Cancelled: The Philadelphia Orchestra
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This partner event focuses on music included in this concert.
The Philadelphia Orchestra
Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Music Director and Conductor
Symphony No. 5
Symphony No. 6, "Pastoral"
Event DurationThe printed program will last approximately two hours, including one 20-minute intermission. Please note that there will be no late seating before intermission.
Pre-Concert TalkPre-concert talk at 7 PM with Scott Burnham, Distinguished Professor of Music at The Graduate Center, CUNY, and author of Beethoven Hero.
Lead support for the Beethoven Celebration is provided by The Morris and Alma Schapiro Fund.
Public support is provided by the National Endowment for the Arts.
Public support for Carnegie Hall Live on WQXR is provided by the National Endowment for the Arts.
In honor of the centenary of his birth, Carnegie Hall’s 2019–2020 season is dedicated to the memory of Isaac Stern in recognition of his extraordinary contributions to Carnegie Hall, arts advocacy, and the field of music.
At a Glance
The Philadelphia Orchestra’s performances of Beethoven’s complete symphonies commence with the Fifth and Sixth, which some might consider unidentical twins, or at least kissing cousins. Beethoven composed them around the same time and with the same dedicatees; the two works were also published within weeks of one another and premiered on the same concert in 1808. They share some musical features as well, such as the linked final movements and withholding certain instruments until late in the respective works to produce particularly powerful effects.
Yet the overall mood of the two symphonies is very different. The Fifth, from its famous opening to its triumphant conclusion, offers an intense journey that somehow seems to mirror aspects of Beethoven’s personal struggles. He titled the Sixth Symphony “Pastoral” and said that it was “more an expression of feeling than painting.” The work reflects Beethoven’s great love of nature and the countryside, where he would frequently go for walks.
The Philadelphia Orchestra
The Philadelphia Orchestra is one of the world’s preeminent orchestras. It strives to share the transformative power of music with the widest possible audience, and to create joy, connection, and excitement through music in the Philadelphia region, across the country, and around the world. Through innovative programming, robust educational initiatives, and an ongoing commitment to the communities that it serves, the ensemble is on a path to create an expansive future for classical music, and to further the place of the arts in an open and democratic society.
Yannick Nézet-Séguin is now in his eighth season as the eighth music director of The Philadelphia Orchestra. His connection to the ensemble’s musicians has been praised by both concertgoers and critics, and he is embraced by the musicians of the orchestra, audiences, and the community.
The Philadelphia Orchestra takes great pride in its hometown, performing for the people of Philadelphia year-round, from Verizon Hall to community centers, The Mann Center to Penn’s Landing, classrooms to hospitals, and over the airwaves and online. The orchestra continues to discover new and inventive ways to nurture its relationship with loyal patrons.
The Philadelphia Orchestra continues the tradition of educational and community engagement for listeners of all ages. It launched its HEAR initiative in 2016 to become a major force for good in every community that it serves. HEAR is a portfolio of integrated initiatives that promotes Health, champions music Education, enables broad Access to orchestra performances, and maximizes impact through Research. The orchestra’s award-winning education and community initiatives engage more than 50,000 students, families, and community members through programs such as PlayINs, Side-by-Side Rehearsals, PopUP Concerts, Neighborhood Concerts, School Concerts, sensory-friendly concerts, the School Partnership and School Ensemble programs, and All-City Orchestra Fellowships.
Through concerts, tours, residencies, and recordings, the orchestra is a global ambassador. It performs annually at Carnegie Hall, the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, and the Bravo! Vail Music Festival. The orchestra also has a rich history of touring, having first performed outside Philadelphia in the earliest days of its founding. It was the first American orchestra to perform in the People’s Republic of China in 1973, launching a now five-decade commitment of people-to-people exchange.
The orchestra also makes live recordings available on popular digital music services and as part of the Listen on Demand section of its website. Under Yannick’s leadership, the orchestra returned to recording, with seven celebrated CDs on the prestigious Deutsche Grammophon label. The orchestra also reaches thousands of radio listeners with weekly broadcasts on WRTI-FM and SiriusXM. For more information, please visit philorch.org.
Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin will lead The Philadelphia Orchestra through at least the 2025–2026 season, an extraordinary and significant long-term commitment. Additionally, he became the third music director of the Metropolitan Opera in August 2018, and he is a Carnegie Hall Perspectives artist for the 2019–2020 and 2020–2021 seasons. Yannick, who holds the Walter and Leonore Annenberg Chair, is an inspired leader of The Philadelphia Orchestra. The New York Times has called him “phenomenal,” adding that under his baton, “the ensemble, famous for its glowing strings and homogenous richness, has never sounded better.” Highlights of his eighth season as music director include a complete cycle of the Beethoven symphonies, juxtaposed with new compositions, in celebration of the composer’s 250th birthday; Bach’s Mass in B Minor; and symphonically staged performances of Strauss’s Elektra.
Yannick has established himself as a musical leader of the highest caliber and one of the most thrilling talents of his generation. He has been artistic director and principal conductor of the Orchestre Métropolitain de Montréal since 2000, and in summer 2017 he became an honorary member of the Chamber Orchestra of Europe. He also served as music director of the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, where he remains an honorary conductor. He has made wildly successful appearances with the world’s most revered ensembles and has conducted critically acclaimed performances at many of the leading opera houses.
Yannick signed an exclusive recording contract with Deutsche Grammophon in 2018. Under his leadership, The Philadelphia Orchestra returned to recording with seven CDs on that label. In Yannick’s inaugural season, the orchestra returned to the radio airwaves, with weekly broadcasts on WRTI-FM and SiriusXM.
A native of Montreal, Yannick studied piano, conducting, composition, and chamber music at Montreal’s Conservatoire de Musique du Québec and continued his studies with renowned conductor Carlo Maria Giulini; he also studied choral conducting with Joseph Flummerfelt at Westminster Choir College. Among Yannick’s honors are an appointment as Companion of the Order of Canada; Musical America’s 2016 Artist of the Year; and honorary doctorates from the Université du Québec, Curtis Institute of Music, Westminster Choir College, McGill University, Université de Montréal, and University of Pennsylvania. To read Yannick’s full bio, please visit philorch.org/conductor.