The New York Philharmonic

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Springing Ahead to the Next NY PHIL BIENNIAL

National Sawdust NY PHIL BIENNIAL NY Philharmonic

We know it’s still February, but spring is on the horizon, and with it The New York Times Spring Preview, which has made it clear that thoughts are already on the second NY PHIL BIENNIAL. As the Times says:

“Few of Alan Gilbert’s initiatives as the New York Philharmonic’s music director have been as ambitious, and as successful, as the NY Phil Biennial. It’s not just an extended immersion in contemporary music — that would be admirable enough — but also an endeavor that connects the orchestra with a range of spaces and cooperating organizations. … The emphasis on youthful performers during the biennial is heartening. … It all promises to be a welcome burst of energy.”

Check out the full piece here, and stay tuned for NY PHIL BIENNIAL updates.

Just Announced: 2016 NY PHIL BIENNIAL

An homage to NYC's downtown music scene with Brooklyn Rider at the hot new new-music venue National Sawdust? Laptop music? World Premieres of 30+ short works for violin by Philip Glass, Bryce Dessner, and more? A brand-new piece by Esa-Pekka Salonen? A work titled The Alchemist, a true and faithful chronicling of the esoteric spiritual conferences and concomitant hermetic actions conducted by Her Majesty’s Alchemist Dr. John Dee and one Edward Kelley invoking the Nine Hierarchies of Angelic Orders to visible appearance, circa 1587?


Today we announced details for the 2016 NY PHIL BIENNIAL: 3 weeks of new music by 74 composers, almost 60 of them American, presented by the New York Philharmonic and 12 partners in 8 venues.

“The idea is to create a kind of whirlwind and maelstrom of enthusiasm and energy, and we literally could not do it alone,” Music Director (and biennial co-curator along with Composer-in-Residence Esa-Pekka Salonen) Alan Gilbert told The New York Times. Check out for details.

VIDEO: The Biennial Minute: Episode Five

The inaugural NY PHIL BIENNIAL is over, but just a minute — you can relive the concluding concerts with the final episode of The Biennial Minute. 

See footage of cellist Alisa Weilerstein shredding it in the New York Premiere of Matthias Pintscher's Reflections on Narcissus, with the composer himself at the podium. Plus hear from Composer-in-Residence Christopher Rouse on his powerful Fourth Symphony, which the Orchestra premiered with Music Director Alan Gilbert — who signs off with a biennial greeting of his own.

Sean Shepherd's Biennial Blog: Wrapping Up the NY PHIL BIENNIAL

Sean Shepherd NY PHIL BIENNIAL NY Philharmonic

In his final Biennial Blog post on NewMusic Box, Kravis Emerging Composer Sean Shepherd takes stock of the 11-day inaugural NY PHIL BIENNIAL ("My stated goal in the first post was to hear lots of live music, which I managed to achieve in spades, and which was every bit as rejuvenating and electrifying as I’d hoped it would be") and recaps the concluding concerts ("When 12-and-unders ... joined members of the orchestra on stage to hear their pieces, each an individual jewel, and took their triumphant bows, my mother hen’s heart lept!")

Hear Sean's own music next week, June 18–21, when the Philharmonic gives the World Premiere of his Songs, led by Alan Gilbert during The Beethoven Piano Concertos festival with Artist-in-Residence Yefim Bronfman.

Listen On Demand: Solo Works by Young American Composers at NY PHIL BIENNIAL

Joseph Alessi NY PHIL BIENNIAL NY Philharmonic

If you missed one of the most hot-off-the-presses moments of the inaugural NY PHIL BIENNIAL — the evening of solo works by young American composers performed by Philharmonic musicians — you can catch it here for the next 30 days on Q2 Music’s audio stream.

Find out why the critics acclaimed the concert that “showed the brilliance and diversity of each composer, and the talents of featured Philharmonic players” (Superconductor).

(Photo by Chris Lee: Principal Trombone Joseph Alessi performs the World Premiere of Eric Nathan's As Above, So Below)

NY PHIL BIENNIAL 'Should Be Judged a Breakthrough': The New York Times

Midori Peter Eotvos Alan Gilbert NY Philharmonic NY PHIL BIENNIAL

"This successful 11-day biennial, with 13 programs and 21 concerts, among the most ambitious contemporary music festivals ever overseen by a major American orchestra, should be judged a breakthrough," The New York Times wrote in its coverage of the final NY PHIL BIENNIAL program, considering the inaugural festival as a whole. "What more could be asked of a contemporary music festival?"

But wait, there's more: check out The New York Times and The Financial Times's coverage of the biennial program featuring the World Premiere of Composer-in-Residence Christopher Rouse's Fourth Symphony, violinist Midori in the New York Premiere of Peter Eötvös's DoReMi, and the premiere of 26-year-old Julia Adolphe's piece selected from an open call for scores

Also this weekend, The New York Times covered American Composers Orchestra's Underwood New Music Readings as part of the NY PHIL BIENNIAL ("In its 11 days, the biennial was everything that the Philharmonic and its music director, Alan Gilbert, promised: a rich, stimulating slice of the contemporary music scene, and a testament to cooperation among the city’s arts institutions"), plus pianist Marino Formenti's Liszt Inspections recital at Lincoln Center.

Photo by Chris Lee: after performing the New York Premiere of Peter Eötvös's DoReMi, violinist Midori, Alan Gilbert, and the New York Philharmonic take a bow with the composer.

Sean Shepherd's Biennial Blog: Scads, Oodles, and Heaps of Composers

Sean Shepherd NY PHIL BIENNIAL NY Philharmonic

In his latest report from the NY PHIL BIENNIAL, Kravis Emerging Composer Sean Shepherd muses on the "delicate art of programming" and recounts his biennial adventures from the past week, including Beyond Recall at MoMA, which he says "would have been unheard of as a New York Philharmonic presentation when I arrived in New York more than a decade ago, but the growth of CONTACT! has contributed to a new institutional norm: the new music band.... This orchestra is ready for this exhibition."

Check out all of Sean's insightful posts in his Biennial Blog on NewMusic Box, and hear his music June 18–21 when the Philharmonic gives the World Premiere of his Songs, led by Alan Gilbert during The Beethoven Piano Concertos festival with Artist-in-Residence Yefim Bronfman. 

There are only three concerts left in the inaugural NY PHIL BIENNIAL, which The New York Times calls "perhaps the most ambitious and extensive contemporary-music festival yet overseen by an American orchestra."

VIDEO: The Biennial Minute: Episode Four

The New York Philharmonic takes you straight into the action with "The Biennial Minute" — a video series giving a taste of what is happening right now at the NY PHIL BIENNIAL (May 28-June 7). In the fourth episode, "The Biennial Minute" takes us to SubCulture, where Philharmonic musicians performed works by young American composers, a co-presentation of the New York Philharmonic and 92nd Street Y, followed by a post-concert Play Date where audience members mingled with composers and musicians. Plus, you'll meet the three composers chosen to have their works premiered this week by the NY Philharmonic as part of the American Composers Orchestra's EarShot Program.