spac.jpg Saratoga Springs, NY (March 18, 2009) - Saratoga Performing Arts Center has announced the 2009 summer season of The Philadelphia Orchestra, August 5 - 22. Led by Charles Dutoit, Principal Conductor and Artistic Director, program highlights include an Opening Night appearance by ALEC BALDWIN who will narrate Copland's Lincoln Portrait, performances by world-renown soloists including YO-YO MA and JOSHUA BELL, and three pops evenings with guest conductors MARVIN HAMLISCH, ERICH KUNZEL and JEFF TYZIK.  Tickets for The Philadelphia Orchestra's SPAC performances can be ordered via online order form at http://www.spac.org/ beginning Wednesday, March 18. "The Philadelphia's Orchestra 2009 Summer Season at SPAC will be simply extraordinary. Under the direction of Maestro Charles Dutoit, the Orchestra will present one of its richest and most diverse programs in years. Bringing true star power to the season will be a remarkable lineup of guest artists, including actor Alec Baldwin whose resonant voice will provide an unforgettable presentation of Copland's stirring Lincoln Portrait and offer a spectacular kick off to our Orchestra season," said Marcia J. White, SPAC President & Executive Director. "It is also a year when we will pay tribute to Charles Dutoit, who is celebrating a milestone 20th year as the Principal Conductor and Artistic Director of SPAC's Orchestra Season.  Maestro Dutoit's contributions are woven into the history and ongoing vitality of this cultural landmark, and we are both proud and grateful for his continuing dedication to SPAC," White said. Alec Baldwin Narrating Copland's Lincoln Portrait The Season opens on August 5 with a first-ever appearance at SPAC by actor ALEC BALDWIN who will narrate Aaron Copland's Lincoln Portrait. The 1942 work, written by Copland as part of the World War II patriotic war effort, includes the narration of excerpts from Abraham Lincoln's great documents, including the Gettysburg Address. Copland himself conducted the composition at SPAC on August 5, 1976 - exactly 33 years prior to this year's scheduled performance of the piece. Alec Baldwin, Emmy Award-winning star of the show 30 Rock, joins a venerable line of celebrities who have narrated the work including Barack Obama, Carl Sandburg and James Earl Jones. Mr. Baldwin is also scheduled to perform the work on September 26 on the Opening Night of The Philadelphia Orchestra's 2009-10 Season in Philadelphia. Acclaimed Soloists An exceptional lineup of classical soloists is scheduled to perform during the season including distinguished cellist YO-YO MA who will perform cello concertos by Schumann and Lalo on August 12. Widely recognized as the world's greatest living cellist, Ma, the winner of more than 15 Grammy awards, is one of the best selling classical recording artists of all time. Virtuoso violinist JOSHUA BELL, proclaimed by the Boston Herald as the "greatest American violinist today," will perform Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto, regarded as one of the greatest violin concertos of all time, on August 8. Bell, who last appeared at SPAC in 2007, began performing professionally at age 14, when he made his debut as a soloist with The Philadelphia Orchestra conducted by Riccardo Muti. Since then he has performed with virtually all of the world's major orchestras and conductors. The winner of several awards, including the prestigious Avery Fisher Prize and a Grammy Award for his recording of the Nicholas Maw Violin Concerto, Bell plays a 300-year-old Stradivarius violin called the Gibson ex Huberman.  Other prominent soloists that will perform during the Orchestra season include acclaimed pianist JEAN-YVES THIBAUDET who will perform Ravel's Concerto for the Left Hand, a work commissioned in 1930 by Viennese concert pianist Paul Wittgenstein who lost his right arm in World War I (August 19); legendary pianist EMANUEL AX, described by the New York Times as "never less than spellbinding," performs Beethoven's magnificent Piano Concerto No. 4 (August 13); superstar pianist ANDRÉ WATTS plays Grieg's Piano Concerto, considered by some to be the most popular piano concerto ever written (August 6); and Russian-born pianist YEFIM BRONFMAN, known for his commanding technique, will perform Brahms Piano Concerto No. 2 on Opening Night (August 5). On the last two evenings of the Orchestra's series, some of classical music's fastest rising stars will perform. German violinist ARABELLA STEINBACHER and cellist SOL GABETTA will perform Tchaikovsky pieces on the evening of SPAC's popular Tchaikovsky Spectacular (August 21) and Russian pianist KIRILL GERSTEIN will perform Rachmaninoff's Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini on the final night of the Orchestra's season (August 22).   "An Evening with Degas," August 15 As part of a first-ever collaboration between the Hyde Collection and SPAC, a special performance entitled AN EVENING WITH DEGAS celebrating famed French Impressionist Edgar Degas and the music that inspired many of his works will be presented on August 15. The program was developed to complement  the Hyde's special exhibit, Degas & Music (July 12 - October 18) which will feature paintings reflecting Degas' fascination with music, including portraits of musician friends, dramatic images of cabaret singers and stunning scenes of the music-filled world of ballet. The Orchestra's performance of works by Bizet, Chabrier, Debussy, Sarasate, Massenet, Saint-Saëns and Offenbach will be accompanied by images of Degas' famous works projected on SPAC's cinema screens. Accompanying the Orchestra will be internationally acclaimed violinist GIL SHAHAM who will perform works by Sarasate and Massenet. Pops Performances, August 7, 14 and 20 For the first time, the Orchestra season will feature three pops performances, led by three different guest conductors. JEFF TYZIK, Principal Pops Conductor of the Rochester Philharmonic, the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and the Oregon Symphony Orchestra, conducts an August 7 program entitled MAGICAL MOVIE MUSIC featuring selections from Disney hits including The Lion King, The Little Mermaid,  Beauty and the Beast , Aladdin and Pocahantas as well as excerpts from Hollywood film scores including The Patriot, Casablanca, arrangements of Bond movie themes and epic films including Ben Hur, Dr. Zhivago, Rocky and more. The Grammy-winning "Prince of Pops" ERICH KUNZEL conducts an August 14 Broadway Rocks! program featuring music from Broadway and film including High School Musical 1 & 2, Jersey Boys, Wicked,  Grease, West Side Story, Movin' Out, Dirty Dancing and more. One of the top composers of film, theater and popular music, MARVIN HAMLISCH will guest conduct the Orchestra in a program of Great American Composers on August 20. The creator of iconic film scores and Broadway musicals, and one of only two individuals to have won an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony Award as well as the Pulitzer Prize, Hamlisch is one of the most influential figures in entertainment. The program will feature music of Irving Berlin, Richard Rodgers, George Gershwin and Jerome Kern as well as selections from Mr. Hamlisch's Tony Award winning musical A Chorus Line, among others. Orchestra Pre-Performance Promotions  The Orchestra season will also feature several pre-performance events that will occur prior to performances of The Philadelphia Orchestra on SPAC's lawn. The pre-events are free and open to all ticketholders for that evening's Orchestra performance. Events include Thursday Date Nights (August 6, 13 and 20) featuring upscale beer and wine tastings and other events for couples; and Friday Family Nights (August 7, 14 and 21) with free Stewart's ice cream, strolling magicians, face painting and more. "With superstar soloists, classical masterpieces and three exciting pops evenings, the Orchestra's 2009 program is one of its best. Combined with SPAC's gorgeous park setting and amenities, these performances offer more quality and value than virtually any other entertainment option," said White. "As people shift priorities, they are increasingly seeking opportunities to enjoy wonderful, meaningful experiences with family and friends. Now more than ever, SPAC is the place they'll find those opportunities," she added. Ticket prices for the 2009 Season have been frozen at last year's levels. Orchestra prices begin at $18 for lawn admission and $31 for inside seating. The "Free Children on the Lawn" promotion entitles children 12 and under to free lawn admission for classical performances. Order forms for tickets to the 2009 Season of The Philadelphia Orchestra at SPAC are available on SPAC's website at http://www.spac.org/ or by contacting SPAC at 518.584.9330. Tickets will be available for purchase online, via phone charge at 518.584.9330 and in-person at SPAC's Route 50 Box Office beginning Sunday, May 10 at noon. Located in the Spa State Park in Saratoga Springs, NY, SPAC has been the summer home of The Philadelphia Orchestra since 1966. Just three hours from Boston and New York, SPAC's programming also includes the Freihofer's Jazz Festival, Modern Dance, The Philadelphia Orchestra and Saratoga Chamber Music Festival. It also hosts Lake George Opera and Live Nation concerts.

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The Philadelphia Orchestra August 5 - 22 All performances of The Philadelphia Orchestra start at 8:00 p.m. in the Amphitheatre.
Wednesday August 5OPENING NIGHT Charles Dutoit Conductor Alec Baldwin Narrator Yefim Bronfman Piano COPLAND Lincoln Portrait BRAHMS Piano Concerto No. 2 MUSORGSKY-RAVEL Pictures at an Exhibition Wednesday August 12A CELLO EXTRAVAGANZA WITH YO-YO Charles Dutoit Conductor Yo-Yo Ma Cello RANJBARAN Saratoga Overture SCHUMANN Cello Concerto LALO Cello Concerto RAVEL Suite No. 2 from Daphnis and Chloé
Thursday August 6WATTS PLAYS GRIEG Charles Dutoit Conductor André Watts Piano BERLIOZ Roman Carnival Overture GRIEG Piano Concerto TCHAIKOVSKY Symphony No. 5 Thursday August 13    MASTERPIECES Charles Dutoit Conductor Emanuel Ax Piano MOZART Overture to The Marriage of Figaro BEETHOVEN Piano Concerto No. 4 SHOSTAKOVICH Symphony No. 5
Friday August 7    MAGICAL MOVIE MUSIC Jeff Tyzik Conductor Selections from Disney's The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King and more, plus excerpts from Hollywood classics. Friday August 14    BROADWAY ROCKS! Eric Kunzel Conductor Selections from High School Musical 1 & 2, Wicked, Grease,  West Side StoryJersey Boys,  Movin' Out  and more!
Saturday August 8    THE MAESTRO AND THE MAVERICK Charles Dutoit Conductor Joshua Bell Violin RAVEL Valses nobles et sentimentales MENDELSSOHN Violin Concerto DVORÁK Symphony No. 9 ("From the New World") Saturday August 15AN EVENING WITH DEGAS Charles Dutoit Conductor Gil Shaham Violin BIZET Suite No. 2 from L'Arlésienne CHABRIER España DEBUSSY "Clair de lune," from Suite bergamasque SARASATE Concert Fantasy on themes of Gounod's Faust, for violin and orchestra MASSENET "Meditation," from Thaïs, for violin and orchestra SARASATE Fantasy on Bizet's Carmen, for violin and orchestra SAINT-SAËNS "Bacchanale," from Samson and Delilah OFFENBACH Overture to Orpheus in the Underworld Presented in support of The Hyde Museum's Degas &  Music Exhibition
Wednesday August 19DIES IRAE... Charles Dutoit Conductor Jean-Yves Thibaudet Piano RAVEL Piano Concerto for the Left Hand LISZT Totentanz RACHMANINOFF Symphonic Dances RAVEL La Valse Friday August 21    TCHAIKOVSKY SPECTACULAR Charles Dutoit Conductor Arabella Steinbacher Violin Sol Gabetta Cello TCHAIKOVSKY Polonaise from Eugene Onegin TCHAIKOVSKY Violin Concerto TCHAIKOVSKY Rococo Variations, for cello and orchestra TCHAIKOVSKY 1812 Overture Fireworks AND Live Cannons
Thursday, August 20   GREAT AMERICAN COMPOSERS Marvin Hamlisch Conductor Selections from Irving Berlin, George Gershwin, Jerome Kern, Richard Rodgers and Marvin Hamlisch Saturday August 22     OUR FABULOUS PHILADELPHIANS Charles Dutoit Conductor Kirill Gerstein Piano ROSSINI Overture to William Tell RACHMANINOFF Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini GRIEG Suite No. 1 from Peer Gynt FALLA Suite No. 2 from The Three-Cornered Hat RAVEL Bolero
Contact: Shane Williams-Ness, 518.584.9330x116, shane@spac.org or Lisa Hill, 518.584.9330x119, lhill@spac.org