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Schubert’s Unfinished Symphony and Eötvös

Location: Avery Fisher Hall (Directions)
Price Range: $33.00 - $129.00
Fri, May, 8, 2015
8:00 PM
Sat, May, 9, 2015
8:00 PM
The 2014-15 Season

Program To Include (Click the red play button to listen)


Symphony in B minor, Unfinished

FRANZ SCHUBERT (1797–1828)
Symphony in B minor, Unfinished (1822)

Franz Schubert composed this symphony — a magnificent “torso” —  when he was only 25 years old, but he completed only two movements before setting it aside to work on other projects. The beautifully imagined and brilliantly executed work blends lyricism with gravity. The second movement was singled out for particular praise by music commentator Klaus George Roy, who wrote that the melodies “are of such magical beauty that any working-out might have seemed sacrilegious. The musical events which take place are therefore hardly those of sustained drama or development but of a subtlety which touches the most sensitive chords of a listener’s heart or hearing.” The brother of the man who owned the manuscript wrote to Joseph Herbeck, conductor of the posthumous premiere, declaring it a treasure, “which we put on a level with … any one of the symphonies of Beethoven.” From a brooding beginning through stormy development to the final serene measures, the listener will find this work gloriously “finished.”


Senza sangue (U.S. Premiere–New York Philharmonic Co-Commission, with the support of the Kravis Prize for New Music, with the Kölner Philharmonie)

PETER EÖTVÖS (b. 1944)
Senza sangue (Without Blood) (U.S. Premiere–New York Philharmonic Co-Commission, with the support of the Kravis Prize for New Music, with the Kölner Philharmonie)

Peter Eötvös’s opera Senza sangue is based on a 2002 New Yorker short story by Alessandro Baricco, who summarized the plot simply: “a child is saved by hiding in a hole, and then she spends the rest of her life looking for another hole where she can find the identical position and save her life forever.” Describing the composer’s style, states that his works “often divulge two features — a strong theatrical sense, even in many instrumental works, and the movement of sound across the sonic landscape via special positioning of the players and use of electronic amplification.” Eötvös’s compositions suggest his affiliation with the renowned Ensemble Intercontemporain in Paris, where he served as music director from 1980 to 1991. Reviewing one of his previous works The Guardian speaks of his “confident score … full of authentically magical things. His orchestral imagination is keen and he has simplified his musical language without ever making it simplistic. There are ravishing sounds here, combined with equally convincing vocal writing often spun over diaphanous textures.”



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



Anne Sophie von Otter by Mats Backer

Internationally acclaimed Swedish mezzo-soprano Anne Sofie von Otter has long been considered one of the finest singers of her generation. Her lengthy and exclusive relationship with Deutsche Grammophon has produced numerous recordings and awards, including an International Record Critics’ Award (Recording Artist of the Year), a Grammy Award (Best Classical Vocal Performance, for Mahler’s Des Knaben Wunderhorn), and a Diapason d’Or (for a recording of Swedish songs with her long-time accompanist, Bengt Forsberg).

Ms. von Otter is acclaimed for her performances as Octavian in Richard Strauss’s Der Rosenkavalier, in which she has appeared at the Bavarian Staatsoper, Opéra national de Paris, Vienna Staatsoper, and Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. She also appeared in the role with James Levine and The Metropolitan Opera and in Japan under Carlos Kleiber, a performance made available on DVD. Other opera recordings include Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro under Levine; Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice and Mozart’s Idomeneo and La clemenza di Tito under John Eliot Gardiner; Handel’s Ariodante and Hercules under Marc Minkowski; and Richard Strauss’s Ariadne auf Naxos under Giuseppe Sinopoli.

Recent opera highlights have included the roles of Clytemnestre (in Gluck’s Iphigenie en Aulide) for De Nederlandse Opera, Geneviève (Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande) for Opéra national de Paris , Countess Geschwitz (Berg’s Lulu) at the Metropolitan Opera, and her role debut as Charpentier’s Médeé at Oper Frankfurt. She appeared in Handel’s Giulio Cesare at the 2012 Salzburg Festival alongside Cecilia Bartoli and Andreas Scholl.

Anne Sofie von Otter’s  2014–15 season highlights include Clairon (Strauss’s Capriccio) with Lyric Opera of Chicago under Sir Andrew Davis, and Begbick (Weill’s The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny) at Covent Garden under Mark Wigglesworth. In January 2015 she will make a U.S. recital tour with Angela Hewitt, with visits to Chicago, New York, San Francisco, Tucson, and Boston.

Learn more about Anne Sofie von Otter



Rusell Braun

Baritone Russell Braun has captivated audiences with his thoughtful portrayals of Chou En-lai in John Adams’ Nixon in China; Prince Andrei in Prokofiev’s War and Peace; The Traveller in Britten’s Death in Venice; Papageno and Count Almaviva in Mozart’s The Magic Flute and Le Nozze di Figaro; and the title roles in Britten’s Billy Budd, Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande, Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin, and Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro and Don Giovanni at the Metropolitan Opera, Opéra National de Paris, Vienna State Opera, Royal Opera Covent Garden, Los Angeles Opera, La Scala, and Salzburg and Glyndebourne festivals.

This season features his debut as the Duke of Nottingham in Donizetti’s Roberto Devereux with the Canadian Opera Company (COC), a reprisal of Jaufré Rudel in Saariaho’s l’Amour de loin with the Oslo Philharmonic, Britten’s War Requiem with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Vaughn Williams’s A Sea Symphony with the Nashville Symphony Orchestra, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, and Fauré’s Requiem with the National Arts Centre Orchestra. He will perform and record Offenbach's Fantasio with the Orchestra of Age of Enlightenment conducted by Sir Mark Elder. Recent highlights include debuts as Conte di Luna in Verdi’s Il Trovatore with the COC, Chou En-lai in John Adams’ Nixon in China and Olivier in Strauss’s Capriccio at the Metropolitan Opera, and appearances in Gluck’s Iphigénie en Tauride and Saariaho’s l’Amour de Loin with the COC, Gounod’s Faust at the Met, and Massenet’s Manon at La Scala. Future seasons feature returns to the Met and COC.

His discography features the Grammy-nominated recording of Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde (Dorian); JUNO Award winners Mozart Arie e duetti (CBC) and Apollo e Daphne; and JUNO-nominated Winterreise (CBC). DVDs include the Salzburg Festival’s Romeo et Juliette, Dido and Aeneas, Nixon in China (Nonesuch), Capriccio (Decca), and Alexina Louie’s comic opera Burnt Toast.

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Special Thanks

These concerts are made possible with generous support from The Barbro Osher Pro Suecia Foundation.


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