Philly Orchestra set to open 119th season with a powerhouse show

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Sunday, September 2, 2018
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6abc Loves the Arts: Philly Orchestra set to open 119th season with a bang. Karen Rogers reports during Action News at 7 a.m. on September 2, 2018.

It was 10 years ago that Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin made his Philadelphia Orchestra debut, and the ensemble is celebrating that milestone by opening its 119th season with a world premiere, a Russia titan and a powerhouse pianist.

"André Watts is one of the most beloved artists," says Jeremy Rothman, Vice President for Artistic Planning for the Philadelphia Orchestra.

The German-born soloist and the orchestra go way back.

"He made his debut with the orchestra in 1957 at the age of 10," Rothman says.

Watts will perform an audience favorite, "The Grieg Piano Concerto is a highly romantic work," Rothman says. "Even if you don't know it by name, you recognize it from first chords."

The highlight of the night will be the performance of Russian classical legend Sergei Rachmaninoff's Symphonic Dances, a signature work for the orchestra.

"This was Sergei Rachmaninoff's final work, his most successful, most elaborate symphonic work, and it was written for the Philadelphia Orchestra," Rothman says. "Sergei Rachmaninoff had a long relationship with the Philadelphia Orchestra. He often referred to the Philadelphia Orchestra as his most preferred, beloved ensemble."

The Orchestra will also stage the world premiere of a suite from composer Nico Muhly's opera, Marnie.

"Nico writes in a very colorful, very precise kind of way and I think audiences are really going to enjoy this 10-12 minute suite of the orchestral highlights of this opera," Rothmans says.

Opening weekend runs Thursday, Sept.13- Sunday, Sept. 16.

"The whole weekend creates a really festive kind of kick off to our season, and it kicks off with a special gala and concert," Rothman says

"Whether you know symphonic music well or it's your first time coming to the Orchestra, this opening weekend and program has something that you'll definitely enjoy," Rothman promises.

Philadelphia Orchestra Season Open | Facebook

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