Stéphane DenèveOpening Night on Wednesday, July 27 at 8 p.m. Saratoga Springs, N.Y. - The Philadelphia Orchestra, one of the leading orchestras in the world, returns to its summer stage at Saratoga Performing Arts Center on Wednesday, July 27 at 8 p.m. The Orchestra's 2011 Saratoga Season presented by HSBC Bank USA, N.A. will feature three weeks of classical and contemporary masterpieces led by a series of globally acclaimed guest conductors including Marin Alsop, Charles Dutoit, Stéphane Denève, and Giancarlo Guerrero. Soloists and special guests performing during the season include Sarah Chang, David Hyde Pierce, Yo-Yo Ma, James Ehnes, Gabriela Montero and Branford Marsalis. The season will also debut its first movie screening on July 28 when the Humphrey Bogart-Ingrid Bergman classic film Casablanca will be shown in its entirety with the Orchestra performing the score live. Tickets and more information on the Orchestra's Saratoga program are available at


OPENING NIGHT       Maestra Marin Alsop, Music Director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and one of the world's leading conductors, conducts an Opening Night program that includes Beethoven's dramatic masterpiece Leonore Overture No. 3.  Also headlining the evening will be violin virtuoso Sarah Chang who will perform Bruch's Violin Concerto No. 1, a featured work on her most recent critically acclaimed recording. (July 27) CASABLANCA starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman The magic of the silver screen comes to SPAC on one special evening as Casablanca, one of the classics of American cinema, is screened in its entirety on SPAC's Amphitheatre and outdoor screens. The dramatic tale of love, loss and international intrigue comes to life as the Orchestra performs Max Steiner's Academy Award-nominated score under the direction of guest conductor Constantine Kitsopoulos. The film screening and orchestral performance begin at 8 p.m.  (July 28) DAVID HYDE PIERCE as Guest Narrator Emmy® and Tony® Award winning actor David Hyde Pierce brings his distinctive voice to the narration of Britten's classic Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra. A Saratoga Springs native who often attended performances of The Philadelphia Orchestra and New York City Ballet with his family during his childhood, Mr. Hyde Pierce's return to SPAC is a special highlight of the season. (July 29) GUEST CONDUCTORS A series of accomplished guest conductors will take the podium during the orchestra program including French-born Stéphane Denève (Aug 3-5), Chief Conductor Designate of the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra (SWR) and current Music Director of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra; Giancarlo Guerrero (Aug 10-11), recent Grammy winner and Music Director of the Nashville Symphony; and Bramwell Tovey (Aug 13), Music Director of the Vancouver Symphony and Principal Guest Conductor for the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Conductor Emeritus Charles Dutoit, returns to SPAC's stage to conduct performances on July 29 and 30. RENOWNED SOLOISTS An exceptional lineup of classical soloists will perform during the season including incomparable cellist Yo-Yo Ma, who will perform Shostakovich's compelling Cello Concerto No. 1; globally acclaimed violinist Gil Shaham performing Tchaikovsky's brilliant Violin Concerto and superstar pianist Emanuel Ax in Mozart's elegant Piano Concerto No. 22.  Violinist James Ehnes, who last performed at SPAC 11 years ago, performs Beethoven's Violin Concerto. Ehnes is the recipient of numerous international awards and prizes, including a Grammy, a Gramophone, and six Juno Awards. Making her SPAC debut will be Venezuelan pianist Gabriela Montero, known worldwide for her brilliant, technical mastery of classical repertoire, as well as for her trademark improvisational abilities. Montero performed John Williams' Air and Simple Gifts with Yo-Yo Ma, Itzhak Perlman and Anthony McGill at the inauguration of President Obama. Three-time Grammy®-winning saxophone superstar Branford Marsalis joins The Philadelphia Orchestra for a unique evening of classical-meets-jazz. Marsalis, alongside the Orchestra, will perform John Williams' Escapades for saxophone and orchestra, originally written for the hit film Catch Me If You Can and Scaramouche by Darius Milhaud. CHANTAL JUILLET STAR DEDICATION On Saturday, July 30, SPAC will honor Chantal Juillet, the founder and longtime Music Director of the Saratoga Chamber Music Festival, with the dedication of a star in SPAC's Walk of Fame. Juillet founded the Festival in 1991, quickly establishing it as a world-class showcase for chamber repertoire. In 2010, Juillet marked her final year as the program's Director in order to concentrate more time on projects in Asia and Europe with her husband, Charles Dutoit. CIRQUE DE LA SYMPHONIE One of the most popular programs of last season returns for two performances this year, one evening conducted by Stéphane Denève (Aug 5) and the other by Philadelphia Orchestra Associate Conductor Rossen Milanov (Aug 6). Some of the most accomplished cirque artists in the world will perform astounding acrobatics and aerial feats uniquely choreographed to classical masterpieces performed by the Orchestra. BROADWAY TO HOLLYWOOD Steven Reineke, Music Director of the New York Pops, conducts an exciting Broadway to Hollywood tribute, featuring fresh arrangements of music from Wicked, Jersey Boys, Ragtime, West Side Story and Titanic among others. Broadway stars Ashley Brown, who originated the award-winning role of Mary Poppins on Broadway, and Ryan Silverman, fresh off of Broadway and Vegas performances of The Phantom of the Opera, bring their sensational voices to this musical tribute. PRE-SHOWS One of the most popular features of SPAC's Classical Season are innovative Pre-Shows which offer families and audiences of all ages added value and enjoyment. Special Orchestra Pre-Shows include "Celebration of an Artist" (Jul 30) - an evening where visual artists are invited to set up their easels on SPAC's lawn and let their creativity flow - and the "Tchaikovsky Spectacular" (Aug 13) featuring colonial re-enactors in period costume interacting with guests on SPAC's lawn. These shows join CDPHP "Family Nights" every Friday with free Stewart's ice cream and Sage Colleges "Date Night" Series with tastings of Italian wines and cheeses as part of the Pre-Show lineup. Pre-Shows begin at 6 p.m. and are free for ticketholders for the evening's orchestra performance.  GE KIDS IN FREE and STUDENT DISCOUNT Children and families can enjoy an evening at The Philadelphia Orchestra at a great value thanks to GE's sponsorship of the popular GE Kids in Free promotion which entitles children 12 and under to free lawn admission for orchestra performances. Students of any age are entitled to $10 lawn tickets or 25% discounted amphitheatre seating, courtesy of Citizens Bank's Student Discount Program.   TICKETS Tickets for The Philadelphia Orchestra are as follows:
  • $20 for adult lawn admission *
  • $31 - $72.50 Amphitheatre pricing*
           *programs on 8/3 and 8/13, add $5 Children 12 and under are free on the lawn and students are entitled to $10 lawn tickets or 25 percent discounted Amphitheatre admission. SPAC tickets can be purchased online at, by phone at 518-584-9330 or at the Route 50 Box Office.