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Emanuel Ax Performs Mahler

This concert is now past.
Emanuel Ax
Location: The Rose Theater (Directions)
Price Range: $40.00 - $100.00

Concert Duration

1 hour 45 minutes
Sun, Nov, 4, 2012
5:00 PM
Co-presented with the White Light Festival.
The 2014-15 Season

Program (Click the red play button to listen)

Prelude and Fugue in E-flat minor, from The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book I

Six Little Piano Pieces, Op. 19


Das Lied von der Erde (chamber version, arr. Arnold Schoenberg)

GUSTAV MAHLER (1860-1911)
Das Lied von der Erde (The Song of the Earth) (1908) (arr. for chamber orchestra by Arnold Schoenberg 1921; completed by Rainer Riehn 1983
Mahler suffered three devastating blows to his professional and personal life in 1907 — he resigned his job at the Vienna State Opera; his little daughter Maria died of scarlet fever; and he was diagnosed with heart disease. It was later that year that he discovered The Chinese Flute, a collection of some 80 8th-century Chinese poems, translated into German. Their mix of life's joys and sorrows, ultimately ending with the acceptance of loss and death spoke to him, and before long he was sketching settings of six of the poems for very large orchestra and two singers. Mahler completed the score in 1908, calling it Song of the Earth, but he did not live to hear it; he died in 1911. Ten years later, Arnold Schoenberg, who admired Mahler greatly and wanted this work to be performed, knew that its logistical demands might make that difficult. So he began, but did not finish, an arrangement for chamber ensemble, consisting of string and wind quintets, piano, celesta, harmonium, and three percussionists. It fell to German composer/ conductor Rainer Riehn to finish the job in 1983. Das Lied von der Erde is a work of surpassing beauty, depth, and sadness — an impassioned contemplation of the transience of life. The songs encompass a wide range of emotions: from the darkness of "The Drinking Song of the Earth's Sorrow"; and the desperate yearning of "The Lonely One in Autumn"; to the pleasures of drinking, laughing, and the company of others in "Of Youth"; the passion of unrequited love in "Of Beauty"; the devil-may-care attitude of "The Drunkard in Spring"; and finally "The Farewell," a haunting, heart-breaking good-bye to life that ends with the promise of renewal. NPR's Ted Libbey calls the last song a "spiritual release unprecedented in music."


Mattias Pintscher

Matthias Pintscher is equally accomplished as conductor and composer, having created significant works for some of the world’s leading orchestras, and regularly conducting throughout Europe, U.S., and Australia. He is the music director of the Ensemble Intercomporain, a role he began in the 2013–14 season, and he continues his partnership with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra as its artist-in-association. Recent and upcoming conducting debuts include the Atlanta, Colorado, National (Washington, D.C.), New World, and Quebec symphony orchestras; Los Angeles Philharmonic; National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa; and the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome. Highlights this season in addition to these performances with the New York Philharmonic include tours to Geneva, Cologne, and Holland with the Ensemble Intercontemporain, and appearances with the NDR, Dresden, Naples, and Slovenian philharmonic orchestras, as well as with the Utah Symphony, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Juilliard Orchestra, Paris Opera Orchestra, Frankfurt Radio Symphony, and Danish Radio Chamber Orchestra, and concerts in Chicago and Tel Aviv.

As a composer, Mr. Pintscher found success at an early age and is the recipient of numerous prizes, including most recently the 2012 Roche Commission. His music is championed by some of today’s finest performing artists and conductors, and has been performed by orchestras such as The Cleveland and Philadelphia Orchestras; BBC, Chicago, London, and NDR symphony orchestras; and Berlin Philharmonic, London’s Philharmonia Orchestra, and Orchestre de Paris. The New York Philharmonic has previously performed two of his works: Towards Osiris, in 2010, conducted by Christoph Eschenbach, and Songs from Solomon’s Garden, performed on CONTACT!, the new-music series, in 2010, baritone Thomas Hampson as soloist and Alan Gilbert conducting.

Mr. Pintscher works regularly with leading contemporary music ensembles and since 2011 has directed the music segment of Impuls Romantik Festival in Frankfurt. He also served as artistic director of the Heidelberg Atelier of the Heidelberg Spring Festival since 2007, now known as the Heidelberg Young Composers’ Academy. His works are published by Bärenreiter-Verlag. Recordings can be found on Kairos, EMI, ECM, Teldec, Wergo, and Winter & Winter. Matthias Pintscher has conducted two previous New York Philharmonic presentations: he was one of three conductors to lead Stockhausen’s Gruppen in Philharmonic 360 at Park Avenue Armory, and led Mahler in Emanuel Ax’s November 2012 chamber music event co-presented with Lincoln Center’s White Light Festival. 

Learn more about Matthias Pintscher



Emanuel Ax

Internationally renowned pianist Emanuel Ax began his 2013–14 season with appearances at the Barbican Centre; with the London Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Bernard Haitink, at Avery Fisher Hall; and collaborations with Amsterdam’s Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, led by Mariss Jansons, in Amsterdam, Bucharest, China, and Japan, as part of that orchestra’s world-wide centenary celebrations. The second half of the season sees the realization of a project that includes performances of works by Brahms along with new pieces from composers Missy Mazzoli, Nico Muhly, Brett Dean, and Anders Hillborg, co-commissioned by the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Cal Performances Berkeley, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and Carnegie Hall, and featuring appearances by mezzo-soprano Anne-Sophie von Otter and cellist Yo-Yo Ma. At the conclusion of the season, Mr. Ax will travel to Hong Kong and Australia for a complete cycle of Beethoven concertos conducted by David Robertson in Sydney and with Sir Andrew Davis in Melbourne.

In conjunction with his role as the New York Philharmonic’s 2012–13 Mary and James G. Wallach Artist-in-Residence, Sony Classical released his latest recital disc of works ranging from Haydn to Schumann to Copland, reflecting their different uses of the “variation” concept. In the spring of 2013 he joined the Orchestra on its European tour led by Music Director Alan Gilbert.

Mr. Ax has been a Sony Classical exclusive recording artist since 1987. His releases include Mendelssohn trios with cellist Yo-Yo- Ma and violinist Itzhak Perlman; R. Strauss’s Enoch Arden narrated by Patrick Stewart; and discs of two-piano music by Brahms and Rachmaninoff with Yefim Bronfman. In recent years Mr. Ax has premiered the music of 20th-century composers John Adams, Christopher Rouse, Krzysztof Penderecki, Bright Sheng, and Melinda Wagner. 

Born in Lvov, Poland, pianist Emanuel Ax studied at The Juilliard School, won a Young Concert Artists Award, and majored in French at Columbia University. In 1974 he won the first Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Competition in Tel Aviv, followed by the Michaels Award of Young Concert Artists, and the coveted Avery Fisher Prize. 

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Tamara Mumford by Dario Acosta

Mezzo-soprano Tamara Mumford returned to The Metropolitan Opera in the 2011–12 season for the new productions of Donizetti's Anna Bolena and Wagner's complete Ring Cycle, and she appeared in concert with The Cleveland Orchestra, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and Utah Symphony. In the summer of 2012 she appears in the Los Angeles Philharmonic's world premiere of John Adams's The Gospel According to the Other Mary, and in the following season makes her debuts with New York Philharmonic and the San Francisco Symphony, and at the Seattle Opera as Angelina in Rossini's La Cenerentola.

Ms. Mumford's other recent engagements have included productions of John Adams's Nixon in China, Richard Strauss's Ariadne auf Naxos, Verdi's Rigoletto, Mozart's The Magic Flute, and Tchaikovsky's The Queen of Spades at The Metropolitan Opera; the title roles in Britten's The Rape of Lucretius and Hans Werner Henze's Phaedra at the Opera Company of Philadelphia;the title role in Purcell's Dido and Aeneas at Glimmerglass Opera; and Ottavia in Monteverdi's L'incoronazione di Poppea at the Glyndebourne Opera Festival and BBC Proms. Also an active concert performer and recitalist, Ms. Mumford recently appeared with Donald Runnicles at the Grand Teton Festival, and was presented in recital by the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society and in New York by both the Marilyn Horne Foundation and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. She has also appeared in concert at Carnegie Hall with the Met Chamber Orchestra and has been on several U.S. tours with Musicians from Marlboro.

A native of Sandy, Utah, Tamara Mumford is a master of music candidate at Yale University and holds a bachelor of music degree from Utah State University.

Learn more about Tamara Mumford



Russell Thomas by Dario Acosta

Tenor Russell Thomas is quickly establishing himself as one of the most exciting vocal and dramatic talents on the international opera and concert scene, most recently taking first prize in the Ricardo Viñas Competition and the Competizione dell'Opera in Dresden. In the 2011-12 season he performs Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde with the Houston Ballet, followed by the Verdi roles of Foresto in Attila with Seattle Opera and the Duke of Mantua in Rigoletto with the Orlando Philharmonic, as well as his Canadian Opera Company debut in the title role of Offenbach's The Tales of Hoffman. In the spring of 2012 Mr. Thomas participates in the world premiere of John Adams's The Gospel According to the Other Mary with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, conducted by Gustavo Dudamel. Future plans include debuts with the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and the Deutsche Oper, Berlin.

Mr. Thomas's recent engagements have included the Duke in Rigoletto with the Teatro Municipal in Santiago, followed by Tamino in Mozart's The Magic Flute and Andres in Berg's Wozzeck at The Metropolitan Opera, the title roles in Berlioz's The Damnation of Faust in Frankfurt and Stravinsky's Oedipus Rex with the Boston Symphony, Pinkerton in Puccini's Madama Butterfly with the Atlanta Symphony and Robert Spano, and the Prince in John Adams's A Flowering Tree with the Cincinnati Opera. Notable concert appearances include Mozart's Requiem with the Milwaukee Symphony and Edo de Waart, Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 with the Dallas Symphony, and Rossini's Stabat Mater with the San Antonio Symphony.

Russell Thomas is an alumnus of The Metropolitan Opera's Lindemann Young Artist Development Program.

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Robert Langevin

With the start of the 2000–01 season, Robert Langevin joined the New York Philharmonic as Principal Flute, in The Lila Acheson Wallace Chair. In May 2001, he made his solo debut with the Orchestra in the North American premiere of Siegfried Matthus’s Concerto for Flute and Harp with Philharmonic Principal Harp Nancy Allen and Music Director Kurt Masur. His October 2012 solo performance in Nielsen’s Flute Concerto, conducted by Music Director Alan Gilbert, was recorded for inclusion in The Nielsen Project, the Orchestra’s multi-season traversal of all of the Danish composer’s symphonies and concertos, to be released by Dacapo Records.

Prior to the Philharmonic, Mr. Langevin held the Jackman Pfouts Principal Flute Chair of the Pittsburgh Symphony and was an adjunct professor at Duquesne University, in Pittsburgh. Mr. Langevin served as associate principal of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra for 13 years, playing on more than 30 recordings. As a member of Musica Camerata Montreal and l’Ensemble de la Société de Musique Contemporaine du Québec, he premiered many works, including the Canadian premiere of Pierre Boulez’s Le Marteau sans maître. In addition, Mr. Langevin has performed as soloist with Quebec’s most distinguished ensembles and has recorded many recitals and chamber music programs for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. He also served on the faculty of the University of Montreal for nine years.

Born in Sherbrooke, Quebec, Robert Langevin began studying flute at age 12 and joined the local orchestra three years later. While studying with Jean-Paul Major at the Montreal Conservatory of Music, he started working in recording studios, where he accompanied a variety of artists of different styles. He graduated in 1976 with two first prizes, one in flute, the other, in chamber music. Not long after, he won the prestigious Prix d’Europe, a national competition open to all instruments with a first prize of a two-year scholarship to study in Europe. This enabled him to work with Aurèle Nicolet at the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik in Freiburg, Germany, where he graduated in 1979. He then went on to study with Maxence Larrieu, in Geneva, winning second prize at the Budapest International Competition in 1980.

Mr. Langevin is a member of the Philharmonic Quintet of New York with which he has performed concerts on many continents. In addition, he has given recitals and master classes throughout the United States and in countries such as Canada, Spain, Costa Rica, Japan, North Korea, Singapore, and Vietnam. He is currently on the faculties of The Juilliard School, The Manhattan School of Music, and the Orford International Summer Festival. 

Learn more about Robert Langevin



Hailed by The New York Times as “exquisite” and “beautifully nuanced,” versatile flutist Alexandra Sopp is a member of The Knights, NOW Ensemble, and yMusic and frequently makes appearances with the New York Philharmonic, Silk Road Ensemble, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, International Contemporary Ensemble, Wind Soloists of New York, counter)induction, Argento, and Mark Morris Dance Group. She recently appeared as a guest performer with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra. An accomplished soloist, Ms. Sopp made her Carnegie Hall debut with the New York Youth Symphony, and she appeared as featured soloist with soprano Dawn Upshaw in summer 2012 at Ravinia with New York-based chamber orchestra The Knights, with whom Ms. Sopp recorded two albums for the Sony Classical label.

Described as “an admired new music mainstay” by Time Out New York, Ms. Sopp has commissioned, premiered, and recorded with the most exciting composers and songwriters of our time, including Nico Muhly, Philip Glass, Judd Greenstein, Oswaldo Golijov, Sufjan Stevens, The National, My Brightest Diamond, Björk, The Dirty Projectors, Jonsí, Glen Hansard, Son Lux, Gabriel Kahane, and St. Vincent. A composer and improviser in her own right, Ms. Sopp will soon make her solo recording debut with an album on New Amsterdam label. Ms. Sopp has worked as musical coach on the set of NBC’s 30 Rock, and she was recently invited to work with students in the Youth Symphony of Colombia (Filarmonica Joven de Colombia) as part of the Batuta program which works with more than 40,000 students nationwide and is modeled after Venezuela’s “El Sistema.”

Learn more about Alexandra Sopp


Oboe/English Horn

Liang Wang

Liang Wang joined the New York Philharmonic in September 2006 as Principal Oboe. Previously, he was principal oboe of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra (2005–06), and principal oboe of the Santa Fe Opera in the 2004–05 season.

Born in Qing Dao, China, in 1980, Mr. Wang comes from a musical family. His mother was an amateur singer; his uncle was a professional oboist, and Mr. Wang began oboe studies with him at the age of seven. In 1993 he enrolled at the Beijing Central Conservatory, and two years later attended Idyllwild Arts Academy in California. During his time there he was the Jack Smith Award Winner at the Pasadena Instrumental Competition, a two-time winner of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Fellowship, and a winner at the Spotlight Competition of the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

Liang Wang made his Carnegie Hall debut in April 2011 performing Chen Qigang’s Extase, and he was invited by the Presidents of China and France to perform the work with the Orchestre Colonne de France at Versailles’s Royal Opera House in March 2014 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of France-China diplomacy. Other recent appearances include Mozart’s Oboe Concerto with Les Violons du Roy, led by Bernard Labadie, in Quebec City; Mozart and Richard Strauss’s Oboe Concertos on tour with all of China’s major symphony orchestras; and J.S. Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos Nos. 1 and 2 at The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.

Mr. Wang completed his bachelor’s degree in 2003 at The Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, where he studied with Philadelphia Orchestra principal oboist Richard Woodhams. While at Curtis, he was a fellowship recipient at both the Aspen Music Festival and School, where he studied with John de Lancie, the former Principal Oboist of The Philadelphia Orchestra. Mr. Wang was a prize winner at the 2003 Fernard Gillet International Oboe Competition.

Since graduating from Curtis, Mr. Wang has served as principal oboe with the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra, and associate principal oboe of the San Francisco Symphony; he was also a guest principal oboist with the Chicago and San Francisco symphony orchestras. An active chamber musician, he has appeared with the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival and the Angel Fire Music Festival, and he has appeared as soloist with the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra in Richard Strauss’s Oboe Concerto. He has given master classes at the Cincinnati Conservatory, The Juilliard School, Mannes, and The Curtis Institute of Music; was on the oboe faculty of the University of California at Berkeley, is currently on the faculties of the Manhattan School of Music and New York University, and is an honorary professor at Beijing’s Central Conservatory of Music and the Shanghai Conservatory.

Learn more about Liang Wang


Clarinet/Bass Clarinet

Pascual Martinez Forteza

A native of Mallorca, Spain, clarinetist Pascual Martínez Forteza joined the New York Philharmonic in 2001, the first and only Spanish musician in the Orchestra’s history. Prior to his appointment with the Philharmonic, he held tenure with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, and at age 18 he was assistant principal and later acting principal of the Baleares Symphony Orchestra in Spain. He has recently performed as guest principal clarinet with the Berlin Philharmonic under Sir Simon Rattle.

Mr. Martínez Forteza appears regularly as a soloist, recitalist, and master-class teacher at international festivals and conservatories, including the International Clarinet Festival of Chanchung (China), ClarinetFest 2009 (Porto, Portugal), Buffet Crampon Summer Clarinet Festival (Jacksonville, Florida), University of Southern California, Mannes School of Music, The Juilliard School, New Jersey Clarinet Symposium, XI Encuentro Internacional de Clarinetes de Lisboa (Portugal), Mexico Clarinet Convention, and I Latinoamerican Clarinet Congress (Lima, Peru). Past and future engagements include solo performances of Copland’s Clarinet Concerto, Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto, Weber’s Clarinet Concertos Nos.1 and 2, Krommer’s Concerto for Two Clarinets, Rossini’s Introduction, Theme and Variations for Clarinet and Orchestra, and Luigi Bassi’s Fantasy on Themes from Verdi’s Rigoletto. He frequently collaborates with Philharmonic colleagues in New York City venues such as Avery Fisher Hall, Merkin Concert Hall, and Carnegie Hall.

Since 2003 Mr. Martínez Forteza and Spanish pianist Gema Nieto have played throughout Asia, Europe, and the United States as Duo Forteza-Nieto. Together they founded the Benifaio Music Festival in Spain, where Philharmonic colleagues have joined them for a week of master classes and concerts. A decade ago Mr. Martínez Forteza founded Vent Cameristic, a wind ensemble of professional musicians from Spain. As a soloist with that ensemble, he has played every year at the Concerts d’Estiú in Valencia, Spain. In 2003 Spanish National Radio (RNE) produced a CD featuring selections from these performances. Mr. Martínez Forteza has also made recordings for radio and television in Asia, Europe, and the United States.

Pascual Martínez Forteza started playing clarinet at age ten with his father, Pascual V. Martínez, principal clarinet of the Baleares Symphony Orchestra for 30 years and teacher at the Baleares Conservatory of Music in Spain. Mr. Martínez Forteza earned his master’s degree from the Baleares and Liceo de Barcelona Music Conservatories in Spain and pursued advanced studies with Yehuda Gilad at the University of Southern California, where he won first prize in the university’s 1998 Concerto Competition.

Mr. Martínez Forteza is currently a faculty member at New York University and teaches orchestral repertoire at Manhattan School of Music. A Buffet Crampon Artist and Vandoren Artist, he plays Green Line Tosca Buffet clarinets and uses Vandoren reeds and M30D mouthpieces.

Learn more about Pascual Martínez Forteza



Judith LeClair

Judith LeClair joined the New York Philharmonic as Principal Bassoon in 1981, at the age of 23. Since then, she has made more than 50 solo appearances with the Orchestra, performing with conductors such as Sir Colin Davis, Sir Andrew Davis, Alan Gilbert, Christopher Hogwood, Rafael Kubelik, Erich Leinsdorf, Lorin Maazel, Kurt Masur, Zubin Mehta, André Previn, and John Williams.

Ms. LeClair is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music, where she studied with K. David Van Hoesen. She made her professional debut with The Philadelphia Orchestra at age 15, playing Mozart’s Sinfonia concertante with colleagues from the Settlement Music School in Philadelphia, where she studied with Shirley Curtiss. Before joining the New York Philharmonic, she was Principal Bassoonist for two seasons with the San Diego Symphony and San Diego Opera.  

Active as a chamber musician, she has performed with numerous leading artists and has participated in leading festivals around the country. She has given solo recitals and master classes at the Eastman School of Music, Northwestern University, New England Conservatory, Oberlin College, Michigan and Ohio Universities, and the University of Colorado at Boulder. Every August she gives a solo recital and week-long master class at the Hidden Valley Music Seminar in Carmel Valley, California. She performed with the Philharmonic Woodwind Quintet of New York, formed in 2001 with her colleagues from the New York Philharmonic wind section. They gave recitals throughout the country and on the Orchestra’s foreign tours.

In April 1995 Ms. LeClair premiered The Five Sacred Trees, a concerto written for her by John Williams and commissioned by the New York Philharmonic as part of its 150th Anniversary celebration. She later performed the concerto with the San Francisco Symphony and with the Royal Academy Orchestra in London. She recorded it for Sony Classical with the London Symphony Orchestra in June 1996, with Mr. Williams conducting. This, along with her solo New York Legends CD for Cala Records, was released in March 1997. Her newest CD, Works for Bassoon, was released in the spring of 2010.

Ms. LeClair is on the faculty of The Juilliard School, and she will join the faculty of the Manhattan School of Music in fall 2014. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, pianist Jonathan Feldman, and their son, Gabriel.

Learn more about Judith LeClair



Philip Myers

Philip Myers, The Ruth F. and Alan J. Broder Chair, joined the New York Philharmonic as Principal Horn in January 1980. He made his solo debut during his first month with the Orchestra in the premiere of William Schuman’s Three Colloquies for French Horn and Orchestra, and he has appeared as a Philharmonic soloist on numerous occasions. In October 2012 he performed Mozart’s Horn Concerto No. 3, conducted by Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, and in November 2013 he performed Britten’s Serenade for Tenor, Horn, and Strings, led by Alan Gilbert. Other highlights include Schumann’s Konzertstück for Four Horns, with Lorin Maazel in February 2007 and Kurt Masur in May 2001; Britten’s Serenade for Tenor, Horn, and Strings led by André Previn in October 2001; and Mozart’s Sinfonia concertante in E-flat major for Oboe, Clarinet, Horn, and Bassoon in March 2010, led by Music Director Alan Gilbert. He is a member of the New York Philharmonic Principal Brass Quintet, which performs an annual Holiday Brass Concert at Avery Fisher Hall, and appears often internationally in conjunction with the Orchestra’s tours.

Mr. Myers began his orchestral career in 1971 with a three-year term as principal horn of the Atlantic Symphony in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He was third horn with the Pittsburgh Symphony from 1974 until 1977. As principal horn of the Minnesota Orchestra for a season and a half, he made his solo debut with that ensemble in 1979, performing Richard Strauss’s Horn Concerto

No. 1 with Sir Neville Marriner conducting. A native of Elkhart, Indiana, Philip Myers holds two degrees from Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburgh. He plays Engelbert Schmid French horns.

Learn more about Philip Myers



Daniel Druckman

Percussionist Daniel Druckman is active as a soloist, chamber and orchestral musician, and recording artist, concertizing throughout the United States, Europe, and Japan. He has appeared as soloist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the American Composer’s Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic’s Horizons concerts, the San Francisco Symphony’s "New and Unusual Music Series," and in recital in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Tokyo. He has been a member of the New York Philharmonic since 1991, where he serves as Associate Principal Percussionist, and has made numerous guest appearances with The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the Da Capo Chamber Players, the American Brass Quintet, the Group for Contemporary Music, Orpheus, Steve Reich and Musicians, and the Philip Glass Ensemble. Mr. Druckman has also participated in chamber music festivals at Santa Fe, Ravinia, Saratoga, Caramoor, Bridgehampton, Tanglewood, and Aspen.

An integral part of New York’s new music community, both as soloist and as a member of the New York New Music Ensemble and Speculum Musicae, Mr. Druckman has premiered works by Milton Babbitt, Elliott Carter, Jacob Druckman, Aaron Jay Kernis, Oliver Knussen, Poul Ruders, Joseph Schwantner, Ralph Shapey, and Charles Wuorinen, among many others. Recent appearances include collaborations with Alan Feinberg at Dartmouth College, with Fred Sherry at BargeMusic, with Dawn Upshaw at Carnegie Hall, and solo concerts at Columbia University’s Miller Theatre and Merkin Concert Hall in New York. Recent solo recordings include Elliott Carter’s Eight Pieces for Four Timpani on Bridge Records and Jacob Druckman’s Reflections on the Nature of Water on Koch International. Mr. Druckman is a faculty member of The Juilliard School, where he serves as chairman of the percussion department and director of the percussion ensemble.

Daniel Druckman was born and raised in New York City. The son of composer Jacob Druckman, he had invaluable exposure to music and musicians at an early age. He attended The Juilliard School, where he was awarded the Morris A. Goldenberg Memorial Scholarship and the Saul Goodman Scholarship, receiving both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music in 1980. Additional studies were undertaken at the Berkshire Music Center at Tanglewood, where he was awarded the Henry Cabot Award for outstanding instrumentalist.

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Kyle Zerna Kyle Zerna joined the New York Philharmonic in September 2010. Previously, he was in the master’s degree program at the Manhattan School of Music, where he completed his bachelor’s degree under the tutelage of Duncan Patton and New York Philharmonic Principal Percussion Christopher S. Lamb. He has performed with numerous orchestras, including the Huntsville Symphony Orchestra, Princeton Symphony, and New World Symphony. An avid performer of 20th-century and new music, he has collaborated with composers Charles Wuorinen, David Lang, Kevin Volans, and Elliott Carter, and performed two timpani solos for Mr. Carter’s centennial birthday celebration.

Mr. Zerna was a Fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center for two consecutive years, performing with conductors such as James Levine, Bernard Haitink, and Sir Andrew Davis. He has also performed frequently as principal timpanist with the Britten-Pears Young Artists Programme in Aldeburgh, England, and has recorded with The Metropolitan Opera brass section.

Learn more about Kyle Zerna



Eric Huebner

Pianist Eric Huebner joined the roster of the New York Philharmonic in January 2012. A native of Los Angeles, he is a graduate of The Juilliard School, where he studied with Jerome Lowenthal, and has been a guest pianist with the Philharmonic since 2004. Mr. Huebner has been featured in orchestral works by Stravinsky, Ives, R. Strauss, and Milhaud, among others.

In June 2012 he will perform as soloist with Musicians from the Philharmonic in the World Premiere of Elliott Carter’s Two Controversies and a Conversation — a double concerto for piano and percussion with percussionist Colin Currie — on the CONTACT! program, conducted by David Robertson.

An active soloist and chamber musician, Mr. Huebner has twice been a featured recitalist at the Ojai Festival in California. He has also appeared on the Monday Evening Concerts and Piano Spheres series in Los Angeles in addition to solo appearances at the Carlsbad Music Festival, Miller Theater and (le) Poisson Rouge. He has performed at Zankel Hall as soloist in Ligeti’s Piano Concerto and at Alice Tully Hall in Messiaen’s Oiseaux Exotiques, both conducted by David Robertson. Since 2001 Mr. Huebner has been a member of Antares, a quartet comprising clarinet, violin, cello, and piano. A first-prize winner of the 2002 Concert Artists Guild International Competition, Antares has performed in major chamber music venues throughout the United States.

Eric Huebner is currently assistant professor of piano at the University at Buffalo, where he maintains an active piano studio and performs as part of the Slee Sinfonietta. He has recorded a wide variety of solo piano and chamber music for the Col Legno, Centaur, Bridge, Albany, Tzadik, Innova, New Focus Recordings, and Mode Records labels.

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Sheryl Staples

Violinist Sheryl Staples joined the New York Philharmonic as Principal Associate Concertmaster, The Elizabeth G. Beinecke Chair, in September 1998 and currently serves as Acting Concertmaster, The Charles E. Culpeper Chair. She made her solo debut with the Philharmonic in 1999 performing Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto, led by Kurt Masur, and has since been featured in concertos by Mendelssohn, Mozart, Haydn, Bach, and Vivaldi with conductors including Alan Gilbert, Lorin Maazel, and Sir Colin Davis. In addition she has performed as soloist with more than 40 orchestras nationwide, including The Cleveland Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Diego and Richmond Symphony Orchestras, and Louisiana Philharmonic. In November 2014 she performs Mozart’s Sinfonia concertante with Principal Viola Cynthia Phelps, led by Jaap van Zweden.

A great lover of chamber music, Ms. Staples frequently performs in the New York area in venues including Avery Fisher Hall, Merkin Concert Hall, 92nd Street Y, and The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Ms. Staples has performed chamber music for U.S. Ambassadors in London, Paris, Berlin, Beijing, and Hong Kong, and in 2013 she toured Mexico, Brazil, and Chile. Recent summer festival appearances include La Jolla Music Society’s SummerFest, Boston Chamber Music Society, and Salt Bay Chamberfest. She has also collaborated and performed at the chamber music festivals of Santa Fe, Mainly Mozart, Seattle, Aspen, Sarasota, Martha’s Vineyard, Strings Music Festival, and Brightstar Music Festival. She appears on three Stereophile compact discs with the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival.

Sheryl Staples is a native of Los Angeles, where she developed her love for ensemble work at an early age. She began studying the violin at age five, and her major mentors were Robert Lipsett and Heiichiro Ohyama. Before finishing studies at the University of Southern California’s (USC) Thornton School of Music, Ms. Staples was appointed concertmaster of the Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra and other professional ensembles in Los Angeles. She then became concertmaster of the Pacific Symphony in 1994 while enjoying a varied career consisting of solo appearances, chamber music, teaching (at USC’s Thornton School of Music and the Colburn School of Performing Arts), and Hollywood studio recording work for numerous major motion pictures.

At the age of 26 Ms. Staples joined The Cleveland Orchestra as associate concertmaster, a position she held for three years. In addition, she taught at the Cleveland Institute of Music, Encore School for Strings, and Kent/Blossom Music Festival, and she was a member of the Cleveland Orchestra Piano Trio. Currently she is on faculty at The Juilliard School working with students aspiring toward orchestral careers.

Ms. Staples resides in New Jersey with her husband, percussionist Barry Centanni, and children, Michael and Laura. Mr. Centanni and Ms. Staples premiered William Kraft’s Concerto a Tre for piano, violin, and percussion, written for them, at Martha’s Vineyard Chamber Music Society’s summer festival and recorded it for release on the Albany Records label in 2008. They also premiered David Sampson’s Black River Concerto for solo violin, percussion, and orchestra in April 2011 with the Montclair State University Symphony.

Ms. Staples performs on the “Kartman” Guarneri del Gesu, c. 1728, previously on loan from private collector Peter Mandell and now in the collection of the New York Philharmonic.

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Michelle Kim

Violinist Michelle Kim has been Assistant Concertmaster, The William Petschek Family Chair, of the New York Philharmonic since 2001; she currently serves as Acting Principal Associate Concertmaster, The Elizabeth G. Beinecke Chair. She has performed as a soloist with orchestras such as the New York Philharmonic, New Jersey Philharmonic, Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra, and Pacific Symphony. An active chamber musician, Ms. Kim has collaborated with violinists Cho Liang Lin, Christian Tetzlaff, and Pinchas Zukerman; cellists Mstislav Rostropovich, Lynn Harrell, and Gary Hoffman; and pianists Lang Lang and Yefim Bronfman. She has performed at various festivals including the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, La Jolla Chamber Music Festival, Strings in the Mountain, and Bravo! Vail. Ms. Kim has also served as the first violinist of the Rossetti String Quartet, and was a Sterne Virtuoso Artist at Skidmore College in 2007–08.

A student of Robert Lipsett and a former Presidential Scholar, Ms. Kim attended the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music as a Starling Foundation scholarship recipient, and considers Heiichiro Ohyama and Henry Gronnier as her mentors. She has been a member of the faculty at the USC Thornton School of Music, the Colburn School, and the University of California Santa Barbara, and currently teaches at the Mannes College of Music.

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Rebecca Young

Rebecca Young joined the New York Philharmonic in 1986 as its youngest member. In 1991 she won the position of Associate Principal Viola. Two months later she was named principal viola of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. After spending the 1992–93 season in Boston and two summers at Tanglewood, she ultimately decided to return to her family in New York, resuming her Associate Principal position with the Philharmonic in September 1994. She can currently be seen leading the viola section of the All-Star Orchestra, a popular televised educational series about classical music.

An avid chamber musician, Ms. Young has performed with many renowned groups, including the Boston Chamber Music Society, Boston Symphony Chamber Players, New York Philharmonic Ensembles, and The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. She can be heard in a recording of Schubert’s Trout Quintet with cellist Yo-Yo Ma, pianist Emanuel Ax, violinist Pamela Frank, and bass player Edgar Meyer on the Sony Classical label.

In the spring of 1999 Ms. Young joined Philharmonic Principal Viola Cynthia Phelps in the World Premiere of Sofia Gubaidulina’s Two Paths: Music for Two Solo Violas and Symphony Orchestra with the Philharmonic. The work was commissioned for them by Tomoko Masur, wife of Philharmonic Music Director Emeritus Kurt Masur and herself a former violist. The two performed it at Avery Fisher Hall, in Washington, D.C., and again during the Orchestra’s subsequent tour of the Canary Islands, Spain, and Portugal, as well as the Europe 2000 Tour, and again in April 2011, at Avery Fisher Hall. Ms. Young is a graduate of The Juilliard School.

Ms. Young was first introduced to music at the age of two when her parents took her to the New York Philharmonic’s Young People’s Concerts led by Leonard Bernstein. Today, she is the host of the Philharmonic’s popular Very Young Peoples Concerts, intimate chamber music concerts where she has tap-danced, played drums, ridden a scooter around the stage, and even sung Gilbert & Sullivan. Her philosophy is less to educate than, as she puts it, “to make the audiences have so much fun they want to come back!”

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Maria Kitsopoulos

Cellist Maria Kitsopoulos comes from a musical family — her mother being an opera singer, one brother a conductor, and her other brother a composer. She was a finalist in the first Emmanuel Feuermann Cello Competition and a prizewinner in the National Society of Arts and Letters Cello Competition, and she won fellowships for study from the Aspen and Tanglewood music festivals. She received her bachelor’s, master’s, and doctor of musical arts degrees from The Juilliard School where, upon graduation, she was awarded the Peter Mennin Prize for Outstanding Leadership. Her teachers have included Jerome Carrington, Ardyth Alton, Scott Ballantyne, Harvey Shapiro, and Aldo Parisot.

Before joining the New York Philharmonic, Ms. Kitsopoulos was an active performer of contemporary music with groups such as Ensemble Intercontemporain, Music Mobile, Guild of Composers, and Continuum, with whom she appeared as soloist in the New York Premieres of works by Leon Kirchner, Valentin Silvestrov, and Chinary Ung. As a member of the popular four-cello ensemble CELLO, Ms. Kitsopoulos performed music commissioned by that quartet — including works by Peter Schickele, Meyer Kupferman, and Reza Vali — at the Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, and Merkin Concert Hall, as well as at colleges and universities throughout the United States. In addition she performed in Broadway productions and Community Concerts.

In the spring of 1996, Ms. Kitsopoulos earned a position with the New York Philharmonic. She has since performed chamber music with fellow New York Philharmonic musicians as well as guests including violinists Nikolaj Znaider and Leonidas Kavakos and pianists Emanuel Ax and Yefim Bronfman.

Maria Kitsopoulos has performed as soloist with the Phoenix Symphony, Westfield Symphony, and Graz orchestras, among others. Her solo recital debut in New York’s Merkin Concert Hall was sponsored by the Guild of Composers as well as the Alexander S. Onassis Foundation. Other recent appearances have included a solo engagement with the Athens State Orchestra. In New York, Ms. Kitsopoulos has performed with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, and the New York Chamber Symphony.

Ms. Kitsopoulos performs on a 300-year-old cello made by Carlo Giuseppe Testore. She previously served on the faculty of Juilliard. An active recording artist, she has recorded for Musical Heritage Society, Angel Records, Deutsche Grammophon, Columbia, Mogul Entertainment, and MK Records. In September 2012 she performed the Prelude from Bach’s Suite No. 1 for Unaccompanied Cello on an episode of The Colbert Report.

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David Grossman

Double bassist and composer David J. Grossman enjoys a multi-faceted career in the realms of classical and jazz music, performing in concert halls, chamber music settings, and jazz venues worldwide. Born and educated in New York City, he joined the New York Philharmonic as its youngest member in the spring of 2000, and has been a student of Philharmonic bassist Orin O’Brien. He is also a member of the double bass faculty of the Manhattan School of Music.

As a soloist and clinician, Mr. Grossman has given recitals and master classes at music schools across the country, including The Boston Conservatory, Yale School of Music, Hartt School of Music, Penn State University, and New York Summer Music Festival, as well as at faculty recitals at the Manhattan School of Music. He has released two albums — one classical and one jazz — entitled The Bass of Both Worlds, available from his website,

As a chamber musician, David J. Grossman performs in the New York Philharmonic Ensembles Concerts at Merkin Hall and has appeared at the 92nd Street Y as well as with The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. In 2011 he was a featured artist at the Mt. Desert Chamber Music Festival. As a jazz bass player Mr. Grossman was a member of the Marcus Roberts Trio and has performed with Wynton Marsalis, Lew Tabackin, Toshiko Akiyoshi, and Mark O’Connor; he has recorded with Donald Vega, David Morgan and Loston Harris.

Mr. Grossman’s compositions include Mood Swings for trombone and double bass, written for New York Philharmonic Principal Trombone Joseph Alessi, which was performed during the 2010–11 season of New York Philharmonic Ensembles Concerts; Fantasy on “Shall We Gather at the River?” (available on former New York Philharmonic English Horn Thomas Stacy’s recording, Plaintive Melody); and two early compositions: Swing Quartet and String Quintet No. 1, which were premiered by The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.

Photo by Henry Grossman

Learn more about David J. Grossman

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Special Thanks

Emanuel Ax is The Mary and James G. Wallach Artist-in-Residence.


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