Performance Monday, February 3, 2014 | 8 PM

The Philadelphia Orchestra

Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
The Philadelphia Orchestra under the direction of its Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin performs two Czech masterpieces and an electrifying piano concerto with Radu Lupu as soloist. Smetana’s ardent nationalism sings out in “The Moldau,” a vivid portrait of the flowing Czech river. While not nationalist in tone, Dvořák’s genial Symphony No. 6 does reference a Czech dance in its boisterous scherzo. One of his final works, Bartók’s Piano Concerto No. 3 features a serene opening movement, a deeply moving adagio, and a virtuoso finale. Hear why The New York Times has proclaimed that “on any given night this storied institution will probably prove anew that it remains one of the country’s premier ensembles."


  • The Philadelphia Orchestra
    Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Music Director and Conductor
  • Radu Lupu, Piano


  • SMETANA "The Moldau" from Má Vlast
  • BARTÓK Piano Concerto No. 3
  • DVOŘÁK Symphony No. 6

Event Duration

The printed program will last approximately two hours, including one 20-minute intermission.


  • The Philadelphia Orchestra

    The Philadelphia Orchestra is one of the preeminent orchestras in the world, renowned for its distinctive sound, desired for its keen ability to capture the hearts and imaginations of audiences, and admired for a legacy of innovation in music making. The orchestra is focused on inspiring the future while transforming its rich tradition of achievement, seeking to not simply sustain the highest level of artistic quality, but to challenge-and exceed-that level by creating powerful musical experiences for audiences at home and around the world.

    Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin triumphantly opened his inaugural season as the eighth artistic leader of the orchestra in fall 2012, and has been embraced by the musicians of the orchestra, audiences, and the community itself. Yannick's concerts of diverse repertoire attract sold-out houses, and he has established a regular forum for connecting with concertgoers through Post-Concert Conversations. In addition to recordings, in Yannick's inaugural season the orchestra has also returned to the radio airwaves with weekly Sunday afternoon broadcasts on WRTI-FM.

    Philadelphia is home, and the orchestra nurtures an important relationship not only with patrons who support the main season at the Kimmel Center, but also those who enjoy the orchestra's other area performances at The Mann Center, Penn's Landing, and other venues. The orchestra is also a global ambassador for Philadelphia and for the US. Having been the first American orchestra to perform in China in 1973 at the request of President Nixon, today The Philadelphia Orchestra boasts a new partnership with the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing. The orchestra annually performs at Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center, while also enjoying annual residencies in Saratoga Springs, New York, and at the Bravo! Vail festival.

    Musician-led initiatives, including highly successful Cello and Violin Play-Ins, shine a spotlight on the orchestra's musicians as they spread out from the stage into the community. The orchestra's commitment to its education and community partnership initiatives manifests itself in numerous other ways, including concerts for families and students, and eZseatU, a program that allows full-time college students to attend an unlimited number of orchestra concerts for a $25 annual membership fee. Visit for more information.


    Yannick Nézet-Séguin

    Yannick Nézet-Séguin triumphantly opened his inaugural season as the eighth music director of The Philadelphia Orchestra in the fall of 2012. His highly collaborative style, deeply rooted musical curiosity, and boundless enthusiasm, paired with a fresh approach to orchestral programming, have been heralded by critics and audiences alike. In his first season, he took the orchestra to new musical heights. His second builds on that momentum with highlights that include a Philadelphia Commissions Micro-Festival, for which three leading composers have been commissioned to write solo works for three of the orchestra's principal players; the next installment in his multi-season focus on requiems with Fauré's Requiem; and a unique, theatrically staged presentation of Strauss's revolutionary opera Salome, a first-ever co-production with Opera Philadelphia.

    Yannick has established himself as a musical leader of the highest caliber and one of the most exciting talents of his generation. Since 2008, he has been music director of the Rotterdam Philharmonic and principal guest conductor of the London Philharmonic, and since 2000 artistic director and principal conductor of Montreal's Orchestre Métropolitain. He becomes the first-ever mentor conductor of the Curtis Institute of Music's conducting fellows program in fall 2013. 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 and Deutsche Grammophon (DG) enjoy a long-term collaboration. Under his leadership, the orchestra returns to recording with a newly released CD on that label of Stravinsky's Rite of Spring and Leopold Stokowski transcriptions. Yannick continues a fruitful recording relationship with the Rotterdam Philharmonic for DG, BIS, and EMI/Virgin; the London Philharmonic for the LPO label; and the Orchestre Métropolitain for ATMA Classique.

    A native of Montreal, Yannick studied at that city's Conservatory of Music and continued lessons with renowned conductor Carlo Maria Giulini and with Joseph Flummerfelt at Westminster Choir College. Among Yannick's honors are an appointment as Companion of the Order of Canada, a Royal Philharmonic Society Award, Canada's National Arts Centre Award, the Prix Denise-Pelletier, and an honorary doctorate by the University of Quebec in Montreal. Visit to read Yannick's full bio.

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  • Radu Lupu

    Pianist Radu Lupu is widely acknowledged as a leading interpreter of the works of Beethoven, Brahms, Mozart, and Schubert. Since winning the prestigious Van Cliburn (1966) and Leeds (1969) piano competitions, he has regularly performed as soloist and recitalist in the musical capitals and major festivals of Europe and the United States. He has appeared many times with the Berliner Philharmoniker since debuting with that ensemble at the 1978 Salzburg Festival under Herbert von Karajan, and with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, including the opening concert of the 1986 Salzburg Festival under Riccardo Muti. He is also a frequent visitor to the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and all the major London orchestras. Mr. Lupu's first major American appearances were in 1972 with The Cleveland Orchestra and Daniel Barenboim and with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Carlo Maria Giulini. He made his Philadelphia Orchestra debut in 1973.

    In the 2013-2014 season, Mr. Lupu is artist in residence at the Staatskapelle Dresden. Concerto appearances include performances with the Bournemouth, Milwaukee, and Cincinnati symphony orchestras; Orchestre symphique de Montréal; Berliner Philharmoniker; the Royal Stockholm and Monte-Carlo philharmonic orchestras; Royal Philharmonic Orchestra of Flanders; Tonhalle-Orchester Zurich; and the Leipzig Gewandhaus and Cleveland orchestras. Other season highlights include his 11th tour of Japan and the conclusion of his cycle of the Beethoven piano concertos at the new concert hall in Helsinki with the Finnish Chamber Orchestra and Jukka-Pekka Saraste.

    Mr. Lupu has made more than 20 recordings for London/Decca, including the complete Beethoven concertos with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra and Zubin Mehta; the complete Mozart violin and piano sonatas with Szymon Goldberg; Grieg and Schumann concertos; Debussy and Franck violin and piano sonatas with Kyung-Wha Chung; and numerous solo recordings of works by Beethoven, Brahms, and Schubert. He has also made two recordings with pianist Murray Perahia (Sony Classical), two albums of Schubert lieder with soprano Barbara Hendricks (EMI), and a disc of Schubert works for piano (four hands) with Mr. Barenboim (Teldec).

    Born in Romania in 1945, Mr. Lupu began studying the piano at age six. He made his public debut with a complete program of his own music at age 12 and won a scholarship to the Moscow Conservatory.

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At a Glance

BEDŘICH SMETANA  "The Moldau" from Má vlast

"The Moldau" is the second and most famous movement of a six-part set of orchestral tone poems entitled Má vlast (My Homeland). The piece marvelously evokes a trip along the mighty Vltava River, beginning with two intermingling streams (delightfully rendered by flutes) that join to flow by peasants dancing, hunters hunting, and through an atmospheric nocturnal landscape. The river eventually reaches the imposing Vyšehrad cliffs and passes through the center of Prague.

BÉLA BARTÓK  Piano Concerto No. 3

Bartók fled his native Hungary during the Second World War and settled in America, where he died of leukemia in 1945. He had nearly completed his Third Piano Concerto, written as a birthday gift for his pianist wife. His student, Philadelphia Orchestra violist Tibór Sérly, orchestrated the final 17 measures of the concerto, and the orchestra gave its world premiere in 1946, with Eugene Ormandy conducting and György Sándor as soloist.

ANTONÍN DVOŘÁK  Symphony No. 6 in D Major, Op. 6

Although Dvořák wrote nine symphonies, the first one was lost soon after its composition (and only discovered long after the composer's death), and the others were published out of order. What we now know as his Sixth Symphony in D Major was the first one to be released and helped to establish his international reputation. The work is in large measure modeled on the recent Second Symphony, also in D major, by his friend and mentor Johannes Brahms. In this magnificent and sunny work, Dvořák combines elements of the Germanic symphonic tradition with the spirit of his native Bohemia, most notably in the lively third-movement furiant.

Program Notes
This performance is part of Fabulous Concertos, and Non-Subscription Events.