PHILADELPHIA— Penn Medicine, in partnership with The Philadelphia Orchestra, will bring the healing power of music to patients at Penn Medicine’s six hospitals, including those being treated for COVID-19. Starting in May, Penn Medicine hospitals throughout the region will stream Virtual Philadelphia Orchestra programs directly into patient rooms on a dedicated Philadelphia Orchestra television channel or on tablets. The content includes rebroadcasts of previous concerts, chamber music from musicians’ homes, and more, with new content added each week. In addition, Philadelphia Orchestra audio and video content will be available on Penn Medicine’s employee COVID-19 support portal, PennMedicineTogether.
“Now more than ever providing additional support for our patients is of the utmost importance, and that includes helping them stay connected and strengthening their mental wellbeing,” said Regina Cunningham, PhD, RN, Chief Executive Officer of the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. “Music can soothe and comfort patients, which is incredibly important for those who are hospitalized—especially during a time when visitors are limited in order to safeguard our patients and staff. We are lucky to be in a city with such incredible art and music programs, and we are grateful to be able to bring this music to our patients during this unprecedented time.”
The participating locations include all six Penn Medicine hospitals—the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania Hospital, Penn Presbyterian Medical Center, Chester County Hospital, Lancaster General Health, and Princeton Health. The Orchestra hopes to expand to other health systems following this pilot program.
“Music has the incredible power to inspire, to comfort, and to heal,” said Philadelphia Orchestra Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin. “The patients and healthcare heroes battling COVID-19 are going through so much, and it is our hope that by providing them with our gift of music, we can do our part to help them endure, and bring them moments of joy.”
Virtual Philadelphia Orchestra content currently in rotation at the hospitals includes the March 12, 2020, performance of Beethoven’s Symphonies Nos. 5 and 6 to an empty Verizon Hall; a performance of Haydn’s Symphony No. 100 and Mahler’s Symphony No. 5 from 2010, Nézet-Séguin’s first concert as music director designate; a specially curated chamber concert of works by Beethoven performed by Philadelphia Orchestra musicians from their homes; a concert featuring Brahms’s Violin Concerto by acclaimed soloist Gil Shaham; performances of Bruckner’s Symphony No. 7 and Mahler’s Symphony No. 1, led by Nézet-Séguin; a 2011 performance by then Principal Oboe Richard Woodhams playing Rouse’s Oboe Concerto; a Neighborhood Concert from 2015; and more.