Some serious synergy is growing between the Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC) and its annual summer resident, The Philadelphia Orchestra. This past Saturday, March 9, the orchestra invited Elizabeth Sobol, President and CEO of SPAC, as well as members from SPAC’s board and saratoga living‘s own Editor in Chief, Richard Pérez-Feria, down to the City of Brotherly Love for “Saratoga Night,” which featured a dinner, champagne toast and an exclusive performance by the orchestra.
Hosted by the Philadelphia Orchestra’s new President and CEO, Matías Tarnopolsky, “Saratoga Night” served as an opportunity for all in attendance to get a close-up view of how the two organizations collaborate and the orchestra, annually, accomplishes the highly involved programming slate at SPAC every summer here in Saratoga Springs. “’Saratoga Night’ at The Philadelphia Orchestra was a historic event—celebrating our 53-year partnership while also embracing new and innovative ways to connect our respective audiences,” said Sobol.
Guests to “Saratoga Night” were treated to a pre-concert dinner with members of the orchestra’s staff and board at The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, home of The Philadelphia Orchestra. The orchestra gave performances of the overture to L’isola disabitata by Joseph Haydn and Franz Schubert’s Symphony No. 9 in C Major “The Great.” One of the world’s hottest conductors right now, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, who is not only the Music Director of The Philadelphia Orchestra, but also New York City’s Metropolitan Opera and the Orchestre Métropolitain of Montreal, led the event. In his opening remarks from the stage, Nézet-Séguin discussed his newfound love of Saratoga. The highlight of the evening was, undoubtedly, 23-year old piano prodigy Jan Lisiecki’s performance of Felix Mendelssohn’s Piano Concerto No. 1 in G Minor. Both Nézet-Séguin and Lisiecki will be at SPAC this summer as part of the orchestra’s 2019 programming slate (Lisiecki will play Edvard Greig’s lyrical and dramatic Piano Concerto No. 1).
After the concert, guests enjoyed the champagne toast in the green room along with a backstage visit and chat with Nézet-Séguin, Lisiecki and others. “SPAC is part of what we consider our family,” Nézet-Séguin said at the event. “We are committed to taking our audiences from Philadelphia up to Saratoga more. Maybe over the years, some [of our audiences] just forgot what a gem it is.”
Any first-time visitors to SPAC this summer will surely agree. It’s going to be a program that shouldn’t—no, can’t be missed.