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The New York Philharmonic

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Learn about our updated health and safety guidelines, and read A Promise to Our Audience.

Tania León Awarded Pulitzer Prize for Stride, a Project 19 Commission


Tania León was awarded the 2021 Pulitzer Prize in Music for Stride, the work she composed for Project 19, the Philharmonic’s celebration of the centennial of the 19th Amendment by commissioning works by 19 women composers.

When Jaap van Zweden and the Orchestra premiered the work, in February 2020, León recalled the origins of the title:

“When the New York Philharmonic reached out to me about writing for this project celebrating the 19th Amendment, I confess I only knew about it generally. I started doing research, reading Susan B. Anthony’s biography, her statements. It was tremendous to see the inner force that she had. … She kept pushing and pushing and moving forward, walking with firm steps until she got the whole thing done. That is precisely what I mean by Stride.”

In the piece León also depicted her adopted home country:

“For example, there is a section where you can hear the horns with the wa-wa plunger, because it reminds me of Louis Armstrong, getting that growl. It doesn’t have to be indicative of any particular skin tone. It has to do with the American spirit.”

This was the first work the Philharmonic commissioned from the Cuban-born composer-conductor, although their connection goes back decades. Tania León served as the Philharmonic’s New Music Advisor from 1993 to 1996, and she made her Philharmonic conducting debut in 1997, marking the first time the Orchestra was conducted by a Black woman. In February 2020, the month Stride was premiered, she was elected to the Philharmonic’s Board of Directors.

Read more about León’s story and Stride itself, catch the World Premiere performance on NYPhil+, and join us in congratulating her on this remarkable achievement.

Reuniting with the Maestro


The pandemic separated Jaap van Zweden from the Orchestra that he serves as Music Director, so it was especially sweet when he was able to return to New York last month to film a performance for NYPhil+, our streaming service launched earlier this year.

The newly recorded concert — available today! — also marks a reunion with Philharmonic friend Joshua Bell, with the virtuoso taking the spotlight in Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 5, Turkish. Rounding out the program, captured in Alice Tully Hall, are two Gabrieli works for antiphonal brass choirs, and Tchaikovsky’s lush, Italy-inspired Souvenir de Florence.

The concert will be available to stream for one year. Stream it at your convenience and discover our 50+ hours of wide-ranging performances on NYPhil+.

News About the New David Geffen Hall

 The new David Geffen Hall, as it will reopen in Fall 2022. Image by Diamond Schmitt Architects.

It’s coming sooner than you think: the new David Geffen Hall. Today the Philharmonic and our partner Lincoln Center announced updates to the plans to renovate the Orchestra’s home. Now scheduled to reopen in Fall 2022 — almost two years earlier than previously anticipated — David Geffen Hall will be back, and better than ever.

 

As Deborah Borda, the Philharmonic’s Linda and Mitch Hart President and CEO, said: “Our accelerated renovation plan for David Geffen Hall allows us to make the most of COVID-19 closures to complete the renovation process faster and more efficiently, without stops and starts. The Hall’s immediate and long-term benefits to the community, Lincoln Center, our Orchestra, and the world of music are unparalleled. We look forward to returning to David Geffen Hall and welcoming everyone to our new, state-of-the-art home in Fall 2022 … a major signal that New York City is back.”

 

The new theater introduces a “single-room” concept, moving the stage forward by 25 feet, with audience seating wrapped around it, and the design will support a wide range of performance initiatives. The public spaces will welcome the community — by opening up to the campus and hosting a new Welcome Center and a media streaming wall in the lobby and The Sidewalk Studio will allow passersby to see our educational, artistic, and community activities. And based on learnings from the past year, health-and-safety improvements following the recommendation of experts will include state-of-the-art HVAC systems, filtration and air purifying systems, and antimicrobial technology integrated into surfaces.

 

This is a great moment not only for the Philharmonic and Lincoln Center, but for our audiences and our community. The renovation will generate more than $600 million in project-related economic activity through construction, including supporting 6,000 jobs throughout the City and State, including 3,000 in construction.

 

Peter W. May, Co-Chairman of the Philharmonic’s Board, said: “Supporting the arts takes on a new, deeper meaning at this moment in history. It has been a long road to securing an advanced, cutting-edge home for the New York Philharmonic; New York’s hometown orchestra deserves the best. With its new design incorporating true warmth and beauty, this hall will serve generations to come.”

 

In the meantime, your New York Philharmonic will present 2021–22 season concerts in several New York City venues, to be announced. Learn more about the project at workinginconcert.info.

 


 

Remembrance

 New York Philharmonic brass members performance on NYC's Day of Remembrance

The past year has been unlike any America has ever experienced before, and the COVID-19 pandemic’s most tragic early casualty was our hometown. Yesterday, March 14, New York City held a Day of Remembrance to mark the one-year anniversary of the city’s first death from the virus. The city’s somber commemoration of thousands of lives lost and resolute hope for the end of the pandemic was presided over by Mayor Bill de Blasio and held at Brooklyn Bridge Park. Ten Philharmonic brass players, conducted by Daniela Candillari, opened the event with a performance of Dectet by native New Yorker Michael Kamen.

As the Philharmonic participated in this event, our sense of honor was overwhelmed by our own memories. The full orchestra’s last concert in front of a live audience in the concert hall, was on March 10, 2020, with the sheer beauty of Debussy for a house that, although sold out, was ominously only half full. Two days later, we had to cancel concerts for what we thought would be two weeks, only to have that period extended through the season, then the summer, then throughout our entire 2020–21 season. We mourned the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and too many others. Determined to serve our audience and community, we created new ways to share our performances online — now, through NYPhil+, our new performance streaming service — and we launched NY Phil Bandwagon to present live performances across the city in a way that governmental and healthcare authorities deemed safe.

While we remember so many New Yorkers lost, we also see the prospect of the time when families, including the Philharmonic family, can again gather. We anticipate the moment when the hall lights go down, the stage lights rise, and the conductor strides to the podium and raises his baton. We all look forward to the moment when music will again ring out and we can finally experience the magic created when performers and audiences join in the shared experience of live performance.

 

(Photo: Michael Appleton / Mayoral Photography Office, City of New York)

 


 

New, on NYPhil+


There’s something new for you to enjoy on NYPhil+, the Philharmonic’s streaming service, launched last month. Today we added a newly recorded concert of music by a wide range of American composers, conducted by native New Yorker Tito Muñoz in his Philharmonic debut, and spotlighting the brilliance of pianist Aaron Diehl and two of his frequent collaborators, bassist Paul Sikivie and drummer Aaron Kimmel.

In addition to the two works featuring Diehl — four movements from Mary Lou Williams’s jazzy Zodiac Suite, and Out of the Silence from William Grant Still’s Seven Traceries — the Orchestra performs Copland’s moody Quiet City, spotlighting the talents of Principal Trumpet Christopher Martin and English horn Ryan Roberts, and joyful Appalachian Spring, as well as Ives’s The Unanswered Question.

For contrast, you can also check out the recently added 1999 performance of Tchaikovsky’s fateful and fate-filled Fifth Symphony, led by then Music Director Kurt Masur.

So, while we can’t yet gather together in the concert hall, you can still enjoy your New York Philharmonic, from the comfort of home. Explore the 50 hours of performances available at NYPhil+.

Stop Asian Hate

 #StopAsianHate #StopAAPIHate

Violence against the Asian community has been escalating. The hate must stop.

We stand in solidarity with Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander members of our Orchestra, Board, and Staff, as well as our communities near and far. We must work together to make the world safer and more harmonious.

Take a stand — and share: stopaapihate.org

#StopAsianHate #StopAAPIHate

 


 

Leah Ferguson’s Playlist

Philharmonic violist Leah Ferguson curated this playlist for our audience, and has shared her thoughts about the pieces she’s recommending. Enjoy!

Each recording on this playlist holds a special place in my heart. Some I’ve listened to regularly for over 15 years, and some are new discoveries that have helped me get through the pandemic. Making this playlist was therapeutic and is a warm reminder of the music I love and can’t wait to get back to performing live. I’m finding a lot of comfort in holding these pieces close right now. I hope they bring you as much joy as they have brought me!

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What We Did TODAY


Who better to bring back music to NBC’s New York City–based TODAY show than the New York Philharmonic? For the first live performance on Rockefeller Center’s Plaza since the spring shutdown, the national morning show invited our Principal Brass Quintet, who shared holiday cheer with this evergreen favorite. Check out Al Roker’s moves!

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