Press Release

Wednesday, September 25, 2019


Adam Crane, Vice President, External Affairs
(212) 671-4990;

Deirdre Roddin, Associate Director, Public Relations
(212) 875-5701;

Jen Luzzo, Manager, Public Relations
(212) 875-5707;

For Immediate Release

Esa-Pekka Salonen To Conduct the New York Premiere of Gemini, Nov 6, 8–9, and 12


New York Premieres of
Esa-Pekka SALONEN’s Gemini
HINDEMITH’s Ragtime (Well-Tempered)

Program Also To Include
J.S. BACH’s Two Chorale Preludes (Orchestrated by Schoenberg)
HINDEMITH’s Mathis der Maler Symphony

November 6, 8–9, and 12, 2019

Composer / conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen will return to the New York Philharmonic to conduct the New York Premieres of Mr. Salonen’s Gemini and Hindemith’s Ragtime (Well-Tempered); J.S. Bach’s Two Chorale Preludes (orchestrated by Schoenberg); and Hindemith’s Mathis der Maler Symphony. The program will take place on Wednesday, November 6, 2019, at 7:30 p.m.; Friday, November 8 at 8:00 p.m.; Saturday, November 9 at 8:00 p.m.; and Tuesday, November 12 at 7:30 p.m.

Esa-Pekka Salonen’s Gemini comprises Pollux, premiered in 2018, and a newly composed movement titled Castor. Of the composition process of Pollux, Mr. Salonen wrote in 2018: “I encountered a strange problem: my material seemed to want to grow in two completely opposite directions…. This made me think of the myth of the non-identical twins Castor and Pollux who share half of their DNA, but have some extreme phenotype differences, and experience dramatically different fates…. My solution was to write two independent but genetically linked orchestral works. Pollux, slow and quite dark in expression, is the first of them. Castor, extroverted and mostly fast, will follow later.” He has now completed Castor, which will be premiered as part of Gemini in October.

Hindemith’s Ragtime (Well-Tempered) of 1921 combines ragtime, a popular dance of the day, with a theme from Bach’s Fugue in C Minor from the Well-Tempered Clavier. Anticipating a backlash, the composer wrote on the score: “If Bach were alive today, he might perhaps have invented the shimmy or at least incorporated it into respectable music.” Schoenberg orchestrated Bach’s Two Chorale Preludes one year later, in 1922, when he had begun experimenting with twelve-tone music. Explaining his motivation for the arrangements, he wrote: “I do not attach importance to being a kind of musical ‘peasantist’ so much as to being a natural continuator of correctly understood, good, old tradition!” Mr. Salonen released an album of Bach transcriptions in 2000, and Gramophone called the selections “extremely beautiful” and “as fine a performance as I have heard.” The other Hindemith work on the program, the Mathis der Maler Symphony, is inspired by the life of the German Renaissance painter Matthias Grünewald. Mr. Salonen served as the Philharmonic’s Marie-Josée Kravis Composer-in-Residence, 2016–18.

The New York Philharmonic will offer an allotment of free tickets to young people ages 13–26 for the concert on Friday, November 8 as part of Philharmonic Free Fridays.

Esa-Pekka Salonen, New York Philharmonic

Single tickets for the subscription program start at $34. A limited number of $18 tickets for select concerts may be available to students within 10 days of the performance at, or in person the day of (valid identification required). Tickets for Open Rehearsals are $22. The New York Philharmonic is offering an allotment of free tickets to young people ages 13–26 for the concert Friday, November 8 as part of Philharmonic Free Fridays; learn more at

Tickets to New York Philharmonic performances may be purchased online at 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.

For press tickets, contact Lanore Carr at (212) 875-5714 or

Event Listing

New York Philharmonic

David Geffen Hall at Lincoln Center

Wednesday, November 6, 2019, 7:30 p.m.
Open Rehearsal — 9:45 a.m.
Friday, November 8, 2019, 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, November 9, 2019, 8:00 p.m.
Tuesday, November 12, 2019, 7:30 p.m.

Esa-Pekka Salonen, conductor

HINDEMITH Ragtime (Well-Tempered) (New York Premiere)
J.S. BACH / Orch. Schoenberg Two Chorale Preludes
Esa-Pekka SALONEN Gemini (New York Premiere)
HINDEMITH Mathis der Maler Symphony


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Esa-Pekka Salonen’s appearance is made possible through the Charles A. Dana Distinguished Conductors Endowment Fund.

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Major support for Philharmonic Free Fridays is provided by an Anonymous Donor. Additional funding is provided by Muna and Basem Hishmeh.

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Citi. Preferred Card of the New York Philharmonic.

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Programs are made possible, in part, by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

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