Yannick Nézet-Séguin and The Philadelphia Orchestra
to Renew Partnership with Contract Extension through 2030
Title to be Expanded to Music and Artistic Director
“Philly Loves Yannick Week”
Citywide Celebrations to Take Place February 6–10

(Philadelphia, February 5, 2023)—Matías Tarnopolsky, president and CEO of The Philadelphia Orchestra and Kimmel Center, Inc., today announced the continuation of the extraordinary partnership of Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin and The Philadelphia Orchestra with the extension of Nézet-Séguin’s contract through 2030, and the expansion of his title to music and artistic director. The span of this contract will bring Nézet-Séguin’s tenure into proximity of the Orchestra’s most influential and historic artistic leaders, Leopold Stokowski and Eugene Ormandy. Nézet-Séguin’s biography can be accessed here.

Currently in his 11th season as music director, Yannick Nézet-Séguin holds an original and unique place in the American musical landscape. He has proven to be both an evolutionary and a revolutionary, developing the mighty “Philadelphia Sound” in new ways in collaboration with the great musicians of the Orchestra. He has built the Orchestra through the hiring of 23 world-class musicians since the start of his tenure. Together, Nézet-Séguin and the Orchestra have commissioned an astonishing 37 works from an ever-growing group of international composers, including Gabriela Lena Frank, who will conclude her four-year tenure as composer-in-residence with the Orchestra following this season, and Valerie Coleman, who has received her fourth commission from the Orchestra, to be premiered next season.  

In addition to expanding the repertoire by embracing an ever-growing and diverse group of today’s composers, Nézet-Séguin is passionately committed to performing the music of under-appreciated composers of the past, such as Florence Price, the first Black woman to have her work performed by a major American symphony orchestra; Clara Schumann; Lili Boulanger; Louise Farrenc; and, next season, William Grant Still. Throughout Nézet-Séguin’s tenure, the Orchestra returned to regular recording projects, partnering with the acclaimed Deutsche Grammophon label, and are currently in the midst of a multi-season project to perform and record all of Price’s symphonies and more. They received their first-ever GRAMMY® Award for Best Orchestral Performance in 2022 for their recording of Price’s First and Third Symphonies.

As music director of the Metropolitan Opera, in addition to The Philadelphia Orchestra, Nézet-Séguin  commands a special musical pipeline, commissioning new works such as Kevin Puts’s The Hours, performed in 2022 on both Philadelphia and New York stages, and creating new artistic synergy for beloved works such as Puccini’s La bohème, which he will conduct with both the Met and The Philadelphia Orchestra over the next year. Throughout his tenure, Nézet-Séguin has made opera and oratorio a major initiative of the Orchestra, beginning with performances of Verdi’s Requiem in his inaugural subscription concerts in 2012, and including symphonic stagings of works such as Strauss’s Salome, Bach’s The Passion According to St. Matthew, Puccini’s Tosca, and Bernstein’s Candide, providing an experience not heard in the opera house, as the Orchestra performs on stage instead of in the pit.

Nézet-Séguin’s interest in exploring new symphonic formats has yielded trailblazing collaborations with media artist Refik Anadol, innovative dance companies Brian Sanders’ JUNK and BalletX, and Ridge Theater Company. His dedication to responding to issues of our time through music is demonstrated in performances of Davóne Tines’s Sermon, dedicated to the memory of Breonna Taylor, and the upcoming world premiere of John Luther Adams’s Vespers of the Blessed Earth, a response to humanity’s impact on the Earth.  

Nézet-Séguin has connected with audiences at home, across the country, and in the great musical capitals of the world, inspiring musicians and music lovers of all ages, and introducing music to the next generations. He has forged deep bonds with the communities of Philadelphia, leading the Orchestra’s Martin Luther King, Jr., Tribute Concerts; inaugurating the Orchestra’s annual Pride Concert; performing with students of the All-City Orchestra, Philadelphia Youth Orchestra, High School for Creative and Performing Arts, Curtis Institute of Music, and more; collaborating with local choirs, churches, marching bands, and dancers; and leading free concerts throughout the city. A number of free, large-scale concerts that draw on community and collaboration have taken place under Nézet-Séguin’s leadership in Philadelphia, including two outdoor concerts on the Parkway during Pope Francis’s visit to Philadelphia. With Nézet-Séguin, the Orchestra also enjoys a high-profile and regular presence at Carnegie Hall.

Yannick Nézet-Séguin commented: “To have traveled this most amazing musical journey with The Philadelphia Orchestra through changing times and a changing musical world has been pure joy.  Through the most complex challenges, to the creative process of realizing new ideas, to the heights of music-making with this magnificent ensemble, I am both honored and so happy to continue this true collaboration, with the gift of a long horizon. I am already imagining our future work together and the beautiful music we will offer to the people of Philadelphia, and far beyond. I am deeply appreciative to each and every wonderful musician of the Orchestra, to our Board Co-Chairs Ralph Muller and Mike Zisman and our Board of Directors, to Matías Tarnopolsky for his exemplary leadership of the institution, and to the entire Philadelphia Orchestra and Kimmel Center, Inc., family.”

“A truly great and relevant orchestra in the 21st century is a collaboration of the best musicians and music director, seeking to renew and revitalize the art form while honoring and celebrating its traditions,” said Tarnopolsky. “This is the singular and thrilling equation of Yannick Nézet-Séguin and The Philadelphia Orchestra. We are elated that Yannick is renewing and redoubling his commitment to our Orchestra and to our communities with the title of music and artistic director and an extension to 2030. By building our Orchestra through the hiring of over 20 musicians in his 10 years of leadership, to featuring a diverse and fascinating universe of today’s composers and artists, offering fresh perspectives on the music of past centuries, celebrating music that should be better known, connecting deeply with audiences of all ages, and creating new ideas of the concert experience, Yannick has changed how we see the role of an orchestra in society and elevated this institution to the most wonderful level. I am personally very much looking forward to the future journey.”

“The musicians of The Philadelphia Orchestra are delighted by the news of the extension of Yannick’s contract,” said bassist David Fay, chair of the Members’ Committee of the Orchestra. “Since he began his tenure as music director, Yannick has led as a great artist and as a true partner, and we are very appreciative of the respect and consideration he gives to each member. We look forward to making more beautiful music with Yannick and to continuing our musical exploration together for many years to come.”

“Philly Loves Yannick Week”

This week, February 6–10, The Philadelphia Orchestra and the City of Philadelphia celebrate Yannick Nézet-Séguin with multiple events under the banner of “Philly Loves Yannick Week.”

The celebration includes the following opportunities:

  • Guests can enjoy a specialty cocktail celebrating Nézet-Séguin’s French-Canadian roots, the Philly Loves Yannick French-Canadian 75, at the following restaurants:
    • Blume Burger—1500 Locust St.
    • Caribou Café—1126 Walnut St.  
    • COCKATOO—208 S. 13th St.
    • Del Frisco’s Grille—225 S. Broad St.
    • Fadó Irish Pub—1500 Locust St.
    • Garces Trading Company @ Kimmel—300 S. Broad St.
    • Iron Hill Brewery and Restaurant—1150 Market St.
    • Mixto Restaurante—1141 Pine St.
    • Rex at the Royal—1524 South St.
    • Ristorante Pesto—1915 S. Broad St.
    • Veda—1920 Chestnut St.
    • Volvér—300 S. Broad St.
  • The Orchestra will give away a pair of tickets to a Philadelphia Orchestra performance conducted by Nézet-Séguin. Enter to win here.
  • The first 1,000 subscribers to the Orchestra’s 2023–24 season will receive a limited-edition bobblehead of Nézet-Séguin.
  • Visitors to the Kimmel Cultural Campus can leave notes for Nézet-Séguin on a special “Philly Loves Yannick Week” sign on display in Commonwealth Plaza at the Kimmel Center.
  • A special digital release of Nézet-Séguin gifs will be available for public use on social media.

On Friday, February 10, Nézet-Séguin will personally join in the celebration. He will begin the day with a run up the “Rocky steps” at the Philadelphia Museum of Art with musicians of the Orchestra. He will later engage in a music-making event with students at the High School for Creative and Performing Arts before visiting the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, where he will thank healthcare workers for their support during the COVID-19 pandemic. He will return to Commonwealth Plaza at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts at 3:45 PM to engage with fans and hand out special Yannick-themed donuts from the new Garces Trading Company @ Kimmel café. In addition, Mayor Kenney will present Yannick with a “Philly Loves Yannick Week” proclamation in the Plaza.  

To conclude the day, Nézet-Séguin will travel to the other end of Broad Street for “Philadelphia Orchestra Night” at the Sixers game as they take on the New York Knicks. Musicians of The Philadelphia Orchestra, along with students from the School District of Philadelphia’s All-City Orchestra, will perform the National Anthem at the start of the game, and students from the Orchestra’s partner school, KIPP West Philadelphia Preparatory School, will perform in the Wells Fargo Center Concourse during halftime.