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Tchaikovsky Spectacular

The Philadelphia Orchestra

Wednesday • Jul 31, 2024 • 7:30pm

Conductor David Robertson, an American music visionary, returns to SPAC for the first time over a decade leading the orchestra in a dazzling evening of Tchaikovsky featuring the 1812 Overture with live cannon fire and a brilliant fireworks display. Pianist and International Tchaikovsky Competition silver medalist George Li makes his Philadelphia Orchestra and SPAC debut performing the Piano Concerto No. 1.


Tchaikvosky Polonaise,” from Eugene Onegin
Tchaikvosky Piano Concerto No. 1
Tchaikvosky Romeo and Juliet
Tchaikvosky 1812 Overture



David Robertson | conductor 
George Li* | piano

*Indicates SPAC debut

David Robertson

David Robertson – conductor, artist, composer, thinker, American musical visionary – occupies the most prominent podiums in opera, orchestral, and new music.  He is a champion of contemporary composers, and an ingenious and adventurous programmer. Robertson has served in numerous artistic leadership positions, such as Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, a transformative 13-year tenure as Music Director of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, with the Orchestre National de Lyon, BBC Symphony Orchestra, and, as protégé of Pierre Boulez, the Ensemble InterContemporain.  He appears with the world’s great orchestras, including the New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Vienna Philharmonic, Czech Philharmonic, São Paulo State Symphony Orchestra, Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, and many major ensembles and festivals on five continents.  In 2023, he made his first return to Sydney, and will begin a three-year tenure as the inaugural Creative Partner of the Utah Symphony and Opera.  Since his 1996 Metropolitan Opera debut, Robertson has conducted a breathtaking range of Met projects, including the 2019-20 season opening premiere production of Porgy and Bess, for which he shared a Grammy Award, Best Opera Recording, in March 2021.  In 2022, he conducted the Met Opera revival of the production, in addition to making his Rome Opera debut conducting Janáček’s Káťa Kabanová.  Robertson is a Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres of France, and is the recipient of numerous artistic awards.  He serves on the Tianjin Juilliard Advisory Council, complementing his role as Director of Conducting Studies, Distinguished Visiting Faculty of The Juilliard School, New York.  In the 2023-24 season, he will conduct the Seattle Symphony, Royal Danish Orchestra, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, Deutsches Symphonie Orchester-Berlin, the Minnesota Orchestra, The Philadelphia Orchestra, and the New York Philharmonic, among others.


George Li

Praised by the Washington Post for combining “staggering technical prowess, a sense of command and depth of expression,” pianist George Li possesses an effortless grace, poised authority, and brilliant virtuosity far beyond his years. Since winning the Silver Medal at the 2015 International Tchaikovsky Competition, Li has rapidly established a major international reputation and performs regularly with some of the world’s leading orchestras and conductors, such as Dudamel, Gaffigan, Gergiev, Gimeno, Honeck, Orozco-Estrada, Petrenko, Robertson, Slatkin, Temirkanov, Tilson Thomas, Long Yu, and Xian Zhang.

Li’s 2023-24 season begins with a recital at the Grand Teton Music Festival followed by his debut with the Aula Simfonia in Jakarta, Indonesia and conductor Jahja Ling. He embarks on an extensive tour in China including recital and concerto performances in Kunming, Beijing, and Shanghai. In Europe, Li presents recital programs in Viersen, Baden, Elmau, and Stuttgart, and he debuts with the Prague Philharmonia in Prague and Ljubljana. US performances include engagements with the Cincinnati and Milwaukee Symphonies, Florida Orchestra, Oklahoma City Philharmonic, and Chicago Sinfonietta; and recitals across the country from California to Florida. A committed collaborator, George returns to the ECHO series in El Cajon, CA with the Dover Quartet and San Francisco’s Davies Symphony Hall with violinist Stella Chen.

This program is made possible in part by the generous support from

Hudson Headwaters Health Network

Our 2024 New York City Ballet & The Philadelphia Orchestra residencies are made possible with support from DeCrescente, Mackey Auto Group and Kids in Free sponsor, Fenimore Asset Management, as well as, additional supporting corporate sponsors & individual contributors.

“Kids in Free” Presented by Fenimore Asset Management


Did you know?! Kids 12 and under are free on the lawn with an accompanying adult for Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival and all performances of New York City Ballet and The Philadelphia Orchestra (excluding movie nights, and An Evening with John Legend, when they are 50% off).

Kids 12 and under are also 50% off in amphitheater for Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival and all performances of New York City Ballet and The Philadelphia Orchestra (excluding An Evening with John Legend).

No tickets are required for Kids in Free admission with an accompanying adult ticket holder – go directly to the gate! Made possible by Fenimore Asset Management.

SPAC Amphitheater Ground Rules

Applicable for classical events including New York City Ballet and The Philadelphia Orchestra. View Live Nation event ground rules here. 

Permitted Items

  • Food, beverages, and disposable utensils.
  • Picnic blankets and breathable ground coverings.
  • Umbrellas and chairs are permitted, but will be restricted by sizing for use on the main amphitheater lawn, as follows:
    • Lawn chairs must not exceed 43” when collapsed.
    • Lawn chairs on the center amphitheater lawn must not exceed 26″ in height when opened.
    • Only personal-sized umbrellas will be permitted on the lawn.
    • NO tents of any size will be permitted on the amphitheater lawn.

Items Not Permitted

  • Plastic tarps
  • Tents are prohibited from the Amphitheater lawn.
  • Grills, cooking equipment, or any flame that uses a liquid, gas, or gel accelerant.
  • Laser pointers
  • Drones
  • Professional audio or video recording equipment
  • Cameras with detachable lenses
  • Bikes, rollerblades, skateboards, scooters, etc.
  • Pets (except ADA approved service animals)
  • Illegal drugs or substances
  • Weapons of any kind


  • To ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for all SPAC visitors and staff, all containers and packages will be inspected. This includes coolers, baskets, tote bags, purses, diaper bags, strollers, and all other containers.Any item that is not permitted to come onto the SPAC grounds should be disposed of or returned to your vehicle.
  • Smoking is permitted on the SPAC grounds in designated areas only.Please ensure that all cigarette butts are disposed of properly.
  • Guests are welcome to bring blankets and umbrellas but please consider others around you- if your items are disruptive to others, you may be asked to remove them.
  • In the event that guests are unable to sit through the entire performance, please note that there is a grassy area behind the Julie Bonacio Family Pavilion with access to a video screen which would allow guests to continue watching the performance.


  • Beverages are permitted in the amphitheater, but food is not.
  • As a courtesy to the performers and the audience, latecomers won’t be seated until the earliest appropriate opportunity in the performance at the discretion of the House Staff.
  • Please turn off or silence all mobile devices prior to the start of the program.Texting and making calls in the theater is not allowed.  Should an emergency arise in which you must use a mobile device, we ask that you step outside of the theater to avoid disturbing other guests.
  • Video, photography, audio, or cell phone recording during performances is prohibited.
  • SPAC has a zero-tolerance policy for harassment of any kind, including but not limited to race, national origin, gender, gender identity, gender presentation, sexual orientation, age, ability, religion, and citizenship. Harassment includes but is not limited to stalking, verbal or physical intimidation, offensive verbal comments, physical assault and/or battery, inappropriate physical contact, and unwelcome physical attention. If you are made to feel uncomfortable or unsafe, please immediately report any concerns to SPAC staff or security personnel so appropriate action can be taken.

All SPAC ground rules are subject to change. By entering the SPAC grounds, guests agree to abide by the rules listed above. Management reserves the right to modify these rules or can request to see the contents of any belongings brought on property at their discretion. We appreciate your cooperation in maintaining the utmost levels of safety and convenience for our guests and staff.

Where to Stay

Whether you’re visiting from out of town, or want to stay the night nearby after an event, Saratoga Springs has a place waiting for you. As part of our commitment to the community, SPAC is proud to collaborate with preferred hotel partners to offer the best experience to our guests.

Learn More & Reserve

Group Sales

Experience SPAC together! From groups of friends and family to corporate outings, senior centers, summer camps, and arts schools, we can curate a special experience for your group of 10 or more. We offer discounts, flexible options and can work with your group leader to tailor your needs for a memorable day.

Learn More

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