Philadelphia Orchestra to Rename Verizon Hall to Marian Anderson Hall

By Francisco Salazar

The Philadelphia Orchestra President and CEO Matías Tarnopolsky and Music and Artistic Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin has announced that Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts will be rededicated as Marian Anderson Hall in honor of the legendary contralto, civil rights icon, and Philadelphian.

The news was announced on the day after what would have been Anderson’s 127th birthday. It is the first major concert venue in the world to honor the late performer and trailblazer and located in the heart of her hometown of Philadelphia.

The Hall—home of The Philadelphia Orchestra—will officially be rededicated on June 8, 2024, and celebrated during the Great Stages Gala and concert that evening, featuring Nézet-Séguin and The Philadelphia Orchestra with Audra McDonald, Angel Blue, Marcus Roberts, and more.

The dedication of Marian Anderson Hall was named in her honor by a visionary $25 million philanthropic gift from Richard Worley and Leslie Miller.

In a statement, Music and Artistic Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin said, “The legacy of Philadelphia native Marian Anderson is inscribed in the modern history of civil rights in America, and in musical history—from the prejudiced rejection of her artistry to the knowledge that she was one of the greatest voices of the 20th century. Because she was denied the right to sing, Americans were denied the right to hear her extraordinary gifts. For years, The Philadelphia Orchestra and I have dedicated ourselves to creating a more representative art form through the music we perform. Now, we are proud to take this even further, to honor Marian Anderson with the first major concert venue named in her honor—and one of only a few in the world named for an artist—and we will perform with the joy of her ongoing presence in Marian Anderson Hall.”