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Posted on April 27, 2023

For a PDF version of this press release, click here.



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No one, and we mean no one, is quite like @rufuswainwright – coming to #Philly to perform his newest album “Folkocracy” @KimmelCC (Twitter)/@KimmelCulturalCampus (Facebook and Instagram) on 6/23, in partnership with @wxpnfm. For more info, visit


Press Contacts:
Lauren A. Woodard Hall                      Hannah Palermo
484-832-1963                                   267-765-3724
[email protected]         [email protected]







“Nobody sings quite like Rufus Wainwright. Nobody gives live shows quite like Rufus either.” - The New Yorker


“Rufus Wainwright has always existed in a world unto himself, the sort of place where Cole Porter, Andrew Lloyd-Webber, and Ian Anderson could all share a sherry and muse on love and literature.”  - Rolling Stone


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (April 27, 2023) –– The Kimmel Cultural Campus, in partnership with WXPN Welcomes, presents Rufus Wainwright: Folkocracy Tour at the Miller Theater (formerly the Merriam Theater) on June 23, 2023 at 8:00 p.m. Praised by The New York Times for his “genuine originality,” Wainwright has established himself as one of the great male vocalists, songwriters, and composers of his generation.


The Folkocracy Tour will feature songs off his most recent album (scheduled for release on June 2, 2023). Some are bona fide folk songs like Peggy Seeger's "Heading for Home" or Ewan MacColl's "Alone" but others are Wainwright's interpretation of what constitutes a folk song today like The Mama's and Papa's "Twelve-Thirty", his own "Going To a Town", or Moondog's "High on a Rocky Ledge." He is backed by a four-piece band of amazing musicians, including two incredible backup singers, his sister Lucy Wainwright Roche alongside Petra Haden.


Wainwright’s remarkable album revisits his roots of childhood summers spent at folk festivals and watching his family perform on stages across the country. After shying away from folk music for years, Wainwright is going back to where it all began.


“We are honored to present the Philadelphia premiere of Rufus Wainwright’s newest album, created with contributions from renowned artists like John Legend, Sheryl Crow, and Chaka Khan, and performed on tour with help from his own talented family,” said Matías Tarnopolsky, President and CEO of The Philadelphia Orchestra and Kimmel Center, Inc. “We look forward to showcasing his extraordinary versatility, ranging from pop to classical, opera to folk, and even showtunes.”


The New York-born and Montreal-raised singer and songwriter began playing the piano at six years old, starting to tour at 13 with his family’s folk group, “The McGarrigle Sisters and Family”, featuring Wainwright’s sister, mother, and aunt. Since starting his music career at such a young age, Wainwright has released ten studio albums, three DVDs, and three live albums, including Rufus Does Judy at Carnegie Hall, a tribute performance to the talented Judy Garland at the London Palladium in 2007; and Release The Stars, which went Gold in Canada and the United Kingdom. 


Wainwright has collaborated alongside artists such as Elton John, Miley Cyrus, Pet Shop Boys, Sting, and Billy Joel, and has written two operas, numerous songs for TV and movies, and is currently focusing on his first musical for the West End and a Requiem. In the 1990s, Wainwright was nominated for a JUNO Award for Most Promising Male Vocalist of the Year, as well as receiving critical acclaim over his self-titled debut, which the Rolling Stones recognized as one of the best albums of the year, naming him “Best New Artist” in 1998.


In addition to being a beloved contemporary pop singer, Wainwright has made a name for himself in the classical world; his much acclaimed first opera titled Prima Donna premiered at the 2009 Manchester International Festival. Since then, Wainwright has been commissioned by the Canadian Opera Company to create a second opera, based on the story of Roman Emperor Hadrian and Antinous, as well as the San Francisco Symphony to compose “Five Shakespeare Sonnets.” Premiering in the United States in 2010 and the UK in 2012 with BBC Symphony Orchestra, this five-movement suite sets the texts from selected Shakespearian sonnets to orchestra and vocals.


Other featured upcoming performances on the Kimmel Cultural Campus include Samantha Bee: Your Favorite Woman (April 29, 2023, Miller Theater), Girls Gotta Eat: Snack City Tour (May 11, 2023, Miller Theater), Sasha Velour: The Big Reveal Live Show (May 18, 2023, Perelman Theater), The Capitol Fools (May 20, 2023, Perelman Theater), John Mellencamp: Live and In Person (June 3, 2023, Miller Theater) and Kevin James: The Irregardless Tour (June 16, 2023, Academy of Music).



Tickets can be purchased by calling 215-893-1999 or online at In-person ticket sales can be conducted daily from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. at the Academy of Music Box Office, located at 240 S. Broad Street. See for more information.


WXPN Welcomes Rufus Wainwright: The Folkocracy Tour
Miller Theater (formerly the Merriam Theater) on the Kimmel Cultural Campus
June 23, 2023, at 8:00 p.m. 


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Located in the heart of Center City, Philadelphia, our mission is to engage the region's diverse communities with art through performance and education. Our Cultural Campus serves more than 1-million guests per year and includes Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts (Verizon Hall, Perelman Theater, and SEI Innovation Studio), the Academy of Music, and the Miller Theater (formerly the Merriam Theater) – representing more than 160 years of rich history for the performing arts along Philadelphia's Avenue of the Arts. We are home to The Philadelphia Orchestra and six esteemed Resident Companies: Opera Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Ballet, PHILADANCO, The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, The Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, and Curtis Institute of Music. With nearly 9,000 seats per night, we are the region's most impactful performing arts center, and the second largest in the country. Our Cultural Campus serves as a preeminent and inclusive place to enjoy exceptional experiences that reflect the spirit of our region by cultivating a creative and socially responsible environment where our community shares experiences that are delivered with pride, integrity, and respect. As a 501 c 3 nonprofit organization, we collaborate on, present, and produce a broad range of relevant and meaningful events, we serve as an active gathering space for social and community events, we educate the region's young people through access to quality arts experiences, and we provide support to artists in the creation of new work. Read Kimmel Cultural Campus' vision statement, world view, and mission statement here. Learn more about our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion and how it encompasses our mission, coworkers, and programs here.


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For a PDF version of this press release, click here.

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