For three weeks, the Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC) will become the home of the well-respected Philadelphia Orchestra for the 49th time beginning August 9. The engagement has reeled in several high profile classical soloists, including Daniil Trifonof, violinist Sarah Chang, and cellist Yo-Yo Ma.
Throughout the three weeks, the Philadelphia Orchestra and its guests will touch on the theme of shattering tradition. First will be a tribute to the American composer Leonard Bernstein, who broke down the barrier between classical music and Broadway musicals by accepting the role of music director of the New York Philharmonic the same year his legendary "West Side Story" opened. On August 9, Bernstein's daughter Jamie will share the stage with dancers from the New York City Ballet in performing Bernstein's works.
On August 17, the orchestra, conducted by Gianandrea Noseda, will perform Stravinski's "Rite of Spring"—the performance that, against the backdrop of Tsarist Russia, broke ballet's image as a light and unthreatening art form. However, at 100 years old, "Rite of Spring" is less controversial to classical traditionalists than what Bela Fleck will attempt to pull off on August 21—his concerto for Banjo. Yet for Fleck—who is known to play a Deering Crossfire electric banjo with a synthesizer pickup, and has performed in all genres from progressive bluegrass to jazz fusion—pushing the boundaries is nothing new.
The Philadelphia Orchestra will perform at Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC) for a three-week run beginning August 9. Find the complete schedule at SPAC.org.