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What’s New

New York City Proclaims December 7 “New York Philharmonic Day”

 

It’s official: December 7 — the New York Philharmonic’s 175th birthday — was declared “New York Philharmonic Day” in a Mayoral Proclamation presented by Kai Falkenberg, First Deputy Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Media & Entertainment, from the stage during last night’s 175th birthday concert.

Also announced last night: the Philharmonic, in partnership with the Mayor’s Office of Media & Entertainment, will give away 175 free tickets to underserved communities in honor of 175 years as New York’s orchestra.

Happy birthday to us! Thank you, Mayor de Blasio, Commissioner Julie Menin, and the Mayor’s Office of Media & Entertainment. Here’s to meaningful connections between the New York Philharmonic and our fellow New Yorkers for the next 175-plus years. We ♥ NY!

(Photo: Chris Lee)

On the Cover: Yulia Ziskel

“To this day, when I tour with the Philharmonic I always treat it as this big privilege.” — Yulia Ziskel

The passports of New York Philharmonic musicians are littered with stamps from around the world. That’s especially true for Philharmonic violinist Yulia Ziskel.

When Yulia was a young girl living in the Soviet Union, she performed solo works across the globe. Her violin eventually took her to the United States, where she made her way to the New York Philharmonic.

In December you can find Yulia on the cover of Playbill and featured on the Philharmonic’s social media channels. Follow us on FacebookTwitterInstagramSnapchat, and Tumblr for more!

In the new year On the Cover will feature Principal Oboe Liang Wang.

Learn more about Yulia Ziskel

Sørensen’s Evening Land Receives ‘Stirring Premiere at the Philharmonic,’ N.Y. Times Says

“It was excellent timing on someone’s part: the New York Philharmonic’s, the University of Louisville’s, or both.”

So begins the rave review, by James R. Oestreich, of last night’s concert in The New York Times.

He was referring to the World Premiere of Bent Sørensen’s Evening Land happening the same week that Sørensen received the University’s Grawemeyer Prize for Music Composition, one of the most important in the field.

The piece, which was commissioned by the Philharmonic through the generous support of The Marie-Josée Kravis Prize for New Music, is inspired by, in Sørensen’s words, “a very special evening light over the fields” from his childhood in Denmark, and “the new vision of flashes of light and bustling activity” that he saw in New York many years later.

Oestreich wrote: 

The concertmaster — here, Sheryl Staples (in the absence of Frank Huang) — emerges from silence almost imperceptibly and in all innocence with a fetching little tune. The principal violist, Cynthia Phelps, eventually joins her, and they whisper across the podium until the other strings join in and overwhelm them.
The ending, after the fray, is truly touching. The principal oboist, Liang Wang, plays the work’s longest strain, Mr. Sorensen’s tribute to his father-in-law, an oboist who died in May before he could hear the work. Mr. Wang lingers on a high note, handing it off to Ms. Staples, who leads the strings on tiptoes back to silence.

The concert, conducted by Edo de Waart, also featured Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 20 with Emanuel Ax (who “offered his usual elegant, understated virtuosity,” Oestreich said) and Brahms’s Symphony No. 2. It will be repeated tonight and Saturday night.

(Photo: Chris Lee)

Bent Sørensen, Whose Philharmonic Commission Receives World Premiere This Week, Wins Grawemeyer

Bent Sørensen has won the 2018 Grawemeyer Award for Music Composition, and this week New York audiences can discover why.

On November 30–December 2 the New York Philharmonic gives the World Premiere of his Evening Land, a work commissioned by the Orchestra through the generous support of The Marie-Josée Kravis Prize for New Music.

The Graweveyer Award — which is also awarded in political science, psychology, education, and religion — is given annually “to help make the world a better place. … Music has the ability to inspire, to bring joy to those who hear it and those who create it. It can convey great emotion in just a few powerful notes. There is, perhaps, no greater expression of the human spirit. For this reason, the Grawemeyer Award in Music Composition honors those who bring beauty and inspiration into the world.” The work so honored is L’Isola della Citta, Sørensen’s 2015 concerto for violin, cello, and piano. 

Of Evening Land the Danish composer said:

“A picture, a vision: I am six or seven years old. I am standing in my childhood home in a small town on the island of Zealand in Denmark. I am looking out of the window, and there is a very special evening light over the fields. … It is as if the world is infinite. … The vision returned many years later, as I was looking out over New York from a high balcony. The vision from more than 50 years ago — the vision of quiet — was mixed with the new vision of flashes of light and bustling activity. Those two visions led me to the title Evening Land and the music came out of that title.”

Congratulations, and we look forward to the concerts!

(Photo: Lars Skaaning)

PHOTOS: Second Michigan Performance Residency

The New York Philharmonic went west this weekend — to Ann Arbor for its second residency with the University Musical Society (UMS) of the University of Michigan (U-M) in conjunction with the U-M School of Music, Theatre & Dance. Music Director Designate Jaap van Zweden led Mahler; Leonard Slatkin led Bernstein featuring Oscar-winning actor Jeremy Irons; U-M students got the chance to perform with Philharmonic musicians; the Philharmonic presented lectures and master classes; and all saluted composer-conductor-former Music Director Leonard Bernstein in his centennial year.

New York Philharmonic Featured in Iconic Bergdorf Goodman Holiday Windows

You may need your sunglasses as you pass by Bergdorf Goodman’s holiday windows this year! Treat yourself to the dazzling neon light show depicting musical instruments of the Orchestra at the New York Philharmonic’s window display, created by David Hoey and on view on Fifth Avenue at Bergdorf Goodman until January 1.

The Philharmonic is one of seven New York City cultural institutions selected to be featured in this year’s windows. The others are Museum of the Moving Image, New York Botanical Garden, New-York Historical Society, American Museum of Natural History, UrbanGlass, and Brooklyn Academy of Music.

After admiring the window display, head into the store for the perfect gift for the music lover in your life: Philharmonic-branded Master & Dynamic headphones complete with a bespoke playlist of classical essentials created and performed by the Philharmonic ($550), or tickets to Amadeus: Live (April 14) plus an invitation to an exclusive post-performance Green Room gathering with the artists ($2,000).

 

 

(Top photo and headphones photo: Chris Lee; window detail courtesy of BFA)

“Gripping Performance” of Kaddish Symphony Caps Bernstein Festival Finale

 

The bad news: our three-week Bernstein’s Philharmonic: A Centennial Festival, saluting our beloved Laureate Conductor, is wrapping up.

The good news: there are still two more nights to catch the “gripping performance” (The New York Times) of Bernstein’s Kaddish Symphony narrated by Oscar-winning actor Jeremy Irons (The Lion King, Reversal of Fortune) and the “glittering account” of R. Strauss’s Don Quixote. “[Kaddish Symphony] exudes a theatricality that is all Bernstein,” and in Don Quixote  “the Philharmonic’s Carter Brey played the extensive cello solo magnificently, and Cynthia Phelps excelled in the solo viola passages,” reports the newspaper of record.

Fun fact: Bernstein made his Philharmonic debut at age 25, then the Orchestra’s Assistant Conductor, leading Don Quixote — famously filling in with a few hours’ notice and without rehearsal for an ailing Bruno Walter. The New York Times ran a front-page story the next day, calling his performance “a good American success story.”

Plus: we introduce our youngest fans to Bernstein at this weekend’s Young People’s Concert — the series Bernstein made famous on TV — and perform his greatest Broadway hits on New Year’s Eve.

See you Saturday at 8 PM or Tuesday at 7:30 PM!

 

 

(Photos: Chris Lee)

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