The New York Philharmonic

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The Philharmonic 360 Concert

The New York Philharmonic 360 concert at the Park Avenue Armory.

In two epic evenings, the New York Philharmonic explored the spatial qualities of the Armory’s soaring, 55,000-square-foot Wade Thompson Drill Hall with four iconic works in which the orchestra members surround the audience. The centerpiece of the evening was the rarely-performed Gruppen by Karlheinz Stockhausen—a work that requires three orchestras and three conductors. Also on the program are Pierre Boulez's Rituel in Memoriam Bruno Maderna, the Finale of Act I from Mozart's opera Don Giovanni, and Charles Ives' The Unanswered Question.

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Conductor

Alan Gilbert

Alan Gilbert, former Music Director of the New York Philharmonic, launches a new appointment as chief conductor designate of Hamburg’s NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra this fall, shortly after the opening of its already iconic new home. The Grammy Award–winning conductor previously served as principal guest conductor of the orchestra (then known as NDR Symphony Orchestra Hamburg) for more than a decade, and will assume the role of chief conductor in September 2019. This position follows his truly transformative eight-year tenure as Music Director of the New York Philharmonic, during which, through such key initiatives as the NY PHIL BIENNIAL, he succeeded in making the Orchestra a leader on the cultural landscape. Alan Gilbert is also conductor laureate of the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic and the founder and president of Musicians for Unity. With the endorsement and guidance of the United Nations, this new organization will bring together musicians from around the world to perform in support of peace, development, and human rights.

Alan Gilbert makes regular guest appearances with orchestras including the Berlin Philharmonic, Amsterdam’s Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, The Cleveland Orchestra, Boston Symphony Orchestra, The Philadelphia Orchestra, Dresden Staatskapelle, and Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France. He has led operatic productions for Milan’s Teatro alla Scala, The Metropolitan Opera, Los Angeles Opera, Zurich Opera, Royal Swedish Opera, and Santa Fe Opera, where he was the inaugural music director.

His discography includes The Nielsen Project, a box set recorded with the New York Philharmonic, and John Adams’s Doctor Atomic, captured on DVD at The Metropolitan Opera, for which he won a Grammy Award. He received Emmy Award nominations for Outstanding Music Direction in PBS’s Live From Lincoln Center broadcasts of two star-studded New York Philharmonic productions: of Sweeney Todd and Sinatra: Voice for a Century.

Alan Gilbert has received Honorary Doctor of Music degrees from the Curtis Institute of Music and Westminster Choir College, as well as Columbia University’s Ditson Conductor’s Award. He is a member of The American Academy of Arts & Sciences, and was named an Officier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French government. At The Juilliard School, he is the first holder of the William Schuman Chair in Musical Studies and serves as Director of Conducting and Orchestral Studies. After giving the annual Royal Philharmonic Society Lecture on Orchestras in the 21st Century: A New Paradigm during the New York Philharmonic’s EUROPE / SPRING 2015 tour, he received a 2015 Foreign Policy Association Medal for his commitment to cultural diplomacy.

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Conductor

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Conductor

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Assistant Conductor

Joshua Weilerstein

Joshua Weilerstein, who last year completed a three-year appointment as Assistant Conductor of the New York Philharmonic, is artistic director designate of the Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne, and will begin his tenure in the 2015–16 season. Born into a musical family, his career was launched when he won the Malko Competition for Young Conductors in 2009. He has rapidly become one of the most sought-after young conductors in the world; with a repertoire ranging from Gesualdo to Rouse, he is committed to opening up the traditional classical repertoire to new audiences, enlivening and broadening concert-going and creating a natural dialogue between musicians and their public. In the 2014–15 season Mr. Weilerstein makes debuts with the Mahler Chamber, Deutsches Sinfonie-Orchester Berlin, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, and the Dallas Symphony, Detroit Symphony, Los Angeles Chamber, National Arts Center (Ottawa), and NHK Symphony (Tokyo) orchestras. In addition to returning to the BBC Symphony, Danish Radio, Oslo Philharmonic, Florida, and Vancouver Symphony orchestras, among others, he takes the Orchestre philharmonique de Luxembourg on a seven-city concert tour of Germany, including performances in Munich and Cologne. He also returns to the New England Conservatory of Music, his alma mater, where he received dual Master of Music degrees in 2011 (in orchestral conducting with Hugh Wolff, and in violin with Lucy Chapman). Joshua Weilerstein believes in the fundamental importance and value of music education. During his time as the New York Philharmonic’s Assistant Conductor he was heavily involved in Young People’s Concerts, and he also served as Concertmaster of Discovery Ensemble, a Boston-based chamber orchestra dedicated to presenting classical music to inner-city schools in Boston. While still in his teens he established a close link with the Orquesta Sinfónica Simón Bolívar (a product of the famed El Sistema music program in Venezuela) as the ensemble’s first non-Venezuelan guest violinist, and then as conductor in 2010 and 2012.

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Soprano

Juilianna DiGiacomo

During the 2013–14 season, soprano Julianna Di Giacomo made her debuts with the Vienna Philharmonic, in performances of Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 with Gustavo Dudamel, and at the Teatro Municipal de Santiago as Leonora in Il trovatore. She also returns to the New York Philharmonic for Beethoven's Symphony No. 9, Teatro Massimo in Palermo as Desdemona in Otello, and the Teatro Real de Madrid as Elena in I Vespri Siciliani.

Ms. Di Giacomo made her debut at The Metropolitan Opera as Clotilde in Norma and was subsequently re-engaged for Lina in Stiffelio and Leonora in Il trovatore. Other recent North American engagements have included: the Verdi Requiem at the Hollywood Bowl and special performances of Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 with Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic; Donna Anna in Don Giovanni at the Los Angeles Opera; excerpts from Don Giovanni with the New York Philharmonic Il trovatore and Mathilde in Guillaume Tell at the Caramoor International Music Festival; and Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte and Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni at the New York City Opera. She made her Carnegie Hall debut as Lucrezia in I due Foscari with the Opera Orchestra of New York.

Ms. Di Giacomo recently made her debut at the Teatro dell’Opera di Roma in the Terme di Caracalla as the title role in Norma. Other European opera engagements have included her debut at Teatro alla Scala as Lucrezia in I due Foscari, Otello at the Petruzelli e Teatri di Bari, Valentine in Les Huguenots and the title role in Suor Angelica at the Teatro Real de Madrid.

A native of Santa Monica, Calif., Ms. Di Giacomo is a graduate of the San Francisco Opera’s Merola Program and the Santa Fe Opera’s Apprentice Program. Her awards include the Leonie Rysanek Prize from the George London Foundation, the Top Prize from the Gerda Lissner Foundation, and First Prize from the Licia Albanese Puccini Foundation Competition.

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Tenor

Russell Thomas by Dario Acosta

In the 2016–17 season, tenor Russell Thomas (Loge) returns to The Metropolitan Opera to sing Ismaele in Verdi’s Nabucco; Canadian Opera Company and Lyric Opera of Chicago as Pollione in Bellini’s Norma; and Los Angeles Opera as Cavaradossi in Puccini’s Tosca. He also makes his debut at the Salzburg Festival singing the title role in Mozart’s La clemenza di Tito. Concert highlights this season include performances of Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde with the Detroit and Atlanta Symphony Orchestras, Florestan in Beethoven’s Fidelio with the Houston Symphony Orchestra, and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the Boston Symphony Orchestra at Tanglewood. Future engagements include debuts with the Bavarian Staatsoper, Washington National Opera, and Netherlands Opera, and returns to San Francisco Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Canadian Opera Company, and Oper Frankfurt. Mr. Thomas’s role debuts last season included Turiddu in Mascagni’s Cavalleria rusticana with Deutsche Oper Berlin, the title role of a new production of Verdi’s Stiffelio with Oper Frankfurt, Don José in Bizet’s Carmen with Canadian Opera Company, and Florestan in Beethoven’s Fidelio with Cincinnati Opera. He made his Los Angeles Opera debut as Pollione in Norma and reprised his portrayal of Lazarus in John Adams’s The Gospel According to the Other Mary in Strasbourg.

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Mezzo-Soprano

Sasha Cooke

Grammy Award–winning mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke’s 2016–17 season includes performances of Handel’s Messiah (New York Philharmonic), Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel (Seattle Opera), Duruflé’s Requiem (National Symphony Orchestra), Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius (Seattle Symphony Orchestra, Hallé Orchestra), Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde (Indianapolis Symphony), Bernstein’s Symphony No. 1, Jeremiah (The Philadelphia Orchestra, Amsterdam’s Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra), Verdi’s Requiem (Houston Grand Opera), Prokofiev’s Ivan the Terrible (Chicago Symphony Orchestra), a concert of arias and songs by Handel, Mozart, and Mahler (Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra), Christopher Theofanidis’s Creation / Creator (Atlanta Symphony Orchestra), Mozart’s Requiem (Oregon Symphony), John Harbison’s Requiem (Nashville Symphony), Mahler’s Symphony No. 3 (Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra), Mahler’s Symphony No. 2, Resurrection (Minnesota Orchestra), and the World Premiere of Mason Bates’s The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs (Santa Fe Opera). Ms. Cooke will work with conductors including Alan Gilbert, Giancarlo Guerrero, Riccardo Muti, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Robert Spano, Osmo Vänskä, Edo de Waart, and Jean-Marie Zeitouni.

Past engagements have included the San Francisco, Seattle, Houston, Colorado, Melbourne, Singapore, and New World symphony orchestras, San Francisco and Dallas Operas, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Mormon Tabernacle Choir, and Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin. She has appeared at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Carnegie Hall, Barbican Centre, Palau de la Música, Theater an der Wien, and the Kennedy Center. Additional conductors with whom she has worked include Harry Bicket, Andrew Davis, Andrew Grams, Mark Elder, Ludovic Morlot, Andrés Orozco-Estrada, Trevor Pinnock, Carlos Prieto, Donald Runnicles, Tugan Sokhiev, Michael Tilson Thomas, and Pinchas Zuckerman.

A graduate of Rice University and The Juilliard School, Sasha Cooke also attended the Music Academy of the West, Aspen Music Festival and School, Ravinia Festival’s Steans Music Institute, Wolf Trap Foundation, Marlboro Music Festival, The Metropolitan Opera’s Lindemann Young Artist Development Program, and Seattle Opera and Central City Opera’s Young Artist Training Programs.

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Founded in 1873 by Leopold Damrosch, the Oratorio Society of New York is one of the city’s oldest musical organizations. From its earliest days, the Society played an integral role in the musical life of the city, presenting its own concerts and performing at musically and historically significant events. It also created a fund to finance building a concert hall. When Andrew Carnegie became the Society’s fifth president in 1888, he adopted the cause, enlisting architect William Tuthill, a fellow board member, to design a “Music Hall” that would provide a suitable artistic home for the Society. In 1891, singing under Tchaikovsky’s baton, the Society — as well as the New York Symphony (one of the forebears of today’s New York Philharmonic) — helped inaugurate the concert hall that came to be known as Carnegie Hall. It has appeared there ever since. Throughout its history, the Society has sung the traditional repertory — it has performed Handel’s Messiah every December since 1874 — as well as infrequently performed and contemporary works. In May 2016 it will present the New York Premiere of Marjorie Merryman’s Jonah and Haydn’s Missa Angustiis (Nelson Mass) at Carnegie Hall, and in November 2015 it presented the Carnegie Hall premiere of Juraj Filas’s Requiem: Opera Spei. In the summer of 2015 it presented a series of concerts in Germany. In March 2003 the Society received the UNESCO Commemorative Medal and the Cocos Island World Natural Heritage Site Award for its series of benefit concerts in Costa Rica. It made its European debut in 1982 and has since performed in Europe, Asia, and Latin and South America. On its 100th anniversary the Society was presented with the Handel Medallion, New York City’s highest cultural award, in recognition of these contributions. The Oratorio Society’s Women’s Chorus is drawn from the Society’s full membership. The Women’s Chorus also performed in the New York Philharmonic’s 2013 The Planets — An HD Odyssey. The Oratorio Society’s relationship with the Philharmonic dates to January 1877, when the ensemble participated in a program led by Leopold Damrosch; it most recently appeared on a July 2013 Summertime Classics concert conducted by Bramwell Tovey.

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Associate Director

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Composer

Magnus Lindberg

Finnish composer Magnus Lindberg's position as The Marie-Josée Kravis Composer-in-Residence at the New York Philharmonic has been extended for a third season. As such, he will write music for the Philharmonic and serve in a curatorial role for CONTACT!, the Orchestra's new-music series.

In the 2010–11 season, the Orchestra performed Mr. Lindberg's groundbreaking, theatrical Kraft, conducted by Music Director Alan Gilbert. The work, premiered in 1985, employs a mammoth orchestra, unusual instruments, soloists, and groups of musicians who move around the hall; the performances marked Mr. Lindberg's piano debut with the Philharmonic as well as the work's New York Premiere. In November 2010 the Philharmonic performed the World Premiere–New York Philharmonic Commission of Mr. Lindberg's Souvenir (in memoriam Gérard Grisey), which was paired with a work by the late Gérard Grisey — one of Mr. Lindberg's teachers — on the first of the season's two CONTACT! programs.

In the 2009–10 season the Orchestra performed two World Premiere–New York Philharmonic Commissions by Mr. Lindberg. The first, EXPO, opened the Philharmonic's 168th season and was repeated in subscription concerts, on the Asian Horizons tour in October 2009, and on the Europe / Winter 2010 tour in January–February 2010. The other was Al largo, which closed the subscription season in June 2010. The Orchestra also performed the U.S. premiere of Mr. Lindberg's Clarinet Concerto — in Carnegie Hall — written for and performed by Finnish clarinetist Kari Kriikku, and his 1995 work, Arena. An excerpt from Feria was the centerpiece of the Philharmonic's Young People's Concert in March 2010.

Magnus Lindberg was born in Helsinki, Finland. Following piano studies, he entered the Sibelius Academy, where his composition teachers included Einojuhani Rautavaara and Paavo Heininen. The latter encouraged his pupils to look beyond the prevailing Finnish conservative and nationalist aesthetics, and to explore the works of the European avant-garde. In 1980 Mr. Lindberg became part of the informal group known as the Ears Open Society, which also included his contemporaries Eero Hämeeniemi, Jouni Kaipainen, Kaija Saariaho, and Esa-Pekka Salonen, and which sought to encourage a greater awareness of mainstream modernism. In 1981 Mr. Lindberg traveled to Paris for studies with Vinko Globokar and Gérard Grisey and attended Franco Donatoni's classes in Siena, Italy. Also in the 1980s he was in contact with Brian Ferneyhough, Helmut Lachenmann, and Karl Höller.

Mr. Lindberg's compositional breakthrough came with two large-scale works, Action-Situation-Signification (1982) and Kraft (1983–85), which were inextricably linked with his co-founding, with Mr. Salonen, of the experimental Toimii Ensemble. This group — in which Mr. Lindberg plays piano and percussion — provided the composer with a laboratory for his sonic development. His compositions of the early 1980s combined experimentalism, complexity, and primitivism, working with extremes of musical material. Toward the end of that decade, his compositional style transformed, moving toward a new modernist classicism, in which many of the communicative ingredients of a vibrant musical language (harmony, rhythm, counterpoint, and melody) were reinterpreted afresh for the post-serial era. Key scores in this stylistic evolution were the orchestral/ensemble triptych Kinetics (1988), Marea (1989–90), and Joy (1989–90), reaching fulfillment in Aura (1993–94) and Arena (1994–95).

Over the past decade Magnus Lindberg's output has positioned him at the forefront of orchestral composition, including the concert opener Feria (1997), which was given its U.S. Premiere by the New York Philharmonic on October 23, 1997, led by Jukka-Pekka Saraste; large-scale statements such as Fresco (1997), Cantigas (1999), Concerto for Orchestra (2002–03), and Sculpture (2005); and concertos for cello (1999), clarinet (2002), and violin (2006). Recent works include Seht die Sonne (2007), commissioned by the Berlin Philharmonic, under Sir Simon Rattle, and the San Francisco Symphony, in addition to his New York Philharmonic commissions.

Mr. Lindberg's music has been recorded on the Deutsche Grammophon, Sony, Ondine, and Finlandia labels and is published by Boosey & Hawkes. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the UNESCO International Rostrums (1982 and 1986), Nordic Council Music Prize (1988), Koussevitsky Prize (1988), Prix Italia (1986), Royal Philharmonic Society (1993), First European Composer Prize of the “young.euro.classic — Musik Sommer Berlin 2000” (which he shared), and the Wihuri Sibelius Prize (2003).

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Composer, Conductor, Speaker

Mattias Pintscher

Matthias Pintscher is equally accomplished as conductor and composer, having created significant works for some of the world’s leading orchestras, and regularly conducting throughout Europe, U.S., and Australia. He is the music director of the Ensemble Intercomporain, a role he began in the 2013–14 season, and he continues his partnership with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra as its artist-in-association. Recent and upcoming conducting debuts include the Atlanta, Colorado, National (Washington, D.C.), New World, and Quebec symphony orchestras; Los Angeles Philharmonic; National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa; and the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome. Highlights this season in addition to these performances with the New York Philharmonic include tours to Geneva, Cologne, and Holland with the Ensemble Intercontemporain, and appearances with the NDR, Dresden, Naples, and Slovenian philharmonic orchestras, as well as with the Utah Symphony, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Juilliard Orchestra, Paris Opera Orchestra, Frankfurt Radio Symphony, and Danish Radio Chamber Orchestra, and concerts in Chicago and Tel Aviv.

As a composer, Mr. Pintscher found success at an early age and is the recipient of numerous prizes, including most recently the 2012 Roche Commission. His music is championed by some of today’s finest performing artists and conductors, and has been performed by orchestras such as The Cleveland and Philadelphia Orchestras; BBC, Chicago, London, and NDR symphony orchestras; and Berlin Philharmonic, London’s Philharmonia Orchestra, and Orchestre de Paris. The New York Philharmonic has previously performed two of his works: Towards Osiris, in 2010, conducted by Christoph Eschenbach, and Songs from Solomon’s Garden, performed on CONTACT!, the new-music series, in 2010, baritone Thomas Hampson as soloist and Alan Gilbert conducting.

Mr. Pintscher works regularly with leading contemporary music ensembles and since 2011 has directed the music segment of Impuls Romantik Festival in Frankfurt. He also served as artistic director of the Heidelberg Atelier of the Heidelberg Spring Festival since 2007, now known as the Heidelberg Young Composers’ Academy. His works are published by Bärenreiter-Verlag. Recordings can be found on Kairos, EMI, ECM, Teldec, Wergo, and Winter & Winter. Matthias Pintscher has conducted two previous New York Philharmonic presentations: he was one of three conductors to lead Stockhausen’s Gruppen in Philharmonic 360 at Park Avenue Armory, and led Mahler in Emanuel Ax’s November 2012 chamber music event co-presented with Lincoln Center’s White Light Festival.

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Rituel in memoriam Bruno Maderna for Orchestra in Eight Groups

Finale to Act I of Don Giovanni

Gruppen for Three Orchestras

The Unanswered Question

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