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Alisa Weilerstein & Matthias Pintscher

This concert is now past.
Alicia Weilerstein
Location: Avery Fisher Hall (Directions)
Price Range: $39.00 - $69.00
Fri, Jun, 6, 2014
8:00 PM

Presented by the New York Philharmonic

One night only! Cellist Alisa Weilerstein stars in Matthias Pintscher’s Reflections on Narcissus. Pintscher also conducts a New York Premiere by Elliott Carter.

Biennial Free Friday: the first 100 fans aged 13–26 get a free ticket (go to Window 1 at the Avery Fisher Hall Box Office between 5:00 PM and 7:00 PM).

Play Date with composers/performers following the performance at Bar Biennial located in Avery Fisher Hall.

See all NY PHIL BIENNIAL concerts.

The 2014-15 Season

Program (Click the red play button to listen)


Strobe (World Premiere)

About this work, Andrew McManus wrote: “The word “strobe” conjures up quite a few images and concepts for me. These include jarring pulses of bright light, the stop-motion we might observe when watching someone or something move under a strobe light, and electronic dance music (or “EDM”). But while Strobe references all of these things — with sharp, pointed, scattershot rhythmic textures, erratic shrieks of brilliance, and the occasional thumping kick drum — it also explores some fleeting images that don’t necessarily go together, like photographs that disappear before we can fully grasp them. The piece’s central section features soaring but wistful oboe and horn melodies, followed by a swing-jazz-like interjection with muted trumpets, snare drum, and piano. But this suddenly vanishes into a darkly sonorous string chorale. While the acute brilliance of the early part of the piece eventually returns, this shadowy tinge persists in the background, especially at the end, when a shattering major chord in the winds and brass leaves behind wispy, glowing sonic artifacts that quickly vanish.”

Instances (New York Premiere)

Elliott CARTER (1908–2012)
Instances (2012, New York Premiere) 

Instances is the last completed work by two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Elliott Carter, who described the approximately eight-minute piece for chamber orchestra as “a series of short interrelated episodes of varying character.” Carter’s association with the Philharmonic dates back to 1957, and includes Laureate Conductor Leonard Bernstein’s leading the World Premiere of Carter’s Concerto for Orchestra — which the Philharmonic commissioned for its 125th anniversary, and which Carter described as his favorite of his works — in February 1970. Matthias Pintscher said: “It is very moving for me to be given the honor of performing Carter’s last finished orchestral composition, Instances, in New York, since he and the Philharmonic have a long history together. When I was looking at the score for Instances, I was reminded of Giuseppe Verdi, as both he and Carter brought a lightness and freshness to the musical compositions of their old age. Carter’s music is beautifully transparent, highly expressive, and at ease with itself without ever losing its directness of expression.” 


Reflections on Narcissus (New York Premiere)

Reflections on Narcissus (2004–05, New York Premiere)

Reflections on Narcissus is Matthias Pintscher’s second exploration of the Classical myth, following his 1992 work La metamorfosi di Narciso, also for solo cello. Described by the composer as having “a lot of antiphonal dialogue” and sonic representations of key elements of the story — such as “the reflection of the water, Narcissus’s restless condition, and his wicked desire” — Reflections on Narcissus provides a fresh take on a timeless tale, which it uses to create a modern-day musical and visual conversation. Defying categorization, Mr. Pintscher’s  works (which nevertheless have been described as German neo-expressionist) seemingly straddle both traditional and radical schools of compositional thought. 



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



Alisa Weilerstein

Cellist Alisa Weilerstein is the recipient of a 2011 MacArthur Fellowship. An exclusive recording artist for Decca Classics, her label debut, featuring Elgar’s and Elliott Carter’s cello concertos with Daniel Barenboim and the Berlin Staatskapelle, was named BBC Music magazine’s Recording of the Year 2013. On her second Decca release Ms. Weilerstein plays Dvorák’s Cello Concerto, which she reprises with the New York Philharmonic and Christoph von Dohnányi in these performances. Upcoming orchestral highlights also include Elgar with Dallas, Milwaukee, Stuttgart, and Tokyo’s NHK symphony orchestras, and The Cleveland Orchestra, London’s Philharmonia Orchestra, and Netherlands Philharmonic, as well as Haydn on a German tour with the Australian Chamber Orchestra and Shostakovich with England’s Hallé Orchestra, the Warsaw Philharmonic, and Orchestra of St. Luke’s at Carnegie Hall. In recitals in Boston and Aspen and at London’s Wigmore Hall she performs repertoire from Solo, her new Decca compilation of unaccompanied 20th-century cello music. The album’s centerpiece is Kodály’s Sonata, a signature work that she also performs on the sound track of If I Stay, a 2014 feature film in which she makes a cameo appearance as herself. Ms. Weilerstein’s career milestones include Elgar’s Cello Concerto with the Berlin Philharmonic under Barenboim in Oxford, England, and a performance at the White House for the President and Mrs. Obama. An ardent champion of new music, she has worked with Osvaldo Golijov and Matthias Pintscher and premiered works by Lera Auerbach and Joseph Hallman. She appears at major music festivals worldwide, and regularly collaborates with Venezuela’s Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra and the El Sistema education program. Her honors include Lincoln Center’s 2008 Martin E. Segal prize and the 2006 Leonard Bernstein Award. She is a graduate of the Cleveland Institute of Music and Columbia University. Diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, she is a Celebrity Advocate for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

Learn more about Alisa Weilerstein


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Special Thanks

Major support for the NY PHIL BIENNIAL is provided by The Francis Goelet Fund, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The Susan and Elihu Rose Foundation, and The Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation.


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