Returning from financial retrenchment of past seasons, Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia on Tuesday announced a four-year contract extension for music director Dirk Brossé and a new residency with Lincoln University, starting in the 2013-14 season.
Brossé, 53, began his tenure in the 2010-11 season and is now committed through 2017-18. Though he has an international career as a guest conductor and film composer, he arrived, he said, elated to be part of the Philadelphia community. The orchestra's executive director, Peter Gistelinck, was thought to be taking a chance on the Flemish Belgian, who hadn't headed an orchestra for years, "but I knew Dirk for a very long time . . . and was confident that he could make it happen."
Programs for next season include a new Harp Concerto by veteran composer Michel Legrand and guest soloists including pianist HJ Lim, who created a sensation with her debut recording of the complete Beethoven sonatas on EMI.
The residency at Lincoln University, 30 miles south of Philadelphia, is contracted for only two concerts next season but is expected to be a multiyear association, and one closely tied to the school's music department. Legrand, now 81, will give a master class there.
The orchestra's three-year Temple concert series was not renewed.
Still not back to its previous 10-program season, the orchestra has seven Kimmel Center programs this season and next. But non-subscription activities have expanded. - David Patrick Stearns