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Frank Huang Appointed Concertmaster of New York Philharmonic Beginning September 2015

Frank Huang New York Philharmonic

We are very excited to report that Frank Huang has been appointed Concertmaster, The Charles E. Culpeper Chair, of the New York Philharmonic, beginning with the Opening Gala Concert of the 2015–16 season, September 24, 2015. 

Mr. Huang follows Glenn Dicterow, who stepped down from his position at the end of the 2013–14 season after 34 seasons.

“More than any other musician, the concertmaster shapes the persona of an orchestra, and in Frank Huang we have found just the right mix of virtuosity, flair, musicality, and collegiality,” said Music Director Alan Gilbert. “After our very comprehensive search, during which we heard many strong candidates, the musicians of the search committee and I unanimously agreed that Frank would both fit right in to the New York Philharmonic and push it to even greater heights. I am thrilled and proud to be announcing this most important appointment.”

Currently concertmaster of the Houston Symphony, Mr. Huang recently played with the Philharmonic as guest concertmaster in three programs conducted by Alan Gilbert: in October 2014, including works by Bartók, Bruckner, and Mozart; and in the Verdi Requiem in January 2015 (see photo above). Mr. Huang is also an accomplished chamber musician, and serves on the faculty at the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University and the University of Houston.

“I am truly honored to be given the opportunity to hold this position once occupied by such giants of the orchestral world as Glenn Dicterow and John Corigliano, Sr.” said Huang. “It is a privilege to join this ensemble of incredibly talented musicians, and my deepest appreciation goes out to Alan Gilbert and the members of the Philharmonic for their belief in me. I look forward to returning to New York City and to making music with the great New York Philharmonic.”

(Photo: Chris Lee)

VIDEO: CBS News Hails Glenn Dicterow on Evening of Final Concert

Glenn Dicterow played his last concert as Concertmaster of the New York Philharmonic Saturday night, performing Beethoven's Triple Concerto alongside Principal Cello Carter Brey and Artist-in-Residence Yefim Bronfman. If you missed it, above is the story CBS Evening News ran earlier that evening.

Here's what Alan Gilbert felt that night:

NPR, The New York Times Profile Dicterow, Orchestra's Peacemaker

NPR Glenn Dicterow NY Philharmonic 

All the media coverage on the retirement of Glenn Dicterow as our Concertmaster is giving us a look not only at the man, but an unusually candid peek into the job he’s held, magnificently, for 34 years.

Yesterday's All Things Considered story in particular focused on the chair's role as diplomat and politician.

A big part of his job, he said, has been to "make peace," Dicterow revealed, adding: "Everyone needs to get along to make gorgeous music. That's the bottom line."

That was hard during the Orchestra's "cantankerous" years when he started, he said, recalling some "pushing and shoving matches." Now, with a more diverse roster that's more than half women, it's easier, he added.

In his own rich article in today's New York Times, Michael Cooper drew yet more colorful memories and insights from and about Glenn, including about being a diplomat between guest conductors and the Orchestra:

Mr. Dicterow recalled a rehearsal for an oratorio that took nearly an hour to get through the opening bars, as the conductor tried to coax more of a period sound out of the orchestra, which is better known for sounding brash than Baroque. “You just have to try to save it,” he said. “I think that’s what a great concertmaster needs to do. He needs to mediate, to be a secretary of state.”

Good stuff. Follow the links above to hear/read more.

Learn about New York Philharmonic Presents: The Glenn Dicterow Collection

Koyaanisqatsi Hits Top 40!*

Koyaanisqatsi NY Philharmonic 

*on the iTunes Classical 200 chart. But still.

Philip Glass: Koyaanisqatsi with Orchestra (Live), released on iTunes June 17, reached that height this morning. The recording is from our 2011 concert alongside Glass and the Philip Glass Ensemble and The Collegiate Chorale (James Bagwell, director), conducted by Michael Riesman. It was part of a worldwide celebration of Glass's 75th birthday year.

New York Philharmonic Presents: The Glenn Dicterow Collection, three albums of 11 of Mr. Dicterow's favorite live performances from 1982 to 2012, was also in the iTunes Classical 200 chart this morning.

Congratulations to all, and happy listening. Oh, and if you want to enter to win a free CD of Volume 1 of The Glenn Dicterow Collection, take a selfie with the cardboard cut-out of Glenn on the east side of the Grand Promenade in Avery Fisher Hall, then post it with hashtag #nyphilglenn. Ten winners will be notified by June 30.

34 Years, 49 Heldenlebens, 41 Scheherazades: WSJ Profiles Dicterow

Wall St. Journal Glenn Dicterow NY Philharmonic 

When the violinist Glenn Dicterow plays his last concert with the New York Philharmonic on June 28, it will be his 6,033rd while serving as concertmaster of the orchestra, and the final farewell in a season full of goodbyes.

"It's an emotional time," he said. "Whether we're playing Beethoven or whatever, I'm thinking, 'My last one, my last one.' "

So begins Corinne Ramey's lovely, informative profile of Glenn in Friday's Wall Street Journal. In it, Glenn talks about deciding to become a concertmaster and not a soloist, what a concertmaster does, and the Music Directors he's worked with, including Alan Gilbert:

"The more complicated, the more sense he makes out of it," said Mr. Dicterow. "His rhythm is like nobody else I know."

"He's so diligent and such a professional," said Mr. Gilbert, who hears Mr. Dicterow practicing through the violinist's studio door, and noted his dedication to the difficult biennial music from a few weeks ago.

"I hear him woodshedding and think, 'Wow, up to the bitter end,' " Mr. Gilbert said.

The Philharmonic salutes Glenn with a 3-volume recording titled New York Philharmonic Presents: The Glenn Dicterow Collection. This week stop by the east side of the Grand Promenade of Avery Fisher Hall and take a selfie with “Glenn Dicterow” (a life-size cut-out). Post it on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram with the hashtag #nyphilglenn, and you’ll be entered to win a free CD of Vol. 1. Ten winners will be notified by June 30.

Glenn Dicterow, A Most Masterful Musician

The longest serving Concertmaster in the New York Philharmonic’s 172 year history

“It has been an amazing 34 years,” Glenn Dicterow said of his departure as Concertmaster. “Every single one has been challenging and inspiring. I feel very much part of the Philharmonic family. It is not going to be easy for me to leave this great Orchestra, which has been part of my life for so long.”  Watch the slide show that captures some of Glenn’s many Philharmonic and family experiences and read the excerpts from the hundreds of reviews over the years.

Read what Glenn has to say about his performances and listen to excerpts in our Online Exhibit.

Touching Tributes to Outgoing Concertmaster Glenn Dicterow

Glenn Dicterow NY Philharmonic NY PHIL BIENNIAL

Last night at the New York Philharmonic was an emotional one as we saluted the legends retiring from the Orchestra's ranks — including beloved Concertmaster Glenn Dicterow.

The Philharmonic's longest-serving Concertmaster, Glenn was the subject of some lovely tributes this week: New York magazine's Vulture talked to Glenn about what it means to be a concertmaster, and he chatted about highlights from his 34 years with the Orchestra on WNYC's Soundcheck and with The Strad.

You can listen to Glenn well after his retirement with the newly released New York Philharmonic Presents: The Glenn Dicterow Collection

And while we're at it, let us know if you can decipher the inside jokes in this video tribute from Glenn's Philharmonic colleagues.

Be sure to catch Glenn's final solo turn as Concertmaster June 24–28 in Beethoven's Triple Concerto.

(Photo by Chris Lee: the New York Philharmonic dons "beards" in honor of Glenn Dicterow at the concert June 5, at which Mr. Dicterow and other Philharmonic retirees spoke)