In the New York Philharmonic’s 2023–24 season, announced today, we’ll say a fond farewell to Jaap van Zweden in his final year as Music Director. As Deborah Borda, the NY Phil’s Linda and Mitch Hart President and CEO, said: “We are grateful for his championing of the reimagined David Geffen Hall, and the remarkable concerts that he and the NY Phil gave to inaugurate our new home.” Jaap himself, however, declared: “I actually am not thinking of it as a farewell, but rather as a new chapter. This 2023–24 season reflects my love and respect for the musicians of the New York Philharmonic as we unite to bring you our collective best, including occasions on which our musicians will be highlighted.”
Indeed, throughout 2023–24, Jaap will spotlight six Philharmonic players in solo appearances, in works by composers ranging from Mozart and Brahms to Tan Dun. He also conducts titanic works of the canon — like Mozart’s Requiem, Mahler’s Resurrection Symphony, and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 — as well as World Premieres by Steve Reich and Joel Thompson, both co-commissioned by the New York Philharmonic. And he leads the US Premiere of The Elements, a collective work of movements by five composers — a project conceived by violinist Joshua Bell, who also appears as soloist.
Here’s a look at what next season has to offer beyond Jaap’s appearances:
- A semi-staged production of Aaron Zigman and Mark Campbell’s Émigré — an oratorio that tells a story centering on how Shanghai served as a refuge for World War II–era Jews — will be conducted by Long Yu and directed by Mary Birnbaum, the newly appointed artistic and general director of Opera Saratoga. The work’s US Premiere will feature an international cast of vocalists and the New York Philharmonic Chorus, directed by Malcolm J. Merriweather.
- To mark the centennial of Hungarian-Austrian composer György Ligeti — one of the most influential composers of the 20th century — the Orchestra performs four of his works, including Mifiso la sodo (in its US Premiere) and his Piano Concerto, featuring Pierre-Laurant Aimard as soloist. Aimard also performs Ligeti’s complete Études alongside other works that reflect Ligeti’s multicultural approach to composition, on Artist Spotlight.
- The acclaimed violin virtuoso and musical ambassador Hilary Hahn will be The Mary and James G. Wallach Artist-in-Residence, appearing in two orchestral programs, performing Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No. 1 and, later, Ginastera’s Violin Concerto and Sarasate’s Carmen Fantasy. She’ll also take center stage in an Artist Spotlight concert that concludes the cycle of J.S. Bach’s Sonatas and Partitas for solo violin she began here just this month.
- Altogether, the Philharmonic gives 14 World, US, and New York Premieres over the course of the season, including Project 19 commissions by Olga Neuwirth, Mary Kouyoumdjian, and Melinda Wagner, as well as works by a wide range of composers, including Kinan Azmeh and Layale Chaker, Katherine Balch, Bryce Dessner, Elena Firsova, Anders Hillborg, and Jerod Impichchaachaaha' Tate.
- The Art of the Score returns with Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story, in its first live-to-film presentation in New York, the first time the NY Phil has played it since the film’s recording sessions. The Philharmonic also performs the scores to Black Panther and Vertigo — both also in their first New York live-to-film presentations.
- We celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Young People’s Concerts (YPCs), the beloved series that has offered family-friendly programming to generations of music fans. The season’s four YPCs include an exploration the series’ legacy through a focus on Bernstein, who conducted the first televised YPCs; an examination of how music can reinvigorate the imagination; premieres of works by young composers; and an appearance by cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason.
- The NY Phil continues its commitment to serving New York City’s communities. The free Concerts in the Parks, Presented by Didi and Oscar Schafer, and the Free Memorial Day Concert at The Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine, Presented by the Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Foundation, both return, and are complemented by the Phil for All: Ticket Access Program, which offers $10 tickets to select subscription concerts through the 2023–24 season.
Executive Director Gary Ginstling, who will succeed Deborah Borda as President and CEO this summer, summarized the coming season: “Our 2023–24 season celebrates Jaap van Zweden and presents the Orchestra in repertoire ranging from fresh new works by a diverse group of composers to beloved cornerstones of the repertoire. It is an honor to be joining the Philharmonic as we explore the possibilities of our extraordinary new home and how we can share the experience with as many people as possible.”
We can’t wait to see you back at David Geffen Hall!