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The Journey: David Geffen Hall Opening Gala

Oct 26

The historic first Opening Night Gala concert of the new hall brings some of Broadway’s biggest stars to our stage. With Lin-Manuel Miranda performing a suite from Hamilton, and vocalists Renée Fleming, Jonathan Groff, Lindsay Mendez, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Bernadette Peters, and Vanessa Williams also joining the NY Phil, the evening is a fitting celebration of the successful completion of a 20-year journey. Expect more surprises and special appearances as we showcase the innovative ways the new David Geffen Hall will serve performers and audiences of the future.

Enhance your experience by attending the entire Gala evening, including a celebratory reception and seated dinner. The October 26 and October 28 Galas are fundraising events for the New York Philharmonic and Lincoln Center. For information about sponsorship opportunities, please click here or contact Nathan Urbach at (212) 875-5688 or urbachn@nyphil.org.

Tickets for this event will go on sale Tuesday, September 27, at 10 AM.



7:00 PM




Buy Tickets

Wu Tsai Theater, David Geffen Hall


  • Jaap van Zweden


    Jaap van Zweden began his tenure as the 26th Music Director of the New York Philharmonic in September 2018. He also serves as Music Director of the Hong Kong Philharmonic, a post he has held since 2012. He has conducted orchestras on three continents, appearing as guest with leading orchestras such as, in Europe, the Orchestre de Paris, Amsterdam’s Royal Concertgebouw, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Vienna Philharmonic, Berlin Philharmonic, and, London Symphony Orchestra, and, in the United States, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, and Los Angeles Philharmonic.

    In the 2021–22 season, Jaap van Zweden and the New York Philharmonic perform at Alice Tully Hall and the Rose Theater at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Frederick P. Rose Hall during the accelerated renovation of David Geffen Hall — scheduled to reopen in the fall of 2022 — and in three concerts presented by Carnegie Hall. In addition to symphonic cornerstones, he conducts the Orchestra in the World Premieres of works by Sarah Kirkland Snider, Gregory Spears, Joel Thompson, and Joan Tower; a US Premiere by Nico Muhly; and New York Premieres of works by Hannah Kendall and Nina Shekhar.

    Highlights from recent Philharmonic seasons include the launch of Project 19, the multiyear initiative marking the centennial of the 19th Amendment with commissions by 19 women composers, including Tania León’s Stride, which was awarded the 2021 Pulitzer Prize in Music; the new, staged production of Schoenberg’s Erwartung and Bartók’s Bluebeard’s Castle; his first Young People’s Concert; and works by Barber, Beethoven, Bruckner, Philip Glass, Mozart, Steve Reich, Ellen Reid, Shostakovich, Tchaikovsky, Nina C. Young, and more, including the school-age participants in the New York Philharmonic Very Young Composers Program.

    Jaap van Zweden’s most recent recording is the 2020 release of the World Premiere of David Lang’s prisoner of the state, following the 2019 release of Julia Wolfe’s Fire in my mouth, both part of the Philharmonic’s partnership with Decca Gold, Universal Music Group’s newly established US classical music label. He conducted the first-ever performances in Hong Kong of Wagner’s Ring Cycle, the recordings of which are available on the Naxos label. His acclaimed performances of Lohengrin, Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, and Parsifal — the last of which earned him the prestigious Edison Award for Best Opera Recording in 2012 — are available on CD and DVD.

    Born in Amsterdam, Jaap van Zweden was appointed at age 19 as the youngest-ever concertmaster of Amsterdam’s Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. He began his conducting career almost 20 years later, in 1996. He remains Honorary Chief Conductor of the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, where he was Chief Conductor (2005–13), served as Chief Conductor of the Royal Flanders Orchestra (2008–11), and was Music Director of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra (2008–18), where he is now Conductor Laureate. Jaap van Zweden was named Musical America’s 2012 Conductor of the Year and was the subject of an October 2018 CBS 60 Minutes profile on the occasion of his arrival at the New York Philharmonic. Recently, he was awarded the prestigious 2020 Concertgebouw Prize. Under his leadership the Hong Kong Philharmonic was named Gramophone’s 2019 Orchestra of the Year.

    In 1997 Jaap van Zweden and his wife, Aaltje, established the Papageno Foundation to support families of children with autism. The Foundation has grown into a multifaceted organization that focuses on the development of children and young adults with autism. The Foundation provides in-home music therapy through a national network of qualified music therapists in The Netherlands; opened the Papageno House in 2015 (with Her Majesty Queen Maxima in attendance) for young adults with autism to live, work, and participate in the community; created a research center at the Papageno House for early diagnosis and treatment of autism and for analyzing the effects of music therapy on autism; develops funding opportunities to support autism programs; and, most recently, launched the app TEAMPapageno, which allows children with autism to communicate with each other through music composition.

    Learn more about Jaap van Zweden
  • Rob Mathes


    Rob Mathes is an Emmy-winning and Tony, Grammy, and Drama Desk Award–nominated arranger / composer and music producer / director. He has produced recordings by Sting, Carly Simon, Rod Stewart, Bettye LaVette, Vanessa Williams, Melissa Errico, and Panic at The Disco. He won the Emmy for his work on the Kennedy Center Honors, a program that he served as musical director for more than a decade. He directed President Obama’s inaugural celebration for HBO and PBS’s Great Performances 40th anniversary special. He orchestrated Bruce Springsteen’s last three records, and music-directed and arranged Springsteen’s film Western Stars. Raised by Yale-trained classical musicians who weaned him on Bernstein and Mahler, as well as Bob Dylan, Mathes has written orchestrations for artists from Elton John, Tony Bennett, Lou Reed, and Mavis Staples to Jay Z, Mary J. Blige, Beyonce, and Beck; from Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, Eric Clapton, and Fall Out Boy to classical artists Renée Fleming, Bryn Terfel, Deborah Voigt, and Yo-Yo Ma. Mathes has written the scores for two HBO films nominated for Best Original Score Emmys: Thurgood, starring Lawrence Fishburne, and the documentary Herblock. In 2010 Mahler expert Gilbert Kaplan hired him to make an orchestral reduction of Mahler’s Symphony No. 2, Resurrection, now published by Universal Music. Mathes has written music for the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Nashville Symphony, National Symphony, Boston Symphony, and Royal Philharmonic orchestras. His songs have been recorded by Bonnie Raitt, Aaron Neville, Vanessa Williams, Faith Hill, and Rascal Flatts. He co-wrote several songs with Sting for his album The Last Ship, and music-supervised and orchestrated the Broadway show of the same name. He has been working with Elvis Costello on a musical in development at the Public Theater. Rob Mathes arranged and conducted the song scores for the films In The Heights, The Greatest Showman starring Hugh Jackman, and Tick, Tick… Boom!, directed by Lin-Manuel Miranda, and wrote the arrangements for Panic at The Disco’s No. 1 record Pray for The Wicked. He orchestrated Weezer’s OK Human and conducted the band’s concert film with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at Walt Disney Concert Hall. Records released under his own name include Evening Train and Orchestral Songs, recorded at London’s Abbey Road Studios.

    Learn more about Rob Mathes
  • Renée Fleming


    Renée Fleming is one of the most acclaimed singers of our time, performing on the stages of the world’s greatest opera houses and concert halls. Honored with four Grammy Awards and the US National Medal of Arts, she has sung for momentous occasions, ranging from the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony to the Super Bowl. In November Fleming appears at The Metropolitan Opera in the world premiere staging of Kevin Puts’s The Hours, based on the award-winning novel and film. The same month, Decca releases an album of Fleming’s greatest live moments at The Met, including performances never before available on CD or for download. Last year, she recorded Voice of Nature: The Anthropocene, a collection of classical songs and world premieres focused on nature as both inspiration and casualty of humans. Fleming is currently starring in Renée Fleming’s Cities That Sing, a series of IMAX films. Her concert calendar this season includes appearances in London, Paris, Vienna, Milan, Los Angeles, and Chicago. Fleming is a leading advocate for research at the intersection of arts, health, and neuroscience. As artistic advisor to the Kennedy Center, she launched the first ongoing collaboration between America’s national cultural center and the National Institutes of Health. She has presented her program Music and the Mind in more than 50 cities around the world. Advisor for Special Projects at Los Angeles Opera, Fleming also leads SongStudio at Carnegie Hall, and co-directs the Aspen Opera Center and VocalArts. She earned a Tony Award nomination for her performance in the 2018 Broadway production of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Carousel. Other honors include the Fulbright Lifetime Achievement Medal, Germany’s Cross of the Order of Merit, and France’s Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur.

    Learn more about Renée Fleming
  • Lin-Manuel Miranda


    Lin-Manuel Miranda is a Pulitzer Prize, Grammy, Emmy, and Tony award–winning songwriter, actor, producer, and director. Miranda is the creator and original star of Broadway’s Tony-winning Hamilton and In the Heights. Additional Broadway credits include Freestyle Love Supreme (2020 Special Tony Award recipient), Bring It On: The Musical (co-composer / co-lyricist, Tony nomination for Best Musical), West Side Story (2009 revival, Spanish translations), and the upcoming New York, New York (additional lyrics for new John Kander songs). He is the recipient of the 2015 MacArthur Foundation Award, the 2018 Kennedy Center Honors, and the 2019 Portrait of a Nation Prize. He won an Emmy Award with Tom Kitt for their song “Bigger” from the 67th Annual Tony Awards. Miranda and the Miranda family are active supporters of initiatives that increase people of color’s representation throughout the arts and government, ensure access to women’s reproductive health, and promote resilience in Puerto Rico. His television and film credits include: Encanto (2021 Oscar nomination, Best Original Song), Hamilton (2021 Emmy Award), tick, tick…BOOM! (film directorial debut), In the Heights, Vivo, His Dark Materials, Fosse/Verdon, We the People, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Curb Your Enthusiasm (2018 Emmy nomination, Guest Actor), Saturday Night Live (2017 Emmy nomination, Guest Actor), Sesame Street, The Electric Company, House, DuckTales, 200 Cartas, The Odd Life of Timothy Green, Moana (2017 Oscar nomination, Grammy Award for Best Original Song), and Mary Poppins Returns. Miranda received his bachelor’s degree from Wesleyan University in 2002. He lives with his family in New York.

    Learn more about Lin-Manuel Miranda
  • Brian Stokes Mitchell


    Two-time Tony Award winner Brian Stokes Mitchell has enjoyed a career that spans Broadway, television, film, and concert appearances with the country’s finest conductors and orchestras. He received Tony, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics Circle awards for his star turn in Kiss Me, Kate. He also gave Tony-nominated performances in Man of La Mancha, August Wilson’s King Hedley II, and Ragtime. Other notable Broadway shows include Kiss of the Spider Woman, Jelly’s Last Jam, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, and Shuffle Along. In 2016 he was awarded his second Tony, the prestigious Isabelle Stevenson Tony, for his charitable work with The Entertainment Community Fund (formerly The Actors Fund). That same year Stokes Mitchell was inducted into the Theatre Hall of Fame. Stokes has performed at venues spanning jazz, opera, pops, country, and musical theater worlds. He has worked with John Williams, Marvin Hamlisch, Gustavo Dudamel, Keith Lockhart, Michael Tilson Thomas, The Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Big Band, The Mormon Tabernacle choir, and the Muppets. He has made multiple appearances at Carnegie Hall, including a televised performance of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s South Pacific; has been invited twice to perform at The White House (aired on PBS); and performed for Presidents Clinton and Obama. Brian Stokes Mitchell has appeared on more than 20 albums and multiple television series. He has released three additional solo recordings on which he served as producer, arranger, and orchestrator, and is a published writer. He has worked with numerous charitable organizations from the March of Dimes to the USO, sits on the board of Americans for the Arts, and is serving his 14th term as board chairman of the Entertainment Community Fund.

  • Bernadette Peters


    Throughout her illustrious career, Bernadette Peters has dazzled audiences and critics with her performances on stage, film and television, in concert, and on recordings. She has garnered numerous accolades, including three Tony Awards, a Golden Globe, four Emmy and Grammy nominations, and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Peters recently starred on Broadway in Hello, Dolly! Other stage credits include Follies, A Little Night Music, Gypsy, Annie Get Your Gun (Tony Award), The Goodbye Girl, Into the Woods (Drama Desk nomination), Song and Dance (Tony and Drama Desk Awards), Sunday in the Park with George, Mack & Mabel, and On the Town. She also starred in City Center’s Encores! A Bed and a Chair: A New York Love Affair, featuring music by Sondheim and orchestrations by Wynton Marsalis. Her impressive list of television credits includes Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist (Emmy nomination), The Good Fight, Mozart in the Jungle, Smash, Ugly Betty, Grey’s Anatomy, Bobbie’s Girl (Emmy nomination), Ally McBeal (Emmy nomination), and Apple TV’s High Desert, scheduled to be released early 2023. Peters has appeared in over 30 films, including Pennies from Heaven (Golden Globe Award), The Jerk, The Longest Yard, Silent Movie, Annie, Pink Cadillac, Slaves of New York, Woody Allen’s Alice, Impromptu, Living Proof, It Runs in the Family, Coming Up Roses, The Broken Hearts Gallery, and tick, tick…BOOM! She has recorded six solo albums, including the Grammy-nominated I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight, Sondheim, Etc.: Bernadette Peters Live at Carnegie Hall, and Bernadette Peters Loves Rodgers & Hammerstein. Peters is a New York Times bestselling author of three children’s books with two original songs: Broadway Barks, Stella is a Star, and Stella and Charlie: Friends Forever

    Learn more about Bernadette Peters
  • Vanessa Williams


    Vanessa Williams is one of the most respected and multifaceted performers in the entertainment industry today, selling millions of records worldwide. Her work in music, film, television, and on the Broadway stage has been recognized with four Emmy nominations, 11 Grammy nominations, a Tony nomination, three SAG Award nominations, and seven NAACP Image Awards. Her platinum single Colors of the Wind, from Disney’s Pocahontas, won an Oscar, a Grammy, and the Golden Globe for Best Original Song. Williams’s 2012 autobiography You Have No Idea — co-written with her mother, Helen Williams was a New York Times bestseller, and she released Bubble Kisses, her first picture book for children, in 2020. Most recently, she starred in the world premiere of Selina Fillinger’s new Broadway comedy POTUS: Or, Behind Every Great Dumbass Are Seven Women Trying to Keep Him Alive, directed by Tony Award winner Susan Stroman. She is part of the star-studded panel of judges for RuPaul’s Paramount+ competition series Queen of the Universe, which will return for a second season. She made her New York Philharmonic debut as Julie in the Orchestra’s production of Jerome Kern’s Showboat.

  • New York Philharmonic Chorus
        Malcolm J. Merriweather, Director


    The New York Philharmonic has established the New York Philharmonic Chorus to mark the opening of the new David Geffen Hall in the 2022–23 season. The ensemble of New York–based, professional vocalists appears in three of the Orchestra’s programs over the season under the direction of Malcolm J. Merriweather. The NY Phil chorus makes its debut in October on the Opening Gala: The Joy, conducted by Music Director Jaap van Zweden, performing Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony and the World Premiere of Angélica Negrón’s You are the Prelude, which the Philharmonic commissioned for the occasion. The New York Philharmonic Chorus also appears in Adolphus Hailstork’s Done Made My Vow, A Ceremony, in March and in the New York Premiere of John Luther Adams’s Become Desert, a work co-commissioned by the Orchestra, in June. Grammy-nominated conductor and baritone Malcolm J. Merriweather is the Director of the newly created New York Philharmonic Chorus and music director of New York City’s The Dessoff Choirs. He is an associate professor at Brooklyn College, and on the faculty at the Manhattan School of Music. He has conducted ensembles in venues including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Madison Square Garden in New York, as well as at Westminster Abbey and the Vatican before Pope Francis. His repertoire covers everything from Bach to the world premiere recording of The Ballad of the Brown King by Margaret Bonds (AVIE Records). As a baritone, Merriweather studied with Rita Shane and has been featured as a soloist throughout the United States, and has premiered dozens of contemporary solo works. He was a fellowship recipient at Tanglewood. He has earned degrees from Eastman, Manhattan School of Music, and Syracuse University.

    Learn more about New York Philharmonic Chorus
        Malcolm J. Merriweather, Director
  • Juilliard Preparatory Division Chorus
         Esther Liu Harris, Adrian Rodriguez, and Patrick Romano, Directors



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