Catherine Comet will become the first woman to conduct the Philadelphia Orchestra in an entire program at its home at the Academy of Music when she takes the stage Thursday night.

Filling in for ailing East German guest conductor Hans Vonk, Comet also will lead the orchestra in concerts Friday, Saturday and Tuesday.Comet follows four other women who have conducted the orchestra in partial programs at the academy - Nadia Boulanger, Thea Musgrave, Elaine Brown and Dalia Atlas. Boston conductor and opera director Sarah Caldwell has conducted two full programs with the orchestra in its summer home at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center.

Born in Paris, but living in Philadelphia. Comet is in her third season as music director of the Grand Rapids Symphony Orchestra in Michigan. She previously worked with the Baltimore Symphony and the St. Louis Symphony.