The has announced a $5 million gift from the in support of expanded programming featuring the world's largest mechanical action concert hall pipe organ.
The gift will support a five-year initiative to expand in-season programming showcasing the Fred J. Cooper Memorial Organ, commission and present new organ concertos, and build audience interest in the instrument and its musical capabilities through community concerts, recitals, and postludes. The Fred J. Cooper Memorial Organ Experience will focus on artistic plans by music director Yannick Nézet-Séguin, in consultation with Frederick R. Haas, artistic advisor and former board member of the orchestra and a board member of the Wyncote Foundation.
"We are truly grateful to the Wyncote Foundation, and to our longtime advocate Fred Haas, for allowing us to enrich our programming through highlighting the importance of this incredible instrument unique to our home of Verizon Hall," said orchestra president and CEO Allison Vulgamore. "Presenting large-scale works with organ and finding ways to advance composers' interests in symphonic organ literature is a major commitment. Fred's influence as artistic advisor gives us the opportunity to expand artistry, audience engagement, and future symphonic repertoire for organ music worldwide."
"It is an honor to cultivate the partnership between the Philadelphia Orchestra and Wyncote Foundation, to explore new ways to present organ music to the audiences of Philadelphia," said Haas. "It is of paramount importance to increase access to these treasured works, many of which are not well known. I hope this effort enhances the legacy of both the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Fred J. Cooper Memorial Organ. I look forward to many seasons of beautiful music ahead."