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Calendar

Bernstein's Philharmonic: A Centennial Festival

Insights at the Atrium: "Inside the Orchestra: Working with Bernstein"

Location

David Rubenstein Atrium

Directions
Price Range

Free

Date & Times

11

Nov, 2017

Saturday, 4:00 PM

Event Info

New York Philharmonic musicians past and present reflect on the influential former Music Director as conductor and colleague. This event complements Bernstein’s Philharmonic: A Centennial Festival, a three-week celebration of the late Laureate Conductor as composer, interpreter, and educator as part of the global celebration of his 100th birthday year. Philharmonic Archivist / Historian Barbara Haws moderates.

Seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Subscribers, Friends at the Fellow level and above, and Patrons may secure guaranteed admission by e-mailing AdultEd@nyphil.org.
 

Artists

Joseph Alessi

Speaker

Joseph Alessi

Speaker

Joseph Alessi

Speaker

Joseph Alessi was appointed Principal Trombone of the New York Philharmonic, The Gurnee F. and Marjorie L. Hart Chair, in the spring of 1985. He began musical studies in his native California with his father, Joseph Alessi, Sr., as a high school student in San Rafael, California, and was a soloist with the San Francisco Symphony before continuing his musical training at the Curtis Institute of Music. Before joining the Philharmonic, Mr. Alessi was second trombone of The Philadelphia Orchestra for four seasons, and principal trombone of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra for one season. He has performed as guest principal trombonist with the London Symphony Orchestra in Carnegie Hall, led by Pierre Boulez.

Mr. Alessi is an active soloist, recitalist, and chamber musician. In April 1990 he made his New York Philharmonic solo debut, performing Creston’s Fantasy for Trombone, and in 1992 premiered Christopher Rouse’s Pulitzer Prize–winning Trombone Concerto with the Philharmonic, which commissioned the work for its 150th anniversary celebration. He performed the World Premiere of Melinda Wagner’s Trombone Concerto, conducted by Lorin Maazel in February 2007. In July 2013 he appeared with the Philharmonic as soloist in Bramwell Tovey’s The Lincoln Tunnel Cabaret for Trombone and Orchestra, written for Mr. Alessi, at Summertime Classics and at Bravo! Vail, both performances conducted by the composer. In June 2016 he gave the World Premiere of William Bolcom’s Trombone Concerto, a Philharmonic co-commission, conducted by then Music Director Alan Gilbert as part of the NY PHIL BIENNIAL; Mr. Alessi and the Philharmonic, led by Alan Gilbert, reprised the concerto in the 2016–17 season.

Mr. Alessi has been a guest soloist with the Lincoln, Colorado, Syracuse, Virginia, Alabama, Santa Barbara, Puerto Rico, Hartford, and South Dakota symphony orchestras; New Japan, Seoul, Hague, and Helsinki philharmonic orchestras; National Repertory Orchestra; Orchestra of Teatro Massimo Bellini in Catania, Sicily; Mannheim National Theater Orchestra; and National Symphony of Taiwan. Mr. Alessi has also participated in numerous festivals, including the Festivale Musica di Camera in Protogruaro, Italy; Cabrillo Music Festival; Swiss Brass Week; and Lieksa Brass Week in Finland. He was featured in the 1997 International Trombone Festival in Feldkirch, Austria, and the International Meeting of Brass Instruments in Lille, France. He is a founding member of the Summit Brass ensemble at the Rafael Mendez Brass Institute in Tempe, Arizona. In 2002 Mr. Alessi was awarded an International Trombone Association Award for his contributions to the world of trombone music and trombone playing.

Joseph Alessi is currently on the faculty of The Juilliard School; his students now occupy posts with many major symphony orchestras in the U.S. and internationally. As a clinician for the Edwards Instrument Co., he has also given master classes throughout the world and has toured Europe extensively as a master teacher and recitalist. He has performed as soloist with several leading concert bands, including the U.S. Military Academy Band at West Point, U.S. Army Band (“Pershing’s Own”), and the U.S. Marine Band (“The President’s Own”).

Mr. Alessi’s discography includes many releases on the Summit record label, including Trombonastics and Fandango, with retired Philharmonic Principal Trumpet Philip Smith. He also recorded New York Legends on the Cala label, Return to Sorrento on the Naxos record label, and conductor/composer Bramwell Tovey’s Urban Cabaret. His live recording with the Philharmonic of Christopher Rouse’s Pulitzer Prize–winning Trombone Concerto, commissioned for the Orchestra’s 150th anniversary project, can be heard on Volume II of An American Celebration, on New York Philharmonic Special Editions, the Orchestra’s own recording label.

Mr. Alessi was invited by the International Trombone Association to record a solo disc of newly composed works, which was distributed to the Association’s membership of 5,000 trombonists in early 1999 and is now available as Beyond the End of the Century through Summit Records. His recording of George Crumb’s Starchild on the Bridge record label, featuring Mr. Alessi as soloist, won a Grammy Award for 1999–2000. Other recordings featuring Mr. Alessi are with the Canadian Brass (Sony Classical and Philips Records). Further information about Mr. Alessi can be found on his website, www.slidearea.com.

Learn more about Joseph Alessi

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Evangeline Benedetti

Speaker

Evangeline Benedetti

Speaker

Speaker

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Bert Bial

Speaker

Bert Bial

Speaker

Speaker

Bert Bial joined the New York Philharmonic as contrabassoonist/bassoonist in 1957, after three years with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. A graduate of The Juilliard School, he had studied with the inimitable Simon Kovar, also of the New York Philharmonic. En route to the Philharmonic, Mr. Bial played with the Longines Symphonette and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. Throughout his career with the Philharmonic, he was active with chamber music and teaching, and he also regularly engaged in making metal sculptures and paintings.

Mr. Bial frequently functioned as the Philharmonic’s official photographer. A one-man show of his photographs of the musicians of the Orchestra and soloists appearing with them, titled “Bert Bial’s Philharmonic,” was displayed in Avery Fisher Hall (now David Geffen Hall) in 1971. In 1992, the Philharmonic published a book of Mr. Bial’s photographs titled Focus on the Philharmonic, in honor of the Orchestra’s 150th anniversary.

Over the years Mr. Bial served the musician membership by participating in six orchestra committees, four of which were contract-negotiating bodies.

Learn more about Bert Bial

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Sherry Sylar

Speaker

Sherry Sylar

Speaker

Sherry Sylar

Speaker

Sherry Sylar is Associate Principal Oboe of the New York Philharmonic, a position she has held since joining the orchestra in 1984. She was the Orchestra’s Acting Principal Oboe during the 2005–06 season and has also served as guest principal oboe for other major orchestras, including the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (in December 2015, led by Riccardo Muti), Boston Symphony Orchestra (in its 2001 tour, led by Bernard Haitink), the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France (for its 2003 Carnegie Hall debut, conducted by Myung-Whun Chung), the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra (in its 2007 American tour), and the St. Louis Symphony. Prior to joining the New York Philharmonic she was a member of the Louisville Orchestra. She was among the select group of Philharmonic musicians who joined the orchestra that Leonard Bernstein conducted in the historic Freedom Concert at the falling of the Berlin Wall in 1989.

As a featured soloist with the New York Philharmonic, she has performed Haydn’s Sinfonia Concertante in B-flat major, conducted by Jeffrey Kahane, and Bach’s Concerto for Violin and Oboe, with the Orchestra’s Principal Associate Concertmaster Sheryl Staples, conducted by Kent Nagano. In 1989 she was soloist in the Orchestra’s performances and recording of Handel’s Oboe Concerto in G minor, Zubin Mehta conducting. She also serves as the New York Philharmonic’s oboe d’amore player, and she earned praise from The New York Times for her solos on that instrument during the orchestra’s 2013 The Bach Variations: A Philharmonic Festival. In March 2016 she performed the World Premiere of Pablo Furman’s Concerto for Oboe and Strings with the San Jose Chamber Orchestra.

An avid performer of chamber music, she appears often in the concerts of the New York Philharmonic Ensembles and has participated in the Aspen and Grand Teton Music Festivals. She played Luciano Berio’s Sequenza VIIa for solo oboe at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Rose Theater as part of the New York Philharmonic’s celebration of the late composer in 2008. She is also a member of the Philharmonic Quintet of New York, which was formed in 2001 to give concerts for workers in the World Trade Center area following the disaster of 9/11. The quintet has gone on to give master classes and recitals worldwide and is preparing its first CD.

Ms. Sylar gives master classes for oboists internationally and was invited to China as a judge for the Beijing National Orchestra’s first-ever auditions. A native of Chattanooga, Tennessee, she earned her bachelor’s degree at Indiana University and her master’s degree from Northwestern University. She formerly taught at the University of Evansville in Indiana and since 2005 has served on the oboe faculty of Mannes College The New School for Music in New York City. Her new CD, Oboe Dolce, includes solo oboe and chamber music featuring Principal Bassoon Judith LeClair, Principal Viola Cynthia Phelps, Harriet Wingreen, Jonathan Feldman, Yi Fang Wang, and Norman Weiss. 

Learn more about Sherry Sylar

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Barbara Haws

Moderator

Barbara Haws

Moderator

Moderator

Barbara Haws, the New York Philharmonic’s Archivist/Historian since 1984, has lectured extensively about the Orchestra’s past and curated major exhibitions at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts (1992), London Barbican (2000), and Cologne Philharmonie (1998). In the fall of 2003 she mounted the largest multimedia exhibition on the Philharmonic’s history, which opened at the UBS Art Gallery and relocated to the Grand Promenade and Tiers of Avery Fisher Hall. She has lectured at Bard College, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Grolier Club, as well as in the New York Philharmonic’s Pre-Concert Talks. In 1995 Barbara Haws became the Executive Producer of the Philharmonic’s Special Editions record label, which released award-winning and Grammy-nominated CD collections, including the 12-CD set The Mahler Broadcasts: 1948–1982; the10-CD set Bernstein LIVE; and the first new recording in 20 years of Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd: Live at the New York Philharmonic. Ms. Haws has been an archival consultant to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the Leonard Bernstein Estate, and a project archivist for the Bowery Savings Bank, the Jackie Robinson Papers, and Trinity Church. She has served as president of the Archivist Round Table of Metropolitan New York, is a founder of New York Archives Week, and is a Board Advisor to the Brooklyn Academy of Music Archives. Barbara Haws, who has a master’s degree in history from New York University, collaborated with Burton Bernstein as author of Leonard Bernstein: American Original, published in September 2008 by Harper Collins, and authored the essay “U.C. Hill, An American Musician Abroad (1835–37),” in American Orchestras in the Nineteenth Century, ed. John Spitzer (The University of Chicago Press, 2012). She led the effort to digitize 1.3 million pages of archival material, funded by the Leon Levy Foundation and available online at archives.nyphil.org. 

Learn more about Barbara Haws

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