Renowned for its distinctive sound; beloved for its keen ability to capture the hearts and imaginations of audiences; and, admired for an unrivaled legacy of “firsts” in music-making, The Philadelphia Orchestra has gained the reputation as one of the preeminent Orchestras in the world. The Philadelphia has cultivated an extraordinary history of artistic leaders in its 112 seasons, including music directors Fritz Scheel, Carl Pohlig, Leopold Stokowski, Eugene Ormandy , Riccardo Muti, and Charles Dutoit to mention just a few. With the 2012-2013 season Yannick Nazet-Seguin becomes the eighth music director of the Philadelphia Orchestra. Named music director designate in 2010, Nezet-Seguin brings a vision that extends beyond symphonic music into the vivid world of opera and choral music.
To quote the Philadelphia Enquirer “Philly’s musical future has arrived as the diminutive, intense and charismatic conductor leapt onto the podium and inspired this great Orchestra to new heights” Only the eighth music director in the Orchesra’s 110 year history, and the first from north America, YNS (as he is called in his native Montreal) is a 35 year old dynamo. He guest conducted only one program in each of the past two seasons, but that was enough for the musicians and management to realize a personification of the future! Personable, gifted and full of youthful energy, he impressed the musicians with collaborative attitude and obvious natural talent.
When asked how he planned to balance between the orchestra’s tradition and yet put his own “stamp” on things, he replied: “I think to put a stamp on a sound happens naturally, because we immediately clicked-the orchestra and myself-right from my first visit as a guest conductor. There was an immediacy of understanding: I gave the musicians space in my conducting so they felt entitled and free to express their own sound. What I need to do now is to encourage the orchestra to reconnect with the roots of that sound, which came from the old hall, the Academy of Music, where Stokowski and Ormandy shaped that particular tonal quality. This is my first goal, to have the orchestra find the tools to reconnect with , and by doing so, I am actuallly putting my own imprimatur on the Orchestra. But I never forget that I don’t want to work against what has been the tradition this Orchestra. By doing so I’m sure that I will renew and rejuvenate these great qualities which first made the orchestra so famous so many decades ago”.
Yannick is arriving to lead an orchestra that, under the recent guidance of chief conductor Charles Dutiot, has developed the astonishing ability for their musicians to perform at a supreme level with an immense pride for this new leader. Many players insist they can tell in eight bars whether a new conductor has “it” or not, and Nezet-Seguin obviously has it!