The Philadelphia Orchestra’s opening night concert at Carnegie Hall was cancelled because of a stagehand strike, so Yannick Nézet-Séguin brought his musicians back to Philly for an informal, free concert at the Kimmel Center.
The festivities began in the lobby where folks were invited to conduct some orchestra musicians in the opening bars of Mozart’s Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, with the winner to have the chance to conduct the full orchestra during the actual concert.
The concert itself was a subset of the program for Carnegie Hall, with things like Chaikovsky’s Marche Slav and Ravel’s Bolero. The winner of the conducting contest (pictured above) got to perform the rare and challenging William Tell Overture by Rossini.
And there was even an encore, Chaikovsky’s Polonaise from Eugene Onegin. Yannick encouraged the audience to record it and send it to social network sites.
I decided to sit behind the orchestra so I could watch Nézet-Séguin’s face as he conducted, and I discovered that I really like that location. The balance of the sound is a bit odd as you hear less of the cellos and basses, but otherwise the sound is terrific. I think I’ll search out those seats in the future.