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Deborah Borda Named Honorary Member of New York Philharmonic

 NY Phil Returns to Asia

The New York Philharmonic Board has named Deborah Borda an Honorary Member of the Philharmonic-Symphony Society of New York for her “outstanding service to the organization and the world of music.

First awarded in 1843, this rare distinction has been given to composers (including Liszt, Dvořák, Stravinsky, and Copland), former Music Directors (Bernstein and Boulez), and non-musicians who have had a major impact on the cultural life of New York and the nation (Andrew Carnegie, John D. Rockefeller, and former Presidents Calvin Coolidge and Harry S. Truman). The only other living recipients are Zubin Mehta and Emanuel Ax.  

Borda — who will step down as the NY Phil’s Linda and Mitch Hart President and CEO and become Executive Advisor to the President and Board on July 1 — has more than earned the accolade over her combined 14 years at the Orchestra. Think of what her vision and leadership have brought us: the launch of Project 19, the all-women commissioning initiative; the transformation of David Geffen Hall; and, just a few months ago, the appointment of Gustavo Dudamel as the next Music and Artistic Director. Her career has been defined by breaking boundaries, and not only at the NY Phil — she has transformed other orchestras including the LA Phil, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, and The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, and was the first woman to serve in the top executive post at a major American orchestra when she came to the NY Phil in the 1990s. Her Honorary Membership is her latest in a growing list of accolades, following the honorary doctorate she just received from The Juilliard School, and has cemented her legacy as a major figure not only in this Orchestra’s history, but in the cultural fabric of New York City and the global music community.

NY Phil Concerts in the Parks Return!

The New York Philharmonic Concerts in the Parks, Presented by Didi and Oscar Schafer, are back! The beloved NY Phil tradition — which has treated over 15 million New Yorkers to priceless music, absolutely free, since 1965 — returned with four consecutive outdoor concerts, June 13–16, in the Bronx, Manhattan, Queens, and Brooklyn. Music Director Jaap van Zweden led the Orchestra in iconic masterpieces by Copland and Beethoven, familiar favorites by Rossini and J. Strauss II, and works created through the NY Phil’s Very Young Composers Program. On Sunday, June 18, Musicians from the Philharmonic performed works by Hadyn and Schubert in the Free Indoor Concert in Staten Island, at the St. George Theatre.

See the slideshow above for highlights from this year’s series.

All photos by Chris Lee

Young New Yorkers for the Philharmonic Summer Benefit

The Young New Yorkers for the Philharmonic (YNY) Summer Benefit welcomed the sunnier season in style! On Wednesday, May 17, 2023, at The Bowery Hotel, YNY Chair and NY Phil Board Member Sarah Jane Gibbons welcomed guests for a performance by four NY Phil musicians — violinists Audrey Wright and Alina Kobialka, violist Vivek Kamath, and cellist Ru-Pei Yeh, The Credit Suisse Chair in honor of Paul Calello — that was followed by dinner, dancing, and cocktails. The YNY Summer Benefit celebrates orchestral music in New York City while raising vital funds for our education and community initiatives, including our famed Young People’s Concerts and Very Young Composers Program.

See the slideshow above for some of the evening’s highlights.

All photos by Fadi Kheir

We’re Glad That You Could Join Us

Throughout the New York Philharmonic’s 2022–23 season, which marked the opening of the new David Geffen Hall, there were many opportunities for many of the Philharmonic’s biggest supporters — from Young New Yorkers (YNYs) to Patrons — to connect more closely with the Orchestra they love. The events included the YNY Winter Benefit, Prelude Receptions, Music with a View chamber music concerts, and a special Salon featuring Sir András Schiff, the season’s Mary and James G. Wallach Artist-in-Residence.

Check out the slideshow above for a look back at the season’s events.

NY Phil Celebrates John Williams at Spring Gala

The New York Philharmonic Spring Gala celebrated the inimitable John Williams — who, over the past six decades, has created the soundtrack of our lives. Ken-David Masur, son of the late NY Phil Music Director Emeritus Kurt Masur, made his Philharmonic debut conducting the Orchestra in a wide-ranging selection of Williams’s iconic film scores, from Superman and Star Wars to the Oscar-winning animated short Dear Basketball, starring the late Kobe Bryant. Steven Spielberg, who has partnered with Williams on 29 feature films, was on hand to honor his friend, introducing excerpts from three of their collaborations — Raiders of the Lost Ark, Jurassic Park, and E.T. the Extra Terrestrial — with the Orchestra performing Williams’s music live to film. Then Williams himself took the podium to conduct several encores — all to rousing standing ovations.

Check out some highlights from the evening’s celebration in the slideshow above.

America’s Touring Orchestra Returns to Asia

 NY Phil Returns to Asia

The New York Philharmonic is headed to Asia!

This summer, for the first time in four years, the Orchestra returns to the continent, displaying two different sides of the NY Phil, as both America’s touring orchestra and a partner committed to cultivating future orchestral musicians. As Executive Director Gary Ginstling says: “This visit is an opportunity to share the NY Phil’s magnificent performances with audiences across the Pacific. We are also extremely gratified to reunite with our friends in Shanghai to continue the impactful Shanghai Orchestra Academy and Partnership with the first in-person activities since 2019.”

Music Director Jaap van Zweden conducts the Tour to Taiwan & Hong Kong, June 28–July 5, marking the NY Phil’s second international trip following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic (to remind you, the first was last year’s residency at the Usedom Music Festival, in Germany). The tour will include five concerts in three cities — Taipei and Kaohsiung, in Taiwan, and Hong Kong — with van Zweden leading symphonies by Beethoven, Dvořák, and Tchaikovsky, as well as Brahms’s Violin Concerto, in which the Orchestra will be joined by star violinist Hilary Hahn, who was recently named the Philharmonic’s Mary and James G. Wallach Artist-in-Residence for next season.

The performances in Hong Kong are of special significance for van Zweden, in his penultimate season with the NY Phil, as he also serves as music director of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra — a position he’s held since 2012. “I look forward to sharing the work of my New York musical family with audiences in both Taiwan and Hong Kong,” remarked van Zweden.

Following the tour, a delegation of NY Phil musicians will travel to Shanghai for the resumption of in-person events as part of the Shanghai Orchestra Academy and Partnership, July 7–12. These include two chamber music concerts featuring our world-class musicians — one in which they’ll be performing alongside members of the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra and students from the Shanghai Orchestra Academy, the two-year, post-graduate program established through the partnership. The nine NY Phil musicians will also give master classes and instruction with the students, and attend the commencement ceremony of this year’s graduating class.

The partnership, a joint endeavor between the Philharmonic and the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, was launched in 2014 and — until the onset of the pandemic — included annual trips by the NY Phil to Shanghai for concerts and instruction. During the lockdown years of 2020 through 2022, when travel was restricted, the partnership carried on with various virtual activities. Van Zweden and the full Orchestra will return to Shanghai in the summer of 2024.

Both sides of this international journey are made possible through the generosity of a foundation that is the Presenting Sponsor of both the tour and the partnership. Ginstling — who will become the Orchestra’s President & CEO on July 1, 2023 — said: “The Philharmonic is grateful to Starr International Foundation for making possible this next significant step toward resuming our role as cultural ambassador.”

From the opening of the renovated David Geffen Hall to the announcement of Gustavo Dudamel as the NY Phil’s next Music and Artistic Director, the 2022–23 season has been full of milestones. The return to Asia, after four years, caps off one of the most significant years in the Orchestra’s history.

A Farewell to Jaap: NY Phil Announces 2023–24 Season

In the New York Philharmonic’s 2023–24 season, announced today, we’ll say a fond farewell to Jaap van Zweden in his final year as Music Director. As Deborah Borda, the NY Phil’s Linda and Mitch Hart President and CEO, said: “We are grateful for his championing of the reimagined David Geffen Hall, and the remarkable concerts that he and the NY Phil gave to inaugurate our new home.” Jaap himself, however, declared: “I actually am not thinking of it as a farewell, but rather as a new chapter. This 2023–24 season reflects my love and respect for the musicians of the New York Philharmonic as we unite to bring you our collective best, including occasions on which our musicians will be highlighted.”

Indeed, throughout 2023–24, Jaap will spotlight six Philharmonic players in solo appearances, in works by composers ranging from Mozart and Brahms to Tan Dun. He also conducts titanic works of the canon — like Mozart’s Requiem, Mahler’s Resurrection Symphony, and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 — as well as World Premieres by Steve Reich and Joel Thompson, both co-commissioned by the New York Philharmonic. And he leads the US Premiere of The Elements, a collective work of movements by five composers — a project conceived by violinist Joshua Bell, who also appears as soloist.

Here’s a look at what next season has to offer beyond Jaap’s appearances:

  • A semi-staged production of Aaron Zigman and Mark Campbell’s Émigré — an oratorio that tells a story centering on how Shanghai served as a refuge for World War II–era Jews — will be conducted by Long Yu and directed by Mary Birnbaum, the newly appointed artistic and general director of Opera Saratoga. The work’s US Premiere will feature an international cast of vocalists and the New York Philharmonic Chorus, directed by Malcolm J. Merriweather.

  • To mark the centennial of Hungarian-Austrian composer György Ligeti — one of the most influential composers of the 20th century — the Orchestra performs four of his works, including Mifiso la sodo (in its US Premiere) and his Piano Concerto, featuring Pierre-Laurant Aimard as soloist. Aimard also performs Ligeti’s complete Études alongside other works that reflect Ligeti’s multicultural approach to composition, on Artist Spotlight.

  • The acclaimed violin virtuoso and musical ambassador Hilary Hahn will be The Mary and James G. Wallach Artist-in-Residence, appearing in two orchestral programs, performing Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No. 1 and, later, Ginastera’s Violin Concerto and Sarasate’s Carmen Fantasy. She’ll also take center stage in an Artist Spotlight concert that concludes the cycle of J.S. Bach’s Sonatas and Partitas for solo violin she began here just this month.

  • Altogether, the Philharmonic gives 14 World, US, and New York Premieres over the course of the season, including Project 19 commissions by Olga Neuwirth, Mary Kouyoumdjian, and Melinda Wagner, as well as works by a wide range of composers, including Kinan Azmeh and Layale Chaker, Katherine Balch, Bryce Dessner, Elena Firsova, Anders Hillborg, and Jerod Impichchaachaaha' Tate.

  • The Art of the Score returns with Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story, in its first live-to-film presentation in New York, the first time the NY Phil has played it since the film’s recording sessions. The Philharmonic also performs the scores to Black Panther and Vertigo — both also in their first New York live-to-film presentations.

  • We celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Young People’s Concerts (YPCs), the beloved series that has offered family-friendly programming to generations of music fans. The season’s four YPCs include an exploration the series’ legacy through a focus on Bernstein, who conducted the first televised YPCs; an examination of how music can reinvigorate the imagination; premieres of works by young composers; and an appearance by cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason.

  • The NY Phil continues its commitment to serving New York City’s communities. The free Concerts in the Parks, Presented by Didi and Oscar Schafer, and the Free Memorial Day Concert at The Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine, Presented by the Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Foundation, both return, and are complemented by the Phil for All: Ticket Access Program, which offers $10 tickets to select subscription concerts through the 2023–24 season.

Executive Director Gary Ginstling, who will succeed Deborah Borda as President and CEO this summer, summarized the coming season: “Our 2023–24 season celebrates Jaap van Zweden and presents the Orchestra in repertoire ranging from fresh new works by a diverse group of composers to beloved cornerstones of the repertoire. It is an honor to be joining the Philharmonic as we explore the possibilities of our extraordinary new home and how we can share the experience with as many people as possible.”

We can’t wait to see you back at David Geffen Hall!

Gustavo Dudamel To Become NY Phil Music and Artistic Director


Watch Gustavo Dudamel share his thoughts on becoming the NY Phil's next Music and Artistic Director during a recent visit to David Geffen Hall

On February 7, the New York Philharmonic announced that Gustavo Dudamel will become the Orchestra’s Music and Artistic Director. In the 2026–27 season Dudamel will begin a five-year term, becoming the 27th conductor to preside over the NY Phil, building on a legacy that includes giants such as Gustav Mahler, Arturo Toscanini, and Leonard Bernstein. In addition, Dudamel will serve as Music Director Designate in the 2025–26 season. Dudamel traveled to New York City on February 20 to meet the Orchestra, Board, staff, and media, and to share his thoughts on his historic appointment.

A native of Venezuela, Gustavo Dudamel currently serves as Music and Artistic Director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic — a position he has held since 2009 — as well as Music Director of the Opéra National de Paris and Music Director of the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra.

About this exciting new chapter, Dudamel remarked: “Today, above all, I am grateful. I am grateful to the musicians and leadership of the New York Philharmonic as we embark upon this new and beautiful journey together. As the great poet Federico García Lorca said: ‘Every step we take on earth brings us to a new world.’” He added: “I gaze with joy and excitement at the world that lies before me in New York City.”

He is no stranger to the New York Philharmonic, having conducted 26 concerts as a guest beginning with his November 2007 debut, in which he led the Orchestra in works by Dvořák and Prokofiev, as well as in the NY Phil’s first performances of Chávez’s Sinfonia India since 1961 — led by Bernstein.

As a fresh-faced, 26-year-old wunderkind — just a year older than Bernstein was when he made his NY Phil debut — Dudamel’s maiden voyage at the NY Phil was feverishly anticipated. He rose to the occasion, with The New York Times observing, “he withstood the pressure and delivered teeming, impassioned, and supremely confident performances. … Clearly, the Philharmonic players were inspired by the boundless joy and intensity of his music-making.” Not only that — what also impressed about Dudamel was his thoroughness and preparedness, with The Times noting that his “kinetic, balletic conducting style differs little between concert and rehearsal.”

Subsequent Philharmonic highlights include his 2009 appearance, conducting Mahler’s Symphony No. 5, as well as The Schumann Connection in March 2022, which featured World Premieres of Gabriela Ortiz’s Clara and Andreia Pinto Correia’s Os pássaros da noite, works by composers he selected for NY Phil commissions to complement Robert Schumann’s symphonic cycle.

Gustavo Dudamel will return to New York City this spring to conduct the Orchestra in three performances of Mahler’s Symphony No. 9, May 19–21. These concerts will also mark his first time conducting in the newly reimagined David Geffen Hall’s Wu Tsai Theater, the venue he will, in just a few short years, call home.

Looking ahead to this exciting new era in the Orchestra’s history, Philharmonic leadership can scarcely contain their enthusiasm. NY Phil’s Linda and Mitch Hart President & CEO Deborah Borda said: “This is a dream come true for our musicians, our audience, and certainly for me. The coming together of a great orchestra, a visionary Music and Artistic Director, and our transformed hall promises the richest of futures.” Gary Ginstling, the NY Phil’s Executive Director, who will succeed Borda as President & CEO, agreed: “With Gustavo Dudamel, the Philharmonic is poised for what I believe will be one of the most exciting chapters in its storied history.”

As for the musicians, well, just take it from Principal Trumpet Christopher Martin, who said: “Each time he takes the podium we feel an extraordinary connection with him. This moment aligns with the unparalleled artistic tradition of this nation’s oldest orchestra. We look forward to sharing our deepening musical relationship with audiences both in our revitalized David Geffen Hall and on tour around the world.”

Dudamel, himself, summed it up thusly: “All of us are united in our belief that culture creates a better world, and in our dream that music is a fundamental right. I look forward to the work ahead.”

No doubt, that sentiment is echoed by music lovers throughout New York City and beyond. Here’s to the next chapter of the New York Philharmonic’s story, one that’s sure to be filled with brilliant music — from beloved classics to exciting new works — bravura performances, and plenty of standing ovations.


Gustavo Dudamel made his NY Phil debut on November 29, 2007, leading works by Dvořák, Prokofiev, and Chávez. The NY Phil Archives presented him with former Music Director Leonard Berstein’s baton for the occasion, and during the energetic finale of the Prokofiev the baton split in two. Following the concert, Dudamel turned to apologize, but NY Phil Archivist / Historian Barbara Haws reassured him, saying: “Now the baton has more history.”  (Photo by Chris Lee)

Gustavo Dudamel conducted the New York Philharmonic only months before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. On January 15, 2020, Dudamel led the first of two weeks of programs, which included the New York Premiere of Piano Concerto, Universos infinitos, by Esteban Benzecry (second from left), with Sergio Tiempo (third from right) as soloist. Following the concert the artists were joined by NY Phil Co-Chairmen Peter W. May (far left) and Oscar L. Tang (far right), and Linda and Mitch Hart President & CEO Deborah Borda. (Photo by Chris Lee)

Gustavo Dudamel returned to the NY Phil in March 2022 to preside over The Schumann Connection — a two-week exploration of Robert Schumann’s symphonic cycle complemented by World Premieres of two works by composers he selected: Gabriela Ortiz and Andreia Pinto Correia. (Photo by Chris Lee)