Wed, Aug 7 - Sat, Aug 10 Saratoga Springs, N.Y. - The Philadelphia Orchestra, one of the preeminent orchestras in the world, returns to its summer stage at Saratoga Performing Arts Center on Wednesday, August 7 at 8 P.M. to kick off three weeks of world-class performances. Opening week of the Orchestra is highlighted by a series of special events and appearances by some of the greatest stars of the classical music world. WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 7 3:35 P.M. | The Philadelphia Orchestra Goes to the Races -- To herald the Orchestra's Opening Night at SPAC, the New York Racing Association will name the 6th race at Saratoga Race Course, "The Philadelphia Orchestra Race". Philadelphia Orchestra French horn players Dan Williams, Jeff Kirschen and Jennifer Montone, will perform with Sammy the Bugler immediately before the start of the race and again in the winner's circle. 6 P.M. | "Perfect Picnic Contest" on SPAC's Lawn - Guests are invited to plan, present and enjoy the ultimate picnic experience on SPAC's lawn for a chance to win SPAC tickets. 8 P.M. | The Philadelphia Orchestra: Opening Night with Gil Shaham - Stunning Opening Night program featuring French-born conductor Stéphane Denève, Chief Conductor of The Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra and violin virtuoso Gil Shaham, one of the world's foremost violinists. This evening sponsored by Behan Communications. THURSDAY, AUGUST 8 5:15 P.M. | Jane & Newman "Pete" Wait Star Dedication Ceremony -- Jane Wait of Saratoga Springs will be honored with a Walk of Fame Star preceding the Saratoga 150 World Premiere. Jane and her late husband Newman "Pete" Wait helped lead the effort to found SPAC, spearheading a local feasibility committee charged with formulating the original plans for SPAC. 8 P.M. |The Philadelphia Orchestra: Saratoga 150 Concert & World Premiere with Keith Lockhart -- One of the signature events of Saratoga 150, superstar conductor Keith Lockhart leads the Orchestra in a special equestrian-themed evening that includes the World Premiere of Serenade by Grammy-winning American composer Richard Danielpour. Evening will also feature track announcer Tom Durkin narrating a short film, The Horse. The evening concludes with a dazzling fireworks display. Sponsored by New York Racing Association. FRIDAY, AUGUST 9 6 P.M. | CDPHP "Family Night"- An event for the whole family, guests are treated to strolling magicians, free Stewart's ice cream, balloon animals, chalk contests, Pediatric Dentistry's "Smile Zone", and complimentary photos by Saratoga Photobooth Company. Family Night highlights:
- Ø Albany Medical Center Children's Workshop on the Lawn - The Philadelphia principal musicians lead engaging and interactive workshops on the lawn, introducing children to classical music.
- Ø Instrument Petting Zoo Sponsored by the Alfred Z. Solomon Charitable Trust - Led by professional musicians, children have the opportunity to play a variety of string, wind, and brass instruments.
- Ø GE Kids in Free | 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.
- Ø Citizens Bank Student Discount Program -- Students of any age are entitled to $10 lawn tickets or 25% discounted amphitheatre seating, courtesy of Citizens Bank's Student Discount Program.