guest artists.
  • The Orchestra’s fall 2021 season reflects on the impact of the pandemic, the social justice movement in America, and the drive toward creative equity and inclusion in the world of orchestral music.

Convening Community

  • The Philadelphia Orchestra is deeply committed to providing our local and global community with music and education programs through the HEAR initiative, promoting Health and wellness, championing music Education, attempting to eliminate barriers to Accessing the Orchestra, and maximizing impact in the Philadelphia community through Research.
  • When George Floyd was murdered, it reinforced the Orchestra’s resolve to question what a cultural organization can do to make society better. We presented HearTOGETHER, a healing conversation in words and music, on June 6, 2020. The digital event featured Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin, President and CEO Matías Tarnopolsky, musician and composer Wynton Marsalis, composer Valerie Coleman, and Acting Associate Principal Bassist Joseph Conyers.
  • HearTOGETHER became a monthly podcast featuring artists and activists who explore topics of racial and social justice, and creative equity and inclusion, through the lens of orchestral music.  

Expanding Access

  • To ensure The Philadelphia Orchestra is open and accessible to all, we have thoughtfully considered the ways we can improve our digital and in-person experiences. Recent efforts include adding closed captioning to our Digital Stage performances, providing accessible seating throughout Verizon Hall, creating sensory-friendly family programming, and offering large-print programs to patrons.
  • In March 2020, we launched a range of digital programs creating opportunities to access to the Orchestra during the COVID-19 pandemic through video, audio, and educational programming, including presentations celebrating women artists and Spanish-language programs. To increase the community’s ability to access the Orchestra’s programming, this content was made available on Philadelphia’s Public Access Channel 64.
  • Launched in October 2020, Our City, Your Orchestra is a series of free online concerts performed by small ensembles at Black-owned businesses and iconic cultural institutions throughout the Philadelphia region. Central to our mission to connect with communities through music and dialogue, Our City, Your Orchestra celebrates the diversity and vibrancy of the Philadelphia region. Musical selections are chosen specifically for, and in collaboration with, each organization to showcase its unique mission, and interviews help tell the inspiring stories of each location.