Philadelphia Orchestra's Summer concerts return to Mann Center with Harry Potter and Nina Simone

By6abc Digital Staff and Bethany Owings via WPVI logo
Tuesday, July 5, 2022
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The Philadelphia Orchestra is staging a week full of outdoor concerts, from film to fireworks and the music of Nina Simone.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Pack a picnic, grab a lawn chair, and head to the Mann Center. as the Philadelphia Orchestra is staging a week full of outdoor concerts, from film to fireworks and the music of Nina Simone.

The orchestra's annual Tchaikovsky Spectacular has become a beloved summer tradition.

"His works are so joyful, so celebratory for the summer season," says Jeremy Rothman, Chief Programming Officer at the Philadelphia Orchestra and Kimmel Center Inc.

This year's show is on July 21st.

Assistant Conductor Erina Yashima is leading the orchestra in three timeless pieces. With Cuban American cellist Thomas Mesa performing solo with the ensemble.

"The winner of the Sphinx Competition is going to be making an incredible debut with the Philadelphia Orchestra," says Rothman.

You can pre-order a DiBruno Brothers picnic basket or pack your own.

"Enjoy this incredible music amongst family and friends, under the stars," says Rothman.

With fireworks for the finale.

"It's always a fantastic night," says Rothman.

"Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" will play on the big screen on July 23, while the orchestra plays the iconic John Williams score.

"His film scores are the absolute best and to get to hear the Philadelphia Orchestra play these live it creates a completely different kind of experience," Rothman says.

On July 22, the orchestra will share the stage with New Orleans singer, Ledisi, who put out a Nina Simone tribute album.

"Incredible orchestration, sort of a big band style performance," says Rothman.

Mixing a collection of Nina's greatest hits with pieces by Duke Ellington.

"Ledisi's a Grammy Award-winning artist. We now have a Grammy Award-winning orchestra," says Rothman.

The orchestra won for its recording of the First and Third Symphonies by Florence Price, a Black composer whose works were discovered more than a half-century after her death.

During the pandemic, the orchestra worked to get her symphonies performance-ready.

Music Director of the Philadelphia Orchestra, Yannick Nezet-Seguin said during his Grammy Speech, "Florence Price and all the composers who have been overlooked because of injustice it's about time we get them back to what they are due."


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5201 Parkside Avenue, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19131

Tchaikovsky Spectacular with fireworks July 21, 8pm

Ledisi Sings Nina July 22nd

Harry Potter In Concert July 23rd