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There will be no late seating for this performance. Please allow enough time to arrive at the hall so that you are seated on time.

Beethoven Symphony No. 9

This concert is now past.
Alan Gilbert
Location: Avery Fisher Hall (Directions)
Price Range: $31.00 - $153.00

Concert Duration

2 hours
Thu, Oct, 3, 2013
7:30 PM
Fri, Oct, 4, 2013
8:00 PM
Sat, Oct, 5, 2013
8:00 PM
Tue, Oct, 8, 2013
7:30 PM
Wed, Oct, 9, 2013
7:30 PM
The 2014-15 Season

Program (Click the red play button to listen)


Frieze (U.S. Premiere–New York Philharmonic Co-Commission with the Royal Philharmonic Society BBC Radio 3)

MARK-ANTHONY TURNAGE (born in 1960 in Corringham, England)
Frieze (U.S. Premiere–New York Philharmonic Co-Commission with BBC Radio 3 and the Royal Philharmonic Society)

Here is the response to Mark-Anthony Turnage’s composition Scherzoid, jointly commissioned by the New York Philharmonic and the London Philharmonic Orchestra: “…18 minutes of relentlessly propulsive, high-octane rhythm, bubbling with scherzoid jokes, and bristling with schizoid dislocations of time and metre…pizzicato strings and gong-beats dapple the darkness, the bare brush of a cymbal temporarily calms the music into woodwind blues… Scherzoid is both aurally and visually exciting.” (The Times, following the London premiere in January 2005) It was Turnage’s first co-commission for our Orchestra. At these concerts, New York audiences will have an opportunity to hear another of this widely performed composer’s works: Frieze, jointly commissioned by the New York Philharmonic, BBC Radio 3, and the Royal Philharmonic Society. Mark-Anthony Turnage has lent his unique, imaginative voice to creating for the orchestral, operatic, concerto, and chamber music repertoire. His high standing among today’s composers was firmly established in 1988 with his first opera Greek, which launched him internationally. He was a student of Oliver Knussen, John Lambert, and Gunther Schuller, and from 1989 to 1993 was Composer in Association with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and Sir Simon Rattle. The new century also brought Turnage’s appointment as the BBC Symphony Orchestra’s first Associate Composer culminating in a major Turnage weekend at the Barbican in January 2003. Since then he has had many other composer-in-residence appointments, including with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the London Philharmonic Orchestra. A recent success was the opera Anna Nicole, based on the life story of American model, actress, television personality, and Playboy centerfold Anna Nicole Smith, who died in 2007; Anna Nicole was premiered at The Royal Opera in London in spring 2011 with six sold-out houses, subsequent broadcasts on television and radio, and a DVD recording of the work.

Thanks to Mark-Anthony Turnage’s publishers Boosey & Hawkes for information included in the above article. 


Symphony No. 9

Symphony No. 9 in D Minor, “Choral” (1824)

Writing about a cultural icon like Beethoven’s last symphony is a little like tackling a discussion about the pyramids. The work is so familiar, so monumental, so awe-inspiring that words seem irrelevant and puny. Then try to imagine what it was like at the premiere of the Ninth in Vienna on May 7, 1824. For those in attendance it must have been a shock. Though he was almost completely deaf, Beethoven provided the tempo at the beginning of each movement (but orchestra, soloists, and chorus followed the beat provided by Michael Umlauf, music director of the Imperial Theater). Beethoven had already pushed the boundaries of the symphonic genre, starting with the “Eroica,” freighting it with deep meaning and emotion never heard before; but no one had ever included vocal soloists or choral writing in a symphony. When the performance was over, reports George Marek in his Beethoven biography, it was the alto soloist Caroline Unger who “plucked [the composer] by the sleeve and gently turned him around toward the audience. When he saw what was going on, he bowed, and when the audience realized that he had heard nothing of their previous expression of enthusiasm, they redoubled it. He had to bow again and again.” Beethoven hadn’t composed a symphony for a decade, and now this transcendent work stood apart from what had gone before. And yet it still embodies the ideals we associate with his music, expressed more grandly and more beautifully than ever: the triumph over adversity, the journey from anguish to joy, from conflict to harmony, epitomized in Schiller’s “Ode to Joy,” the text Beethoven set in the final movement (and which seems to have supplanted the more customary subtitle of the Ninth, “Choral”). Its poetry rings out in exultation, celebrating a world united in brotherhood and friendship—in the awe-inspiring presence of a loving Father who dwells beyond the stars—while the music’s nobility, majesty, optimism, and euphoric harmonies enfold us in a sublime embrace.



Alan Gilbert

New York Philharmonic Music Director Alan Gilbert began his tenure in September 2009. The first native New Yorker to hold the post, he has sought to make the Orchestra a point of pride for the city and country. As New York magazine wrote, “The Philharmonic and its music director Alan Gilbert have turned themselves into a force of permanent revolution.”

Mr. Gilbert and the Philharmonic have forged artistic partnerships, introducing the positions of The Marie-Josée Kravis Composer-in-Residence and The Mary and James G. Wallach Artist-in-Residence, held in the 2014–15 season by Christopher Rouse and violinist Lisa Batiashvili, respectively, as well as the new position of Artist-in-Association, inaugurated by Inon Barnatan this season; an annual festival, which this season is Dohnányi / Dvořák; CONTACT!, the new-music series; and the NY PHIL BIENNIAL, an exploration of today’s music by a wide range of contemporary and modern composers inaugurated in spring 2014.

In the 2014–15 season Alan Gilbert conducts the U.S. Premiere of Unsuk Chin’s Clarinet Concerto, a Philharmonic co-commission, alongside Mahler’s First Symphony; La Dolce Vita: The Music of Italian Cinema with Joshua Bell, Renée Fleming, and Josh Groban; Verdi’s Requiem; a staging of Honegger’s Joan of Arc at the Stake featuring Oscar winner Marion Cotillard; World Premieres by John Adams, Peter Eötvös, and Christopher Rouse; works by contemporary Nordic composers during CONTACT!; and the Silk Road Ensemble and Yo-Yo Ma’s 15th-anniversary celebration. He concludes The Nielsen Project, the multi-year initiative to perform and record the Danish composer’s symphonies and concertos, the first release of which was named by The New York Times as among the Best Classical Music Recordings of 2012. The Music Director presides over the EUROPE / SPRING 2015 tour with stops including London, featuring Giants Are Small’s theatrical reimagining of Stravinsky’s ballet Petrushka as part of the Orchestra’s second International Associate residency at the Barbican Centre; Cologne, where he leads the World Premiere of Peter Eötvös’s Senza sangue, a Philharmonic co-commission; and returns to Dublin and Paris.

Last season’s highlights included the inaugural NY PHIL BIENNIAL; Mozart’s three final symphonies; the U.S. Premiere of Mark-Anthony Turnage’s Frieze coupled with Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony; World Premieres; an all-Britten program celebrating the composer’s centennial; the score from 2001: A Space Odyssey as the film was screened; the ASIA / WINTER 2014 tour; and a staged production of Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd starring Bryn Terfel and Emma Thompson. High points of Mr. Gilbert’s first four Philharmonic seasons included the critically celebrated productions of Ligeti’s Le Grand Macabre (2010) and Janáček’s The Cunning Little Vixen (2011) — both cited as the top cultural events of their respective years — as well as Philharmonic 360 at Park Avenue Armory (2012), the acclaimed spatial music program featuring Stockhausen’s Gruppen, and A Dancer’s Dream: Two Ballets by Stravinsky (2013, and later presented in movie theaters internationally). Other highlights included World Premieres of works by Magnus Lindberg, John Corigliano, Christopher Rouse, and composers featured on CONTACT!; Mahler’s Second Symphony, Resurrection, on A Concert for New York on September 10; Mr. Gilbert’s Philharmonic debut as violin soloist in J.S. Bach’s Concerto for Two Violins; five concerts at Carnegie Hall; six tours to Europe; and the Asia Horizons tour.

Conductor laureate of the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra and principal guest conductor of Hamburg’s NDR Symphony Orchestra, he regularly conducts leading orchestras nationally and internationally, such as the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Amsterdam’s Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Berlin Philharmonic, Orchestra della Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, and Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France. He has appeared at The Metropolitan, Los Angeles, Zurich, Royal Swedish, and Santa Fe opera companies. In 2014–15 he conducts the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra’s season-opening concerts and on tour in Lucerne, Berlin, and London; Mozart’s Don Giovanni at The Metropolitan Opera; and The Philadelphia, Munich Philharmonic, Berlin Philharmonic, and NDR Symphony orchestras.

In September 2011 Alan Gilbert became Director of Conducting and Orchestral Studies at The Juilliard School, where he is also the first holder of Juilliard’s William Schuman Chair in Musical Studies. He made his acclaimed Metropolitan Opera debut in 2008 leading John Adams’s Doctor Atomic; the DVD and Blu-ray of this production received the 2012 Grammy Award for Best Opera Recording. Renée Fleming’s recent Decca recording Poèmes, on which he conducted, received a 2013 Grammy Award. Earlier releases garnered Grammy Award nominations and top honors from the Chicago Tribune and Gramophone magazine.

Mr. Gilbert studied at Harvard University, The Curtis Institute of Music, and Juilliard and was assistant conductor of The Cleveland Orchestra (1995–97). In May 2010 he received an Honorary Doctor of Music degree from Curtis, and in December 2011 he received Columbia University’s Ditson Conductor’s Award for his “exceptional commitment to the performance of works by American composers and to contemporary music.” In 2014 he was elected to The American Academy of Arts & Sciences.

Visit Alan Gilbert's Official Website

Learn more about Alan Gilbert



Juilianna DiGiacomo

During the 2013–14 season, soprano Julianna Di Giacomo makes her debuts with the Vienna Philharmonic, in performances of Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 with Gustavo Dudamel, and at the Teatro Municipal de Santiago as Leonora in Il trovatore. She also returns to the New York Philharmonic for Beethoven's Symphony No. 9, Teatro Massimo in Palermo as Desdemona in Otello, and the Teatro Real de Madrid as Elena in I Vespri Siciliani.

Ms. Di Giacomo made her debut at The Metropolitan Opera as Clotilde in Norma and was subsequently re-engaged for Lina in Stiffelio and Leonora in Il trovatore. Other recent North American engagements have included: the Verdi Requiem at the Hollywood Bowl and special performances of Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 with Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic; Donna Anna in Don Giovanni at the Los Angeles Opera; excerpts from Don Giovanni with the New York Philharmonic; Il trovatore and Mathilde in Guillaume Tell at the Caramoor International Music Festival; and Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte and Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni at the New York City Opera. She made her Carnegie Hall debut as Lucrezia in I due Foscari with the Opera Orchestra of New York. 

Ms. Di Giacomo recently made her debut at the Teatro dell’Opera di Roma in the Terme di Caracalla as the title role in Norma. Other European opera engagements have included her debut at Teatro alla Scala as Lucrezia in I due Foscari, Otello at the Petruzelli e Teatri di Bari, Valentine in Les Huguenots, and the title role in Suor Angelica at the Teatro Real de Madrid.

A native of Santa Monica, Calif., Ms. Di Giacomo is a graduate of the San Francisco Opera’s Merola Program and the Santa Fe Opera’s Apprentice Program. Her awards include the Leonie Rysanek Prize from the George London Foundation, the Top Prize from the Gerda Lissner Foundation, and First Prize from the Licia Albanese Puccini Foundation Competition.



Kelley O-Connor

Grammy Award–winning mezzo-soprano Kelley O’Connor’s 2012–13 season includes performances of a world-premiere staging by Peter Sellars of John Adams’s The Gospel According to the Other Mary with Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, both in the U.S. and in Europe, and a role debut as Suzuki in Puccini’s Madama Butterfly in a new production by Lillian Groag at Boston Lyric Opera. Concert appearances include Lieberson’s Neruda Songs with Christoph Eschenbach and the National Symphony Orchestra and Robert Spano and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra; Debussy’s La Damoiselle élue and Duruflé’s Requiem with Donald Runnicles and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra; Lieberson’s The World in Flower with Grant Gershon and the Los Angeles Master Chorale; and Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with David Robertson and the St. Louis Symphony, Manfred Honeck and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Louis Langrée and the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, and Leonard Slatkin and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. Ms. O’Connor returns to the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra to perform Elgar’s Sea Pictures and Britten’s Spring Symphony with Edward Gardner, and she makes her debut with the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra singing The Gospel According to the Other Mary with Markus Stenz.

Highlights of Ms. O’Connor’s recent seasons include Janáček’s The Cunning Little Vixen with Alan Gilbert and the New York Philharmonic; Ravel’s Shéhérazade with Esa-Pekka Salonen and the Philharmonia Orchestra at the Edinburgh International Festival; Berio’s Folk Songs with Daniel Harding and the London Symphony Orchestra at the Berlin Festival; Mahler’s Third Symphony with Edo de Waart and the Hong Kong Philharmonic; Neruda Songs with David Zinman and the Berlin Philharmonic and Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich; and Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Bernstein’s Jeremiah Symphony, Stravinsky’s Requiem Canticles, and staged performances of Verdi’s Falstaff (in Cleveland and at the Lucerne Festival) with Franz Welser-Möst and The Cleveland Orchestra. Ms. O’Connor has received critical acclaim for her many performances of Federico García Lorca in Osvaldo Golijov’s Ainadamar, a role she created for the work’s world premiere at the Tanglewood Festival with Mr. Spano. She has also sung Hippolyta in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Lyric Opera of Chicago and Canadian Opera Company and Meg Page in Falstaff at The Santa Fe Opera.

Kelley O’Connor’s discography includes Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with Mr. Welser-Möst and The Cleveland Orchestra (Deutsche Grammophon) and two recordings with Mr. Spano and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra: Neruda Songs (ASO Media) and the Grammy Award–winning Ainadamar (Deutsche Grammophon).



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.

Learn more about Russell Thomas




During the 2012–13 season bass-baritone Shenyang sings the title role in Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro in a new production at Beijing’s National Centre for the Performing Arts and returns to the Beijing Music Festival for Jin Xiang’s opera ,em>Savage Land, conducted by Long Yu. He gives the world premiere of Xiaogang Ye’s orchestral song cycle, Song of Farewell, which was written for him, performing it in Beijing and Berlin with the China National Symphony Orchestra. His North American engagements include Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis with Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony.

In the 2011–12 season Shenyang served as artist-in-residence at the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, where his programs included works by Bach, Mozart, Mahler, and Rachmaninoff. Other recent engagments include appearing in recital with pianists James Levine and Daniel Barenboim at Carnegie Hall and in concert with Daniel Harding and the China Philharmonic Orchestra, Sir Antonio Pappano and the Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos and the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Edo de Waart and the Hong Kong Philharmonic, and Helmuth Rilling and the New York Philharmonic and the Gächinger Kantorei Stuttgart. In the summer of 2012 Shenyang debuted as Alidoro in Rossini’s La cenerentola at the Glyndebourne Festival and at the Bavarian Staatsoper.

A graduate of The Metropolitan Opera’s Lindemann Young Artist Development Program, Shenyang’s numerous appearances at The Met include Masetto in Mozart’s Don Giovanni conducted by Sir Andrew Davis, Garibaldo in Handel’s Rodelinda conducted by Harry Bicket, and Colline in Puccini’s La bohème conducted by Marco Armiliato. He is also an alumnus of the Shanghai Conservatory of Music and the Juilliard Opera Center.

Shenyang was the 2007 winner of the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World competition, a 2008 winner of the Borletti-Buitoni Trust Award, and a 2010 winner of the Montblanc New Voices Award at the Stars of the White Nights Festival. He also won first place in the International Singing Competition in Verona in 2005 as Masetto and first place in the Orfeo singing competition in Verona in 2007. In 2011 he was made a brand ambassador for Montblanc in an exclusive relationship with the luxury product company.

Learn more about Shenyang





Kent Tritle is organist of the New York Philharmonic and director of cathedral music and organist at The Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine in New York City. The 2011–12 season marked his seventh as music director of the Oratorio Society of New York, and his fifth season as music director of Musica Sacra, the longest continuously performing professional chorus in New York City. He is the founder of Sacred Music in a Sacred Space, the acclaimed concert series now entering its 23rd season at New York’s Church of St. Ignatius Loyola. Mr. Tritle is director of choral activities at the Manhattan School of Music and a member of the graduate faculty of The Juilliard School. He is the host of the weekly hour-long radio show The Choral Mix with Kent Tritle on WQXR. From 1996 to 2004 Mr. Tritle was music director of the Emmy-nominated Dessoff Choirs. Under his direction the ensemble performed with The Cleveland Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, and Czech Philharmonic, as well as on a national Live From Lincoln Center telecast of Mozart’s Requiem. Mr. Tritle has made more than a dozen recordings on the Telarc, AMDG, Epiphany, Gothic, VAI, and MSR Classics labels. His recent CDs with the choir of St. Ignatius Loyola include Ginastera’s The Lamentations of Jeremiah, Schnittke’s Concerto for Choir, and Wondrous Love, featuring music from 1,000 years of sacred repertoire. All have won praise from Gramophone, American Record Guide, and The Choral Journal

Special Thanks

These performances are made possible with generous support from the Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Foundation and The Francis Goelet Fund.

Frieze is co-commissioned by the New York Philharmonic, BBC Radio 3, and the Royal Philharmonic Society.


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