The Kimmel Center with The Philadelphia Orchestra

March 18, 2023/Jonathan Rundle/0 Comments

The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts is a world-renowned venue in the heart of Philly. Opened in 2001, it is home to several resident companies, including the Philadelphia Orchestra, one of the world’s most renowned orchestras.

The Kimmel Center is a state-of-the-art facility designed to enhance the audience’s experience and provide optimal acoustics for all types of performances. It features several performance spaces, including the Verizon Hall, which is home to the Philadelphia Orchestra and has a seating capacity of 2,500.

The building is named after its primary benefactor, Sidney Kimmel, a businessman and philanthropist who donated $25 million towards its construction.

Kimmel Center Architecture

The Kimmel Center was designed by Rafael Viñoly and features a distinctive, modernist design. The building consists of two main sections: the Verizon Hall, which is the main concert hall and seats 2,500 people, and the Perelman Theater, which is a smaller, more intimate space that seats 650 people. The Kimmel Center also includes numerous other spaces, including a rooftop garden and a restaurant.

Kimmel Center interior

Verizon Hall

The design of Verizon Hall is based on the vineyard style of seating, which was popular in European concert halls in the 19th century. This design allows for a more intimate and immersive experience for concertgoers, as they are surrounded by the sound of the music.

The hall’s ceiling is made up of over 30,000 individual pieces of white oak, which were hand-selected for their acoustic properties. The wood helps to create a warm and resonant sound quality in the hall.

Kimmel Center interior

Verizon Hall has been used as a recording venue for numerous classical music albums and live concert recordings. Notable recordings made at the hall include the Philadelphia Orchestra’s Grammy-winning recording of Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 1, and the Metropolitan Opera’s recording of Wagner’s Ring cycle.

Kimmel Center Organ

The organ at Verizon Hall has over 6,000 pipes. It was built by the Canadian organ builder Casavant Frères, and its design was inspired by the organs of French cathedrals.

One of the most striking features of the Kimmel Center is its “glass sail” roof, which is made up of 100,000 square feet of glass panels and is designed to resemble a ship’s sail. The roof provides natural light to many of the center’s interior spaces, and at night it is illuminated, creating a striking visual presence in the Philadelphia skyline.

Kimmel Center

Art in the Kimmel Center

The Kimmel Center features a wide range of art throughout its various spaces, including works of visual art, sculpture, and decorative elements that enhance the building’s overall aesthetic.

Art at the Kimmel CenterArt at the Kimmel Center

In addition to these permanent works of art, the Kimmel Center also hosts rotating exhibitions of contemporary art in its various lobbies and public spaces. These exhibitions feature works by local and national artists, and they provide a dynamic and engaging backdrop for visitors to the center.

Overall, the art within the Kimmel Center helps to enhance its overall aesthetic and create a sense of cultural vibrancy within the building.

The Kimmel Center

Philadelphia Orchestra

The Philadelphia Orchestra was founded in 1900 and has been recognized for its outstanding performances and innovative programming. It has had many notable conductors over the years, including Leopold Stokowski, Eugene Ormandy, and Riccardo Muti. The orchestra is known for its extensive repertoire, ranging from classical works to contemporary compositions, and has performed with many famous soloists and conductors.

Philadelphia Orchestra at the Kimmel Center

Aside from the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Kimmel Center hosts a variety of other performing arts companies, including the Broadway Philadelphia series, which brings in national touring productions of popular Broadway shows. The Kimmel Center is a hub for cultural activity in Philadelphia, drawing visitors from all over the world to experience the vibrant performing arts scene of the city.

Philadelphia Orchestra rush tickets

One way to experience the world-renowned Philadelphia Orchestra at the Kimmel Center is by purchasing rush tickets. Rush tickets are a limited number of tickets that are made available for purchase on the day of a performance. These tickets are often sold at a discounted price and can only be purchased in person at the Kimmel Center box office.

Community Rush Kimmel Center

The availability of rush tickets varies depending on the performance, and they are typically sold on a first-come, first-served basis. Rush tickets are a great way to experience the beauty and artistry of the Philadelphia Orchestra at a more affordable price. See the Community Rush page for the latest info.

Visit the Kimmel Center

From classical music concerts and Broadway shows to jazz performances and community events, there is something for everyone at the Kimmel Center. The center’s state-of-the-art facilities, including the renowned Verizon Hall, make it a favorite among performers and audiences alike. Catch up on what’s playing by visiting their performance calendar.

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