Classical music review

Watts’ artistry highlights mixed stand by Philadelphia Orchestra


If you go

What: The Philadelphia Orchestra performs the Bach-Stokowski ‘Wachet auf,’ Brahms’ Symphony No. 1 and Beethoven’s ‘Emperor’ Concerto with André Watts

When: 8 p.m. Thursday

Where: Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, 1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami

Tickets: $50-$130 at 305-949-6822 or

The Philadelphia Orchestra played to a full house in West Palm Beach, opening a four-city tour that brings it to Miami on Thursday.

Acclaimed as one of America’s top orchestras under Leopold Stokowski, Eugene Ormandy and Riccardo Muti, the ensemble has endured a tumultuous past decade, culminating in a bankruptcy filing and reorganization. The rising young Canadian conductor Yannick Nezet-Seguin took up the reins last fall as its music director.

The good news is that the ensemble appears to have weathered the storms artistically. Much of the group’s vaunted tonal sheen and polish were on display Tuesday night at the Kravis Center. Its dark, voluminous string tone is still potent, and the woodwinds play with an almost Gallic lightness.

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