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

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Alan Gilbert Gets Ready To Conduct Written on Skin at Lincoln Center's Mostly Mozart Festival

NY Philharmonic Alan Gilbert Written on Skin Lincoln Center Mostly Mozart Festival Opera News

After conducting the New York Philharmonic at Bravo! Vail and Santa Barbara’s Music Academy of the West, Alan Gilbert will head back to Lincoln Center to conduct the U.S. Premiere of George Benjamin’s highly acclaimed Written on Skin — called “the best opera written in twenty years” (Le Monde), “the work of a genius unleashed” (The New Yorker), “psychologically gripping, emotionally heart-pounding and viscerally satisfying drama” (The New York Times) — with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra at the David H. Koch Theater in a Philharmonic–Mostly Mozart Festival co-presentation, August 11–15.

It’s the inaugural project resulting from the Lincoln Center–New York Philharmonic Opera Initiative, created to present fully staged productions of significant modern operas never before seen in New York. It also builds on Alan Gilbert’s run of acclaimed stagings with the Philharmonic, from Ligeti’s Le Grand Macabre (2010) to Honegger’s Joan of Arc at the Stake (2015).

Learn more about the production, as well as Alan Gilbert’s thoughts, in this informative Opera News story.

New York Philharmonic and Harmony Program Launch "All Stars" Education Initiative

NY Philharmonic Harmony Program

The NBA All Stars recently came and went, but New York City has a new set of All Stars that, frankly, we're much more excited about!

The Philharmonic and the Harmony Program have launched the inaugural Harmony All Stars Ensemble: nine middle- and high-school students from low-income neighborhoods in New York City selected by audition to participate in an 11-day mentorship with New York Philharmonic musicians.

The kids will attend a Philharmonic rehearsal and Young People's Concert, experience an intensive day of coaching and rehearsal, and perform with their Philharmonic mentors at a free public concert in the David Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center on May 20.

The Harmony Program, an after-school music program modeled on Venezuela's "El Sistema," provides instruments and free daily instruction to more than 200 students from more than 40 schools in underserved communities across New York City. The Harmony Program is a Partner in Philharmonic Academy Jr., a New York Philharmonic initiative providing training to pre-college students by Philharmonic musicians in partnership with institutions in the New York City area committed to strong orchestra programs.

See you May 20 for the free concert!

Above: Philharmonic Violinist Hae-Young Ham plays amid Harmony Program students at a master class at the United Palace for Cultural Arts in Washington Heights, Manhattan, January 31, 2015. (Photo: Yuan Kong, CUNY)

Special Free Concert: Very Young Composers from Fukushima, Japan

Very Young Composers of Japan NY Philharmonic

We warmly invite you to a remarkable free concert next week featuring young composers wrestling not only with melody, form, and instrumentation but also how music can express grief and recovery.

On Tuesday, March 24, at 5:00 p.m., nine 10–14-year-olds visiting us from Fukushima, Japan — site of the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami in 2011 — will conclude their week of exchange with young New York composers with a concert of their new works, played by Philharmonic musicians and Teaching Artists. Both Japanese and American students composed their works on the universal theme of Rebirth, referencing the melody known in Japan as "chuocho" (butterfly) and in the United States as "Lightly Row."

The concert is at the David Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center. Seating is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Above: Very Young Composers from Japan with pianist Makoto Ozone, Very Young Composers founder Jon Deak, and former Assistant Conductor Joshua Weilerstein (Photo: Chris Lee)

David Geffen Donates $100 Million To Lead Transformation of Philharmonic's Concert Home, To Be Renamed David Geffen Hall

Avery Fisher Hall NY Philharmonic

In the word of New York Philharmonic Chairman Oscar S. Schafer, "Wow."

The New York Philharmonic is thrilled that music and media executive David Geffen has given $100 million to lead the transformation of the Philharmonic's concert home, which will become David Geffen Hall as of the Opening Night of our 2015–16 season on September 24, 2015.

Schafer added: "This remarkable gift will help pave the way for the Philharmonic to realize its vision in creating a revitalized hall suited to the excellence of this Orchestra. The gift also unlocks so many possibilities in the future. We are really excited by this inspired gift."

Matthew VanBesien, President of the New York Philharmonic, said: "We applaud David Geffen for making possible the creation of a dynamic new home for the New York Philharmonic here at Lincoln Center, something so paramount in helping us achieve our vision of an Orchestra for the 21st Century. We look forward to working together with Lincoln Center to create a revitalized hall that will allow us to imagine new possibilities, reflecting the way in which our art form and audiences are evolving, and that will inspire the great legacy of musicians and artists who will grace its stage."

"It was a quick yes for me," Geffen told The New York Times. "I’m a kid from Brooklyn — it’s a big deal. I watched them build this building."

(Photo: Julie Skarratt)

And the Awards Go to...

Inon Barnatan Julia Bullock NY Philharmonic

No, we’re not talking about the Oscars, but our local award celebrating the performing arts. 

Two of Lincoln Center’s Martin E. Segal Awards (named for a former Lincoln Center Chairman) have been given to musicians who are scheduled to appear with the Philharmonic in the coming months: Inon Barnatan, the Philharmonic nominee, who will perform Ravel March 19–24, and Julia Bullock, Juilliard’s nominee, who will join us in July for the 50th anniversary of the Concerts in the Parks

Each recipient not only receives an enormous compliment, but a grant to support career advancement and/or future study. For information about attending the ceremony, on March 2, visit

WATCH: Rare Glimpse of Sibelius at Home, Part of 150th-Anniversary Exhibit Opening Today

In celebration of Sibelius’s 150th birthday anniversary, the New York Philharmonic performs Sibelius’s The Oceanides and Violin Concerto, Feb. 26–28, and presents Sibelius at Home: Images from the Aho Family Films in the Bruno Walter Gallery at Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center

The exhibit, which opens today, includes stills and commentary from a documentary film capturing Sibelius at home in 1927 and 1945, along with archival material from the New York Philharmonic Archives tracing the Orchestra’s relationship with Sibelius and his music.

The film (above) is a rare glimpse of Sibelius and his family in their summer home on Lake Tuusula, in Southern Finland. Shot by Sibelius’s neighbors Heikki Aho and Björn Soldan, sons of author/journalist Juhani Aho and founders of the documentary film studio Aho & Soldan, the film exhibits an intimate behind-the-scenes view of the notoriously camera-shy composer.

Sibelius’s wife, Aino, and daughters also appear in the film, posing readily for the cameramen they knew so well. The daughters Margareta and Heidi pick apples in the garden and play the piano, and Margareta plays the violin. Jean reads the paper and plays and composes at the piano, cigar always at hand.

Sibelius at Home: Images from the Aho Family Films is in the Bruno Walter Gallery on Avery Fisher Hall’s Grand Promenade and is open to ticket-holders through March 31.


Sibelius, arr. Jussi Jalas: Symphony No. 3, Finale

Sibelius: Impromptu, Op. 5 for string orchestra

Sibelius: Romance in F, Op. 78 for violin and piano

Helsinki Theater Orchestra

Eero Bister, violin

Meet Lisa Batiashvili Feb. 3 at Insights at the Atrium

lisa batiashvili ny philharmonic

“The New York Philharmonic has become my favorite musical family,” The Mary and James G. Wallach Artist-in-Residence Lisa Batiashvili said in a Playbill profile this past fall.

The feeling is, of course, mutual. Discover why on Tuesday, February 3, at 7:30 p.m. at our next free Insights at the Atrium event, “An Evening with Lisa Batiashvili.”

Ahead of her performances of Barber's Violin Concerto — “This is the quintessential American violin concerto, so I wanted to play it here, with this great American Orchestra,” she said — Lisa will reflect on her collaboration with the Philharmonic, the repertoire she’s bringing to New York, and her musical upbringing.

Insights at the Atrium events are at David Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center. It is free and open to the public. Seating is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis.

New York Philharmonic and Lincoln Center Announce New Opera Initiative

The Importance of Being Earnest NY Philharmonic

Exciting news! The New York Philharmonic and Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts today announced a new, multi-year initiative to present fully-staged productions of significant modern operas not yet seen in New York.

First up: the U.S. stage premiere of George Benjamin's Written on Skin, at Lincoln Center's Mostly Mozart Festival, August 11, 13, and 15, 2015, at the David H. Koch Theater. New York Philharmonic Music Director Alan Gilbert will conduct the Mahler Chamber Orchestra. "This new collaboration will allow the realization of creative ideals that have been important to me since coming to the Philharmonic — the sky’s the limit in terms of the productions of bold, modern operas that can come out of it," Gilbert said. (Last June a concert of Benjamin's music was part of the inaugural NY PHIL BIENNIAL.)

The second presentation is the U.S. stage premiere of the Irish composer Gerald Barry’s opera The Importance of Being Earnest (above), based on Oscar Wilde’s comedy. It will be presented June 2 and 4, 2016, jointly as part of the second NY PHIL BIENNIAL and Lincoln Center’s 50th season of Great Performers at the Rose Theater at Jazz at Lincoln Center. This production, which was premiered at the Royal Opera House in London, is directed by Ramin Gray and will be conducted by Ilan Volkov, leading New York Philharmonic musicians. 

A third production, slated for 2017, will be announced at a later date.

The collaboration arose from "a positive equivalent of a perfect storm," Jane Moss, Lincoln Center's artistic director, told The New York Times

She said that a confluence of events had led her to seek a teaming with the Philharmonic: her admiration of its pathbreaking semi-staged performances of Ligeti's opera Le Grand Macabre and Janacek's The Cunning Little Vixen; her desire to bring Written on Skin to New York; and her search for top-flight orchestras.

Alan Gilbert, the Philharmonic’s music director, said that he considered the partnership a way to make good on a founding goal of Lincoln Center. “This is really true to that original vision, to be able to work together and to use the energy and the possibilities of all the different constituents and the people who are working all on the same campus,” he said.

Access to tickets for Written on Skin and The Importance of Being Earnest are guaranteed by purchasing a Producers Circle package from Lincoln Center. Email or call (212) 875-5466 for information. Single tickets will be available for purchase at a later date.

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