Founded in 1900, The Philadelphia Orchestra has distinguished itself as one of the world's leading orchestras. Beyond concerts at its home venue the Kimmel Center, the Orchestra performs for Philadelphia audiences during the summer months at the Mann Center for the Performing Arts, as well as in venues across the region, and it tours internationally. Recently, the Orchestra was named BBC Music Magazine’s Orchestra of the Year, heralded the return of music to Carnegie Hall, and won a GRAMMY Award for the music of Florence Price.
The Philadelphia Orchestra offered the first Philadelphia performances of two recently composed works by Richard Danielpour and Bright Sheng. Danielpour's A Woman's Life is based on text by poet Maya Angelou and was co-commissioned by the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Pittsburgh Symphony. Performances featured soprano soloist Angela Brown under the baton of Rossen Milanov. Sheng's The Phoenix (2004) featured soprano Shana Blake Hill, conducted by Maestro Charles Dutoit. The Philadelphia chapter of the American Composers Forum facilitated residency activities with Danielpour and area composers and students.