Classical Music Returns to The Dell With a FREE Performance

World-Class Musicians Play Beethoven Symphony No. 9 “Ode to Joy”

Described as “first-class on every level,” the culturally-diverse Black Pearl Chamber Orchestra comes to The Dell Music Center on June 21 to perform the musical masterpiece Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, “Ode to Joy.” Trained at leading music conservatories around the globe, Black Pearl musicians are known for their artistic excellence and powerful audience engagement. The concert begins at 7 pm and admission is FREE. Tickets are available online at and at

It’s been decades since classical music has been heard at the Dell Music Center, which was built as the summer home of the Philadelphia Orchestra in 1929. “Beethoven’s final complete symphony was his call for people of all nations, colors and creeds to come together in a spirit of universal brotherhood,” says Susan Slawson, First Deputy Commissioner Recreation & Programs, Philadelphia Parks & Recreation. “It’s in this spirit that we’re hosting Black Pearl, the first orchestra in the City to truly reflect its rich cultural diversity, and offering FREE admission so people of all ages, races and economic backgrounds can experience this amazing masterwork.”

The performance adds non-professional musicians and choral singers from throughout the Greater Philadelphia region to Black Pearl’s world-class professionals for this special performance. It’s the culmination of the chamber orchestra’s “City Wide Side-By-Side” program, made possible by a $50,000 matching grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

“We are honored to be a part of the historic return of classical music to East Fairmount Park,” said Black Pearl Chamber Orchestra’s Founder and Music Director Jeri Lynne Johnson. “We’ve invited talented artists from across Philadelphia to rehearse with us and then join us on stage. You will see your friends and neighbors displaying their hidden talents, performing alongside our professional musicians in what will be a truly joyful performance.”

Composed in 1824, the Symphony No. 9 in D minor is one of the most well-known and beloved pieces of classical music. It’s the first symphony to use singers, and can be heard on the silver screen in scores as far ranging as “Ace Ventura Pet Detective,” “A Clockwork Orange,” “Dead Poets Society,” “Die Hard” and the 2008 remake of “Get Smart.”

This performance and the “City Wide Side-By-Side” program are made possible through sponsorship from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, PECO and the National Endowment for the Arts.

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