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Beethoven in Springtime

In Essen, Germany — the fourth of nine cities on our EUROPE / SPRING 2017 tour — the New York Philharmonic String Quartet uses the Orchestra’s downtime on March 26 to rehearse the Scherzo from Beethoven’s String Quartet Op. 18, No. 4 for a performance the next day for Philharmonic Patrons in at the Hungarian Parliament.

The New York Philharmonic Supports Music in Our Schools

March has been designated Music In Our Schools Month® (MIOSM®) by the National Association for Music Education (NAfME). It’s the time of year when music education becomes the focus of schools across the nation.

Enjoy this video, which expresses the New York Philharmonic’s longtime, year-round commitment to music education in general and MIOSM® in particular!

Please join us in supporting music in our communities’ schools.

PHOTOS: Luxembourg, Düsseldorf, and Essen

The EUROPE / SPRING 2017 tour continued in Luxembourg, Düsseldorf, and Essen with powerhouse performances of Bartók, Mahler, John Adams, and more in photogenic halls. Meanwhile, in Vienna, the New York Philharmonic presented the Vienna Philharmonic with an anniversary present.

New York Philharmonic Presents Leonard Bernstein’s Marked Mahler Score to Vienna Philharmonic


This morning in Vienna, the New York Philharmonic and the family of Leonard Bernstein presented the Vienna Philharmonic with Bernstein’s marked score of Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde, in celebration of the Austrian orchestra’s 175th birthday. Above: New York Philharmonic Archivist / Historian Barbara Haws; Andreas Grossbauer, President (and violin) of the Vienna Philharmonic; and Wolfgang Plank, Director of Archives (and oboe) of the Vienna Philharmonic, at the Vienna Philharmonic’s new Archives.

Following his 1966 Vienna Philharmonic debut, Bernstein kept the score, which he had obtained from the Vienna Philharmonic’s Archives. He treasured it for the rest of his life; on his death it was transferred to the New York Philharmonic Archives as part of the collection of his marked conducting scores.

The New York Philharmonic and Vienna Philharmonic are both celebrating their 175th anniversaries this season. The New York Philharmonic presented the gift at the Vienna opening of Vienna and New York: 175 Years of Two Philharmonics, a joint exhibit of archival material drawn from both orchestras’ histories that will be on display at Vienna’s Haus der Musik until January 2018 (having previously been displayed at the Austrian Cultural Forum in New York).

Explore a virtual tour of the exhibition from when it was on view in New York.

(Photo: Wiener Philharmoniker, Terry Linke)

Berlioz, Bells, and Antwerp

The EUROPE / SPRING 2017 tour began with Alan Gilbert and the New York Philharmonic performing in Antwerp on March 23 — the Orchestra’s first performance in that Belgian city since 1920 took place in the inaugural season of Queen Elisabeth Hall. Hear a taste of Berlioz’s revolutionary “Symphonie fantastique,” which will be performed five times on this, Alan Gilbert’s final tour as Music Director.

PHOTOS: The Tour Begins in Antwerp

The New York Philharmonic’s two-week, seven-country EUROPE / SPRING 2017 tour — Alan Gilbert’s ninth and final international tour as Music Director — has begun in Antwerp, Belgium. The Orchestra’s first return to the photogenic city in almost a century included a rousing concert of John Adams, Prokofiev with violinist Frank Peter Zimmermann, and Berlioz at Antwerp’s newly opened Queen Elisabeth Hall.

Dvořák 9 on Kazoo? What’s New with The New World Initiative

If you haven’t heard the Largo from Dvořák’s Ninth Symphony played on kazoos, see this extremely clever and fun video.

As part of The New World Initiative — the Philharmonic’s season-long, citywide immersion in Dvořák’s Symphony No. 9, From the New World — the cartoon-loving jazz band The Queen’s Cartoonists arranged a smart, jazzy version of Dvořák’s New World Symphony — cycling through the work’s main themes in two minutes using kazoos, upright bass, saxophone, and more.

There are still many opportunities to hear this work performed as part of The New World Initiative. Upcoming performances include a joint concert with the highly acclaimed students of Opus 118 Harlem School of Music and The Harlem Chamber Players, a musical saw performance by Natalia “Saw Lady” Paruz, a community chamber concert featuring two arrangements of the Largo hosted by The Broadway Bach Ensemble, and a new work by Bruce Adolphe inspired by the New World Symphony titled Dvorshock performed by the International Chamber Orchestra of America, paired with maya + rouvelle’s live, virtual-reality performance.

More than 1,000 musicians from all five boroughs have been spreading the sounds of Dvořák’s Symphony No. 9, From the New World throughout the city: from NYC classrooms and churches to concert halls and subway stations. It’s not too late to join in the fun! Visit newworldinitiative.com to learn more.

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.

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