Lemonade from lemons: Unable to perform at Carnegie Hall, Philadelphia Orchestra performs free concert at home

Posted on: October 3, 2013

In Thursday’s (10/3) Philadelphia Inquirer, Peter Dobrin writes, “The New Yorkers struck, but the Philadelphians stuck. Stuck to their hometown fans, that is. Unable to perform at Wednesday night’s Carnegie Hall season-opening gala after stagehands went on strike, the Philadelphia Orchestra responded with a bold Plan B, putting on an abbreviated concert back home in Verizon Hall. The doors of the Kimmel Center were thrown open Wednesday at 6 p.m. and, to a crowd of about 2,500, the orchestra played a no-intermission 90 minutes of Tchaikovsky, Mozart, and Ravel. Music director Yannick Nézet-Séguin traded his usual concert garb for a royal blue v-neck sweater, and told the audience that when the Carnegie concert was scratched, the orchestra considered staying home and watching TV. ‘But we are musicians … and what we like to do on our night off is play music.’ … New York’s loss was Philadelphia’s gain. The orchestra organized a conducting competition in the lobby before the concert, with would-be podium-hoppers lining up to lead a string ensemble in an excerpt from Mozart’s Eine kleine Nachtmusik.… For this half-hour, the orchestra’s podium saw more diversity than in its entire history: women, African American men and women, Asians, the very young.”

Posted October 3, 2013

Pictured: Guest conductor Madeline Church, 9, with help from Yannick Nézet-Séguin, finishes the William Tell Overture. Photo by David Swanson / Philadelphia Inquirer