The Philadelphia Orchestra's need for a modern concert hall coupled with the city's need for a venue to serve the community and visiting artists proved the catalyst for the Kimmel, completed in December 2001 by architect Rafael Vinoly and the acoustic team Artec.
Its discreet brick exterior rises to a bold 150-foot glass vaulted rooftop for startling views of the city. The spacious and acoustically vaunted facility is rarely dark and on any given weekend might present a jazz quartet, French circus, The Philadelphia Orchestra, pops or family events. Eight resident companies and a variety of touring soloists and ensembles perform here. The 21st century center?s mainstages are the elegant Verizon Hall, whose red mahogany 2,500-seat interior is shaped like a cello and features adjustable acoustical panels and the 650-seat Perelman Theater, with an unusual rotating stage and equipment that enables chamber music, dance and drama
No time to see a concert but still want to see the building and its great architecture?, you can take a tour of the building. Tours are led by experienced volunteer guides, are free of charge, and depart from the Information Desk, located in Commonwealth Plaza. Walking tours last approximately one hour and include most areas of our multi-level facility, which encompasses an entire city block. Tours are on a first-come, first-served basis and are limited to 20 persons per tour. Visitors may register for tours at the Information Desk, which opens at noon daily.
* A 1pm tour is offered Tuesdays - Sundays
* Public tours are not available on Mondays
Dress Code: Dress code can depend on what the event is that you are attending. It is wise to ask when you are purchasing tickets.
A resident company of The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia is led by Music Director, Ignat Solzhenitsyn. Mr. Solzhenitsyn has been with the Chamber Orchestra since 1994 and had served as Principal Conductor since 1997. The Orchestra has established a reputation for distinguished performances of Baroque, Classical and twentieth-century works, and has toured the United States, Europe, and Israel.
The New York Times enthused about "the most impressive small ensemble to come through Carnegie Hall in quite some time. The Philadelphia players have a wonderful control at extremely quiet levels, an admirable enthusiasm and a sure sense of style."
Maestro Solzhenitsyn, the son of famed Russian author Alexander Solzhenitsyn, often performs on the piano in addition to conducting the group. I find it interesting that although a member of an esteemed Russian family, Maestro Solzhenitsyn excells in presenting German music.