Press Release

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Contact

Katherine E. Johnson Vice President, Communications (212) 875-5700; johnsonk@nyphil.org

For Immediate Release

“Alan Gilbert Season Finale: A Concert for Unity,” June 8–10

ALAN GILBERT SEASON FINALE: A CONCERT FOR UNITY

ALAN GILBERT TO CONDUCT THE NEW YORK PHILHARMONIC
JOINED BY MUSICIANS FROM ORCHESTRAS AROUND THE WORLD
Celebrating the Power of Music To Unite Across Borders

June 8–10, 2017

Musicians Invited from
CUBA, IRAN, IRAQ, ISRAEL, LEBANON, MEXICO,
RUSSIA, SOUTH AFRICA, TURKEY, and VENEZUELA
Among Other Countries

Program To Include MAHLER’S SYMPHONY NO. 7
Special Guest Artists To Include YO-YO MA (June 8) and WYNTON MARSALIS (June 9)

In the final subscription concerts of his tenure as Music Director, Alan Gilbert will lead the New York Philharmonic joined by musicians from orchestras around the world in concerts celebrating the power of music to build bridges and unite people across borders. Those invited to participate include members of orchestras from Australia, China, Cuba, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Lebanon, Mexico, Russia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, Venezuela, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The program, taking place Thursday, June 8, 2017, at 7:30 p.m.; Friday, June 9 at 8:00 p.m.; and Saturday, June 10 at 8:00 p.m., will include Mahler’s Symphony No. 7. Special guest artists will include cellist Yo-Yo Ma, on June 8, and trumpet player Wynton Marsalis, on June 9.

The season finale program was conceived by Alan Gilbert in coordination with the New York Philharmonic, following conversations with the former Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, and will launch a new initiative to be led by Alan Gilbert following his tenure as Philharmonic Music Director in which musicians from around the world will come together to perform music at critical times in support of peace, development, and human rights.

“Music has a unique capacity to connect people’s hearts and souls,” Alan Gilbert said. “How can we, as musicians, do our small part to be a positive forum, to help effect social change and respond to adversity in a world faced with unprecedented challenges? With the inspiration of people such as my good friends Yo-Yo Ma, Wynton Marsalis, and Jan Eliasson, former Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, I wanted these final concerts to call attention to the ways in which music can unite people across borders and spread a message of harmony and shared humanity. The New York Philharmonic, which has always been an international ensemble, has done so much as a global ambassador throughout its history, and I am honored to showcase this message with this great Orchestra in my hometown of New York City.”

“The New York Philharmonic’s role as a global ensemble is core to its mission and identity,” said Matthew VanBesien, President of the New York Philharmonic. “There truly are no borders when it comes to music, and our deep partnerships worldwide are examples of this, enriching both our individual musicians and the entire institution. We are honored to join Alan in celebrating the power of music to unite and to effect positive change in the world. We see this as an extension of the role the Orchestra has played since it was founded through landmark performances with the United Nations, historic touring projects, and more. It is an incredibly exciting project and a very fitting way to honor Alan as he moves into the next chapter of his career.”

On December 14, 2016, Alan Gilbert conducted the New York Philharmonic in a concert on the floor of the General Assembly to celebrate the tenure of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the transition of leadership to António Guterres, who took office on January 1, 2017.

Yo-Yo Ma, a United Nations Messenger of Peace, serves as the artistic director of Silkroad, an organization he founded to promote cross-cultural performance and collaborations at the edge where education, business, and the arts come together to transform the world. Wynton Marsalis — who received the Pulitzer Prize in music for his oratorio Blood on the Fields — is a former United Nations Messenger of Peace and cultural ambassador for the U.S. in the State Department’s CultureConnect program; he was instrumental in the Higher Ground Hurricane Relief concert, which raised more than $3 million to benefit those affected by Hurricane Katrina in the Greater New Orleans area.

Musicians Invited from Orchestras Including:
Berlin Philharmonic
Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic Orchestra
Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra
The Cleveland Orchestra
Czech Philharmonic
Iraqi National Symphony Orchestra
Israel Philharmonic Orchestra
Lebanese Philharmonic Orchestra
London Symphony Orchestra
Melbourne Symphony Orchestra
Orchestra of El Gran Teatro de La Habana
Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France
Mexico’s Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional
Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra
Shanghai Symphony Orchestra
Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela
State Academic Symphony Orchestra of Russia “Evgeny Svetlanov”
Sydney Symphony Orchestra
Tehran Philharmonic Orchestra

Related Events

  • Philharmonic Free Fridays
    The New York Philharmonic is offering 100 free tickets to young people ages 13–26 for the concert Friday, June 9 as part of Philharmonic Free Fridays. Information is available at nyphil.org/freefridays. Philharmonic Free Fridays offers 100 free tickets to 13–26-year-olds to each of the 2016–17 season’s 16 Friday evening subscription concerts.

Artists
As Music Director of the New York Philharmonic since 2009, Alan Gilbert has introduced the positions of The Marie-Josée Kravis Composer-in-Residence, The Mary and James G. Wallach Artist-in-Residence, and Artist-in-Association; CONTACT!, the new-music series; the NY PHIL BIENNIAL, an exploration of today’s music; and the New York Philharmonic Global Academy, partnerships with cultural institutions to offer training of pre-professional musicians, often alongside performance residencies. The Financial Times called him “the imaginative maestro-impresario in residence.”

Alan Gilbert concludes his final season as Music Director with four programs that reflect themes, works, and musicians that hold particular meaning for him, including Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony alongside Schoenberg’s A Survivor from Warsaw, Wagner’s complete Das Rheingold in concert, and an exploration of how music can effect positive change in the world. Other highlights include three World Premieres, Mahler’s Fourth Symphony, Ligeti’s Mysteries of the Macabre, and Manhattan, performed live to film. He also leads the Orchestra on the EUROPE / SPRING 2017 tour and in performance residencies in Shanghai and Santa Barbara. Past highlights include acclaimed stagings of Ligeti’s Le Grand Macabre, Janáček’s The Cunning Little Vixen, Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd starring Bryn Terfel and Emma Thompson (2015 Emmy nomination), and Honegger’s Joan of Arc at the Stake starring Marion Cotillard; 28 World Premieres; a tribute to Boulez and Stucky during the 2016 NY PHIL BIENNIAL; The Nielsen Project; the Verdi Requiem and Bach’s B-minor Mass; the score from 2001: A Space Odyssey, performed live to film; Mahler’s Resurrection Symphony on the tenth anniversary of 9/11; performing violin in Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time; and ten tours around the world.

Conductor laureate of the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra and former principal guest conductor of Hamburg’s NDR Symphony Orchestra, Alan Gilbert regularly conducts leading orchestras around the world. This season he returns to the foremost European orchestras, including the Leipzig Gewandhaus, Munich Philharmonic, Amsterdam’s Royal Concertgebouw, and Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia. He will record Beethoven’s complete piano concertos with the Academy of St Martin in the Fields and Inon Barnatan, and conduct Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess at Milan’s Teatro alla Scala, his first time leading a staged opera there. He made his acclaimed Metropolitan Opera debut conducting John Adams’s Doctor Atomic in 2008, the DVD of which received a Grammy Award, and he conducted Messiaen’s Des Canyons aux étoiles on a recent album recorded live at the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival. Mr. Gilbert is Director of Conducting and Orchestral Studies at The Juilliard School, where he holds the William Schuman Chair in Musical Studies. His honors include Honorary Doctor of Music degrees from The Curtis Institute of Music (2010) and Westminster Choir College (2016), Columbia University’s Ditson Conductor’s Award (2011), election to The American Academy of Arts & Sciences (2014), a Foreign Policy Association Medal for his commitment to cultural diplomacy (2015), Officier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (2015), and New York University’s Lewis Rudin Award for Exemplary Service to New York City (2016).

The many-faceted career of cellist Yo-Yo Ma (performing June 8, 2017) is testament to his continual search for new ways to communicate with audiences and to his personal desire for artistic growth and renewal. Mr. Ma maintains a balance between his engagements as soloist with orchestras worldwide and his recital and chamber music activities. His discography comprises more than 100 albums, including 18 Grammy award winners. Mr. Ma serves as the artistic director of Silkroad, an organization he founded to promote cross-cultural performance and collaborations at the edge where education, business, and the arts come together to transform the world. More than 80 works have been commissioned specifically for the Silk Road Ensemble, which tours annually. In February 2015 the Silk Road Ensemble with Yo-Yo Ma performed alongside the New York Philharmonic, led by Alan Gilbert, for a celebration of the innovative world-music ensemble’s 15th anniversary. Mr. Ma also serves as the Judson and Joyce Green Creative Consultant to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s Negaunee Music Institute. His work focuses on the transformative power music can have in individuals’ lives, and on increasing the number and variety of opportunities audiences have to experience music in their communities. Yo-Yo Ma was born in Paris to Chinese parents who later moved the family to New York. He began to study cello at the age of four, attended The Juilliard School, and in 1976 graduated from Harvard University. He recently joined the Aspen Institute Board of Trustees. Mr. Ma has received numerous awards, among them the Avery Fisher Prize (1978), the National Medal of Arts (2001), and the Presidential Medal of Freedom (2010), and in 2011 he was recognized as a Kennedy Center Honoree. He has performed for eight American presidents, most recently at the invitation of President Obama on the occasion of the 56th Inaugural Ceremony. Yo-Yo Ma made his New York Philharmonic debut in May 1978 performing Beethoven’s Triple Concerto alongside Yefim Bronfman and Shlomo Mintz, conducted by Alexander Schneider. He will have most recently appeared with the Orchestra in the World Premiere–Philharmonic Co-Commission of Composer-in-Residence Esa-Pekka Salonen’s Cello Concerto in New York, March 15–18, 2017, and in April on the EUROPE / SPRING 2017 tour.

Trumpet player and composer Wynton Marsalis (appearing June 9, 2017) is the managing and artistic director of Jazz at Lincoln Center. Born in New Orleans, he began classical trumpet at 12, entered The Juilliard School at 17, and then joined Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers. He made his recording debut as a leader in 1982, and has since made more than 80 jazz and classical albums, earning him nine Grammy Awards. In 1983 he became the first artist to win both classical and jazz

Grammys in the same year, a feat he repeated in 1984. A teacher and advocate for music education, Mr. Marsalis has received honorary doctorates from dozens of U.S. universities and has authored six books. In 1997 he became the first jazz artist to be awarded the Pulitzer Prize in music for his oratorio Blood on the Fields, and he is a former United Nations Messenger of Peace and cultural ambassador for the U.S. in the State Department’s CultureConnect program. He was instrumental in the Higher Ground Hurricane Relief concert, which raised more than $3 million to benefit those affected by Hurricane Katrina in the Greater New Orleans area. Mr. Marsalis made his New York Philharmonic debut performing trumpet concertos by Vivaldi and Haydn, conducted by then Music Director Zubin Mehta, on November 21, 1985; his most recent appearances with the Orchestra were with his Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra in the World Premiere of his most recent orchestral composition, The Jungle (Symphony No. 4), a Philharmonic Commission, December 28, 2016–January 3, 2017.

Repertoire
When Gustav Mahler composed his Symphony No. 7 in Maiernigg, Austria, during the summers of 1904 and 1905, he was at the height of his career. He was secure in his tenure with the Vienna Opera, in demand as a guest conductor, and had captivated audiences throughout Europe with his early symphonies. However, his Seventh Symphony would not be premiered until 1908, and in the intervening years Mahler reportedly made many revisions to the score, at a time when he was suffering terrible heartache and hardship: he was forced to resign his position at the opera, his eldest daughter died from scarlet fever, and he himself was diagnosed with a heart condition. In spite of that, the Seventh Symphony — which eventually earned the nickname Song of the Night (without the composer’s blessing) —follows a musical path from darkness to light: the titles of two of the five movements include Night Music, and Mahler himself wrote William Ritter that it was “Three night pieces; the finale bright day. As foundation for the whole, the first movement.” Arnold Schoenberg heard the work at its 1909 Vienna Premiere, and wrote Mahler that he felt “perfect repose based on artistic harmony — something that moved me without just ruthlessly shifting my center of gravity; something drawing me calmly and pleasantly toward itself, like that force that guides the planets, letting them travel along their own courses, influencing them … in a manner so easy and inevitable that there are never any sudden jolts.” The New York Philharmonic first performed Mahler’s Symphony No. 7 in March 1923, led by Willem Mengelberg; its most recent performance was in June 2007, led by Lorin Maazel.

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These concerts are presented by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Additional funding is provided by the Howard Gilman Foundation.

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Major support for Philharmonic Free Fridays is provided by The Pratt Foundation.

Additional funding is provided by Jack and Susan Rudin and Muna and Basem Hishmeh.

Philharmonic Free Fridays is made possible, in part, by a donation from an anonymous donor through the New York Philharmonic’s 2014 Share the Music! campaign.

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Citi. Preferred Card of the New York Philharmonic.

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Emirates is the Official Airline of the New York Philharmonic.

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Programs are supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the New York State Council on the Arts, with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Tickets
Single tickets for this performance start at $44. Tickets may be purchased online at nyphil.org or by calling (212) 875-5656, 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday through Friday; 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Saturday; and noon to 5:00 p.m. Sunday. Tickets may also be purchased at the David Geffen Hall Box Office. The Box Office opens at 10:00 a.m. Monday through Saturday, and at noon on Sunday. On performance evenings, the Box Office closes one-half hour after performance time; other evenings it closes at 6:00 p.m. To determine ticket availability, call the Philharmonic’s Customer Relations Department at (212) 875-5656. (Ticket prices subject to change.)

For press tickets, call Lanore Carr in the New York Philharmonic Communications Department at (212) 875-5714, or email her at carrl@nyphil.org.

 

ALAN GILBERT SEASON FINALE: A CONCERT FOR UNITY

New York Philharmonic

David Geffen Hall at Lincoln Center

Thursday, June 8, 2017, 7:30 p.m.
Friday, June 9, 2017, 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, June 10, 2017, 8:00 p.m.

Alan Gilbert, conductor
Yo-Yo Ma, cello (June 8)
Wynton Marsalis, trumpet (June 9)

Alan Gilbert will lead the New York Philharmonic joined by musicians invited from orchestras around the world — Australia, China, Cuba, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Lebanon, Mexico, Russia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, Venezuela, the United Kingdom, and the United States — in a program celebrating the power of music to build bridges and unite people across borders.

Program to include:
MAHLER Symphony No. 7

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ALL PROGRAMS SUBJECT TO CHANGE

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