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June 23, 2015

World Meeting of Families - Philadelphia 2015 Announces Andrea Bocelli, Juanes, and The Philadelphia Orchestra, led by Yannick Nézet-Séguin, as the First Confirmed Performers for the Festival of Families

Philadelphia, PA (June 23, 2015) - The World Meeting of Families - Philadelphia 2015 today announced that Andrea Bocelli, the internationally acclaimed Italian tenor with more than 70 million records sold, and Juanes, a multiple Grammy and Latin Grammy winning Colombian superstar, will travel to Philadelphia to perform at the Festival of Families on Saturday, September 26, for Pope Francis.

In addition, one of the world's most renowned ensembles - The Philadelphia Orchestra - will also perform for the Holy Father at the Festival of Families. Mr. Bocelli, Juanes, and The Philadelphia Orchestra are the first performers to be officially confirmed for the Festival of Families, which will take place on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Additional high profile acts are expected to be added in the next 1-2 months.

This announcement was made during a news conference at the Pontifical North American College (NAC) in Rome, Italy at which Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap., Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, President of the Pontifical Council for the Family, and Mayor Michael A. Nutter were joined by Ms. Allison Vulgamore, President and CEO of The Philadelphia Orchestra. It was also shared that The Philadelphia Orchestra will perform at the Papal Mass on Sunday, September 27, providing the liturgical music for the anticipated 500 member Archdiocesan choir. Yannick Nézet-Séguin, the dynamic Music Director of the famed ensemble, will conduct for both performances.

"When we first began planning the Festival of Families, we wanted to ensure that we brought together performers that represented the world," said Donna Crilley Farrell, Executive Director for the World Meeting of Families - Philadelphia 2015. "To have Andrea Bocelli, one of the world's great vocalists, and Juanes, one of the most popular performers in all of Latin America, come to Philadelphia for the Festival of Families is an extraordinary gift. And to be able to have these incredible individuals perform with our hometown jewel in The Philadelphia Orchestra brings this event together in spectacular fashion. Without a doubt, these performances will not only capture the hearts and imaginations of the thousands who will watch them live on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway but also the millions around the world who will watch on television and online. This will be a shared moment and we are deeply grateful to Andrea Bocelli, Juanes and The Philadelphia Orchestra, led by Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin, for being part of this once-in-a-lifetime moment."

Co-sponsored by the Holy See's Pontifical Council for the Family and the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, the World Meeting of Families is a triennial global event that seeks to strengthen the sacred bonds of family across the globe and highlight its intrinsic value to the good of society. This international gathering will welcome Pope Francis to the United States for the first time in his Papacy. Being held in the United States for the first time ever, the official theme for the 2015 World Meeting of Families is "Love is Our Mission: The Family Fully Alive."

For more information regarding the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia, visit For more information regarding The Holy See's Pontifical Council for the Family, which co-sponsors the World Meeting of Families, visit You can also engage the World Meeting of Families - Philadelphia on Facebook (World Meeting of Families 2015) (Encuentro Mundial de las Familias - Filadelfia 2015), Twitter (@WMF2015) (@WMF2015ES) and Instagram (WMF2015).

About Andrea Bocelli
A mellow and recognizable voice like a signature, which resounds in over eighty million records, a tenor voice ranging from Belcanto to Verismo, Andrea Bocelli has been declared everywhere in the world the testimony of the highest Italian vocal tradition.

He has always been committed to spreading messages of positivity, hope, and perseverance at a global level, and in supporting social causes in the area of scientific research, fight against poverty, universality of primary education. He is then perceived, everywhere, as a fellow voice that gives voice to the world.

Having improved under the guidance of Franco Corelli, Andrea Bocelli initially reached an important level of fame when he won Sanremo Music Festival in 1994. At the same time he started his dazzling classical career, by facing on stage- directed by Lorin Maazel, Seiji Ozawa and Zubin Mehta- the titles of important lyrical repertoires: from Macbeth and Il Trovatore to Madame Butterfly, La Bohème, Tosca up to French masterpieces such as Werther, Carmen, Roméo et Juliette.

Numerous recognitions include the star on the Walk of Fame of Hollywood that has been shining since 2010 in his honour. A record holding artist, of concerts in front of huge audiences, he beat all disco records. For example his CD Arie Sacre (with the baton of Myung-Whun Chung) has become the best-selling classical album ever published by a solo artist.

The star of concerts, invariably sold out, in emblazoned venues such as the Carnegie Hall, the Wiener Staatsoper,the Metropolitan Opera House, Andrea Bocelli has recorded, works such as La Bohème, Il Trovatore, Werther, Pagliacci, Cavalleria Rusticana, Carmen, and Andrea Chènier. Among the most recent recordings Manon Lescaut under the baton of Plácido Domingo, Turandot conducted by Zubin Mehta (released all over the world on July 31st) and, always under the conduction of M° Mehta, Aida by Verdi.

His highly anticipated new pop album is expected by the end of the year.

Convinced that solidarity is the only intelligent response to inequality, and that therefore, it is not only a surge of the heart and a moral duty, but also an act of intelligence, his name since the 90s has been among those of people involved in important events related to philanthropy and to the support of the disadvantaged.

In 2011 Andrea Bocelli has given birth to the Andrea Bocelli Foundation (ABF) in order to enhance, and not to disperse the richness of relationships, and the bond of trust that he has gained, and gains, with many people, in every part of the world he has been, where he is, inevitably, considered, a point of reference in music but also in ethics.

The Foundation was created to help people in difficulty, due to illness, disability, poverty and social exclusion, by promoting and supporting national and international projects that foster the overcoming of such barriers and help them to realize their full potential.

At the opening of the World Economic Forum 2015 in Davos, he was given the Crystal Award, a prestigious award to the artist, the man, the philanthropist.

On April 30, 2015 Andrea Bocelli was the triumphant star at the opening concert of the Milan Expo, which was broadcast live and worldwide - accompanied by the Orchestra of the Teatro alla Scala.

About Juanes
With seven solo albums to his credit and multi-platinum sales of over 16 million copies, Juanes is the world's leading all-Spanish language rock artist - both a two-time GRAMMY and TWENTY-time LATIN GRAMMY winner with ten #1 singles on the Billboard's Latin charts. Hailed as "The single most important figure of the past decade in Latin music" (Los Angeles Times), Juanes is also frequently recognized as one of the Spanish-speaking world's leading social media voices with an online following of 20 million fans. The Colombian superstar's dedication as a global activist also extends far beyond his passionate lyrics and is seen in his wide ranging charitable work for his own Mi Sangre Foundation and as a co-founder of the "Paz sin Fronteras" (Peace Without Borders) organization, which utilizes music to unite populaces regardless of political or geographic divides and advocates that all people are entitled to the basic human right of peace.

Working with famed rock producer Steve Lillywhite (U2, The Killers, The Rolling Stones, The Dave Matthews Band & more), Juanes' latest album "Loco De Amor" was released in the Spring of 2014 and debuted at #1 on Billboard's "Latin Pop Albums" chart and topped iTunes sales in over a dozen countries. Loco De Amor was hailed as "One of the Five Best Albums of 2014 so far" by PEOPLE Magazine, saying it "is one of the best records out now in any tongue... Juanes has never sounded better." Likewise, the New York Times welcomed the release as a "Latin pop blockbuster ...a euphoric, melodic romp across the hemisphere."

Juanes also recently wrote and recorded the new original song "Juntos (Together)" for the Disney film "McFarland, USA." Juntos also quickly leapt to #1 in iTunes Latin sales in the United States and numerous other countries, has become Juanes' 10th #1 single and reached a global audience of millions with a groundbreaking performance of the track on this year's Grammy Awards - the first Spanish-language performance on the GRAMMY telecast in ten years.

Now, Juanes is in the midst of rehearsals for upcoming European and U.S. concert dates for his acclaimed Loco De Amor Tour -which Billboard has recommended as one of "This Summer's Four Biggest Tours to Watch" - alongside The Rolling Stones, The Who and J. Cole.

About The Philadelphia Orchestra
Prior to the occasion of performing for His Holiness Pope Francis during the World Meeting of Families-Philadelphia 2015, The Philadelphia Orchestra has regularly been called upon to perform on the world's stage. In 1973, at the request of President Richard Nixon, the Philadelphians became the first American orchestra to perform in China, representing a bridge for cultural, education, and diplomatic exchange between the People's Republic and the United States; in September 2014, the Orchestra and Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin performed on the Occasion of the 69th Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York; and throughout moments of great triumph and tragedy, has supported the people of Philadelphia with the gift of music. As an institution that brings communities together through forging partnerships across the Delaware Valley, The Philadelphia Orchestra joined the Dialogue Institute at Temple University to present a series of interfaith dialogues in April 2015, as a means of exploring the nature of Bernstein's MASS and the questions it raises about religion, faith, and peace. The performances of the massive theater piece, led by Nézet-Séguin, were not only a critical success, but also a profound moment of solidarity.

Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin's highly collaborative style, deeply-rooted musical curiosity, and boundless enthusiasm, paired with a fresh approach to orchestral programming, have been heralded by critics and audiences alike since his inaugural season in 2012. He is embraced by the musicians of the Orchestra, audiences, and the community itself. The New York Times has called Nézet-Séguin "phenomenal," adding that under his baton, "the ensemble ... has never sounded better." Under Nézet-Séguin's leadership the Orchestra returned to recording on the Deutsche Grammophon label. The Orchestra also reaches thousands of listeners on the radio with weekly Sunday afternoon broadcasts on WRTI-FM.

The Philadelphia Orchestra has a decades-long tradition of presenting learning and community engagement opportunities for listeners of all ages across the Delaware Valley. Current initiatives that take musicians off the traditional concert stage and into the community include the highly-successful PopUP Concerts and PlayINs, SingINs, and ConductINs. The Orchestra's musicians, in their own dedicated roles as teachers, coaches, and mentors, serve a key role in growing young musician talent and a love of classical music, nurturing and celebrating the wealth of musicianship in the Philadelphia region.

The Philadelphia Orchestra is one of the preeminent orchestras in the world, renowned for its distinctive sound, desired for its keen ability to capture the hearts and imaginations of audiences, and admired for a legacy of imagination and innovation on and off the concert stage. The Orchestra is transforming its rich tradition of achievement, sustaining the highest level of artistic quality, but also challenging-and exceeding-that level by creating powerful musical experiences for audiences at home and around the world.

Through concerts, tours, residencies, presentations, and recordings, the Orchestra is a global ambassador for Philadelphia and for the United States. Based in the historic visit to China, today The Philadelphia Orchestra boasts a new partnership with the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing that calls for tours and residencies in China's major cities and outlying provinces, and which has been hailed by the U.S. Department of State for exemplary people-to-people exchange. In 2015 Yannick Nézet-Séguin and the Orchestra toured Europe together for the first time. They were joined by the Commonwealth and the Pennsylvania Governor's office as part of a trade exchange with the major capitals of Europe. Domestically the ensemble annually performs at Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center while also enjoying summer residencies in Saratoga Springs, New York, and Vail, Colorado.

For more information on The Philadelphia Orchestra, please visit

About World Meetings of Families
Beginning with 1994, The Year of the Family, the Pontifical Council for the Family has been responsible for organizing the World Meetings of Families in Rome (1994); Rio de Janeiro (1997); Rome (2000); Manila (2003); Valencia (2006); Mexico City (2009); Milan (2012); and now, Philadelphia (2015). Since its inception by Saint John Paul II, the World Meeting of Families has sought to strengthen the sacred bonds of family across the globe.


Kenneth A. Gavin
Director of Communications

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