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What’s New

Music Academy of the West Fellows Conclude Immersion with New York Philharmonic

Zarin Mehta Fellows New York Philharmonic

For the third consecutive year, the New York Philharmonic hosted a group of fellows from Music Academy of the West selected to participate in the New York Philharmonic Global Academy Fellowship Program — an immersion in the life of an orchestra musician.

From January 6 to 15 eleven fellows, selected by audition, came to New York as Zarin Mehta Fellows, working closely with Philharmonic musicians in one-on-one lessons, mock auditions, and chamber music coaching. They even rehearsed and played alongside Philharmonic musicians in Brahms’s Symphony No. 3 for the subscription concerts January 11–14, conducted by Music Director Alan Gilbert. Read More...

Calling All NYC Composers: Take the New World Challenge!


As part of The New World Initiative — the New York Philharmonic’s season-long, citywide immersion in Dvořák’s New World Symphony — the Philharmonic is launching the New World Composition Challenge, inviting New York City–based composers to create works of not more than three minutes that contain or reference themes from Dvořák’s Symphony No. 9, From the New World.

The contest is open to all New York City musicians, professional or amateur, and entrants may use any combination of instruments or voices, from solos to large ensembles, in any musical style or genre.

Visit newworldinitiative.com/participate for contest details. The deadline for submission is Friday, April 14, 2017. Cash prizes will be awarded to 11 winners to be announced on Monday, May 22, 2017.

Happy composing!

New York and Vienna Philharmonics Celebrate 175th Anniversaries with Joint Exhibit

New York Philharmonic Vienna Philharmonic 

Eighteen forty-two was a good year for orchestras. As it happens, both the New York Philharmonic and Vienna Philharmonic were founded that year — about eight months, and 4,000 miles, apart.

Both celebrating their 175th anniversaries this season, the New York Philharmonic and Vienna Philharmonic will present a joint exhibit, Vienna and New York: 175 Years of Two Philharmonics, featuring archival material from both orchestras. You can catch it in New York February 23–March 10 at the Austrian Cultural Forum New York. The exhibit will then open in Vienna on March 28 at the Haus der Musik. (The New York Philharmonic performs at Vienna’s Konzerthaus the next day as part of its EUROPE / SPRING 2017 tour.)

Among the many treasures to be featured are documents written at the founding of each orchestra, including a call for musicians written by Vienna Philharmonic founder Otto Nicolai, and the New York Philharmonic’s “Constitution of the Philharmonic Society of New York,” establishing the Orchestra’s operating principles. Also on display: historic conducting scores, programs, photos from performances and tours, and letters from composers and conductors.

On the Cover: Mindy Kaufman

“You really get to know your colleagues, and it’s such a special experience to develop friendships through our music. I think that’s why I went into music in the first place.” — Mindy Kaufman

Flute and piccolo player Mindy Kaufman has one of the best seats in the house, and in some pieces she has time to enjoy it. In Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4, for example, Mindy does not play a note for 30 minutes. During that time she enjoys the music around her, silently preparing for her big solo piccolo moment (one of the most famous in the repertoire).

Watch Mindy’s video Q&A above to find out more about her 38-year career at the Philharmonic, from her most memorable moments to some surprising facts. (There’s a good chance you’ve heard Mindy perform, even if you have yet to attend a Philharmonic concert!)

Follow us on Instagram for photos of Mindy as she prepares for the first program of Beloved Friend — Tchaikovsky and His World: A Philharmonic Festival with conductor Semyon Bychkov. Stay tuned: next month we’ll feature Principal Clarinet Anthony McGill.

Learn more about flute and piccolo player Mindy Kaufman.

World Premiere of Wynton Marsalis's The Jungle (Symphony No. 4)

NY Philharmonic Alan Gilbert Wynton Marsalis World Premiere NYC Jazz at Lincoln Center 

“New York City is the most fluid, pressure-packed, and cosmopolitan metropolis the modern world has ever seen,” says Pulitzer Prize–winner Wynton Marsalis. “The speed, freedom, and intensity of our relationships to each other — and to the city itself — forces us onto a collective super highway unlike any other in our country.”

Last night Music Director Alan Gilbert led the Philharmonic and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis in the World Premiere of The Jungle (Symphony No. 4), the jazz legend’s depiction of New York as super highway.

The Philharmonic commissioned The Jungle — the third original work the Philharmonic has commissioned from Marsalis — as the first of The New York Commissions, through which the Philharmonic is celebrating its long history as an active commissioner and New York cultural institution by commissioning works on New York–inspired themes from New York–based composers with ties to the Orchestra, on the occasion of the Philharmonic’s 175th anniversary. The remaining two New York Commissions, by Julia Wolfe and Sean Shepherd, will be premiered in the 2018–19 season.

This week’s concerts are almost sold out, but tickets are still available for January 3. Catch it at nyphil.org/marsalis.

(Photo: Chris Lee)

Best of 2016

Esa-Pekka Salonen conducts the New York Philharmonic 

We’re excited to have ranked on many best-of 2016 lists, and are proud of the company we’re in.

The New York Times called out the “ecstatic and mystical account” of Messiaen’s Turangalîla-symphonie led by Composer-in-Residence Esa-Pekka Salonen; the 2016 NY PHIL BIENNIAL performances, demonstrating “the vision and stamina Mr. Gilbert has brought to the Philharmonic”; and Brahms’s A German Requiem with Christoph von Dohnányi.

The New Yorker applauded Circle Map, featuring Salonen leading the Orchestra in works by Kaija Saariaho, presented by Park Avenue Armory, and the World Premiere of Ashley Fure’s Bound to the Bow, performed by the Interlochen Arts Academy Orchestra during the NY PHIL BIENNIAL.

NPR Classical ranked the Philharmonic’s Grammy-nominated album of music by former Composer-in-Residence Christopher Rouse among the “ten classical albums that saved 2016” — saying “there's unbridled splendor in hearing what a modern orchestra, revving on all cylinders, is capable of. Alan Gilbert inspires arresting detail and energy from the New York Philharmonic” — and NPR Music included the Rouse CD in its list of 2016’s top 50 albums.

WQXR’s list of 2016 new-music revelations said that “nothing should be taken for granted about the sustained scope of New York Philharmonic music director Alan Gilbert’s commitment to new music.... New classical music has never seemed more at home.... With two Biennials, CONTACT! new-music shows, composers-in-residence, ambitious multidisciplinary statements like the New York premiere of György Ligeti's opera Le Grand Macabre, Gilbert is leaving a legacy as bold in vision as methodical and inevitable in execution.”

We also made the cut for Musical America, Superconductor, and New York Classical Review.

Here’s to another great year of music-making!

(Photo: Chris Lee)

What’s New with The New World Initiative

The New World Initiative — the New York Philharmonic’s season-long, citywide immersion in Dvořák’s Symphony No. 9, From the New World — is in full swing.

Participating musicians and ensembles have spread the sounds of Dvořák’s “Goin’ Home” melody throughout the city. From full orchestral performances, arrangements written by and for women in an internment camp during World War II, to the ethereal tones of the musical saw, each interpretation offers a unique glimpse into New York City’s multifaceted culture.

With the goal of introducing the New World Symphony to as many New York City students as possible, the Philharmonic, in partnership with the NYC Department of Education, developed a curriculum exploring the work’s African American and Native American influences and the theme of “home,” using materials from the Philharmonic’s Archives. This curriculum was presented to more than 400 teachers at a professional development day in November, which included performances of the work.

Get a taste for the variety of ways people are engaging with The New World Initiative in the above video, and learn more about The New World Initiative here.

Alan Gilbert and the New York Philharmonic Perform at the United Nations

Alan Gilbert and the New York Philharmonic performed a historic concert at the United Nations yesterday, paying tribute to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on the conclusion of his ten-year term and welcoming his successor, António Guterres. The concert in the UN General Assembly Hall — the Philharmonic’s 13th in collaboration with the UN — was attended by UN delegates, UN staff, and cultural ambassadors, and featured Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony and Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto, spotlighting Principal Clarinet Anthony McGill.

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