Philadelphia Orchestra music-director-to-be adds concerts

Yannick Nézet-Séguin will lead the Philadelphia Orchestra in an extra week of concerts this November, the orchestra announced Monday.

The Canadian conductor, slated to become music director in 2012-13, will be donating his services for those three concerts, said president Allison B. Vulgamore. The all-Bach program by the conductor previously scheduled for that slot, Nicholas McGegan, will be moved to 2012-13, she said.

Nézet-Séguin will also donate his fee for two additional weeks in 2012-13, Vulgamore said.

His program for the Nov. 10, 11 and 12 concerts is an Italy-related quartet of crowd-pleasers: Tchaikovsky's Francesca da Rimini, Mendelssohn's Symphony No. 4 (“Italian”), Verdi's Overture to La forza del destino and Respighi's The Pines of Rome.

Vulgamore said the program and conductor change were not connected to principal trumpeter David Bilger pulling out of those concerts, which were to have featured Bach's Brandenburg Concerto Nos. 1-4. Bilger has decided to split his time between the orchestra and a professorship at the University of Georgia.

"No, it didn’t have anything to do with that. The single purpose was to have Yannick for more concerts," she said.

Vulgamore said Nézet-Séguin's new dates were taken from personal time, not by his canceling concerts elsewhere. She said the decision to substitute him for McGegan was purely a function of the fact that Nézet-Séguin was available those dates.

Any conductor would have been approached to step aside to accommodate Nézet-Séguin's calendar, she said - except one.

"Certainly this is Charles' last year," she said, referring to Dutoit. "We would not have asked Charles."