Reporting Pat Ciarrocchi
By Pat Ciarrocchi
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — In the world of the Philadelphia Orchestra, 2012 is expected to be the year of “Yannick.”
Yannick Nézet-Séguin, the Philadelphia Orchestra’s new music director, opens the Orchestra’s 113th season in October, but this week, lovers of the Orchestra will begin to hear his influence.
Pat Ciarrocchi sat down with the 36 year old Maestro, who knows he has a lot riding on his baton.
When Yannick Nézet-Séguin is at the podium, his passion for the music is overwhelming. And as he designs his first season as Music Director, Yannick (as he prefers to be known) understands his job.
“The whole orchestra is ready to have an artistic project, to have a vision,” Yannick says, “and to get the good news to everyone in Philadelphia that this is an institution that is alive and well.”
In October 2010, as Yannick was introduced to the city and ate soft pretzels with Mayor Michael Nutter, the Philadelphia Orchestra’s finances were in serious trouble.
Bankruptcy reorganization began in 2011 and is still being resolved. Collective bargaining with musicians proceeded, with last year’s concert schedule uninterrupted. And fundraising intensified.
“You have somehow to go to the brink of thinking that you will lose something before you fully realize what a gem it is.”
And Yannick is confident with sell-out-crowd ticket sales and an artistic vision, 2012 will have his stamp.
“Now, the pride of the Philadelphians is recharged and rejuvenated, and this is only the beginning.”
Yannick intends to add theatrical flair to the Orchestra’s concerts — in the spirit of the 100th anniversary of Leopold Stokowski becoming music director. Promotional materials with the scheduled concerts throughout the 2012-2013 Season explain that “Stokowski’s creative legacy of imaginative programming and promoting new works” will be celebrated.
Yannick also wants to balance the old with the new. This weekend at the Academy Ball, he will conduct the Orchestra for the first time in its original home, the Academy of Music. On stage will be two music superstars from different musical worlds.
“Like Diana Krall, arguably the best female jazz singer alive, and Yo-Yo Ma, arguably the best cellist alive — with the best orchestra alive,” Yannick says.
Yannick also says he is conscious of the responsibilities, but he’s not afraid.
“Somehow, God and my parents gave me very early in life, tools for knowing what I was good at and where I could be most helpful in life… Everything I can give can be received here and it feels so right that I’m absolutely not scared. I am just embracing the future with lots of expectation.”
To learn more about the Philadelphia Orchestra’s diverse 2012-2013 Season, which includes community and family concerts and extensive choral presentations, click here.