Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts

September 11th Observance at The Kimmel Center
All Resident Companies to Perform in Special Free Concert at Noon
August 23, 2002

The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, The Philadelphia Orchestra, Peter Nero and the Philly POPS, the Opera Company of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Ballet, The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, PHILADANCO, American Theater Arts for Youth and the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society will be collaborating on a special concert for the public on September 11, 2002 at noon in The Kimmel Center's Verizon Hall. Tickets are free and will be available on a first-come, first-served basis at The Kimmel Center box office beginning Monday, September 9, at 10am. Tickets will be limited to two per person.

Believing in the power of the arts to unify and to comfort, the Resident Companies who call the Academy of Music and The Kimmel Center home have come together for this concert to help people reflect upon the events of September 11, 2001, and to reaffirm the human spirit.

The concert will feature The Philadelphia Orchestra, collaborating with The Opera Company of Philadelphia, in a performance of the final movement of Beethoven's Symphony No. 9. Philadelphia Orchestra Assistant Conductor Rossen Milanov will conduct. The Opera Company of Philadelphia Chorus (Donald Nally, chorus master) and The Philadelphia Singers (David Hayes, music director) will join the Orchestra along with soprano Angela Brown, mezzo-soprano Marietta Simpson, tenor William Burden and bass-baritone David Pittsinger. Long recognized for its inspirational power, Beethoven's Ninth Symphony carries a universal message of the ability of humankind to transcend the strife and violence found throughout the world.

The 90-minute program will open with Gene Scheer's "American Anthem" sung by tenor William Burden representing the Opera Company of Philadelphia. The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia will follow with Mozart's poignant Gran Partita for Winds and Barber's heartrending Adagio for Strings. Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia Principal Conductor Ignat Solzhenitsyn will conduct.

Renowned choreographer Danny Ezralow's tribute to September 11, set to the poignant music of Marvin Gaye's "What's Going On," will be performed by PHILADANCO. The Philadelphia Chamber Music Society will present a selection from Brahms' Op. 91 with mezzo-soprano Marietta Simpson accompanied by Hsin-Yun Huang on viola and Ignat Solzhenitsyn on piano. On behalf of the Opera Company of Philadelphia, bass-baritone David Pittsinger and pianist Susan Ashbaker will perform the traditional spiritual "Shall We Gather at the River."

Peter Nero and the Philly POPS will offer an American medley including America/America the Beautiful in an arrangement done by Peter Nero the day after the tragedy last year. Principal Dancer Dede Barfield will represent Pennsylvania Ballet by performing Michael Fokine's The Dying Swan, set to "Swan" from Saint-SaŽns' Carnival of the Animals. She will be accompanied by pianist Martha Koeneman and cellist Gael Abbasi.

The Opera Company of Philadelphia will then offer a second traditional spiritual, "He's Got the Whole World in His Hands," with soprano Angela Brown and pianist Susan Ashbaker.

In between the music and dance, actors from American Theater Arts for Youth will read children's responses to the events of September 11th. The concert will conclude with The Philadelphia Orchestra, the Opera Company of Philadelphia Chorus and the Philadelphia Singers performing the final movement of Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 including the inspirational "Ode to Joy."

All performers, stagehands, ushers and other support staff will be donating their services for this special concert.

The Philadelphia Police and Fire Departments will provide a color guard in The Kimmel Center's Commonwealth Plaza prior to the concert on September 11. A sculpture depicting the heroism of service personnel during the tragedy, which was designed and carved by firefighters in Seattle, will be displayed in The Kimmel Center's Commonwealth Plaza on September 8 & 9. On September 10, the sculpture will be escorted to New York City by local firefighters.

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For More Information Contact:

Margie Smith
The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts
215-790-5867

Katherine Blodgett
The Philadelphia Orchestra
215-893-1939

Denise Venuti
Pennsylvania Ballet
215-551-7000 x1222

Tracy Galligher
Opera Company of Philadelphia
215-893-3600 x204

Karen Cutler
Peter Nero and the Philly POPS
856-488-2009

Vanessa Thomas
PHILADANCO
215-387-8200

Marc Mostovoy
Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia
215-545-5451

Joan Knepper
American Theater Arts for Youth
215-563-3501

Anthony Checchia
Philadelphia Chamber Music Society
215-569-8587

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