Announcing Our 2019–20 Season

In 2018–19 you met Jaap. In 2019–20 you’ll travel with Jaap — to the future, the past, and around the world.

Jaap’s second season as Music Director — which we proudly announced last night — is anchored by three special initiatives:
• Project 19, marking the centennial of the ratification of the 19th Amendment (granting women the right to vote) with commissions by 19 women composers
• hotspots festival, spotlighting three global hotbeds of classical music innovation: Berlin, Reykjavík, and New York
• Mahler’s New York, examining Mahler’s time in New York as composer and as the Philharmonic’s tenth Music Director — before the Philharmonic opens the Royal Concertgebouw’s Mahler Festival as the first American orchestra in the festival’s 100-year history during the 2020 European tour

Before these special projects begin, Jaap will conduct the Orchestra in the US Stage Premiere of Bengt Gomér’s bold production of Schoenberg’s Erwartung and Bartók’s Bluebeard’s Castle, starring Nina Stemme, Johannes Martin Kränzle, and Katarina Karnéus.

The Orchestra will unveil seven World Premieres — Philip Glass, Tania León, Nico Muhly, Ellen Reid, Sarah Kirkland Snider, and Nina C. Young  — and The Marie-Josée Kravis Creative Partner Nadia Sirota will continue as host of two new-music series: Kravis Nightcap at the Stanley H. Kaplan Penthouse and GRoW @ Annenberg Sound ON at The Appel Room, Jazz at Lincoln Center.

Other highlights: 
• Pianist Daniil Trifonov as The Mary and James G. Wallach Artist-in-Residence, plus Renée Fleming singing Björk, Fall Gala with Lang Lang, pianists Emanuel Ax and Yefim Bronfman, mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard, violinist Janine Jansen, and Concertmaster Frank Huang
• Jaap conducting the second season of Phil the Hall, his first Young People’s Concert, and masterworks by Mozart, Bruckner, Shostakovich, and John Adams
• The debut of conductor Santtu-Matias Rouvali and the return of conductors Susanna Mälkki, Esa-Pekka Salonen, and Franz Welser-Möst
• Movie scores performed live to the complete films (Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Psycho, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, Singin’ in the Rain, and Mary Poppins)

For even more, check out Season Highlights and The New York Times critics’ picks

In the words of President and CEO Deborah Borda: “The 2019–20 season continues the New York Philharmonic’s commitment to exploring the music of our time and our place in the artistic ‘ecosystem’ of New York — indeed, the world. We set our offerings in context — how they relate to today’s cultural zeitgeist as well as to the past.”

(Photo: Chris Lee)

Deborah Borda To Return as President and CEO of the New York Philharmonic

 

Today Philharmonic Chairman Oscar S. Schafer, on behalf of the Board of Directors and Music Director Designate Jaap van Zweden, announced that Deborah Borda will become President and Chief Executive Officer of the New York Philharmonic on September 15, 2017. In addition, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Bill Thomas will become Executive Director, effective May 1, 2017. Ms. Borda will succeed Matthew VanBesien, who has held the Orchestra’s chief administrative post since 2012.

Deborah Borda has served as president and CEO of the Los Angeles Philharmonic since 2000, having previously served in the same capacity at the New York Philharmonic during the 1990s. “This is a homecoming for me as a native New Yorker, but, more than that, it is a key transitional moment filled with opportunity to make a difference for one of the great musical organizations of the world — the New York Philharmonic,” she said. “The major factors that have led me here are my immediate sense of partnership with Jaap van Zweden and our shared belief in forging new ways forward. The passionate commitment of the Board to the future, the remarkable quality of the Orchestra, and the ability to promote the superb and trusted administrator Bill Thomas to the position of Executive Director were all critical to my decision. New York City and Lincoln Center stand at the crossroads of the artistic world and the opportunities for collaboration and partnerships within our vibrant community are thrilling. While embracing this challenging new work, I sincerely wish to express my deepest thanks and admiration for Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic ‘family,’ who have been courageous and loving partners over 17 years.”

Of the appointment, Oscar Schafer said: “The search committee and I immediately knew that Deborah Borda was the best and only person to help lead the New York Philharmonic at this pivotal time as we head into an exciting future along with Jaap van Zweden. She is recognized worldwide as a premier leader in the arts, and her proven track record of bold vision and innovative leadership fits hand in hand with this great city and this great Orchestra. We could not be more thrilled that she has chosen to return to the New York Philharmonic and to her New York home. Alongside Bill Thomas, whose expertise and experience has guided the Philharmonic over 15 years, we look forward to working together in partnership as we lay the groundwork for this Orchestra’s next 175 years. I’d like to thank the search committee, especially Jaap van Zweden, for its diligent work during this process, and I would like to again acknowledge and sincerely thank Matthew VanBesien for his leadership and many accomplishments during his tenure these past five years.”

Deborah Borda’s return to the Philharmonic this September will coincide with Jaap van Zweden’s arrival as Music Director Designate. The Dutch maestro said: “Oscar Schafer’s masterful leadership has made the seemingly impossible dream of getting Deborah Borda back to the New York Philharmonic a reality! Her energy and commitment to music is unparalleled, and she has a special passion for community access and inclusion. We are thrilled to be welcoming Deborah back to New York, and I look forward to our partnership in launching a new era. Also, Bill Thomas has been and continues to be a great asset to our institution, and his new role will be vital to the teamwork ahead. Personally, I could not be more thrilled with these two appointments.”

Learn more about Deborah Borda and Bill Thomas.

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)

Jaap van Zweden Conducts: A Glimpse of the Future

Philharmonic audiences got a glimpse of the future when Jaap van Zweden (who will become Music Director in the 2018–19 season, after serving as Music Director Designate 2017–18), led the New York Premiere–Philharmonic Co-Commission of 28-year-old Julia Adolphe’s Unearth, Release, with Principal Viola Cynthia Phelps as soloist, plus Tchaikovsky’s Fourth Symphony and Wagner’s Prelude to Act I of Lohengrin.

The crowd and the critics went wild. Here are some highlights:

“Mr. van Zweden drew sensitive, confident and colorful playing from the Philharmonic. ... he drew out the shifting strands of the music with striking clarity and a clear sense of direction. … He balanced poignancy and gravity in his rich-textured account of [Julia Adolphe’s Unearth, Release].” — The New York Times

“His rapport with the players is already keenly palpable and, in the Tchaikovsky warhorse on the program’s second half, positively electrifying. … an epic journey, precision engineered to underscore the vitality of Tchaikovsky’s vision.” — Musical America

“A superb technician with crystalline intentions, van Zweden seemed most at home laying down a covering barrage of brass or catapulting into a big crescendo. But the New York premiere of Julia Adolphe’s viola concerto Unearth, Release also proved that he’s no slouch with a glimmering pianissimo or a complex new score. … In Wagner’s Lohengrin overture, he coaxed the strings to unspool the endless melody as in a single, ten-minute exhalation.” — Vulture

“An intelligent but emotional, sonically rich performance of Tchaikovsky’s Fourth Symphony” — New York Classical Review

“Both musicians and audience seemed galvanized by his presence throughout all three pieces.” — Bachtrack

2017 Zarin Mehta Fellows from Music Academy of the West Named

New York Philharmonic Global Academy Fellowship Program

Ten students from Santa Barbara’s Music Academy of the West have been selected to participate in the third year of the New York Philharmonic Global Academy Fellowship Program as Zarin Mehta Fellows in January 2017.

They will travel to New York for a ten-day training program, including rehearsing and playing alongside Philharmonic musicians in Brahms’s Symphony No. 3 for the subscription concerts January 11–14, conducted by Music Director Alan Gilbert.

Described by Gilbert as “a window into the real life of the orchestral musician,” the Fellowship allows students to learn directly from Philharmonic musicians, a once-in-a-lifetime experience that will immerse them in all aspects of an orchestral player’s life, from audition to performance.

The lucky ten: Kevin Chen, violin; Minji Choi, cello; Michael Daley, percussion; Kaelan Decman, double bass; Ao Peng, viola; Emily Switzer, violin; Alexander Volkov, violin; Jack Walters, clarinet; Justin Woo, violin; and Hyeree Yu, viola. 2016 Global Academy Fellow Rainer Saville, trumpet, deferred his participation and will be joining the Global Academy in 2017.

Congratulations, and see you in New York!

(Photo: Music Academy of the West)

In Columbia Teachers College Keynote, Wiprud Advocates Cultural Institutions' Educational Role

On Saturday the New York Philharmonic's Vice President of Education, and host of the Philharmonic's famed Young People's Concerts since 2005, Theodore Wiprud received the Medal of Excellence from Columbia University Teachers College, also giving the keynote address at Academic Festival 2016, Teachers College’s annual homecoming event.

Ted made a case for the role cultural institutions like the New York Philharmonic play in education, both as partners with schools and through families and professional training. He also advocated children’s innate creativity — expressed powerfully through the Philharmonic’s Very Young Composers — as an asset for teaching and learning.

Watch the address above.

Van Zweden 'Almost Miraculous' in New Mahler 3 Recording

Jaap van Zweden New York Philharmonic

A new recording shows that the next Music Director of “Mahler’s orchestra” has a fine way with Mahler’s music.

"The best thing I’ve heard from van Zweden, and I’ve heard a lot of incredible performances under his baton," wrote Scott Cantrell of the Dallas Morning News, reviewing Jaap van Zweden and the Dallas Symphony Orchestra’s Mahler 3 recording, which came out on Friday.

Cantrell wrote:

His way of sustaining and inflecting the music over great stretches is almost miraculous. The caressing of phrases in the finale more than lives up to Mahler’s marking, “with heartfelt sensation”; I can’t think of another living conductor who could work such magic. No wonder van Zweden has been tapped as the next music director of the New York Philharmonic.

One performer on the recording is someone van Zweden will see often when he comes to New York. “You’ll never hear the [opening] movement’s great trombone solos more gorgeously played than by [Principal Trombone] Joseph Alessi, on loan from the New York Philharmonic,” Cantrell wrote.

Recorded live during performances on May 14–16, 2015, at Dallas’s Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center, the recording is available on Amazon and iTunes.

Springing Ahead to the Next NY PHIL BIENNIAL

National Sawdust NY PHIL BIENNIAL NY Philharmonic

We know it’s still February, but spring is on the horizon, and with it The New York Times Spring Preview, which has made it clear that thoughts are already on the second NY PHIL BIENNIAL. As the Times says:

“Few of Alan Gilbert’s initiatives as the New York Philharmonic’s music director have been as ambitious, and as successful, as the NY Phil Biennial. It’s not just an extended immersion in contemporary music — that would be admirable enough — but also an endeavor that connects the orchestra with a range of spaces and cooperating organizations. … The emphasis on youthful performers during the biennial is heartening. … It all promises to be a welcome burst of energy.”

Check out the full piece here, and stay tuned for NY PHIL BIENNIAL updates.