Wednesday, 07 February 2024 15:09

John Legend, Yo-Yo Ma Highlight 2024 SPAC Philadelphia Orchestra Season

SPAC announces the return of The Philadelphia Orchestra, July 31- Aug. 17.  Photo: SPAC Gala Fireworks, L. White. SPAC announces the return of The Philadelphia Orchestra, July 31- Aug. 17. Photo: SPAC Gala Fireworks, L. White.

SARATOGA SPRINGS — Saratoga Performing Arts Center announced the return of The Philadelphia Orchestra to its summer home in Saratoga for a three-week residency from July 31- Aug. 17. 

The season will feature a mix of masterworks from the classical cannon, alongside SPAC premieres and appearances by a diverse and international slate of today’s most exciting artists and conductors. 

“SPAC has become a destination stage for many of the greatest artists in the world and our 2024 season is no exception. From Yannick Nézet-Séguin and Yo-Yo Ma to John Legend and Angélique Kidjo, this year’s programming offers something for everyone highlighting SPAC’s unique ability to bring together the world’s best artists and genres on one stage,” said Elizabeth Sobol, SPAC’s President & CEO, in a statement. 

Philadelphia Orchestra Music and Artistic Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin (Aug. 8) will return to the podium to lead a program exclusive to SPAC, featuring Strauss’ An Alpine Symphony, the composer’s powerful ode to nature, alongside the SPAC premiere of Robert Schumann’s Konzertstück for horns and orchestra.

Highlighting the season is the SPAC and Philadelphia Orchestra debut of EGOT-winning, critically acclaimed, multiplatinum singer-songwriter John Legend (Aug. 7). An Evening With John Legend – A Night of Songs and Stories with The Philadelphia Orchestra will feature intimate reimagining’s of Legend’s greatest hits (“All of Me,” “Ordinary People,” “Tonight”), unexpected stories from his life and career, and selections from his most recent release LEGEND (“Nervous,” “Wonder Woman”).

Returning by popular demand are appearances by cellist Yo-Yo Ma (Aug. 16) for Dvořák’s Cello Concerto and violinist Gil Shaham (Aug. 14) performing a new violin concerto by contemporary composer Mason Bates, a piece the two workshopped together while at SPAC in 2023. 

Making his Philadelphia Orchestra and SPAC debut is young pianist and International Tchaikovsky Competition silver medalist George Li (July 31), who will perform the Piano Concerto No. 1 as part of the opening night “Tchaikovsky Spectacular” celebration, which will close with the 1812 Overture and a fireworks display. Following her 2023 Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival debut at SPAC, five-time Grammy Award-winner Angélique Kidjo (Aug. 2) will also join the Orchestra in an all-new program featuring a mix of popular African songs and original works. 

Iconic masterworks featured include a 100th anniversary celebration of Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue with the Marcus Roberts Trio (Aug. 1), in addition to Carl Orff’s Carmina burana (Aug. 10), returning to SPAC for the first time in over 15 years with Albany Pro Musica. 

The 2024 season also includes a roster of international conductors including the SPAC debuts of Fabio Luisi (Aug. 9 & 10), Dalia Stasevska (Aug. 14 & 15), Anthony Parnther (Aug. 7), and Damon Gupton (Aug. 17), in addition to the return of David Robertson (July 31-Aug. 1) and Xian Zhang (Aug. 16). 

The popular film nights will also return to delight audiences of all ages as Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix™ in Concert (Aug. 3) and Disney’s The Lion King in Concert (Aug. 17), are projected on the screens in HD, while the Orchestra performs the scores live. 

Tickets will be available beginning on Feb. 9 at 10 a.m. for members (tiered by level) and on Feb. 22 at 10 a.m. for the general public. Visit spac.org for details. 

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