JUNE 24: PHILADELPHIA ORCHESTRA MUSIC DIRECTOR YANNICK NÉZET-SÉGUIN TO MAKE MANN HISTORY WITH CONDUCTING DEBUT FOR 2019 GALA
PHILADELPHIA (Feb. 11, 2019) – Fans of The Philadelphia Orchestra’s annual residency at the Mann Center for the Performing Arts will get what they have been waiting for this summer when the Orchestra’s Music Director, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, makes his Mann debut on Monday, June 24. Under Nézet-Séguin’s baton, The Philadelphia Orchestra will perform Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony under the Mann’s recently renovated concert pavilion. The concert will be the centerpiece of the Mann’s 2019 Party in the Park gala. Concert-only and gala tickets will be available on Feb. 13, 2019.
“We are beyond thrilled to be welcoming Maestro Yannick Nézet-Séguin to the Mann stage for what will, no doubt, be a history-making performance,” said Catherine M. Cahill, President and CEO of the Mann. “The Mann’s history as a summer residency for The Philadelphia Orchestra dates to the 1930s, and we have had the privilege of hosting previous music directors over many decades. Yannick’s debut will mark the first time a Philadelphia Orchestra music director has conducted at the Mann since the era of the legendary Wolfgang Sawallisch. That Yannick’s debut coincides with our annual Party in the Park is icing on the cake; it will be a magical night!” she said.
Music Director of The Philadelphia Orchestra since 2012, Nézet-Séguin is a conductor of international acclaim and is set to lead The Philadelphia Orchestra through at least its 2025-26 season. In addition to holding the baton with The Philadelphia Orchestra, Nézet-Séguin is the third music director in the history of the Metropolitan Opera; his role began there in September 2018.
Nézet-Séguin is also Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of Montreal’s Orchestre Métropolitain, a position he has held since 2000; honorary conductor of the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, of which he was Chief Conductor from 2008 to 2018; and an honorary member of the Chamber Orchestra of Europe.
Nézet-Séguin has worked with many leading European ensembles and has collaborated with the Berlin Philharmonic, the Vienna Philharmonic, the Bavarian Radio Symphony, and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe. Between 2008 and 2014, he was also Principal Guest Conductor of the London Philharmonic Orchestra.
Concert to Feature Original Community Mass Commission & Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony
The first half of the June 24 concert will feature excerpts of the Philadelphia Community Mass, an immersive concert-theatrical experience that explores anew the relevance of faith in our times. It is inspired by Leonard Bernstein’s MASS and was conceived by Nolan Williams, Jr., the Mann’s Festival Artistic Director and CEO of NEWorks Productions, the celebrated Washington, D.C.-based production company that has co-produced this work. The performance will consist of original, sacred compositions by American composers Evelyn Simpson-Curenton, Dr. Rollo Dilworth, Ruth Naomi Floyd, and Dr. Jay Fluellen, which were commissioned by the Mann last year.
For the concert’s second half, Nézet-Séguin will conduct the world-renowned Philadelphia Orchestra in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, one of the towering masterworks of classical music. With its choral finale extolling a wish for peace and tolerance for all, Beethoven’s Ninth has become far more than a symphony. It is a worldwide cultural icon. The performance will feature an internationally acclaimed group of soloists from the Metropolitan Opera accompanied by the “Fabulous Philadelphians.”
2019 Party in the Park
The Mann’s Party in the Park gala is an annual fundraiser benefiting the Mann's education and community engagement programs, which serve more than 30,000 young people annually. Gala guests will begin the evening with cocktails and dinner at the top of the Mann’s Great Lawn, overlooking the majestic Philadelphia skyline before enjoying The Philadelphia Orchestra’s performance on the main stage. For this year’s gala, the Mann will honor one of its own -- Nancy R. Newman, Executive Vice President of the Mann Center for the Performing Arts, who will step down from her role at the end of the 2019 season.
“For more than 20 years, Nancy has served as the Mann’s chief champion with a passion and dedication that our organization has counted on and benefited from time and time again,” said Cahill. “She is the consummate professional, always working from a place of optimism and perseverance to advance the Mann, not just for the institution but for the hundreds of thousands of guests who enjoy this treasured destination every season. I am proud to have called Nancy my partner in charting the Mann’s future together, and I can think of no greater tribute than by honoring her at this year’s Party in the Park, the cherished annual tradition that she created!”
An Updated Mann Concert Pavilion
Announced at last year’s gala, The Mann: A Promise for the Future is a $43.5 million campaign to raise funds for artistic programming, a well-stewarded campus and grounds and a strong financial core to ensure the future of the institution. As the Mann enters the next phase of the campaign, the institution has raised 81% of its goal with approximately $8.4 million left to raise in the final two years of the campaign.
With funds that have been raised to date, the Mann has begun renovations at its venue in Fairmount Park. The main house at the Mann was built in 1976 and while it has weathered many storms, continued investment in the pavilion and the 23-acre campus is necessary to safeguard the future and meet evolving artistic and audience expectations.
Bolstered by approximately $11 million in campaign support, a series of capital improvements are being rolled out this season, including a number of infrastructure improvements that will be notable to Mann visitors. Guests will enjoy new state-of-the-art lighting, enhanced sound projection, new digital screens, seat and box upgrades and other enhancements to the building infrastructure.
“We are so grateful for all of the individuals who have invested in the Mann and supported us during this capital campaign,” said Cahill. “From the moment guests purchase tickets, to the moment they leave our venue, we want them to experience a first-class destination. We eagerly look forward to seeing their reactions when we open our gates to our 2019 visitors and share with them our new Mann!”
For more information about Beethoven’s Ninth and the Party in the Park, visit MannCenter.org. Artist and repertoire is subject to change and will be updated regularly on the Mann’s website.
About the Mann
As one of the foremost outdoor music centers in the country, the Mann, a leading non-profit organization, has a historical legacy of artistic excellence as a world-class entertainment destination presenting premier artists in association with The Bowery Presents. Each summer season, renowned symphony orchestras, iconic rock stars, and the latest touring artists in indie, rock, hip hop, R&B, and pop take the stage here. The Mann is the summer home of The Philadelphia Orchestra and has presented critically acclaimed performers in every decade since the 1930s. Located in the heart of Philadelphia’s Fairmount Park, the Mann hosts more than 200,000 visitors annually. Signature concert experiences are surrounded by Philadelphia’s stunning skyline and include seats beneath the Mann’s acoustically acclaimed pavilion; picnics, blankets, and music under the stars on its great lawn; and dining in Crescendo, the venue’s spectacular tented restaurant. For more information, visit www.MannCenter.org.