Philadelphia Orchestra to present first Pride concert, featuring music by LGBTQ composers

Posted on: June 2, 2022

Philadelphia Orchestra photo by Jeff Fusco

“When guests walk into the Kimmel Center for Thursday’s Philadelphia Orchestra performance, they’ll be greeted by singers, musicians, and an energetic drag queen,” writes Luisa Suarez in Tuesday’s (5/31) Billy Penn at WHYY (Philadelphia). “It’s all part of the orchestra’s first-ever Pride concert—which is free for anyone who registers. Championed by musical director Yannick Nézet-Séguin, an out and proud gay man, … the evening’s program is made up entirely of pieces by LGBTQ musicians. Many of the performers are also members of the gay community…. Throughout history, various composers and musicians kept their LGBTQ identity a secret. Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky … was … pressured … to keep his homosexuality a secret…. Tchaikovsky’s music will fill Verizon Hall…. The Philadelphia Gay Men’s Chorus … will join the orchestra in Joseph M. Martin’s ‘The Awakening’ and the Simon and Garfunkel classic ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water.’ Canadian violinist Blake Pouliot will [perform] John Corigliano’s ‘The Red Violin.’… And Philly drag queen Martha Graham Cracker is also excited to participate…. ‘This is a beautiful, beautiful thing,’ Dito van Reigersberg, the performer who becomes Martha Graham Cracker on stage, said about the orchestra’s event.” Other composers include Leonard Bernstein, Jennifer Higdon, and Samuel Barber.