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New York Times Praises New Year's 'Antics' of Alan Gilbert, Phil, Igudesman & Joo

New Year's Eve Celebration

Reviewing the New Year's Eve Celebration featuring Igudesman & Joo in The New York Times, Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim wrote, "the entire Philharmonic came out to play, in both senses of the word." 

Alan Gilbert, the Philharmonic’s music director, took revenge on the cellphone trolls of concerts past. “Do you ever feel your cellphone ringtone doesn’t match the music you are disturbing?” he asked, before offering a special Philharmonic ringtone potpourri in which the original dee-dee-deeeee-dee “Grand Waltz” kept popping up dressed up as Beethoven, or Ravel or Mozart. I’m downloading mine now.

Mr. Gilbert also joined the orchestra in sobbing theatrically when Mr. Joo segued from the Adagio of Rachmaninoff’s Second Piano Concerto into the pop ballad “All by Myself.” (See photo, by Hiroyuki Ito. Click review link above to see more fun photos.)

Rhapsody Names Stucky/Rouse/Ives Recording One of Best of 2013

Stucky, Rouse, Ives 

Alan Gilbert and the New York Philharmonic’s recording Steven Stucky, Christopher Rouse, Ives is fourth on Rhapsody’s Top 25 Classical Albums of 2013.

“The New York Philharmonic’s live recording of Charles Ives’ Fourth Symphony still gives me chills,” wrote Seth Colter Walls. “This is one of the finest Ives recordings in recent memory.”

Alan Gilbert and Phil’s Il Prigioniero on N.Y. Times, WQXR Best of 2013

Alan Gilbert conducts  

The New York Times Critic Anthony Tommasini put Alan Gilbert and the Philharmonic’s June 2013 performance of Dallapiccola’s Il Prigioniero on his list of the year’s memorable concerts.

“Alan Gilbert, a champion of the most challenging 20th-century scores,” he wrote,

was at his inspired best for the New York Philharmonic’s concert performance in June of Luigi Dallapiccola’s opera “Il Prigioniero” (“The Prisoner”). First staged in Italy in 1950, this wrenching work is the story of a nameless prisoner during the Spanish Inquisition who is visited by his mother. The audience responded with a five-minute ovation for a 12-tone opera. How often does that happen?

On WQXR’s Operavore, critic Fred Plotkin gave Il Prigioniero two of his “First Annual Excellence in Opera Awards (AKA The Freddies),” for Sustained Excellence in Performance and Operas New to Me.

Alan Gilbert and Philharmonic Take 3 of NYMag’s Top 10 Concerts

ny mag 

In baseball, 3 for 10 is a .300 average — the benchmark of a top hitter. In music it’s not bad, either.

Alan Gilbert and the Philharmonic have three concerts on New York magazine's “10 Best Classical Performances of the Year” — more than any other musical institution.

Equally satisfying is the wide range the three concerts reflect. Here’s what critic Justin Davidson wrote:

  • 2001: A Space Odyssey, from September's Art of the Score: Film Week at the Philharmonic. “Stanley Kubrick’s trippy meditation on galactic travel never seemed more operatic than when the Philharmonic ripped the great soundtrack out of two dimensions and into the concert hall.”
  • Unsuk Chin's Gougalon, from the April CONTACT! concerts: “Scored for a jangly ensemble of percussion, strings, winds, and brass, the piece, subtitled 'Scenes From a Street Theater,' evokes the raucous soundtrack of the composer’s native Seoul. ... Chin’s work made the whole concert snap into focus.”
  • Ives’s Symphony No. 4, from an April subscription concert: “Few conductors can whip Ives’s crazy megalopolis of a score into luminous sense more effectively than Alan Gilbert.”

Lindberg, Bronfman Nominated for Two Grammys for Philharmonic CD

Lindberg CD cover

The New York Philharmonic's recording (distributed by Dacapo) of the World Premiere of Magnus Lindberg's Piano Concerto No. 2, featuring Yefim Bronfman and conducted by Music Director Alan Gilbert, has been nominated for two Grammy Awards: Best Classical Instrumental Solo and Best Contemporary Classical Composition. The Philharmonic's former Marie-Josée Kravis Composer-in-Residence, Magnus Lindberg composed his Piano Concerto No. 2, co-commissioned by the Philharmonic, for Mr. Bronfman.

The album is available for purchase from the New York Philharmonic’s e-store, Amazon, iTunes, and other music retailers.

Yefim Bronfman, the Philharmonic's current Mary and James G. Wallach Artist-in-Residence, will reprise the concerto with the Philharmonic and Alan Gilbert January 2–3 and 7, 2014.

Congratulations to all!

Alan Gilbert Gives 'Glistening Clarity' to Britten

Alan Gilbert 

About the all-Britten program Music Director Alan Gilbert conducted Nov. 21–23, The New Yorker's Alex Ross wrote, "Alan Gilbert, on the podium, gave glistening clarity to the insectoid instrumental writing" in Spring Symphony.

In The New York Times, Anthony Tommasini wrote, describing the same work: "Mr. Gilbert drew out the modernist strands of this score. The performance from the inspired orchestra, the New York Choral Artists and the impressive Brooklyn Youth Chorus was a highlight of the Britten year."

What Do Alan Gilbert and Tom Brady Have in Common?

Talent, practice, hand signals, tempo.... Watch this thoughtful, fun story reported by Wynton Marsalis for CBS This Morning on the similarities between being a top quarterback and a top conductor. Don't miss the studio banter with Charlie Rose at the end, featuring a shout-out to Principal Trumpet Philip Smith, who we just announced is retiring from the Philharmonic at the end of this season.

Alan Gilbert Back in Germany for Dates in Munich, Hamburg

Alan Gilbert 

Music Director Alan Gilbert is back in Germany. He arrived in Munich on Monday, and he's been rehearsing with the Munich Philharmonic for concerts October 31–November 3. After that, he heads to Hamburg to lead the NDR Symphony November 7–10.

Gilbert led the Berlin Philharmonic September 12–14 in a program of Lutosławski, Janáček, and Bartók. In its review, the Berliner Zeitung wrote:

“The precision of Gilbert’s interpretation as he negotiates moments within the piece as a whole, along with the extent to which he brings out the true essence of the work, is truly impressive. ... The audience, thrilled by the performance, continued to applaud the conductor even as the musicians had already begun to pack up their instruments backstage.”

The Berliner Morgenpost said:

“Guest conducting the Berlin Philharmonic can be such a pleasure, with the approval of the orchestra, that is — and they approve of Alan Gilbert. The musicians trust him completely, and give him total liberty over the work.... [T]he sound that emerges from the expert orchestra is most impressive.”

The Munich concerts feature a program of Bruckner's Symphony No. 4 and Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 3, with Yefim Bronfman, The Mary and James G. Wallach Artist-in-Residence. Gilbert and Bronfman will perform the concerto in June, during The Beethoven Piano Concertos: A Philharmonic Festival.

"I love conducting in Munich!" Gilbert said:

"There’s something so focused about the way the audience treats the whole musical experience. It’s a special place to perform, and to be able to do Bruckner with the Munich Philharmonic, an orchestra that has done so many wonderful Bruckner performances with, among others, Mehta, Celibidache and Levine, is something I’m looking forward to enormously. This is the second time I’m conducting the orchestra. Our first time together had such a special chemistry that it’s a real shame it has taken so long to have the chance to perform together again."

The Hamburg program consists of Dvorák's Violin Concerto (with Frank Peter Zimmermann) and Gilbert's A Ring Journey, his arrangement, after Erich Leinsdorf, of music by Wagner.

(Photo: Alan Gilbert conducts the Berlin Philharmonic, September 2013, by dpa)