May We Suggest … Yannick Whets Our Appetite for 2016-17
When a top chef wants to show off the range of his restaurant’s excellence, he offers a tasting menu: samples of all the ways his establishment can dazzle a food lover. Now about to begin his fifth season, our top chef, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, put together his own tasting menu at the Kimmel Center Tuesday evening, unveiling all the ways The Philadelphia Orchestra will please music lovers in the 2016-17 season. Together with Orchestra CEO and President Allison Vulgamore, Yannick explored the variety of musical treats in store in the upcoming season.
A generous maestro (chef!), Yannick shared the stage with some of the people who’ll be producing those treats: organist extraordinaire Paul Jacobs, filling the hall with the sounds of the mighty Fred J. Cooper Memorial Organ, as he will next November when he premieres an Orchestra co-commission from Pulitzer-prize-winning composer Christopher Rouse; Principal Bassoon Daniel Matsukawa, accompanied by Assistant Conductor Lio Kuokman at the piano, with a beautifully singing excerpt from Mozart’s Bassoon Concerto (Yannick: “If Mozart had known you, Danny, he would have written 20 bassoon concertos!”); Principal Percussion Christopher Deviney talking about a piece he’s arranged and orchestrated by jazz guitar great Pat Metheny that he’ll give the world premiere of in March/April 2017; video greetings from Principal Guest Conductor Stéphane Denève (touting his wonderful Rachmaninoff Festival, as well as a live rendition of John Williams’s soundtrack for E.T., complete with HD screening of the beloved Spielberg film); and composer Mason Bates (the man behind Alternative Energy, coming up next spring).
We’ll give Yannick the last words on 2016-17: “It’s amazing—it’s already five years [as music director], but it’s still only the beginning; I have so many more ideas. We have accomplished so much together. We’ve built a strong foundation. The bond I have with the musicians is extraordinary. We are so comfortable with each other that now we can take more risks, reinvent our way of making music together. It’s all about the joy of making music, joy with a capital J!”