The Society Event of the Season – The Academy Ball
The Philadelphia Orchestra celebrates Academy of Music 160th Anniversary with Grand Concert and Ball on January 28, 2017 – As in 2016, the Philadelphia Orchestra welcomes Martin Short as the special guest for the Academy of Music 160th
Anniversary Concert and Ball on Saturday, January 28, 2017. Originally slated as the featured guest for the 2016 Concert, which was cancelled due to an emergency shutdown by Winter Storm Jonas in the Philadelphia area, the multi-talented Emmy and Tony Award-winning comedian, writer, singer, and actor will join The Philadelphia Orchestra and Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin for an extraordinary evening of food, friends, music, dancing, and an exploration of the “Grand Old Lady of Locust Street.”
The dress for the event is white tails for the guys
And gorgeous ball gowns for the ladies. Many of the local stores have sales in January to attract the last minute buyers of the gowns including Nicole Miller, Sophy Curson, in Center City as well as Neiman Marcus and Touche Accessories (LL across from Macy’s) at the King of Prussia Mall. They often keep track of which lady buys which gown so there’s not an embarrassment of duplicity at the grand gala.
The academy gala has always been a high society, star studded event where song and dance man Danny Kaye, classical artists like singer Marian Anderson, Isaac Stern, Dinah Shore who attended in 1957. To Sting, Rod Stewart, The Bacon Brothers, Billy Joel, Jill Scott, more recently singer/actor Hugh Jackman and actor Al Pacino, who did a dramatic reading two years ago to the delight of the audience who wondered what was the famed Scarface going to do to entertain.
The 150th anniversary (2007) was further glamorized by royal visitors — Prince Charles and his wife Camilla — who attended at the invitation of Lee Annenberg, who was being honored for a major gift to restore the ballroom. Annenberg’s husband Walter Annenberg knew the prince from his time as British ambassador. Crowds lined the streets hoping for a glimpse. (Source) Unfortunately for me I had the flu that night and missed it. I was really unhappy.
After the concert, the crowd walks a block up Broad Street to the Hyatt at the Bellevue, where the guests take over the entire building, for dinner and dancing into the wee hours of the morning. It’s a long beautiful night.
Concert-only tickets, priced at $75, are currently on sale. Tickets can be purchased by calling 215.893.1999 or
by visiting Tickets
Academy of Music 159th Anniversary Concert and Ball
January 28, 2017, at 7:30 PM – Saturday evening – Academy of Music
The Philadelphia Orchestra
Yannick Nézet-Séguin Conductor
Martin Short Special Guest
The tickets to the Ball are $1,000
The event is an important part of keeping the academy, a National Historic Landmark, alive. It funds improvement and maintenance projects. Gala proceeds have funded a new main house curtain, conservation of the ceiling murals and wood sculptures, the chandelier, the HVAC system, and the restoration of the main lobby, Ballroom, the roof and grand staircase to their former splendor.