Founded in 1900, the Philadelphia Orchestra is regarded as one of the leading orchestras in the world. Its newly appointed chief conductor and artistic adviser Charles Dutoit follows in a rich tradition of excellent musical advisors including Fritz Scheel, Carl Pohlig, Leopold Stokowski, Eugene Ormandy, Riccardo Muti, Wolfgang Sawallisch, and Christoph Eschenbach. In addition to the regular series, the Philadelphia Orchestra also offers chamber music and family concerts suitable for children ages 6–12. Subscribers to Family concerts receive The Eighth Note newsletter, filled with information and activities to help prepare for each concert, including special listening sections, interviews with guest artists and musicians, games, and puzzles.
Before every classical subscription concert are free pre-concert Conversations, where various artists discuss the evening’s program. In addition, after many subscription concerts are free Postlude concerts, which feature orchestra members or guest artists. Multiple free concerts are also given throughout the year by the Philadelphia Orchestra through the Free Neighborhood Concert Program.
Philadelphia Orchestra Information
- Public Transportation: Average
- Other Venues: The Mann Center for the Performing Arts, 5201 Parkside Avenue
- Public Transportation: Yes (both the Kimmel Center and the Mann are accessible via subway, PATCO, and SEPTA bus lines))
- Performances/Programs: Approximately 110 per season
- Ticket Prices: $10–$153; $10 student understudy tickets are available online and $8 student Rush tickets can be purchased at the box office
- Group Discounts: Groups of 10 or more get group discounts and all processing fees are waived
- Other Discounts: The Philadelphia Orchestra makes PECO Power Hour seats available for $10 at the Kimmel Center box office 5:30–6:30 p.m. the day of each subscription concert (11:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m. for 2 p.m. performances)
- Subscriptions: Themed collections include Masterworks, Connoisseur, Odyssey, Celebrations, Weekday, Weekend, and Matinée. There are also Access, Monumental Works, Great Pianists, Chamber Music, and Family. The Create Your Own collection allows subscribers to choose six or more concerts. Subscribers are eligible for unlimited ticket exchanges. The Orchestra also offers its patrons the opportunity to join the eZseat Club, which allows members to buy as many concerts as they wish and receive a 25% discount off single tickets; full subscriber benefits are included in this club, including online exchanges. eZseat costs $50 for basic membership, $75 for premium; it’s $25 for students
- Membership: Friends Circle membership begins at $75. Benefits include two open rehearsal tickets, a Philadelphia Orchestra membership card, and 10% discounts at Applause, the gift shop at the Kimmel Center. Members also receive discounts to many nearby shops and restaurants, as well as pre-paid discount parking
- Activities for Children: Hosted by award-winning storyteller Charlotte Blake Alston and featuring Philadelphia Orchestra musicians, Sound All Around concerts are a fun interactive way to introduce your three- to five-year-old to the instruments of the orchestra. Named as Philadelphia magazine’s Best of Philly Best Music Program in 2007.