Yannick Nézet-Séguin
Photo: Marco Borggreve

When the Philadelphia Orchestra couldn’t play at New York’s Carnegie Hall because of a brief strike by Carnegie’s stagehands, they gave a free concert in their hall in Philadelphia. 2200 people showed up und attended a very special concert which brought a lot of new supporters for the orchestra. Look at the video and read what Alison Vulgamore, president and chief executive officer of The Philadelphia Orchestra Association explains  in a long but highly interesting press release:

« Last week The Philadelphia Orchestra broke the classical music performance mold and turned the proverbial lemons into thefizziest of champagne! When our much-anticipated opening of the Carnegie Hall season was cancelled at the last minute due to a stage labor strike, we announced a free concert at the Kimmel Center, and within hours, more than 2,200 Philadelphians gathered to hear our Orchestra.

This special evening opened with a pre-concert conducting competition, won by a nine year old who later led the Orchestra in the finale from the William Tell Overture. Every participant that stepped up to the podium had the rare treat of making a direct connection with our musicians, and we were moved by the power of those moments.

On the Verizon Hall stage the musicians of the Orchestra dressed casually and colorfully — and an equally informal and colorful Yannick (Nézet-Séguin, the PO’s Music Director) spoke often from the stage. Before the eagerly-received encore we again broke with tradition when Yannick invited everyone to take out their cellphones and share the music with their off-site friends. What an amazing sight — hundreds of phones and I Pads lighting up the concert hall! Facebook and YouTube are already filled with the wonderfully spontaneous video s captured by ouraudience.

(…) On a night that will go down in Orchestra history, we made new friends from different quarters and backgrounds. With so many young people and children in the audience, I know we were seeing our future. It was the right moment to embrace and say thank you to our community.

I thank you for being there if you were with us, and I hope you share our joy — and our Philadelphia pride – in this happy achievement. »

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