The Philadelphia Orchestra celebrates Academy of Music 153rd Anniversary with Grand Concert and Ball on January 30, 2010 - Sting headlines stellar concert with The Philadelphia Orchestra...
November 12, 2009 

The Philadelphia Orchestra celebrates Academy of Music 153rd Anniversary with Grand Concert and Ball on January 30, 2010 - Sting headlines stellar concert with The Philadelphia Orchestra, performing a collection of greatest hits from the Police and his solo career...

"King of the high C's" Juan Diego Flórez performs classical masterpieces under the baton of Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, who returns to stage of his North American debut 40 years earlier. Anniversary Ball follows at the Park Hyatt Philadelphia at the Bellevue

World-renowned singer/composer/actor Sting will headline the spectacular Academy of Music 153rd Anniversary Concert on Saturday, January 30, 2010, in performance with The Philadelphia Orchestra and his own quartet of outstanding jazz/pop/rock musicians, conducted by David Hartley. The classical portion of the program will showcase Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, chief conductor and artistic director of the Dresden Philharmonic, leading The Philadelphia Orchestra in a program of masterpieces featuring guest tenor Juan Diego Flórez, a thrilling performer famous for his high C's. The Academy Ball, chaired by Mrs. Fred L. Hudson III and Mr. Joseph A. Frick, immediately follows at the Park Hyatt Philadelphia at the Bellevue.

Concert program

The Academy of Music continues its tradition of presenting popular music in grand fashion. Sting will be backed by the Fabulous Philadelphians and a quartet comprised of Dominic Miller on guitar, David Sancious on piano, Vinnie Colaiuta on drums, and Christian McBride on bass, performing notable songs from the Police repertoire and Sting's solo career, in original orchestrations. Esteemed bel canto tenor Juan Diego Flórez, a Peruvian native known for his expressive, effortless, and virtuoso singing, will perform a selection of beloved arias under the baton of Maestro Frühbeck, who leads The Philadelphia Orchestra for the concert's first half on the same stage where he made his North American debut 40 years ago. (In February 2010, Juan Diego Flórez reprises his headline-grabbing Metropolitan Opera performance as Tonio in La Fille du Régiment.) For the fourth consecutive year, the concert is being created and produced by Wayne Baruch and Charles F. Gayton.

The theme of this year's event is "Beautiful Spaces, Fabulous Places," a testimony to all of the remarkable Philadelphia landmarks and the wonderful supporters who grace their presence. The concert will begin with musical arts students from the Philadelphia area performing a musical salute to the newly restored Academy Ballroom. The restoration of the Academy of Music's magnificent chandelier and the renovation of the Ballroom back to its original splendor add tremendous meaning to the incredible "spaces" the Academy of Music offers the cultural landscape.

Dinner and Ball

The gala champagne dinner and ball at the Park Hyatt Philadelphia at the Bellevue hotel follows the concert. Eight dance orchestras will be located throughout the facility. The gala is being chaired by Mrs. Fred L. Hudson III and Mr. Joseph A. Frick. For gala information, call the Academy of Music Restoration Fund Office at 215.893.1940.

This concert and ball are sponsored by CIGNA, Joe and Amy Frick, Ambassador David F. and Constance B. Girard-diCarlo, Independence Blue Cross, Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust, PNC, and Wachovia, A Wells Fargo Company.

History of the Academy of Music and the Anniversary Concert and Ball

This year's annual January gala is the 53rd to benefit the restoration fund for the Academy of Music, a National Historic Landmark and home to The Philadelphia Orchestra for more than a century, from the ensemble's founding in 1900 to the opening of The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts in 2001. The first Anniversary Concert and Ball took place on January 26, 1957, and celebrated the Centennial Jubilee of the Academy of Music. Chaired by Mr. G. Stockton Strawbridge, with Mrs. Francis Boyer as program book chairman, the event showcased a star-studded line-up in which Eugene Ormandy shared his podium with Danny Kaye. Guest performers included classical artists Marian Anderson, Hilde Gueden, Arthur Rubinstein and Isaac Stern, and popular singer Dinah Shore.

About the Artists


A composer, singer, actor, and activist, Sting has remained at the forefront of the public consciousness for four decades and has written some of the most enduring songs of our time. A milkman's son from Newcastle, England, Sting was a teacher, soccer coach, and ditchdigger before turning to music. Inspired equally by jazz and the Beatles, he formed the Police with drummer Stewart Copeland and guitarist Andy Summers in 1977. The band quickly became a success both in the U.K. and the U.S. scoring several No. 1 hits, including 'Roxanne', 'Every Breath You Take', 'King of Pain', and 'Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic'. The Police earned five Grammy awards and two Brit awards. In 2003 the group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The Police reformed in 2007 and embarked on a world tour that played to over 3.7 million people on five continents.

Sting launched his solo career in 1985 with the release of 'Dream of the Blue Turtles' and has since evolved into one of the world's most distinctive and highly respected performers, collecting an additional 11 Grammys, two Brits, a Golden Globe, an Emmy, three Oscar nominations, Billboard magazine's Century Award, and MusiCares 2004 Person of the Year. He has appeared in 15 films, executive produced the critically acclaimed 'A Guide To Recognizing Your Saints', and in 1989 starred on Broadway in 'The Threepenny Opera'. He has released ten solo records, including 'Nothing Like the Sun' (1987), 'Ten Summoner's Tales' (1993), 'Brand New Day' (1999), 'All This Time' (2001), and 'Songs From the Labyrinth', which featured the music of Elizabethan songwriter John Dowland. Sting's brand new album, If on a Winter's Night... (Deutsche Grammophon), presents an arc of songs that conjure the season of spirits, featuring a collection of carols and lullabies spanning the centuries, resulting in a haunting, spiritual, and reflective musical journey. The album recently debuted at #1 on Billboard's Classical and Seasonal charts. Deutsche Grammophon will also soon release a special, live concert performance on DVD entitled, 'Sting: A Winter's Night... Live from Durham Cathedral', featuring an ensemble of thirty-five musicians, including string and brass sections, conducted by producer Robert Sadin.

Also an accomplished author, Sting published a memoir entitled "Broken Music" in 2003, which spent 13 weeks on the New York Times Best Sellers list, and the recently released "Lyrics" - a comprehensive collection of lyrics and personal commentary, also featuring photographs from throughout his career.

Sting's support for human rights organizations such as the Rainforest Foundation, Amnesty International, and Live Aid mirrors his art in its universal outreach. Along with his wife, Trudie Styler, Sting founded the Rainforest Foundation in 1989 to protect both the world's rain forests and the indigenous peoples who live there. Together they have raised more than $25 million with their 15 benefit concerts to raise funds and awareness of our planet's endangered resources. Since its inception, the Rainforest Foundation has expanded to a network of interconnected organizations working in 23 countries around the globe.

Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos

Born in Burgos, Spain, in 1933, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos studied violin, piano, music theory, and composition at the conservatories in Bilbao and Madrid, and conducting at Munich's Hochschule für Musik, where he graduated summa cum laude and was awarded the Richard Strauss Prize. He currently is chief conductor and artistic director of the Dresden Philharmonic.

Mr. Frühbeck has served as general music director of the Rundfunkorchester Berlin, principal guest conductor of the National Symphony and Tokyo's Yomiuri Nippon Symphony, and music director of the Deutsche Oper Berlin, the Vienna Symphony, the Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della RAI Turin, the Bilbao Orchestra, the National Symphony of Spain (where he was later appointed emeritus conductor), the Düsseldorf Symphony, and the Montreal Symphony. He made his North American debut in 1969 with The Philadelphia Orchestra at the Academy of Music. Mr. Frühbeck is a regular guest conductor with many of the world's leading ensembles, including London's Philharmonia Orchestra; the Berlin, Munich, Hamburg, and Israel philharmonics; the Vienna Symphony; and the major Japanese orchestras. He has also made extensive tours with ensembles such as the London Symphony, the Vienna Symphony, the Spanish National Orchestra, the National Orchestra of Madrid, and the Swedish Radio Orchestra.

Since 1975 Mr. Frühbeck has been a member of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando. His other distinctions include an honorary doctorate from the University of Navarra in Spain, the Gold Medal of the City of Vienna, the Bundesverdienstkreutz of the Republic of Austria and Germany, the Gold Medal from the Gustav Mahler International Society, and the Jacinto Guerrero Prize, which he received in 1997 from the Queen of Spain. Mr. Frühbeck's recordings for labels such as EMI, Decca, Deutsche Grammophon, Spanish Columbia, and Orfeo include Mendelssohn's Elijah and St. Paul, Mozart's Requiem, Orff's Carmina burana, Bizet's Carmen, and the complete works of Falla.

Juan Diego Flórez

Juan Diego Flórez is considered the bel canto tenor of choice in major opera houses around the world. His expressive, effortless, and virtuoso singing makes him ideal for the operas of Rossini, Donizetti, and Bellini, and his performances and recordings (on Decca) have met with overwhelming critical praise.

Born in Lima, Peru, Mr. Flórez studied at the National Conservatory of Music in Lima and at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. In 1996 he made his official debut at the Rossini Opera Festival, in Pesaro (Italy), substituting for the lead tenor, who fell ill. He was considered an overnight sensation, drawing attention from theaters like La Scala, where he made his debut the same year, at only 23. This happening not only launched his career but also earned him invitations to perform on the world's most important stages, including the Metropolitan Opera in New York, the Royal Opera House (Covent Garden) in London, the Vienna State Opera, the Paris Opera, Madrid's Teatro Real, Barcelona's Gran Teatro Liceo, the Lyric Opera of Chicago, the San Francisco Opera, Zurich Opera, and others.

Mr. Flórez broke tradition at Milan's La Scala in 2007, giving the first encore after 75 years, with the famous nine high C's aria "Ah! mes amis" from La Fille du Régiment. The same happened at the Metropolitan Opera in 2008, in the same opera. London's Observer called him "one of the most exciting vocal talents around," borne out by the fact that Mr. Flórez has engagements worldwide through 2015. He has received the highest decorations from the Peruvian government, and in 2005, at the age of 31, he appeared on a postage stamp honoring Peru's native son.

The Philadelphia Orchestra

Founded in 1900, The Philadelphia Orchestra has distinguished itself as one of the leading orchestras in the world through a century of acclaimed performances, historic international tours, best-selling recordings, and its unprecedented record of innovation in recording technologies and outreach. The Orchestra has maintained an unparalleled unity in artistic leadership with only seven music directors throughout its history: Fritz Scheel (1900-07), Carl Pohlig (1907-12), Leopold Stokowski (1912-41), Eugene Ormandy (1936-80), Riccardo Muti (1980-92), Wolfgang Sawallisch (1993-2003), and Christoph Eschenbach (2003-08).

This rich tradition is carried on by Chief Conductor Charles Dutoit. Mr. Dutoit has a long-standing relationship with the Orchestra, having made his debut with the ensemble in 1980. Highlights of his second season include performances of Berlioz's Te Deum and Symphonie fantastique, part of Mr. Dutoit's four-year focus on the works of that composer, and a celebration of the 100th anniversary of Samuel Barber's birthday. During his tenure, Mr. Dutoit will also showcase the music of the Ballets Russes, continuing in the 2009-10 season with performances of Stravinsky's Petrushka and The Rite of Spring.

ACADEMY OF MUSIC 153RD ANNIVERSARY CONCERT - January 30, 2010, at 7:30 PM - Saturday evening - Academy of Music

The Philadelphia Orchestra
Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, conductor
Juan Diego Flórez, tenor

With special guest Sting
David Hartley, conductor
Dominic Miller, guitar
David Sancious, piano
Christian McBride, bass
Vinnie Colaiuta, drums

Concert Program includes:
Mozart - Overture to The Marriage of Figaro
Donizetti - "Ah! mes amis," from The Daughter of the Regiment
Donizetti - "Una furtive lagrima," from The Elixir of Love
Giménez - Intermezzo, from The Wedding of Luis Alonso
Sting - Sting with The Philadelphia Orchestra and his band, performing well-known songs from both the Police and his solo repertoire

This concert will be performed without an intermission.

This concert and ball are sponsored by CIGNA, Joe and Amy Frick, Ambassador David F. and Constance B. Girard-diCarlo, Independence Blue Cross, Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust, PNC, and Wachovia, A Wells Fargo Company.
Members of The Philadelphia Orchestra are graciously donating their services for this concert in support of the Musicians' Pension Fund.

Gala tickets are available. For information, please call the Academy of Music Restoration Fund Office at 215.893.1940.

Concert-only tickets are available in the Academy of Music's Amphitheatre for $200. Please call 215.893.1999 or visit


Nov 11, 2009


Sting: The X Factor kids are going nowhere: I was an altar boy and considered being a priest," says Sting, with a twinkle in his eye. "But I already had a strong interest in the female sex so my vocation lasted five minutes. I quite like dressing up, wearing a dress... just not permanently," he says, laughing at the idea of Father Sting...
Nov 11, 2009

Sting tells the London Evening Standard: ''I was an altar boy and considered being a priest but I already had a strong interest in the female sex so my vocation lasted five minutes...''

But even though this Catholic boy from Newcastle ruled himself out of a church career, some of its music rubbed off. His new CD, 'If On a Winter's Night', is a collection of carols, lullabies and ancient songs and his upcoming concert venues include a cathedral or two. One song is by the 16th-century Jesuit martyr Robert Southwell, with a vision of a burning baby Jesus suspended in darkness. "I always want to do something different. My contemporaries keep doing the same thing but people who have followed my career expect the unexpected..."