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What’s New

The 175th Anniversary Season Begins

Wednesday marked many milestones: the launch of the New York Philharmonic’s 175th anniversary season, Music Director Alan Gilbert’s farewell season, and The New World Initiative — the Philharmonic’s season-long, city-wide project revolving around Dvořák’s New World Symphony and its theme of “home” — plus the Orchestra’s first-ever live concert broadcast on Facebook. The day began with a free dress rehearsal open to the 70+ ensembles performing the New World Symphony across the city as part of The New World Initiative. That night, Mozart in the Jungle cast members Bernadette Peters and Lola Kirke, Josh Groban, Ben Vereen, Hamilton producer Jeffrey Seller, Bill Moyers, Itzhak Perlman, and more were among the friends and supporters who gathered for the Opening Gala cocktail reception, glamorous dinner, and the concert itself — featuring Alan Gilbert leading works tied to the Philharmonic’s rich history of premieres by John Corigliano, Gershwin with Aaron Diehl as soloist, and Dvořák. The Empire State Building shone Philharmonic red in celebration.

Empire State Building To Glow Red for 175th Anniversary Opening Gala Concert

Empire State Building New York Philharmonic

We’ll paint the town red.

Whether you join us tonight for our 175th Anniversary Opening Gala Concert, look up: for yet another year, the Empire State Building will glow Philharmonic Red in honor of our 175th season, which, appropriately enough, celebrates our hometown.

By the way, if you won’t be joining us, you can still watch the concert free on Facebook! Tune in a few minutes before 7:30.

(The Empire State Building image® is a registered trademark of ESRT Empire State Building, L.L.C. and is used with permission.)

The New World Initiative Launches with Facebook Live Broadcast of Opening Gala Concert

NY Philharmonic The New World Initiative Facebook Live Dvorak

For the first time ever, you’ll be able to catch a New York Philharmonic concert from the comfort of your own phone. The Philharmonic’s 175th anniversary season Opening Gala Concert will be broadcast live on Facebook this Wednesday, September 21 at 7:30 p.m.

Featuring Dvořák’s New World Symphony, the New York Premiere of John Corigliano’s STOMP for Orchestra, and Gershwin’s Concerto in F with pianist Aaron Diehl in his Philharmonic debut, the Opening Gala Concert kicks off The New World Initiative — a season-long, citywide project revolving around Dvořák’s New World Symphony and its theme of “home.” Throughout the 2016–17 season, The New World Initiative will explore the New World Symphony through performances, community outreach, and education projects on the occasion of the Philharmonic’s 175th anniversary season, honoring the Orchestra’s hometown and its role as an adopted home for many.

Dvořák wrote the symphony, which features the Largo melody known as “Goin’ Home,” while he was living here in New York City. The Philharmonic gave the World Premiere of the New World Symphony in December 1893, marking the Orchestra’s first World Premiere of a work written in New York City that would become part of the standard repertoire.

Among The New World Initiative activities: the New York Philharmonic Education department is developing a curriculum for New York City public schools on the New World Symphony, and the Philharmonic is inviting New York City ensembles to join in by performing the symphony during the 2016–17 season. Check out the 74 ensembles and counting — receiving benefits like arrangements, marked conducting scores, and sheet music, and free access to the Opening Gala Concert dress rehearsal and Open Rehearsals throughout the season — and sign up to participate at newworldinitiative.com.

Philharmonic and Jaap van Zweden To Open Mahler Festival 2020, Presented by The Royal Concertgebouw

NY Philharmonic Mahler Jaap van Zweden Matthew VanBesien Simon Reinink

This just in: Mahler and the Philharmonic will continue to groove in 2020. Today it was announced that the Philharmonic and Jaap van Zweden, who becomes Music Director in 2018, will open the Mahler Festival — held every 25 years — in Amsterdam in May 2020, presented by The Royal Concertgebouw. They’ll perform Mahler’s Symphony No. 1 in the festival’s opening concert in the Concertgebouw, part of the Orchestra’s first European tour with Jaap van Zweden in spring 2020.

2020 will mark 100 years since the first Mahler Festival, honoring the 25th anniversary of legendary conductor Willem Mengelberg as chief conductor of the Concertgebouw Orchestra. The Philharmonic enjoys a special connection with both Mahler and Mengelberg: they both served as Music Directors, and Mahler conducted several of his own works with the Philharmonic, including the U.S. Premiere of his Symphony No. 1 in 1909.

The Mahler Festival 2020 will include performances of all of Mahler’s symphonies played by the New York Philharmonic, Vienna Philharmonic, Berlin Philharmonic, and Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra — all of which Mahler himself conducted and which will be heard together in Amsterdam for the first time.

Photo by Chris Lee: Philharmonic President Matthew VanBesien, future Music Director Jaap van Zweden, and Concertgebouw General Manager Simon Reinink

Thanks and Best Wishes, Carol!

Violinist Carol Webb has retired after 39 storied years at the New York Philharmonic. The first woman to join the first violin section, over her four decades with the Orchestra she served as Chair of the Tour Committee during the historic visit to North Korea, appeared as a soloist, and nourished her colleagues with home-baked goods. Enjoy this slideshow of Carol and the Philharmonic through the years.

Free Concert Showcases World Premieres by Very Young Composers of Fukushima and New York

New York Philharmonic Very Young Composers of Fukushima and New York 

On Saturday we proudly presented a free concert featuring young composers wrestling not only with melody, form, and instrumentation but also with how music can express feelings about home and recovery from disaster.

The concert, at the David Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center, was the culmination of a week of exchange between eight 12–16-year-olds visiting us from Fukushima, Japan — site of the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami in 2011 — and participants in our Very Young Composers program. 

The Fukushima composers created their own variations of the Japanese folk-song “Furusato,” which means “hometown,” in a program based on the Philharmonic’s Very Young Composers model. Each variation expressed the composer’s response to the earthquake and its aftermath. New York City participants created their works about their hometown — their feelings about New York City.

The new works were performed for a capacity audience by New York Philharmonic musicians and guest artists alongside the students from Fukushima. At the end came the hard part: saying goodbye to our Japanese guests, most of whom had spent the week living with the families of their New York peers. 

Our 175th Anniversary season, starting in September, will explore the theme of “home” through The New World Initiative, a season-long, citywide project revolving around Dvořák’s New World Symphony and its connection to the theme of “home” through performances, education projects, and community outreach.

(Photo: Michael DiVito)

2017 Zarin Mehta Fellows from Music Academy of the West Named

New York Philharmonic Global Academy Fellowship Program

Ten students from Santa Barbara’s Music Academy of the West have been selected to participate in the third year of the New York Philharmonic Global Academy Fellowship Program as Zarin Mehta Fellows in January 2017.

They will travel to New York for a ten-day training program, including rehearsing and playing alongside Philharmonic musicians in Brahms’s Symphony No. 3 for the subscription concerts January 11–14, conducted by Music Director Alan Gilbert.

Described by Gilbert as “a window into the real life of the orchestral musician,” the Fellowship allows students to learn directly from Philharmonic musicians, a once-in-a-lifetime experience that will immerse them in all aspects of an orchestral player’s life, from audition to performance.

The lucky ten: Kevin Chen, violin; Minji Choi, cello; Michael Daley, percussion; Kaelan Decman, double bass; Ao Peng, viola; Emily Switzer, violin; Alexander Volkov, violin; Jack Walters, clarinet; Justin Woo, violin; and Hyeree Yu, viola. 2016 Global Academy Fellow Rainer Saville, trumpet, deferred his participation and will be joining the Global Academy in 2017.

Congratulations, and see you in New York!

(Photo: Music Academy of the West)

14th-Annual Bravo! Vail Residency in Photos

The New York Philharmonic spent ten picturesque days performing six concerts in Vail, Colorado, for their 14th-annual summer residency at Bravo! Vail. The six-concert residency featured conductor/raconteur Bramwell Tovey, Chaplin’s City Lights with the score performed live to the film, Music Director Alan Gilbert leading powerhouse soloists including our own Principal Trombone Joseph Alessi, violin dynamo Leila Josefowicz, and The Mary and James G. Wallach Artist-in-Residence Eric Owens. Plus Philharmonic musicians worked with the Very Young Composers of Vail.
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