Big Week for Philadelphia Orchestra

The Philadelphia Orchestra playing City Hall in 2008, captured by Inquirer photographer Tom Gralish

This slot on the calendar has in recent years become the week the Philadelphia Orchestra comes roaring back to life after a few weeks of post-Saratoga vacation, and this year's roar starts today.

The annual meeting, if orchestra leaders choose to be fully revealing, should be anything but routine, given the current financial and artistic challenges. It happens Tuesday at 4 p.m. in the Kimmel Center's Rendell Room.  Then, at 7 p.m. at City Hall, the last free neighborhood concert of the summer. The program: Glinka Overture to Ruslan and Lyudmila, Tchaikovsky Marche slave and excerpts from Swan Lake, Sibelius Finlandia and orchestral excerpts from Bizet's Carmen.

Opening Night of the 2010-11 season is Thursday, with Joshua Bell in Lalo's Symphonie espagnole. Charles Dutoit conducts. (Note the 7 p.m. curtain.)

Bell returns Friday for the first subscription concert of the year, switching to the Mendelssohn.

And Tuesday night is college night in Verizon Hall. The orchestra performs the same program ( Berlioz Le Corsaire Overture, Mendelssohn Violin Concerto, Mahler Symphony No. 1) free for college students between 17 and 30 with college ID. Reservations here.