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Anthony McGill Named 'True Champion of Justice' by John Jay

Congratulations, Anthony!

Last week Principal Clarinet Anthony McGill received the 2016 John Jay Justice Award at a ceremony at the College’s Gerald W. Lynch Theater. The annual award celebrates five people who are “true champions of justice.” Among the fellow awardees was feminist icon Gloria Steinem, founder of Ms. magazine.

After the beautiful video above was shown, President Matthew VanBesien and Board Member Alec Baldwin presented the award to Mr. McGill. “How lucky we are to have this special individual as an ambassador,” VanBesien said of McGill.

“When I think back, I could never have imagined receiving this honor,” said McGill. “I was just a clarinet player in a band.” Having access to important mentors and important institutions, he noted, “is something every child deserves.”

The Justice Awards, created in 2008, affirm the commitment of John Jay College to strengthening society’s social fabric through justice and civic engagement. Named after John Jay, a founding father and first Chief Justice of the United States, the awards recognize individuals and organizations for their unparalleled dedication to the cause of justice.

Alec Baldwin Presents Alan Gilbert with New York Youth Symphony Award

Congrats, Alan!

On Tuesday night Music Director Alan Gilbert received the New York Youth Symphony's (NYYS) Theodore L. Kesselman Award for the Arts at the NYYS 53rd Annual Benefit Gala, at Tribeca Rooftop. Philharmonic Board Member and Radio Host Alec Baldwin presented the award.

The Theodore L. Kesselman Award for Arts Education was established in 1995 to recognize significant dedication by an individual or institution making outstanding contributions in nurturing young people in the arts. 

New York Philharmonic Assistant Conductor Joshua Gersen, NYYS's music director, led the NYYS orchestra in the gala entertainment.

SLIDESHOW: 174th Season Opening Gala Concert

Last night not only marked the New York Philharmonic’s 174th season opening — it also unveiled David Geffen Hall, the new name of the Orchestra’s Lincoln Center home; marked the inaugural appearance of Frank Huang as Philharmonic Concertmaster; and celebrated a historic gift from Philharmonic Chairman Oscar S. Schafer and his wife, Didi. Oprah Winfrey, Steve Martin, Barbara Walters, Woody Allen, George Lucas, Patricia Clarkson, Diane Sawyer, and Alec Baldwin were among the friends and supporters who gathered for the unveiling ceremony plus the Opening Gala cocktail reception, glamorous dinner, and the concert itself — featuring Music Director Alan Gilbert leading the Orchestra in Beethoven and Grieg with pianist Lang Lang as soloist. The Empire State Building shone Philharmonic red in celebration of the new season. Relive the star-studded night!

PHOTOS/VIDEOS: Scenes from Special Free Concert of Very Young Composers from Japan and New York

Very Young Composers Free Concert NY Philharmonic

As you know if you were able to join us, yesterday's special free concert of music by Very Young Composers from Japan and New York was a very big hit!

The concert, held at the David Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center, culminated a weeklong residency by nine 10–14-year-olds visiting us from Fukushima, Japan — site of the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami in 2011. The residency and concert were part of the TOMODACHI Very Young Composers Fukushima–New York Program.

Philharmonic musicians and Teaching Artists performed the works, which were composed on the universal theme of Rebirth, referencing the melody known in Japan as "chuocho" (butterfly) and in the United States as "Lightly Row."

The Very Young Composers got to meet Philharmonic Radio Host and Board Member Alec Baldwin and President Matthew VanBesien, seen in this photo:

Alec Baldwin and Matthew VanBesien NY Philharmonic

The concert was covered by Agence France-Presse (picked up by Yahoo! News), The Independent (UK), Kyodo News, and FujiTV.

Here's an interview with two Very Young Composers by Fred Katayama, a Reuters anchor and a board member of the U.S.-Japan Council, followed by an interview Katayama did with two parents:

Top: Very Young Composers from Japan and New York with New York Philharmonic musicians and Teaching Artists, plus Vice President, Education, Theodore Wiprud (far right) and Very Young Composers founder Jon Deak (to Wiprud's right) (Photos: Michael DiVito)

SLIDESHOW: A Glamorous Opening Gala

The New York Philharmonic launched its 2014–15 season last night! Following a glittering pre-concert reception, the Opening Gala centered on La Dolce Vita: The Music of Italian Cinema, in which Music Director Alan Gilbert and the Orchestra were joined by a starry array of artists — Joshua Bell, Renée Fleming, and Josh Groban plus Martin Scorsese and Alec Baldwin. Afterward, the Gala audience crossed the Lincoln Center Plaza for a post-concert dinner in the David H. Koch Theater. Echoing the festive occasion, the Empire State Building shone Philharmonic red last night in celebration of the new season. Relive the festivities!

Audience Thrilled by Ozone Playing Gershwin

Alec Baldwin Makoto Ozone NY Philharmonic 

Last night's sold-out concert, A Night with Gershwin and Bernstein, featuring pianist Makoto Ozone, was a big hit. The ovations were long and many, and our social media have been buzzing.

Above, Board Members Alec Baldwin and Oscar Schafer flank Ozone after greeting him backstage. Executive Director Matthew VanBesien is at right.

One subscriber wrote us the following in an e-mail this morning:

Without a doubt, it was one of the most magnificent, memorable concerts that I have attended there or anywhere. I am levitating today.

Mr. Ozone was simply fabulous. The bass, sax, brass awesome in his impromptu so neat.

The spontaneity of Mr. Gilbert, Mr. Ozone, and the entire orchestra was so refreshing. Coupled with classic Gershwin/Bernstein…..WOW WOW WOW!

That might have been my last concert hearing/seeing Glenn Dicterow…(sad, sad, sad) but wonderful to see him profiled with some solo work. He is my Jeter.

Alec Baldwin waving to orchestra members, such a bonus.

Hard core staff members closing down anyone who dared to turn on their cell phone……..

All superb!

Words of advice for future seasons……GET THAT GUY BACK!

(Photo: Chris Lee)

This Is Your Brain on Music

World Science Festival Panel 

Alec Baldwin, Joel and Ethan Coen, film composer Carter Burwell (who's done the music for many of the Coens' films), and neuroscientist Aniruddh Patel explored the uniquely powerful role of music in shaping the narrative flow and the emotional impact of film at a sold-out event that was part of last month's THE ART OF THE SCORE: Film Week at the Philharmonic. If you missed it, World Science Festival, which co-presented the event, just posted video of the whole discussion, plus insightful blogs on related topics. From Stanley Kubrick’s classic 2001: A Space Odyssey to the Coen Brothers’ Miller’s Crossing and True Grit, the program examines the creative process of scoring feature films and the neuro-scientific insights that reveal how such compositions profoundly shape the audience experience.

SLIDESHOW: A Glamorous Opening Gala

The New York Philharmonic's 2013–14 season kicked off yesterday with a full day of celebratory activities: a Free Dress Rehearsal, courtesy of the Philharmonic and Global Sponsor Credit Suisse, complete with chocolates and tango dancers; buzzing pre-concert receptions; the Opening Gala Concert itself headlined by Yo-Yo Ma; and the post-concert dinner. Relive the day's highlights!

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