(Philadelphia, June 2, 2016) — The Philadelphia Orchestra announced today that Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin has further extended his deep commitment to the Orchestra, lengthening his tenure through the 2025-26 season. This extension, combined with that announced in 2015, confirms his leadership of The Philadelphia Orchestra for a decade to come. By the time this newest extension is completed, Nézet-Séguin will have been music director for 14 years (2012-26), the third longest tenure of musical leadership after legendary conductors Eugene Ormandy and Leopold Stokowski.
Yannick Nézet-Séguin will be at the helm of The Philadelphia Orchestra for a period burgeoning with local, national, and international milestones. With the recent celebration of a renewed five-year commitment to the Orchestra’s China Program, Yannick Nézet-Séguin’s vision for the future will also include innovative programing for The Philadelphia Orchestra’s 125th anniversary in 2025 and city-wide music-making for the 250th anniversary of American independence in 2026. Uniquely compelling concepts are also in the works for the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth (2020). Nearer to hand are the scheduled 2017 performances of Bartók’s Bluebeard’s Castle, both in Philadelphia and Carnegie Hall, and projected performances of Puccini’s Tosca in 2018, plus a list of further diverse opera titles that feature rich orchestral scores. Globally, The Philadelphia Orchestra will continue to be a standard-bearer, with a 2017 Tour of Asia and a 2018 European Tour.
" I have well over a decade’s worth of ideas to bring to the stage and into the community, and I look forward to growing even more connected to this extraordinarily musical city. "
Additionally, with simultaneous announcements in Philadelphia and New York, the Metropolitan Opera announced Yannick Nézet-Séguin as music director, effective with the start of the 2020-21 season.
“We are absolutely thrilled to have Yannick Nézet-Séguin’s extraordinary leadership in place for the next decade,” said President and CEO Allison Vulgamore. “The Philadelphia Orchestra is flourishing under his direction, and this new extension reflects his fervent commitment to Philadelphia and all we have achieved together and will achieve in the future. His relationships with the musicians, our audiences, and throughout the community are bringing joy to us all, drawing in new listeners and building connections throughout the city. Moreover, we will have the benefit of his dynamic leadership through The Philadelphia Orchestra’s 125th anniversary and the 250th anniversary celebration of American independence in the nation’s birthplace.”
“I never imagined that I could live the dream of having the legendary and magnificent Philadelphia Orchestra in my life, so it is with great joy that I extend my commitment to be present on Philadelphia’s podium for at least another 10 years,” said Philadelphia Orchestra Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin. “I have well over a decade’s worth of ideas to bring to the stage and into the community, and I look forward to growing even more connected to this extraordinarily musical city. Now, becoming music director of the premier and most extraordinary Metropolitan Opera is double the dream. To have the chance to make music with both these amazing institutions was irresistible to me. I am, without doubt, the luckiest music director in the world today.”
Yannick Nézet-Séguin will focus his orchestral and operatic work with these two renowned institutions, which share the potential for future artistic collaboration.
Named Musical America’s 2016 Artist of the Year, Yannick Nézet-Séguin has led The Philadelphia Orchestra on three international tours in the first four years of his music directorship, enhancing the global scope of the Orchestra’s work, and with many other resounding artistic achievements in such a short time. Through his community engagement and successes, he is rooting himself ever more deeply into Philadelphia, and making vital, unique connections with audiences. Among the events marking his commitment to Philadelphia, a commission by Tod Machover, featuring different “voices” from the community, is planned within the next few seasons.
Chairman of the Philadelphia Orchestra Association Board of Directors Richard B. Worley added, “The Philadelphia Orchestra could not be in better artistic hands. We are absolutely delighted with Yannick Nézet-Séguin’s leadership and his work in the community. I offer my heartiest thanks to him for all he has done and will continue to do, and to Allison Vulgamore, so instrumental in first securing him for The Philadelphia Orchestra, and for crafting the agreements to extend his service.”
“Today I am full of excitement and gratitude at the announcement of Yannick’s far reaching commitment to The Philadelphia Orchestra,” said David Kim, concertmaster of The Philadelphia Orchestra. “With our partnership cemented deep into the future, we now joyfully continue our work together, thriving on the magic that so palpably lives within the musicians of the Orchestra, our ardent audiences at home and around the world, and our beloved music director.”
Heralded by critics, audiences, and musicians alike for their partnership, Yannick Nézet-Séguin and The Philadelphia Orchestra are inspiring the future and translating the ensemble’s rich tradition of achievement into a new generation, not only sustaining the highest level of artistic quality, but also challenging―and exceeding―that level by creating powerful musical experiences for audiences at home and around the world. Under Nézet-Séguin’s leadership the Orchestra has marked the 100th anniversary of the U.S. premiere of Mahler’s Symphony No. 8, given by The Philadelphia Orchestra under the baton of Leopold Stokowski, with four sold-out performances at the Kimmel Center in 2016; partnered with Temple University, the Rock School for Dance Education, mummers, the Westminster Symphonic Choir, the American Boychoir, the School District of Philadelphia, and Dialogues Institute for highly acclaimed performances of Bernstein’s MASS in 2015; presented groundbreaking performances of Strauss’s Salome in a first-ever collaboration with Opera Philadelphia; conducted for Pope Francis in 2015; celebrated the Kimmel Center’s Fred J. Cooper Memorial Organ with an Art of the Pipe Organ festival; completed a five-year requiem cycle; and is commissioning works for The Philadelphia Orchestra’s principal players.
In addition to the highlights already mentioned, he has worked tirelessly to build ties within the community. Of particular importance is the recently announced HEAR initiative, announced at a free PopUP concert earlier this year. This series of collaborative learning initiatives represents the most comprehensive and dynamic community engagement in the Orchestra’s recent history. Spanning four categories—Health, Education, Access, and Research—HEAR is a portfolio of programs designed to resonate throughout the Philadelphia region. In addition to this broad portfolio are his personal appearances throughout the city―Girard College, Martin Luther King High School, Temple University, Free Library of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Historical Society, and more―in addition to working with the Philadelphia All-City Orchestra and the Curtis Symphony Orchestra twice each; visiting Play On, Philly! students; collaborating with the Rock School for Dance Education, CAPA Choir, Philly FringeArts, and Opera Philadelphia; and mentoring young conductors at Curtis. Yannick Nézet-Séguin has also broadened audiences by working with a range of artists from Jill Scott and Diana Krall to Al Pacino and Hugh Jackman and presenting timeless projects such as Disney’s Fantasia.