The New York Philharmonic made its triumphant return to international touring — following two years in which the pandemic kept the Orchestra homebound — with its first-ever appearances at the Usedom Music Festival, on an island in the Baltic Sea, and became the first US orchestra to travel overseas since the pandemic. Music Director Jaap van Zweden and the Orchestra performed a series of concerts at the Peenemünde Historical Technical Museum, the site of a former Nazi weapon testing facility during World War II — a transformation that is a statement of peace, freedom, and unity among nations. Joining them as soloists were pianist Jan Lisiecki, violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter, and baritone Thomas Hampson, and the repertoire ranged from Beethoven and Bartók to European premieres by Nina Shekhar and Joan Tower. The festival also marked a collaboration with the Baltic Sea Philharmonic, with members of that orchestra joining in the performance of Shostakovich’s Ninth Symphony, and joining New York Philharmonic players for chamber concerts featuring works by Barber, Brahms, and Mozart.
(All photos by Chris Lee unless otherwise noted.)