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Feb 29 - Mar 01


An international cast joins the NY Phil for the US Premiere of Aaron Zigman & Mark Campbell’s Émigré, a new oratorio that traces the story of Jewish refugees who fled to Shanghai to escape the Holocaust. Long Yu conducts this semi-staged production.

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7:30 PM




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Wu Tsai Theater, David Geffen Hall

Program To Include

Aaron Zigman & Mark Campbell

Émigré (US Premiere–New York Philharmonic Co-Commission with the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra)


  • Long Yu


    A prominent figure in China’s classical music scene, conductor and impresario Long Yu has devoted his career to steering China’s growing connection to classical music while familiarizing international audiences with the country’s most eminent musicians and composers. Maestro Yu currently holds the top position in China’s three most prominent orchestras from north to south — artistic director of the China Philharmonic Orchestra (CPO) in Beijing and music director of both the Shanghai and Guangzhou Symphony Orchestras — as well as principal guest conductor of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra. He is co-director of Shanghai’s Music in the Summer Air festival and chair of the Artistic Committee of the Beijing Music Festival, an annual autumn event that he founded in 1998 and served as artistic director until 2017. He is currently vice president of the China Musicians Association and Chairman of its recently established League of China Orchestras.

    Under Yu’s baton, the CPO became the first Chinese orchestra to perform at the Vatican’s Paul VI Auditorium, a concert attended by Pope Benedict XVI. In 2014 Yu led the CPO in the first Chinese orchestral performance at the BBC Proms in London.

    Long Yu’s initiatives include founding the Shanghai Orchestra Academy, China’s first postgraduate training program for orchestral musicians, in partnership with the Shanghai Conservatory of Music and the New York Philharmonic, which also named him an honorary member of its International Advisory Board. He also launched the biennial Shanghai Isaac Stern International Violin Competition in 2016 and led the Artistic Committee of Youth Music Culture Guangdong, a performance and educational initiative inaugurated in 2017. In 2018, Yu became the first Chinese conductor to sign an exclusive contract with Deutsche Grammophon.

    He has conducted many highly acclaimed orchestras throughout the world. His honors include the Global Citizen Award from the Atlantic Council, the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany, and the Samuel Simons Sanford Award from the Yale School of Music; being named a Chevalier dans L’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres; receiving the title L’onorificenza di Commendatore dell’Ordine al Merito from the Italian government; and being elected a Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

    Learn more about Long Yu
  • Mary Birnbaum


    Mary Birnbaum has directed opera and music theater around the world, including staging critically acclaimed productions of Monteverdi’s L’OrfeoMissy Mazzoli’s Proving Up, and Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia at The Juilliard School and The Classical Style at Carnegie Hall. She was nominated as best newcomer at The European Opera Awards in 2015; in 2019 her production of Puccini’s La bohème opened the 2019 Santa Fe Opera season, and her production of Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas toured to Opera Holland Park and Opéra de Versailles in 2019. Birnbaum has also directed productions at Opera Philadelphia, Seattle Opera, Bard Summerscape, Opera Columbus, Virginia Opera, Virginia Arts Festival, Ojai Festival, Montclair Peak Performances, and Boston Baroque in the US, as well as in Taiwan (with the National Symphony Orchestra), Central America (National Theatre of Costa Rica and Guatemala), Australia, and Israel.

    Learn more about Mary Birnbaum
  • Meigui Zhang


    Meigui Zhang’s 2022–23 season features her role debut as Euridice in San Francisco Opera’s production of Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice, Atlanta Opera debut as Zerlina in Mozart’s Don Giovanni, and return to The Metropolitan Opera covering Ilia in Mozart’s Idomeneo. She is also engaged as the soprano soloist in Mozart’s Requiem with the North Carolina Symphony, Beethoven’s Missa solemnis with Bard College’s The Orchestra Now, and Bruckner’s Te Deum with New Jersey Symphony.

    Learn more about Meigui Zhang
  • Diana Newman


    American soprano Diana Newman brings fresh and intense performances to opera houses and concert stages across the United States and Europe. During the 2022–23 season she appeared with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra as the soprano soloist in Bernstein’s Kaddish Symphony, Dallas Opera as Woglinde in Wagner’s Das Rheingold, and Despina in Mozart’s Così fan tutte.

    Learn more about Diana Newman
  • Huiling Zhu


    Shanghai-born mezzo-soprano Huiling Zhu graduated from the high school affiliated with the Shanghai Conservatory of Music, Hochschule für Musik und Theater Hamburg, and Musikhochschule Stuttgart. As one of the most high-profile vocal artists in China, Huiling Zhu regularly collaborates with all major orchestras and operas houses, performing operas such as Wagner’s Tannhäuser, Ravel’s L’Heure espagnole, and Bizet’s Carmen, as well as Mahler’s Symphonies Nos. 2, 3, and 8 and Das Lied von der Erde, the Verdi Requiem, and the world premiere of Ye Xiaogang’s Symphony No. 4, Songs from the Steppe, and No. 5, Lu Xun.

    Learn more about Huiling Zhu
  • Ben Bliss


    Ben Bliss is quickly establishing himself as one of the most exciting performers on today’s operatic stage, both in his native America and internationally. A 2021 recipient of The Metropolitan Opera’s prestigious Beverly Sills Award, other accolades have included the 2016 Martin E. Segal Award at Lincoln Center, the Mozart and Plácido Domingo Awards at the 2015 Francisco Viñas International Competition, First Prize at the 2014 Gerda Lissner and Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation Competitions, and the 2013 Operalia Don Plácido Domingo Sr. Zarzuela Prize. He is also the co-founder of the classical arts production company Mise-en-Scène Studios (MESS NYC).

    Learn more about Ben Bliss
  • Arnold Livingston Geis


    In the 2023–24 season tenor Arnold Livingston Geis originates the role of Otto Bader in Aaron Zigman and librettist Mark Campbell’s oratorio Émigré, making his debuts with both the New York Philharmonic and Shanghai Symphony Orchestra in the World and US Premiere performances of the oratorio. He also appears in Orff’s Carmina burana with the Erie Philharmonic.

    Learn more about Arnold Livingston Geis
  • Shenyang


    Winner of the 2007 BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competition, bass-baritone Shenyang came to international attention with debuts at The Metropolitan Opera, Glyndebourne Festival, Bavarian Staatsoper, Opernhaus Zürich, and Washington National Opera. His debuts in recent seasons include the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Gustavo Dudamel (as Don Pizarro in Beethoven’s Fidelio), Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra and Alexander Liebreich (Jochanaan / Richard Strauss’s Salome), Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra and Jaap van Zweden (Gunther / Wagner’s Götterdämmerung, also released on Naxos), Glyndebourne and the BBC Proms with Robin Ticciati (Kurwenal / Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde), and Brussels’s La Monnaie and Alain Altinoglu (Klingsor / Wagner’s Parsifal). Concert highlights include Berlioz’s Roméo et Juliette with the Berlin Philharmonic and Daniel Harding, Stravinsky’s Oedipus Rex (Tiresias) with Amsterdam’s Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and Santtu-Matias Rouvali, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with The Philadelphia Orchestra and Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Musorgsky’s Songs of Dances and Death with Helsinki Philharmonic and Klaus Mäkelä, Brahms’s A German Requiem with Boston Symphony Orchestra and Andris Nelsons, and Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 with Nederlands Philharmonic Orchestra and Marc Albrecht.

    Learn more about Shenyang
  • Andrew Dwan


    Bass-baritone Andrew Dwan is a versatile performer praised for his magnetic stage presence. An avid performer and advocate of contemporary works, Dwan recently performed the role of Prospero in the world premiere of Allen Shearer’s Prospero’s Island at the Herbst Theater in San Francisco. In addition, he appeared in the title role in Miriam Gideon’s Fortunato, as Mr. Garrett in Thea Musgrave’s Harriet Tubman, as the male lead in Constantin Basica’s Knot an Opera, as Aldous Huxley in Anne LeBaron’s LSD: The Opera, and as Oulomenos in Jason Thorpe Buchanan’s Hunger. He is also known for his comedic roles, including Figaro in Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro, Dulcamara in Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore, Papageno in Mozart’s The Magic Flute, and Dandini in Rossini’s Cenerentola. Andrew Dwan is a 2019 and 2021 alumnus of the Merola Opera Program.

    Learn more about Andrew Dwan
  • 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

Special Thanks

Support for the commission of Aaron Zigman & Mark Campbell's Émigré is provided by Starr International Foundation.


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