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Yannick Nézet-Séguin bows his head before conducting The Philadelphia Orchestra in London at Royal Albert Hall after the death of Queen Elizabeth II

Honoring a Transformational Leader with Music

Posted by:  The Philadelphia Orchestra and Kimmel Cultural Campus on September 09, 2022

For the last three weeks, The Philadelphia Orchestra led by Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin have been on their first overseas tour in over two years. Performing in Edinburgh, Hamburg, Berlin, Dresden, Lucerne, and Paris, their final stop would be two concerts as part of the BBC Proms at Royal Albert Hall in London.  

As Yannick and the Orchestra prepared for their September 8 performance featuring Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3, news of the death of Queen Elizabeth II became known.

At the request of the BBC, they gathered onstage at the Royal Albert Hall for a moment of silence, and then, before a rapt audience, performed the British National Anthem (“God Save the Queen”) and Edward Elgar’s beautifully elegiac “Nimrod” from his “Enigma” Variations, and quietly left the stage.

Music Director Yannick Nezet-Seguin preparing to go onstage  

 Playing in London is a homecoming for our President & CEO Matías Tarnopolsky, who was raised in the British capital. He says it is hard to imagine a time now without the queen. Becoming queen at just 25 after her father’s passing and reigning for 70 years, Queen Elizabeth II is the only British monarch that most people today have known.  

The audience stands within Royal Albert Hall for a moment of silence

The magnitude of the historic moment is immense. The Orchestra’s second Proms concert, scheduled for Friday, September 9, will not take place, as the nation and the world mourn the loss of a transformational leader. 


Photos by Todd Rosenberg Photography

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