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PHOTOS: Weekend Concerts at Bravo! Vail

Over the weekend, Alan Gilbert and the Orchestra gave three concerts in scenic Vail, Colorado, for the first half of the Philharmonic's 12th-annual summer residency at Bravo! Vail. Joined by soloists Yefim Bronfman and Principal Oboe Liang Wang, the Orchestra performed music from Beethoven to Liszt, from Strauss to Rouse, and dedicated opening night to the memory of former Music Director Lorin Maazel.

Critics Praise Alan Gilbert and Yefim Bronfman, a Pianist 'For All Time'

Alan Gilbert Yefim Bronfman NY Philharmonic 

"The piano soloist, all month long, is Yefim Bronfman, than whom there is not a better pianist in the world. He is not a pianist merely for now but for all time."

So begins Jay Nordlinger's review of Friday's concert in The New Criterion. He added, "Bronfman is made for Beethoven, given this strong lyricism, and the intelligence, and the technique, and everything else in this pianist’s arsenal. Not excluded from this arsenal is humor: Bronfman revealed some of that in the cadenza."

Nordlinger added that Music director Alan Gilbert "is adept in Beethoven. In fact, he conducted one of the best performances of the Fourth Symphony I have ever heard. ... Gilbert is both solid and smooth, and knows how Beethoven should be sculpted."

The New York Times' Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim, reviewing the June 11 concert, found the performance of Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 4 to be "the concert’s emotional and musical highlight. With the help of Mr. Gilbert, Mr. Bronfman brought out the tension between the serenity of the opening statement and the nervy pulse that repeatedly tries to edge it onward."

In Concerto.Net, Harry Rolnick, reviewing the June 11 concert, said Bronfman played Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 4 "with all the pellucid beauty of tone and clarity of conception which it deserves. ... Two more weeks of Bronfman, Gilbert and Beethoven? The mind is elated."

New York Classical Review's Amanda Angel was there the same night. Of Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 1 she said, "The rapport between orchestra, Gilbert, and soloist, which flourished across this season, was clear in the rondo in which the piano and orchestra alternate showcased Bronfman’s virtuosity."

(Photo: Chris Lee)

'Bronfman Braces for the Five Piano Concertos': The New York Times

Yefim Bronfman NY Philharmonic

“From a musicological standpoint, it is a miracle. But when you walk onstage, you don’t want to think about miracles. You want to play."

So said Artist-in-Residence Yefim Bronfman about Beethoven's Fourth Piano Concerto last week when he sat down with The New York Times in his practice room to discuss Beethoven's beloved piano concertos. 

The insightful interview is great preparation for The Beethoven Piano Concertos: A Philharmonic Festival, which starts tonight and stars Bronfman with the Philharmonic and Music Director Alan Gilbert at the podium.

(Photo: Chris Lee)

NY Philharmonic, Midori, Bronfman Play Bravo! Vail in July

NY Philharmonic at Bravo! Vail 

Alan Gilbert conducts Tchaikovsky's Romeo and Juliet, Midori plays Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto, Yefim Bronfman plays Beethoven, and a trio of Broadway stars perform Frank Loesser songs. These are highlights of the Philharmonic's 12th summer residency at Bravo! Vail, July 18–25, 2014.

Join us out west for beautiful music in a beautiful setting.

Photo: Zach Mahone

Photos: Tour Concludes in Taiwan

The ASIA / WINTER 2014 tour came to a triumphant conclusion this week with a concert in Yokohama and two in Taipei. Joining Alan Gilbert and the Philharmonic for brilliant concerto performances were new and longtime friends: jazz sensation Makoto Ozone; pianist Yefim Bronfman, the Philharmonic’s current Mary and James G. Wallach Artist-in-Residence; and violinist Lisa Batiashvili, who will succeed him next season. After two weeks, ten concerts, six cities, and three countries, the Orchestra headed back to New York to resume performing for their hometown audience.

PHOTOS: Tokyo

The Philharmonic's week in Tokyo was packed with performances: a concert for families featuring Alan Gilbert narrating Britten's The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra in Japanese and the Orchestra playing music by 10- to 15-year-old composers from New York and Fukushima; concertos with jazz pianist Makoto Ozone, Artist-in-Residence Yefim Bronfman, and violinist Lisa Batiashvili; and the Principal Woodwind Quintet in chamber music at the Residence of the U.S. Ambassador to Japan, Caroline Kennedy.

Alan Gilbert’s Tchaikovsky 5 ‘Bespoke and Modeled with Style’: N.Y. Times

Alan Gilbert 

Alan Gilbert made Tchaikovsky’s Fifth feel “bespoke and modeled with style,” The New York Times said of Thursday’s concert.

Critic Steve Smith added that Lindberg’s Piano Concerto No. 2 “constantly seduces with its arresting instrumental textures and barreling energy. Mr. Bronfman’s electric presence ... cause[d] a hearty roar”; and Rouse’s Rapture “elicited positively glorious sounds from the orchestra.”

Smith noted how rare second or third hearings of major new works are, adding: "credit, then, goes to Alan Gilbert and the New York Philharmonic, who have provided a chance to hear" the Lindberg concerto again.

The Financial Times' Martin Bernheimer echoed this: "Alan Gilbert, a maestro who plays by his own rules, apparently doesn’t care [that second performances are rare]."

Michael Cameron, in New York Classical Review, praised Gilbert's direction in the Tchaikovsky, "from the vigorous sweep and structural integrity of the opening movement to the hushed urgency and propulsive drive of the Scherzo. ... Gilbert received sustained warm and richly deserved applause from both audience and orchestra."​

Hear Grammy-Nominated Lindberg Concerto at Tilles Center Jan. 4

Alan Gilbert, Yefim Bronfman, Magnus Lindberg

Great news for new-music fans on Long Island: the program for the concert January 4 at Long Island University’s Tilles Center for the Performing Arts has been changed to allow the audience to hear Magnus Lindberg’s Piano Concerto No. 2 with Yefim Bronfman as soloist. Tchaikovsky’s emotion-packed Fifth Symphony and Christopher Rouse’s Rapture round out the program.

“Brilliant and triumphant … I look forward to hearing it again,” said The New York Times after Bronfman’s premiere performance of the concerto in 2012 (see photo, with, from left, Alan Gilbert, Bronfman, and Lindberg). Now you can, at the Tilles Center and at Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center January 2, 3, and 7.

The Philharmonic’s recording of the World Premiere of Lindberg’s Piano Concerto No. 2, featuring Yefim Bronfman and conducted by Music Director Alan Gilbert, is nominated for two Grammy Awards: Best Classical Instrumental Solo and Best Contemporary Classical Composition.

The Philharmonic’s former Marie-Josée Kravis Composer-in-Residence, Magnus Lindberg composed the concerto, co-commissioned by the Philharmonic, for Mr. Bronfman, the Philharmonic’s Mary and James G. Wallach Artist-in-Residence.

Post-Hercules Update: As of now, this concert will go on as scheduled.

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