Music in the Park since 1935
75th Anniversary of the Incorporation of the Robin Hood Dell Concerts, Predecessor of The Mann Center for the Performing Arts
By Dr. Richard E. Rodda
In 1922, the City of Philadelphia built the Lemon Hill Concert Pavilion near the site of Henry Pratt’s Fairmount Park mansion (named for the lemons he grew in his greenhouse) and sponsored a series of free summer concerts...
Browse through selections of historical photographs, clippings, program covers, advertisements, and more. Relive some of the most memorable parts of the last 75 years including Robin Hood Dell Concerts and appearances by Zubin Mehta, Jerome Lowenthal, and Beverly Sills.
The Man Behind The Mann
By Jane Ellis Gitomer
Since I was a young girl, I knew there was something electric and powerful about my grandfather. I didn’t know what he did, but I understood that he was a special person with an unusual ability to be the center of attention. His best friends were the greatest musicians of his day who he summered with in Elizabethtown, New York: Artur Rubinstein, Jascha Heifitz, Mstislav Rostropovich and Gregor Piatigorsky. He was instrumental in founding the Palestine Symphony Orchestra, now known as the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, whose home venue is the Fredric R. Mann Auditorium in Tel Aviv. He devoted tireless efforts to mentor the careers of young musicians, such as Zubin Mehta, whom he brought to Philadelphia for his United States conducting debut with the Philadelphia Orchestra at the Robin Hood Dell, and William Kappell, considered one of the great pianists of his day until he died tragically in a plane crash at 31. On any given day, Isaac Stern, Beverly Sills, Itzhak Perlman, or Pinchas Zuckerman might be dropping by his apartment for a visit, or Van Cliburn or Daniel Barenboim might be calling in to to say hello...
The Mann is Going Green!
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Past Performers at The Mann
Please click the following links to find past performers from certain years:
The Mann Through the Years
The Robin Hood Dell is founded as Philadelphia's outdoor music venue.
Zubin Mehta makes his American debut at the Robin Hood Dell.
Philadelphia's largest covered music and arts venue is born as the Robin Hood Dell West. The original Robin Hood Dell is renamed the Robin Hood Dell East.
The Robin Hood Dell West is renamed the Mann Music Center, after founder Fredric R. Mann. Baryshnikov and Martins appear in a production of ballet highlights.
The Mann Music Center hosts its first Kool Jazz Festival.
The Mann hosts the popular show, "CATS."
In recognition of its expanded role in the arts community, it is renamed The Mann Center for the Performing Arts.
The Mann undergoes a physical overhaul, inagurates the Jazz at The Mann Series with the Philadelphia Clef Club and presents Riverdance.
The Mann completes a phase one $15 million capital campaign.
The Mann celebrates 75 years of Live Music in The Park.
75th Anniversary Celebration Honorary Committee Members:
- Chris Botti
- Congressman Robert A. Brady
- United States Senator Robert P. Casey, Jr.
- Van Cliburn
- Charles Dutoit
- The Honorable Dwight Evans
- The Honorable Chaka Fattah
- Marvin Hamlisch
- Senator Vincent Hughes
- Councilman Curtis Jones, Jr.
- David Kim
- Helen Martin
- Rossen Milanov
- The Honorable Michael Nutter
- The Honorable Edward G. Rendell
- Dr. Condoleezza Rice
- United States Senator Arlen Specter
- James Taylor
- André Watts