The New York Philharmonic

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Biography
Alan Gilbert

2009–17

b. New York, New York, February 23, 1967

Alan Gilbert has had a long association with the New York Philharmonic; his parents, Michael Gilbert and Yoko Takebe, were both longtime members of the violin section beginning in the 1970s. Prior to his appointment as Music Director in 2009, the first native New Yorker in the role, Gilbert led the Santa Fe Opera and the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic.

Gilbert’s tenure as Music Director at the New York Philharmonic was defined by the expansion and redefinition of the symphony concert experience. In 2010, the Orchestra performed the New York Premiere of Ligeti’s avant-garde opera Le Grand Macabre. In 2012, Gilbert led the Philharmonic 360 performance at the Park Avenue Armory. Gilbert was also responsible for CONTACT! and the NY PHIL BIENNIAL, two new-music series that together unveiled 92 World Premieres.

His discography includes The Nielsen Project, a box set recorded with the New York Philharmonic, and John Adams’s Doctor Atomic, captured on DVD at The Metropolitan Opera, for which he won a Grammy Award. He received Emmy Award nominations for Outstanding Music Direction in PBS’s Live From Lincoln Center broadcasts of two star-studded New York Philharmonic productions: Sweeney Todd and Sinatra: Voice for a Century.

Alan Gilbert has received honorary doctor of music degrees from the Curtis Institute of Music and Westminster Choir College, as well as Columbia University’s Ditson Conductor’s Award. He is a member of The American Academy of Arts & Sciences, and was named an Officier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French government. At The Juilliard School, he was the first holder of the William Schuman Chair in Musical Studies, and he served as director of conducting and orchestral studies from 2011 to 2018. After giving the annual Royal Philharmonic Society Lecture on Orchestras in the 21st Century: A New Paradigm during the New York Philharmonic’s Europe/Spring 2015 tour, he received a 2015 Foreign Policy Association Medal for his commitment to cultural diplomacy.

He served as principal guest conductor of the NDR Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg for more than a decade before becoming its chief conductor in 2019. He became music director of the Royal Swedish Opera in 2021, and is also principal guest conductor of the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony and conductor laureate of the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic.

Alan Gilbert makes regular guest appearances with orchestras including the Berlin Philharmonic, Amsterdam’s Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, The Cleveland Orchestra, Boston Symphony Orchestra, The Philadelphia Orchestra, Dresden Staatskapelle, and Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France. He has led operatic productions for Milan’s Teatro alla Scala, The Metropolitan Opera, Los Angeles Opera, Zurich Opera, Royal Swedish Opera, and Santa Fe Opera, where he was the inaugural music director.

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