Nézet-Séguin looks to “reboot” Philadelphia Orchestra

Posted on: October 18, 2012

Thursday (10/18) on the National Public Radio blog Deceptive Cadence, Jeff Lunden writes, “Everywhere you look right now, it seems like American symphony orchestras are fighting for their lives—strikes, lockouts, bankruptcy. Perhaps the biggest example is the world-renowned Philadelphia Orchestra, which is just coming out of its own bankruptcy. Tonight, its new 37-year-old music director takes the podium as the venerable orchestra begins a reboot. … The orchestra was in bankruptcy reorganization for 18 months. During that time, it restructured its debt. It renegotiated its rent deal with the Kimmel Center, where it performs; negotiated a new contract with the musicians, who took a pay cut of between 15 and 20 percent; and moved to a more affordable pension fund. All the while, it never stopped playing concerts, according to John Koen, acting assistant principal cello. … But during the bankruptcy, a young French-Canadian conductor named Yannick Nezet-Seguin got the job. From the first time he picked up the baton to lead the orchestra as a guest conductor in 2008, he says, the players made him feel welcome. … The conductor brings youthful energy and social media savvy to his new job—you can follow him on Facebook and Twitter. And he has really connected with audiences and with the orchestra, Koen says.”

Posted October 18, 2012