The Philadelphia Orchestra Official Press Release

The Philadelphia Orchestra to Present Two-Week Festival Inspired by Dr. Albert C. Barnes and Leopold Stokowski, Two of Philadelphia’s Artistic Titans October 11-21, 2018 

SEPTEMBER 19, 2018

Orchestra concerts to feature theatrical scenes based on correspondence between Barnes and Stokowski

Festival will include panel discussion and free chamber performances by contemporary ensemble SoundLAB 

(Philadelphia, September 19, 2018)—Both Leopold Stokowski, music director of The Philadelphia Orchestra, and Dr. Albert C. Barnes, founder of the Barnes Foundation, were cultural pioneers, bringing the latest in art and music to Philadelphia in the early 1900s and presenting it in bold, new ways. Stokowski spoke at the dedication of the Barnes Foundation in 1925 and was a regular visitor to the collection, and Barnes was a frequent attendee of Stokowski’s performances of the Orchestra. Through a series of letters, they debated aesthetics and contemporary music, shedding light on their individual passions. Now, audiences can explore their relationship through a dynamic, two-week Barnes/Stokowski FestivalOctober 11-21, 2018. The Festival will feature Orchestra concerts led by Principal Guest Conductor Stéphane Denève; theatrical scenes by playwright Didi Balle, based on historical accounts and correspondence between the two men; a panel discussion; and chamber concerts of contemporary music.

The Orchestra concerts will include:

  • Performances of two works orchestrated by Stokowski: “Adoramus te Christe” by Palestrina (a composer Barnes felt particular affinity for) and Debussy’s “The Sunken Cathedral,” from Preludes; plus Debussy’s La Mer and Chausson’s Poème for violin and orchestra, featuring Concertmaster David Kim (October 11-13).

  • Milhaud’s The Creation of the World; Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring, first brought to America by Stokowski and The Philadelphia Orchestra; and Poulenc’s Organ Concerto with guest soloist Peter Richard Conte (October 19-21).

During each concert, actors will perform as Barnes and Stokowski in brief theatrical scenes that will take place between pieces. “The Artful Titans,” written and directed by Didi Balle and based on intensive historical research, will bring to life the multi-faceted relationship between Barnes and Stokowski in which they debated art and music. The stage will be framed by scenic elements and projections of art from the Barnes collection. Concert tickets can be purchased at

Lobby displays featuring letters, photos, and programs, curated by local historian Jack McCarthy, will be on view in the Kimmel Center lobby during the concert dates.

“Though they didn’t always see eye-to-eye, Albert Barnes and Leopold Stokowski shared an intellectual and artistic zeal that resonates to this day,” said Principal Guest Conductor Stéphane Denève. “We look forward to presenting this exciting Festival to celebrate the groundbreaking culture these two ‘artful titans’ introduced to Philadelphia in the 1900s, and the ways in which they made it accessible to the public.”

Barnes Foundation Contemporaries and Young Friends of The Philadelphia Orchestra are invited to a Young Friends After Party in Volvér following the October 13 concert. Tickets for both the concert and the After Party cost $45 and can be purchased at

Just as Barnes and Stokowski imported innovative art to the region, two chamber concerts of contemporary repertoire will serve as a laboratory for new music in Philadelphia, on October 16 at the American Philosophical Society and on October 18 at the Philadelphia Episcopal Cathedral. SoundLAB, a contemporary music ensemble led by Music Director Robert Whalen and Artistic Director Katherine Skovira, will perform curated programs that extend the musical influences of Barnes and Stokowski into the present day with notable U.S. and Philadelphia premieres of works by living composers. SoundLAB’s chamber concerts feature the JACK Quartet as guest artists and Augusta Read Thomas as Composer-in-Residence alongside contemporary musicians from around the world. These concerts are FREE and open to the public, but online RSVPs at are encouraged.

The participation of SoundLAB in the Barnes/Stokowski Festival has been made possible through the New Music Fund, a program of FACE Foundation, with generous funding from the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the United States, the Florence Gould Foundation, Fondation CHANEL, the French Ministry of Culture, the Institut Français-Paris, and SACEM (Société des Auteurs, Compositeurs, et Editeurs de Musique). Additional support is provided by the University of Pennsylvania Music Department’s Contemporary Music Series and the American Composers Forum Philadelphia Chapter.

Rounding out the Festival is a panel discussion entitled “Stokowski, Barnes, and Matisse,” which will focus on the impact Barnes and Stokowski had on the cultural landscape of Philadelphia and America. The panel will take place at the Barnes Foundation on October 13 from 3-4:30 PM, with an introduction by Stéphane Denève. Panelists include:

  • Mari Shaw, art collector and Philadelphia Orchestra supporter (moderator)

  • Jeremy Braddock, associate professor of English at Cornell University

  • Peter Crimmins, arts and culture reporter for WHYY

  • Jack McCarthy, music historian

  • Jean-Michel Rabaté, professor of English and comparative literature at the University of Pennsylvania

Tickets for the panel discussion cost $15 and can be purchased at Guests with valid “Stokowski, Barnes, and Matisse” panel tickets may show their ticket at the Barnes to receive discounted $15 admission to the Barnes collection on October 13. (Barnes collection hours are 11 AM – 5 PM).

The Barnes/Stokowski Festival is generously sponsored through a gift from Mari and Peter Shaw.


The Barnes/Stokowski Festival

Debussy and Chausson

Thursday, October 11  7:30 PM
Friday, October 12       2:00 PM
Saturday, October 13  8:00 PM

Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts

Stéphane Denève Conductor
David Kim Violin

Palestrina/orch. Stokowski     “Adoramus te Christe”
Chausson                                 Poème, for violin and orchestra
Debussy/orch. Stokowski        “The Sunken Cathedral,” from Preludes
Debussy                                   La Mer


Panel Discussion: Stokowski, Barnes, and Matisse
Saturday, October 13 
3:00 PM

Barnes Foundation, 2025 Benjamin Franklin Parkway


SoundLAB Chamber Concert: “Into Darkness”

Tuesday, October 16 7:30 PM

American Philosophical Society, 427 Chestnut St.

Lacaze                         Archèlogos II, for bass flute and audio track (U.S. premiere)
                                    Emma Resmini Bass Flute

di Castri                      The Contours of Absence, for two string quartets (U.S. premiere)
                                    JACK Quartet (Christopher Otto, violin; Austin Wulliman, violin; John Pickford Richards, viola; Jay Campbell, cello)

                                    SoundLAB String Quartet (Marina Kiefferstein, violin; Giancarlo Latta, violin; Josh Wareham, viola; Issei Herr, cello)

Haas                            String Quartet No. 9 (Philadelphia premiere; performed in total darkness)
                                    JACK Quartet


SoundLAB Chamber Concert: “At First Light”

Tuesday, October 18 7:30 PM

Philadelphia Episcopal Cathedral, 23 S. 38th St.

Knussen                      Coursing, Op. 17, for chamber orchestra (Philadelphia premiere)

                                    SoundLAB Ensemble
                                    Robert Whalen Conductor

Mochizuki                    All that is including me, for bass flute, clarinet, and violin (U.S. premiere)

                                    Emma Resmini Bass Flute
                                    Eric Umble Clarinet
                                    Marina Kiefferstein Violin

Reverdy                       Dix musiques minutes, for string trio (U.S. premiere)

                                    Giancarlo Latta Violin
                                    Josh Wareham Viola
                                    Issei Herr Cello

Magalhaes                   Mobile, for prepared piano (U.S. premiere)

                                    Edo Frenkel Piano

Thomas                       Plea for Peace, a vocalise for soprano and string quartet (Philadelphia premiere)

                                    Katherine Skovira Soprano
                                    Marina Kiefferstein Violin
                                    Giancarlo Latta Violin
                                    Josh Wareham Viola
                                    Issei Herr Cello

Thomas                       Prayer and Celebration, for chamber orchestra (Philadelphia premiere)

                                    SoundLAB Ensemble
                                    Robert Whalen Conductor

Benjamin                     At First Light, for chamber orchestra (Philadelphia premiere)

                                    SoundLAB Ensemble
                                    Robert Whalen Conductor

Members of SoundLAB

Augusta Read Thomas Composer-in-Residence
JACK Quartet Featured Guest Artists
Marina Kiefferstein Violin
Giancarlo Latta Violin
Josh Wareham Viola
Issei Herr Cello
Emilio Guarino Bass
Emma Resmini Flute
Andrew Nogal Oboe
Eric Umble Clarinet
Ben Roidl-Ward Bassoon
Sheryl Hadeka Horn
Gareth Flowers Trumpet
Weston Olencki Trombone
Won Suk Lee Percussion
Edo Frenkel Piano
Katherine Skovira Soprano|
Robert Whalen Conductor

Artistic Advisors
Gene Coleman, American Composers Forum—Philadelphia Chapter
Anna Weesner, University of Pennsylvania Department of Music


The Rite of Spring

Friday, October 19       2:00 PM
Saturday, October 20  8:00 PM
Sunday, October 21     2:00 PM

Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts

Stéphane Denève Conductor
Peter Richard Conte Organ              

Milhaud                       The Creation of the World                     

Poulenc                       Organ Concerto                                   

Stravinsky                   The Rite of Spring

These concerts are presented as part of the Fred J. Cooper Memorial Organ Experience.


 About The Philadelphia Orchestra

About the Barnes Foundation

About SoundLAB

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Katherine Skovira