The Philadelphia Orchestra announced its 2016-17 subscription season Tuesday at the Kimmel Center. Usual classical music suspects like Brahms, Mahler, and Rachmaninoff will be joined by 21st-century electronics by Mason Bates, a new organ concerto by Pulitzer Prize-winner Christopher Rouse, and a screening of the movie E.T. with a live performance of the John Williams score.

Among performers in the orchestra's 117th season, past visitors such as Simon Rattle and conductor laureate Charles Dutoit will return, and celebrated 22-year-old Canadian cellist Stephen Tetreault will make his debut.

The priority is balance, both in the short and long term. "The life of an orchestra is so long. It's on a huge time scale. A change of music director means a change of focus, but it should never be 180 degrees," music director Yannick Nézet-Séguin said. "I think it's so healthy for an organization to keep the roots in the past as well as looking to the future."

Nézet-Séguin's own preoccupations with choral music and stage works are apparent in his programing of Mozart's Mass in C minor on Sept. 29 and Oct. 1-2, as well as Bartók's one-act opera Bluebeard's Castle on March 2-4, 2017. He'll premiere the Rouse Organ Concerto with Paul Jacobs in a concert with Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 4 on Nov. 17-19. The season ends with Mahler's Symphony No. 3 on May 18-21, 2017.

On the traditional side, principal guest conductor Stéphane Denève leads an intensive Rachmaninoff Festival in which all of the composer's piano/orchestral works will be played in successive concerts April 27-29, 2017, with pianists Nikolai Lugansky and Haochen Zhang.

All four Brahms symphonies will get airings: Symphony No. 1 with guest conductor Alain Altinoglu (Oct. 27-28), Symphony No. 2 with Louis Langrée (Nov. 3-5), Symphony No. 3 with Herbert Blomstedt (Feb. 17-19, 2017), and Symphony No. 4 with Nézet-Séguin (Feb. 23-24, 2017).

Nézet-Séguin justified the reprise of such familiar repertoire with freshness of approach - such as the intensive, three-day Rachmaninoff Festival and the Brahms symphonies performed by conductors of such different ages, nationalities, and temperaments. "It's important to nurture new repertoire. We understand that," he said. "But freshness of approach is at least as important as having new repertoire."

Certainly, the season has no lack of strong-minded conductors. Rattle returns for a single performance of the Mahler Symphony No. 6 (Oct. 6). Dutoit conducts Britten's War Requiem March 23-25, 2017, with baritone Matthias Goerne. Other guests include Gianandrea Noseda (Nov. 25-27), Fabio Luisi (Feb. 2-4, 2017), Michael Tilson Thomas (March 10-12, 2017), and Bramwell Tovey (March 30-April 1, 2017). Tovey will conduct the world premiere of Imaginary Day, a concerto for vibraphone and marimba based on tunes by Pat Metheny and orchestrated by Philadelphia Orchestra percussionist Christopher Deviney.

Among female guest conductors, Nathalie Stutzmann, the contralto-turned-conductor, leads Handel's Messiah on Dec. 18. "I'm always a little suspicious when anybody wants to take up the baton all of the sudden," conceded Nézet-Séguin. "But I heard a few clips of her and heard from a few of my colleagues, and she's . . . very convincing as a conductor." The seasoned Jane Glover will conduct an all-Mozart program Jan. 5-7, 2017.

Conductor-in-residence Cristian Macelaru will lead Carmina Burana on Dec. 8-10 in one of two appearances by tenor Nicholas Phan, who also sings in Mozart's Mass in C minor. Star mezzo-soprano Susan Graham sings Canteloube's Songs of the Auvergne on Jan. 12-14, 2017.

Guest pianists include Yuja Wang in the season-opening concert (Sept. 22-24); Yefim Bronfman (Dec. 1-3); Louis Lortie (Jan. 19-24, 2017); Andre Watts (Feb. 2-4, 2017); Daniil Trifonov, in an unusual pairing that will have him playing Mozart (April 6-9, 2017, along with composer Bates' forward-looking "Alternative Energy") and Radu Lupu (May 3 and 5-6, 2017). Violinists include Midori (Nov. 3-5), Leonidas Kavakos (March 10-12, 2017), and Itzhak Perlman (March 15-16, 2017), doubling as guest conductor. Cellist Tetreault makes his debut Oct. 7-8.

Subscriber information: 215-893-1955 or Single tickets go on sale in August.

In Sunday's Inquirer: Yannick Nézet-Séguin on the 2016-17 season and the state of the Philadelphia Orchestra.