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Calendar

Alan Gilbert’s Farewell Concerts

Saturday Matinee: Kavakos Performs Brahms

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Location

David Geffen Hall

Directions
Price Range

$33-77

Duration

1 hour & 30 minutes with intermission

Date & Times

20

May, 2017

Saturday, 2:00 PM

Event Info

Part of Alan Gilbert's Farewell Concerts

Your perfect Saturday afternoon: hear Philharmonic musicians up close as they play chamber music, and then the Orchestra, joined by Leonidas Kavakos, in Brahms’s formidable Violin Concerto, with the perfect melding of bravura passages, serene melodies, and spicy Gypsy folk rhythms that has made it an audience favorite.

Program

Schubert

Piano Quintet, Trout

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Brahms

Violin Concerto

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Artists

Alan Gilbert

Conductor

Alan Gilbert

Conductor

Alan Gilbert

Conductor

The 2016–17 season marks Alan Gilbert’s eighth and final season as Music Director of the New York Philharmonic. The first native New Yorker to hold the post, he has sought to make the Orchestra a point of pride for the city and country. The Financial Times called him “the imaginative maestro-impresario in residence.”

Mr. Gilbert and the Philharmonic have forged artistic partnerships, introducing the positions of The Marie-Josée Kravis Composer-in-Residence and The Mary and James G. Wallach Artist-in-Residence — held in the 2016–17 season by Esa-Pekka Salonen and violinist Leonidas Kavakos, respectively — as well as Artist-in-Association, currently held by pianist Inon Barnatan, who inaugurated the role in the 2014–15 season; an annual festival, which this season is Beloved Friend — Tchaikovsky and His World, featuring Russian-born Semyon Bychkov conducting works by Tchaikovsky as well as composers he was influenced by and whom he influenced; CONTACT!, the new-music series; and the NY PHIL BIENNIAL, an exploration of today’s music by a wide range of contemporary and modern composers. During his tenure the Philharmonic launched the New York Philharmonic Global Academy, partnerships with cultural institutions to offer training of pre-professional musicians, often alongside performance residencies. These include the Shanghai Orchestra Academy and Residency Partnership and collaborations with Santa Barbara’s Music Academy of the West and the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University. Alan Gilbert and the Philharmonic also launched a five-year partnership with the University Musical Society at the University of Michigan.

Alan Gilbert concludes his final season as Music Director with four programs that reflect signature themes of his tenure, featuring works that hold particular meaning for him and musicians with whom he has formed close relationships. These include a pairing of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with Schoenberg’s A Survivor from Warsaw; Wagner’s complete Das Rheingold in concert; the New York Premiere of Composer-in-Residence Esa-Pekka Salonen’s Wing on Wing alongside Artist-in-Residence Leonidas Kavakos in Brahms’s Violin Concerto and the New York Premiere of Aeriality by Anna Thorvaldsdottir, the second Kravis Emerging Composer, an honor introduced during Alan Gilbert’s tenure; and an exploration of how music can effect positive change in the world. Other 2016–17 season highlights include four World Premieres; Dvořák’s Symphony No. 9, From the New World, as part of the New York Philharmonic’s 175th anniversary celebrations; Mahler’s Fourth Symphony and Handel’s Messiah; the World Premiere presentation of Gershwin’s score to Manhattan, performed live to the film; Ligeti’s Mysteries of the Macabre; a concert with friends celebrating his 50th birthday; works by John Adams marking the composer’s 70th birthday; and the EUROPE / SPRING 2017 tour. As part of the New York Philharmonic Global Academy, he will lead the Orchestra in its third annual performance residency through the Shanghai Orchestra Academy and Residency Partnership, and will lead the Philharmonic and Academy Festival Orchestra together in Santa Barbara through the partnership with Santa Barbara’s Music Academy of the West.

Last season’s Philharmonic highlights included R. Strauss’s Ein Heldenleben to welcome newly appointed Concertmaster Frank Huang; Carnegie Hall’s 125th anniversary Opening Night Gala; premieres by William Bolcom, Franck Krawczyk, Magnus Lindberg, and Marc Neikrug; works by Sibelius in celebration of the 150th anniversary of the composer’s birth; as well as Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde and an all-Mozart program. He also co-curated the second NY PHIL BIENNIAL — during which he conducted works by Boulez and Stucky, in tribute to the late composers, as well as premieres by William Bolcom, John Corigliano, and Per Nørgård, the second recipient of The Marie-Josée Kravis Prize for New Music at the New York Philharmonic, an honor introduced during Alan Gilbert’s tenure. The Music Director also performed violin in Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time alongside Philharmonic principals and Mr. Barnatan. Under the New York Philharmonic Global Academy he led the Orchestra in its second performance residency in Shanghai and made his second appearance conducting the Music Academy of the West’s Academy Festival Orchestra.

Previous high points among Mr. Gilbert’s Philharmonic appearances include critically celebrated staged productions such as Ligeti’s Le Grand Macabre (2010) and Janáček’s The Cunning Little Vixen (2011), both cited as the top cultural events of their respective years; Philharmonic 360 at Park Avenue Armory (2012), the acclaimed spatial music program featuring Stockhausen’s Gruppen; A Dancer’s Dream: Two Works by Stravinsky (2013, and later presented in movie theaters internationally); a staged production of Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd starring Bryn Terfel and Emma Thompson that was broadcast on Live From Lincoln Center, earning Mr. Gilbert an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Music Direction (2014); and the U.S. Premiere of a staging of Honegger’s Joan of Arc at the Stake featuring Oscar winner Marion Cotillard (2015). Other highlights include the first two editions of the NY PHIL BIENNIAL; World Premieres of works by Christopher Rouse, Magnus Lindberg, Peter Eötvös , and composers featured on CONTACT!; the score from 2001: A Space Odyssey, performed live to the film; Mahler’s Second Symphony, Resurrection, on A Concert for New York on September 10; the Verdi Requiem; the conclusion of The Nielsen Project, the multi-year initiative to perform and record the Danish composer’s symphonies and concertos; Mr. Gilbert’s Philharmonic debut as violin soloist in J.S. Bach’s Concerto for Two Violins; six concerts at Carnegie Hall; and ten tours around the world. In August 2015 he led the Mahler Chamber Orchestra in the U.S. Stage Premiere of George Benjamin’s Written on Skin, co-presented by the New York Philharmonic and Lincoln Center, the inaugural production of the Lincoln Center–New York Philharmonic Opera Initiative.

Conductor laureate of the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra and former principal guest conductor of Hamburg’s NDR Symphony Orchestra, he regularly conducts leading orchestras nationally and internationally, such as the Boston Symphony Orchestra, The Philadelphia Orchestra, Amsterdam’s Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Berlin Philharmonic, Munich Philharmonic, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, and Orchestre philharmonique de Radio France. He has appeared at The Metropolitan, Los Angeles, Zurich, Royal Swedish, and Santa Fe opera companies. This season Mr. Gilbert returns to the foremost European orchestras, records Beethoven’s complete piano concertos with the Academy of St Martin in the Fields and Inon Barnatan, and conducts Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess at Milan’s Teatro alla Scala, his first time leading a staged opera there.

In September 2011 Alan Gilbert became Director of Conducting and Orchestral Studies at The Juilliard School, where he is also the first holder of Juilliard’s William Schuman Chair in Musical Studies. He made his acclaimed Metropolitan Opera debut in 2008 leading John Adams’s Doctor Atomic; the DVD and Blu-ray of this production received the 2012 Grammy Award for Best Opera Recording. Renée Fleming’s Decca recording Poèmes, on which he conducted, received a 2013 Grammy Award. Earlier releases garnered Grammy Award nominations and top honors from the Chicago Tribune and Gramophone magazine. He received his second Emmy nomination for Outstanding Music Direction for Sinatra: Voice for a Century, broadcast on Live From Lincoln Center in 2015. Mr. Gilbert conducted Messiaen’s Des Canyons aux étoiles on a recent album recorded live at the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival.

Alan Gilbert studied at Harvard University, The Curtis Institute of Music, and Juilliard and was assistant conductor of The Cleveland Orchestra (1995–97). He received Honorary Doctor of Music degrees from Curtis in May 2010 and from Westminster Choir College in May 2016, and in December 2011 he received Columbia University’s Ditson Conductor’s Award for his “exceptional commitment to the performance of works by American composers and to contemporary music.” In 2014 he was elected to The American Academy of Arts & Sciences, in 2015 he received a Foreign Policy Association Medal for his commitment to cultural diplomacy and was named Officier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, and in 2016 he received New York University’s Lewis Rudin Award for Exemplary Service to New York City in recognition of his leadership in making New York one of the world’s great centers for music and the arts.

Relive the magic of the combination of Alan Gilbert and the Philharmonic through video, audio, and photos.

Visit Alan Gilbert’s Official Website.

Learn more about Alan Gilbert
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Leonidas Kavakos

Violin

Leonidas Kavakos

Violin

Leonidas Kavakos

Violin

The New York Philharmonic has named violinist and conductor Leonidas Kavakos The Mary and James G. Wallach Artist-in-Residence for the 2016–17 season. His residency features three solo appearances in repertoire ranging from the Baroque to the contemporary, his Philharmonic conducting debut, a recital with pianist Yuja Wang (presented in association with Lincoln Center’s Great Performers),and a Young People’s Concert. Also in the season he appears with The Philadelphia Orchestra; plays and conducts the Houston Symphony; embarks on a recital tour with Ms. Wang in both Europe and the U.S.; and undertakes a European tour with the Budapest Festival Orchestra and a tour to Switzerland with the Mariinsky Orchestra.

Mr. Kavakos had already won three major competitions by age 21: the Sibelius (1985), the Paganini (1988), and the Naumburg (1988). This success led to his making the first recording in history of the original Sibelius Violin Concerto (1903–04), which won the 1991 Gramophone Concerto of the Year Award.

He has since appeared regularly as soloist with the Vienna, Berlin, New York, and Los Angeles philharmonic orchestras; London, Boston, and Chicago symphony orchestras; and the Leipzig Gewandhaus and Philadelphia Orchestras. As a conductor Mr. Kavakos has worked with the Atlanta, Boston, London, and Vienna symphony orchestras; Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin; Maggio Musicale Fiorentino; Chamber Orchestra of Europe; Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France; and Budapest Festival Orchestra. This season he makes conducting debuts with the Gürzenich-Orchester Köln and Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra.

An exclusive Decca Classics recording artist, Mr. Kavakos’s first release on the label, of the complete Beethoven violin sonatas with pianist Enrico Pace (2013), earned him an ECHO Klassik Instrumentalist of the Year award. Later recordings include Brahms’s Violin Concerto with the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra and Riccardo Chailly; Brahms’s violin sonatas with Yuja Wang; and, his most recent recording, Virtuoso (released in April 2016). His earlier discography includes recordings for BIS, ECM, and Sony Classical. Mr. Kavakos was named Gramophone Artist of the Year 2014.

Leonidas Kavakos plays the “Abergavenny” Stradivarius violin of 1724. 

Learn more about Leonidas Kavakos

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Sheryl Staples

Violin

Sheryl Staples

Violin

Sheryl Staples

Violin

Violinist Sheryl Staples joined the New York Philharmonic as Principal Associate Concertmaster, The Elizabeth G. Beinecke Chair, in September 1998. She made her solo debut with the Philharmonic in 1999 performing Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto, led by Kurt Masur. She has since been featured in more than 25 performances, playing concertos by Mendelssohn, Mozart, Haydn, Bach, and Vivaldi with conductors including Alan Gilbert, Lorin Maazel, Kent Nagano, Jeffrey Kahane, and Sir Colin Davis. In addition she has performed as soloist with more than 45 orchestras nationwide, including The Cleveland Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Diego and Richmond Symphony Orchestras, and Louisiana Philharmonic. Most recently, she performed Mozart’s Sinfonia concertante with Principal Viola Cynthia Phelps, led by Jaap van Zweden in November 2014.

The New York Times wrote that “she is a perceptive musician, who plays with great rhythmic integrity and a lucid sense of phrase structure. ... she draws a wonderful array of vibrant and luminous colors ... interpretive honesty and unmannered elegance.” The Los Angeles Times said she has a “tantalizing mix of qualities. ... refinement and boldness, polish and fire. ... big, rich, sweeping tone, lacking nothing in warmth and evenness.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer praised her “aristocratic artistry coupled with violinistic mastery ... pinpoint accuracy and daring that took the breath away.”

An active chamber musician, Ms. Staples is a member of the New York Philharmonic String Quartet, established in the 2016–17 season, and frequently performs in the New York area in venues including David Geffen Hall, Merkin Concert Hall, 92nd Street Y, and The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Ms. Staples has performed chamber music for U.S. Ambassadors in London, Paris, Berlin, Beijing, and Hong Kong, and in 2013 she toured Mexico, Brazil, and Chile. Recent summer festival appearances include La Jolla Music Society’s SummerFest, Boston Chamber Music Society, and Salt Bay Chamberfest. She has also collaborated and performed at the chamber music festivals of Santa Fe, Mainly Mozart, Seattle, Aspen, Sarasota, Martha’s Vineyard, Strings Music Festival, and Brightstar Music Festival. She appears on three Stereophile compact discs with the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival.

Sheryl Staples is a native of Los Angeles, where she developed her love for ensemble work at an early age. She began studying the violin at age five, and her major mentors were Robert Lipsett and Heiichiro Ohyama. Before finishing studies at the University of Southern California’s (USC) Thornton School of Music, Ms. Staples was appointed concertmaster of the Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra and other professional ensembles in Los Angeles. She then became concertmaster of the Pacific Symphony in 1994 while enjoying a varied career consisting of solo appearances, chamber music, teaching (at USC’s Thornton School of Music and the Colburn School of Performing Arts), and Hollywood studio recording work for numerous major motion pictures.

At the age of 26 Ms. Staples joined The Cleveland Orchestra as associate concertmaster, a position she held for three years. In addition, she taught at the Cleveland Institute of Music, Encore School for Strings, and Kent/Blossom Music Festival, and she was a member of the Cleveland Orchestra Piano Trio. Currently she is on the violin faculty at the Manhattan School of Music and Juilliard Pre-College Division. She also serves on the faculty of The Juilliard School working with students aspiring toward orchestral careers.

Ms. Staples resides in New Jersey with her husband, percussionist Barry Centanni, and children, Michael and Laura. Mr. Centanni and Ms. Staples premiered William Kraft’s Concerto a Tre for piano, violin, and percussion, written for them, at Martha’s Vineyard Chamber Music Society’s summer festival and recorded it for release on the Albany Records label in 2008. They also premiered David Sampson’s Black River Concerto for solo violin, percussion, and orchestra in April 2011 with the Montclair State University Symphony.

Ms. Staples performs on the “Kartman” Guarneri del Gesu, ca. 1728, previously on loan from private collector Peter Mandell and now in the collection of the New York Philharmonic.

Learn more about Sheryl Staples

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Cynthia Phelps

Viola

Cynthia Phelps

Viola

Cynthia Phelps New York Philharmonic

Viola

Cynthia Phelps is the New York Philharmonic’s Principal Viola, The Mr. and Mrs. Frederick P. Rose Chair. Highlights of her solo appearances with the Orchestra have included the New York Premiere–Philharmonic Co-Commission of Julia Adolphe’s Unearth, Release, in 2016; performances on the 2006 Tour of Italy, sponsored by Generali; Mozart’s Sinfonia concertante in 2010 and 2014; and Sofia Gubaidulina’s Two Paths, which the Orchestra commissioned for her and Philharmonic Associate Principal Viola Rebecca Young and which they premiered in 1999 and reprised both on tour and in New York, most recently in 2011. Other solo engagements have included the Minnesota Orchestra, San Diego Symphony, Orquesta Sinfónica de Bilbao, and Hong Kong Philharmonic.

Ms. Phelps is a member of the New York Philharmonic String Quartet, established in the 2016–17 season, and performs with The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Jupiter Chamber Players, and the Santa Fe, La Jolla, Seattle, Chamber Music Northwest, and Bridgehampton festivals. She has appeared with the Guarneri, Tokyo, Orion, American, Brentano, and Prague Quartets, and the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio. She has given recitals in the major music capitals of Europe and the U.S. She is also a founding member of the chamber group Les Amies, a flute-harp-viola group with Philharmonic Principal Harp Nancy Allen and flutist Carol Wincenc.

Ms. Phelps is a first-prize winner of both the Lionel Tertis International Viola Competition and the Washington International String Competition, and is a recipient of the Pro Musicis International award. Under the auspices of this philanthropic organization, she has appeared as soloist in New York, Los Angeles, Boston, Rome, and Paris, as well as in prisons, hospitals, and drug rehabilitation centers worldwide. Her recording Air, for flute, viola, and harp on Arabesque, was nominated for a Grammy Award. Her television and radio credits include Live From Lincoln Center on PBS; St. Paul Sunday Morning on NPR; Radio France; Italy’s RAI; and WGBH in Boston. Ms. Phelps has served on the faculties at The Juilliard School and the Manhattan School of Music. She is married to cellist Ronald Thomas.

Learn more about Cynthia Phelps

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Carter Brey

Cello

Carter Brey

Cello

Carter Brey

Cello

Carter Brey was appointed Principal Cello, The Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Chair, of the New York Philharmonic in 1996. He made his official subscription debut with the Orchestra in May 1997 performing Tchaikovsky’s Rococo Variations under the direction of then Music Director Kurt Masur. He has since appeared as soloist almost every season, and was featured during The Bach Variations: A Philharmonic Festival, when he gave two performances of the cycle of all six of Bach’s cello suites. Most recently, he was the soloist in performances of Schumann’s Cello Concerto on the Orchestra’s CALIFORA 2016 tour, led by Music Director Alan Gilbert.

He rose to international attention in 1981 as a prizewinner in the Rostropovich International Cello Competition. The winner of the Gregor Piatigorsky Memorial Prize, Avery Fisher Career Grant, Young Concert Artists’ Michaels Award, and other honors, he also was the first musician to win the Arts Council of America’s Performing Arts Prize.

Mr. Brey has appeared as soloist with virtually all the major orchestras in the United States, and performed under the batons of prominent conductors including Claudio Abbado, Semyon Bychkov, Sergiu Comissiona, and Christoph von Dohnányi. He is a member of the New York Philharmonic String Quartet, established in the 2016–17 season, and has made regular appearances with the Tokyo and Emerson string quartets as well as The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and at festivals such as Spoleto (both in the United States and Italy), and the Santa Fe and La Jolla Chamber Music festivals. He and pianist Christopher O’Riley recorded Le Grand Tango: Music of Latin America, a disc of compositions from South America and Mexico released on Helicon Records.

Mr. Brey was educated at the Peabody Institute, where he studied with Laurence Lesser and Stephen Kates, and at Yale University, where he studied with Aldo Parisot and was a Wardwell Fellow and a Houpt Scholar. His violoncello is a rare J.B. Guadagnini made in Milan in 1754.

Learn more about Carter Brey

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Timothy Cobb

Bass

Timothy Cobb

Bass

Timothy Cobb

Bass

Bassist Timothy Cobb joined the New York Philharmonic as Principal Bass in May 2014, after serving as principal bass of The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, and principal bass of the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra since 1989. He has appeared at numerous chamber music festivals worldwide, including the Marlboro Music festival, through which he has toured with the Musicians from Marlboro series. A faculty member of the Sarasota Music Festival, he is helping to launch a new bass program for the Killington Music Festival in Killington, Vermont. Mr. Cobb also serves as principal bass for Valery Gergiev’s World Orchestra for Peace, an invited group of musicians from around the world who donate their time biannually and perform to promote international harmony. Mr. Cobb has been designated a UNESCO Artist for Peace from his affiliation with the World Orchestra. He has an ongoing collaboration with actor Stephen Lang, for whom he recorded a solo bass sound track for Mr. Lang’s animated short film The Wheatfield, which depicts a human drama from the Battle of Gettysburg. The two were invited to Gettysburg in July 2013 on the 150th anniversary of the battle to perform in the Salute to the States event held there, and they will continue to collaborate for future events. Mr. Cobb serves as bass department chair for The Juilliard School as well as on the faculties of the Manhattan School of Music, Purchase College, and Rutgers University. He is also a distinguished visiting artist for Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida. A native of Albany, New York, Timothy Cobb graduated from The Curtis Institute of Music, where he studied with Roger Scott. While at Curtis, Mr. Cobb was a substitute with The Philadelphia Orchestra and in his senior year became a member of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra under Georg Solti. Mr. Cobb can be heard on all Metropolitan Opera recordings released after 1986, as well as on a recording of Giovanni Bottesini’s duo bass music with bassist Thomas Martin on the Naxos label.

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Shai Wosner

Piano

Shai Wosner

Piano

Piano

Pianist Shai Wosner is a recipient of Lincoln Center’s Martin E. Segal Award, an Avery Fisher Career Grant, and a Borletti-Buitoni Trust Award — a prize he used to commission Michael Hersch’s concerto Along the Ravines, which he then performed with the Seattle Symphony and Deutsche Radio Philharmonie. Mr. Wosner launches a new solo recital series this season, Schubert: The Great Sonatas, which focuses on the composer’s last six piano sonatas. The series will continue in the 2017–18 season with performances at 92nd Street Y. Mr. Wosner also maintains his recent focus on Beethoven through performances of the last three piano concertos in the United States and abroad, and performances of the complete cello and piano works with Ralph Kirshbaum; their live recording of the cello and piano works at London’s Wigmore Hall was released by Onyx Classics in 2016. Mr. Wosner’s other recordings for Onyx include Impromptu (which features improvisationally inspired works by Schubert, Beethoven, Chopin, Liszt, Dvořák, Gershwin, and Ives); and concertos and capriccios by Haydn and Ligeti with the Danish National Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Nicholas Collon.

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