Last night Music Director Alan Gilbert was recognized by The Foreign Policy Association (FPA), the principal public forum in New York City for foreign policy addresses, for his role in “demonstrating responsible internationalism and working to expand public knowledge of international affairs.”
At its Annual Dinner last night, Alan was presented with the Foreign Policy Association Medal, along with Louis Bacon, Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Moore Capital Management, LP and President, The Moore Charitable Foundation, Inc. and Lee C. Bollinger, President, Columbia University. Speakers included former NBC anchor Tom Brokaw.
When he was presented with his medal, Alan Gilbert spoke movingly of the power of music to unite people from seemingly opposed countries and cultures.
“I am in a very fortunate position. As Music Director of the New York Philharmonic, on a daily basis I am able, indeed compelled, to consider the wider ramifications of what we do. For music has a unique power as a driving cultural force, one that has been abused by dictators as well as harnessed by great democracies.”
After recalling the actions that the Philharmonic and other orchestras have taken in this belief — including the Philharmonic’s visits to the USSR in 1959 and Pyongyang in 2008, as well as our immersive, long-term partnerships in Shanghai and London — Gilbert concluded: “I view this award as a recognition, not of any personal achievement I have made, but rather of Music itself, and of its power to bridge divides and to bring people together. Being a musician is a privilege I treasure every day.”