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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 Sara Bareilles, Brandon Victor Dixon, Renée Fleming, Joaquina Kalukango, 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



7:00 PM





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
  • Sara Bareilles


    Sara Bareilles has received two Tony Award nominations, three Primetime Emmy Award nominations, and seven Grammy Award nominations, and garnered a 2020 Grammy in the category of Best American Roots Performance for her song Saint Honesty. On Broadway, she composed music and lyrics for Waitress, and stepped into the lead role in 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021. Her other musical credits include a song on the Tony–nominated score for SpongeBob SquarePants and an Emmy-nominated appearance as Mary Magdalene in NBC’s production of Andrew Lloyd Weber’s Jesus Christ Superstar Live. Bareilles produced original music and executive produced the musical drama series Little Voice, teaming up with Jessie Nelson, J.J. Abrams, and Apple. She plays Dawn Solano on the Emmy-nominated musical comedy series Girls5eva, and recently starred as The Baker’s Wife in the Broadway revival of Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s Into the Woods.

    Learn more about Sara Bareilles
  • Ta’Rea Campbell


    Ta’Rea Campbell is currently starring as Angelica Schuyler in the national tour of Hamilton. Her starring roles on Broadway have included Nala in Disney’s The Lion King and Deloris in the national tour of Alan Menken & Glenn Slater’s Sister Act. Her other Broadway credits include Menken & Slater’s Leap of Faith, Trey Parker, Robert Lopez, and Matt Stone’s The Book of Mormon, Menken & Howard Ashman’s Little Shop of Horrors, and Elton John & Tim Rice’s Aida. In addition, she has appeared in On the Grounds of Belonging (at The Public Theatre), Spamalot (NC Theater), Caroline or Change (Baltimore Center Stage), The Gospel According to Fisherman (Signature), and more. Her television credits include Kevin Can Wait, Blue Bloods, and Law & Order. Campbell will be seen in the upcoming feature film Outpost.

    Learn more about Ta’Rea Campbell
  • Brandon Victor Dixon


    Brandon Victor Dixon — who has been nominated for Emmy, Tony, and Grammy awards — was most recently seen starring in Black No More, the acclaimed new musical inspired by George S. Schuyler’s Afrofuturist novel set during the Harlem Renaissance. The musical features a book by Academy Award winner John Ridley (12 Years a Slave); music by Tariq Trotter, Anthony Tidd, James Poyser, and Daryl Waters; lyrics by two-time Grammy Award winner Tariq Trotter (Black Thought, The Roots); choreography by two-time Tony Award winner Bill T. Jones (Spring Awakening and Fela!); and direction by The New Group’s founding artistic director, Scott Elliott. Dixon was lauded for his portrayal of Judas in NBC’s production of Jesus Christ Superstar Live (Emmy nomination) and starred in RENT Live! on Fox as Tom Collins. His previous Broadway credits include the roles of Aaron Burr in Hamilton, Eubie Blake in Shuffle Along (Tony nomination), Berry Gordy in Motown The Musical (Grammy and Drama League nominations), and Harpo in The Color Purple (Tony nomination). He appeared as Simba in the national tour of The Lion King. Off-Broadway credits include F**king A, Rent, and The Scottsboro Boys (Lucille Lortel, Drama League, Outer Critics Circle, and Laurence Olivier Award nominations). Brandon Victor Dixon played the starring role of Femi Jackson in 88, premiered at the 2022 Tribeca Film Festival. On television, he has been a series regular on Power on STARZ, She’s Gotta Have It for Netflix, Gone, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, and The Good Wife. Dixon was raised in Maryland and is a graduate of Columbia University. He is the co-founder of WalkRunFly Productions multimedia production company.

    Learn more about Brandon Victor Dixon
  • 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
  • Joaquina Kalukango


    Joaquina Kalukango received the 2022 Tony and Drama Desk Awards for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical for her performance as Nelly O’Brien in Paradise Square. She received a 2020 Tony Award nomination for her performance in the critically acclaimed Broadway production of Slave Play. For that production she also received an Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Actress, and listed her as one of the top five performers (male or female) of the year. Kalukango is a 2021 SAG Award nominee for Cast in a Motion Picture for her role as Betty X opposite Kingsley Ben-Adir in Regina King’s directorial debut, One Night in Miami. She had a recurring role on the HBO series Lovecraft Country. Other TV credits include Ava DuVernay’s Netflix series When They See Us and Robin Roberts Presents: Mahalia, directed by Kenny Leon. Additional Broadway credits include The Color Purple, Holler If Ya Hear Me, and Godspell.

    Learn more about Joaquina Kalukango
  • 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
  • Nik Walker


    Nik Walker is an actor, screenwriter, cinephile, and theme-park nerd currently starring as Aaron Burr in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton at the Richard Rodgers Theater on Broadway. He is also the cohost of the arts / activism talk show The Chaos Twins. His movie podcast, Little Justice, is streaming across multiple podcast platforms. In addition, Walker is an adjunct professor at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.

    Learn more about Nik Walker
  • 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 — comprising New York–based, freelance professional vocalists — appears in four of the Orchestra’s programs over the season, each time prepared by Malcom J. Merriweather. The New York Philharmonic Chorus makes its debut in October on the two David Geffen Hall Opening Galas: The Journey, a star-studded evening, and The Joy, performing in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony and the World Premiere of Angélica Negrón’s You Are the Prelude, which the NY Phil commissioned for the occasion. Later in the season the Chorus 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. Malcolm J. Merriweather, a Grammy–nominated conductor and baritone, is preparing the New York Philharmonic Chorus for all of its appearances in the Orchestra’s 2022–23 season. He is music director of New York City’s The Dessoff Choirs, 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 in London and the Vatican, before Pope Francis. Merriweather's repertoire ranges from J.S. Bach to the world premiere recording of Margaret Bonds’s The Ballad of the Brown King (AVIE Records). As a baritone, Merriweather, who studied with Rita Shane, has appeared as soloist throughout the United States and premiered dozens of contemporary solo works. He was a fellowship recipient at Tanglewood and earned degrees from the Eastman School of Music, 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


    The Juilliard Preparatory Division offers two comprehensive conservatory-style music programs, Pre-College and the Music Advancement Program (MAP), for students ages 8 to 18. Pre-College serves a global population of advanced students who exhibit the talent, potential, and ambition to pursue serious music study at the college level. MAP serves intermediate and advanced music students from New York City’s five boroughs and the tri-state area who demonstrate a commitment to artistic excellence. MAP actively seeks students from diverse backgrounds underrepresented in the classical music field and is led by artistic director and New York Philharmonic Principal Clarinet Anthony McGill. The Preparatory Division has approximately 370 students and is led by dean and director Weston Sprott. Though the vast majority of Preparatory Division students are instrumental majors, participation in the chorus has long played a meaningful role in supporting their musical development. Choral classes were first introduced to Juilliard’s Preparatory Center in 1924, with the first choral singing and sight-singing courses listed in the Preparatory Catalog in 1925. When the Preparatory Center was reestablished as the Pre-College in 1969, chorus remained in the catalogue for many years until eventually splitting into the present-day High School and Youth Choruses. Chorus has been a part of the MAP curriculum since the program’s early days and became required for all students in 2017. Today’s milestone performance combines the MAP Chorus directed by Adrian Rodriguez, Pre-College High School Chorus directed by Patrick Romano, and Pre-College Youth Chorus directed by Esther Liu Harris. This is the first time the choruses are appearing together at David Geffen Hall.


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