New York Philharmonic: What's New: Latest News and Stories About The New York Philharmonic

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On the Cover: Rémi Pelletier

Why are we here? What is the meaning of life? Should I become a professional violist or a sushi chef? These are the universal questions everyone wrestles with at some point. 

Maybe not that last one. But New York Philharmonic violist Rémi Pelletier really did face exactly that fork in the path of his life. (And when you think about it, both involve rigorous training of hand, eye, and mind to be able to create an experience of beauty and delight.)

Although he had studied viola seriously since childhood, he was pursuing a career as a sushi chef. His sushi mentor told him he had to choose between the two.

Rémi agonized, but clarity came in the form of a recurring dream in which he was running through a forest, looking for his viola. 

Learn more about Rémi and his journey to become a Philharmonic musician in his Q & A video above. 

You can find Rémi on the cover of Playbill in February and March, and he’ll be featured on the Philharmonic’s social media channels. Follow us on FacebookTwitterInstagramSnapchat, and Tumblr for more!

Learn more about Rémi Pelletier

On the Cover: Liang Wang

“[Being part of a symphonic work is] almost like reading a wonderful book or seeing a great movie. Every little thing plays into the final product.” — Liang Wang

The first of those “little” things is the first oboe’s piercing A to which the whole orchestra tunes. At the New York Philharmonic this comes from Principal Oboe Liang Wang. In the Q & A video above, Liang discusses some of the possible reasons why the first oboe traditionally performs this duty.

Liang also shares insights about reed-making and its similarities to wine-making, and how his performance depends on homemade reeds that, at the tip, can be thinner than a strand of hair. The beginning of the video features the technically demanding yet seductive solo that Liang will play this month in Ravel’s Le Tombeau de Couperin.

Throughout January you’ll see Liang on the cover of Playbill and featured on the Philharmonic’s social media channels.

Follow us on FacebookTwitterInstagramSnapchat, and Tumblr for more!

In February On the Cover will feature violist Rémi Pelletier.

Learn more about Liang Wang

On the Cover: Yulia Ziskel

“To this day, when I tour with the Philharmonic I always treat it as this big privilege.” — Yulia Ziskel

The passports of New York Philharmonic musicians are littered with stamps from around the world. That’s especially true for Philharmonic violinist Yulia Ziskel.

When Yulia was a young girl living in the Soviet Union, she performed solo works across the globe. Her violin eventually took her to the United States, where she made her way to the New York Philharmonic.

In December you can find Yulia on the cover of Playbill and featured on the Philharmonic’s social media channels. Follow us on FacebookTwitterInstagramSnapchat, and Tumblr for more!

In the new year On the Cover will feature Principal Oboe Liang Wang.

Learn more about Yulia Ziskel

On the Cover: Ru-Pei Yeh

“You were the best one in your row.” — Bill Murray to Ru-Pei Yeh, quoting his character in Ghostbusters

Ru-Pei’s journey to the New York Philharmonic began when she made a deal with her dad as a six-year-old growing up in Taiwan: if she continued studying cello through sixth grade, she could then choose to keep going or quit. 

Watch her Q & A video above to find out what happened! (Take a wild guess.) Ru-Pei also shares the story of meeting Bill Murray at a Philharmonic concert abroad, how she found her cello, and which cello section she thinks is the best in the world. 

In November you can find Ru-Pei on the cover of Playbill and featured on the Philharmonic’s social media channels. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and Tumblr for more!

In December On the Cover will feature violinist Yulia Ziskel.

Learn more about Ru-Pei Yeh

On the Cover: George Curran

“We could be soloists on our instruments, but we choose to sing together in one voice.” — George Curran

Kicking off a season highlighting the All-Stars of the New York Philharmonic is Philharmonic Bass Trombone George Curran. You can find George onstage sitting in the back row, between Principal Tuba Alan Baer and trombone David Finlayson — which is fitting, because his instrument plays for both team trombone and team tuba.

But George didn’t get his start on trombone. In fact, unlike many professional musicians, who start playing their instrument at a very young age, George switched to trombone at the age of 22, after flirting with a career in engineering. Fortunately for Philharmonic audiences, he followed his heart and his passion for performing.

George’s switch to trombone led him to the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, where he performed in a brass section with Christopher Martin, Colin Williams, and Richard Deane. 

Check out George’s Q & A video (above) to learn more about his nerdy interests (spoiler alert: he loves Star Wars) and why he finds the New York Philharmonic brass section so special.

In September and October you can find George on the cover of Playbill as well as featured on the Philharmonic’s social media channels. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and Tumblr for more!

In November we will feature cellist Ru-Pei Yeh. 

Learn more about George Curran

On the Cover: Music Director Alan Gilbert

“Once a New Yorker, always a New Yorker. My heart will always be here.” — Alan Gilbert

Alan Gilbert takes his final bows in New York City as Music Director of the New York Philharmonic this month, starting with three performances of Wagner’s Das Rheingold featuring former Mary and James G. Wallach Artist-in-Residence and friend Eric Owens as Wotan, June 1–6. He will also lead the Philharmonic joined by musicians from orchestras around the world for Alan Gilbert Season Finale: A Concert for Unity, June 8–10. Finally, Alan Gilbert says goodbye to the people of New York in the final Concerts in the Parks of his tenure, June 13–18.

Watch Alan’s Q & A video, above, in which he reflects on his time at the Philharmonic and in New York over the past eight seasons, and looks toward the future.

Stay tuned for more about Alan on the Philharmonic’s social media this month.

On the Cover: David J. Grossman

“I was drawn to the bass because it’s the foundation.” — David J. Grossman

This month’s cover musician, bassist David J. Grossman, found himself drawn to the bass not just for practical reasons (he’s tall!), but he also liked the fact that he was part of the rhythmic and harmonic foundation of the orchestra.

In fact, David’s connection to the foundation of the Philharmonic’s bass section can be traced back to 1880. He studied with current Philharmonic bassist Orin O’Brien, who studied with former Philharmonic Principal Bass Frederick Zimmermann, who studied with former Philharmonic Principal Bass Herman Reinshagen, who studied with former Philharmonic Principal Bass Ludwig Manoly. David continues to share the legacy of these great bassists in his teaching at the Manhattan School of Music.

Watch David’s Q&A video, above, to learn more about his artistic influences and his affinity for jazz.

David will take over our Instagram later this month, so follow along! And queue those Qs — he’ll be live on Twitter responding to your questions later this month. And finally, subscribe to our Spotify channel, where David will curate a playlist of his favorite music.

Stay tuned: June will feature Music Director Alan Gilbert in his final concerts in New York as Music Director.

Learn more about bassist David J. Grossman.

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