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Global Philadelphia to honor Yannick Nézet-Séguin as a worldly presence in Philly

Several guests, including the classical pianist Lang Lang and the Bacon Brothers, are on the bill to perform.

Conductor Yannick Nezet-Seguin
Conductor Yannick Nezet-SeguinRead moreGeorge Etheredge

Yannick Nézet-Séguin will receive a special tribute at the Global Philadelphia Association’s 5th Annual World Heritage City Celebration Thursday.

The Philadelphia Orchestra music director will be honored for helping the orchestra build a “diverse repertoire,” which has included the complete cycle of Beethoven’s symphonies juxtaposed with new compositions from emerging artists to mark the composer’s 250th birthday.

The GPA celebration event will highlight five years of Philadelphia’s World Heritage City project, which works to preserve Philadelphia cultural and historical landmarks, including Independence Hall and 67 other sites.

Several guests, including classical pianist Lang Lang and the Bacon Brothers, are scheduled to perform. Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney is slated to speak.

Because of the coronavirus pandemic, this year’s GPA event will be held virtually. But organizers are enthusiastic about the performers, special guests, and attendee interest.

“For obvious reasons, we’ve reimagined our celebration this year, and the silver lining has been the generosity and excitement to participate that we’ve heard from so many of our special guest artists and speakers,” Zabeth Teelucksingh, executive director of the Global Philadelphia Association, said in a statement. “They understand how significant Philadelphia’s role is on the world stage, a point that is underscored by the incomparable Yannick Nézet-Séguin.”

The broadcast, which will be emceed by NBC10′s Vai Sikahema, can be viewed for free on Vimeo at 6 p.m. Thursday by registering on the GPA website.

The event will also raise funds to support regional work toward the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals , which includes creating farmers markets and reducing food waste. Attendees will be able to buy raffle tickets for prizes spanning from a trip to Greece to an “exclusive experience” with the Philadelphia Orchestra.

“Our World Heritage City Celebration is about showcasing the diversity of our region, celebrating our differences, and highlighting the importance of our global connections,” said Robert J. McNeill, Global Philadelphia board chair and Greater Philadelphia managing partner for Deloitte, in a news release. “Maestro Yannick Nézet-Séguin embodies that spirit.”