Classical Music in Philadelphia
The city of Philadelphia vibrant musical heritage is stretching back to colonial times.
The Philadelphia Orchestra's third conductor, Leopold Stokowski, championed American classical music of the 20th century, and on tour, in recordings, and notably in Walt Disney's 1940 animated film Fantasia, brought the traditional and modern classical repertoire to a broad American listening public for the first time.
The Curtis Institute of Music on Rittenhouse Square, founded in 1924 by Curtis Publishing Company heiress Mary Louise Curtis Bok, has trained many of the world's best-known and respected American composers and performers, including Leonard Bernstein and Samuel Barber during the 20th century and current stars Juan Diego Flórez, Alan Gilbert, Hilary Hahn, Jennifer Higdon, and Lang Lang.
The Academy of Music, also known as American Academy of Music was built in 1855-57 and is the oldest opera house in the United States. The venue is the home of the Pennsylvania Ballet and Opera Philadelphia since 1857, hosting many world-famous performers, conductors and composers including figures as Marian Anderson, Maria Callas, Enrico Caruso, Aaron Copland, Vladimir Horowitz, Gustav Mahler, Anna Pavlova, Luciano Pavarotti, Itzhak Perlman, Leontyne Price, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Artur Rubinstein, Isaac Stern, Richard Strauss, Igor Stravinsky, Joan Sutherland, and Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, among many others.
The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts is the home of the Philadelphia Orchestra, one of America's "Big Five" symphony orchestras and regarded as one of the best in the world. Kimmel Center is the home venue of the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, Philadanco, the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, and a performance series known as Kimmel Center Presents, which hosts a variety of jazz, classical, and world pop performers.