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NYT Hails Gilbert's 'Confident and Exuberant' Bernstein

Alan Gilbert Makoto Ozone NY Philharmonic 

In a review of April 22's A Night with Gershwin and Bernstein concert, The New York Times' Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim noted

the confident and exuberant performances Mr. Gilbert drew from the orchestra in Bernstein’s “Candide” Overture — dispatched with brisk cheer — and his Symphonic Dances from “West Side Story,” which featured a memorably wild Mambo. A vivid rendition of Gershwin’s “American in Paris” closed the evening.

That was after raving about pianist Makoto Ozone's "thrilling, virtuosic and unabashedly personal rendition of 'Rhapsody in Blue.'"

In February, he joined the Philharmonic on its Asian tour in performances of Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” that were so successful — and evidently, fun — that the orchestra’s music director, Alan Gilbert, arranged for an out-of-series concert with Mr. Ozone in New York.

 (Photo: Chris Lee)

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)

Death of the President: The Philharmonic and Leonard Bernstein Respond

leonard bernstein mourns jfk 

News of President John F. Kennedy's assassination reached the New York Philharmonic during an afternoon subscription concert led by George Szell. Following Beethoven's Leonore Overture No. 3, the Orchestra's manager, Carlos Moseley, broke the news to the audience and canceled the rest of the program. The remaining concerts that weekend replaced the overture with the funeral march from Beethoven's Symphony No. 3, Eroica, performed without applause.

On November 24, Leonard Bernstein conducted Mahler's Symphony No. 2, Resurrection, in a televised tribute to President Kennedy.

Read the full story, watch part of the televised tribute concert, read Bernstein's handwritten draft of his remarks explaining his choice of the Mahler, and view Bernstein's score to the symphony.

Just Released: Leonard Bernstein's Young People's Concerts Volume 2

Young Person's Concerts Vol 2 

Volume 2 of the New York Philharmonic's Young People's Concerts with Leonard Bernstein — featuring 27 digitally restored videos of the landmark televised concerts on nine DVDs — is now available for purchase through the New York Philharmonic's e-store, Amazon, and other major retailers. Our e-store has a lot of other good things, so check it out for holiday shopping.

This is the first release of Young People's Concerts in more than 20 years, following Volume 1 in 1993; the entire series of Bernstein's Young People's Concerts is now available on DVD.

The concerts featured in the set, released by Kultur International Films, took place between 1960–72 and cover a broad range of musical topics and composers including Copland, Ives, Bach, Liszt, Strauss, and more. The new set also features nine Young Performers programs with a young André Watts, Paula Robison, and Lynn Harrell, among others.

Forever Becky Young

Becky Young and Bernstein

Before she became the Philharmonic's Associate Principal Viola, before she became host of the Very Young People's Concerts, Rebecca Young hobnobbed with Leonard Bernstein at a Young People's Concert back when she was a young person herself.

As host of the VYPCs, Becky says she gets to "run around the stage in a fun and lively way, engaging our youngest concert-goers as we introduce them to classical music."

Photo courtesy of the New York Philharmonic Digital Archives.

Petrushka, Three Ways

Bernstein Petrushka Score

This week’s performances of A Dancer’s Dream  will bring Stravinsky's Petrushka to the stage in a way that hasn't been seen before at the New York Philharmonic. And that's saying something, as over the years the Orchestra has presented more than 60 performances of the commedia dell’arte fantasy in various incarnations, including an arrangement for four pianos. Three such incarnations sit in the Digital Archives, all marked by Leonard Bernstein to different degrees of thoroughness. You can browse all three here.

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