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NY Philharmonic Receives Grant from National Endowment for the Humanities

We are grateful and proud that the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) has awarded a $300,000 grant to the New York Philharmonic to support a multi-year initiative to digitize the Orchestra’s extensive archives. 

The grant affirms the humanities value of the collection, which dates back to 1842, and recognizes the archives’ importance to scholars and researchers. Upon its completion in 2018, the New York Philharmonic Leon Levy Digital Archives will contain more than 3 million pages of correspondence, operation files, financial ledgers, minutes from business and artistic meetings, marked scores, printed programs, and press clippings.

The newly digitized material, made available online to scholars and the general public through the Leon Levy Digital Archives, will offer unprecedented open access to nearly 130 years of cultural, political, and social history through the lens of one of the United States’ oldest cultural institutions. This is the Philharmonic’s first NEH grant in 30 years.

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.

Music: 

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

Glenn Dicterow, A Most Masterful Musician

The longest serving Concertmaster in the New York Philharmonic’s 172 year history

“It has been an amazing 34 years,” Glenn Dicterow said of his departure as Concertmaster. “Every single one has been challenging and inspiring. I feel very much part of the Philharmonic family. It is not going to be easy for me to leave this great Orchestra, which has been part of my life for so long.”  Watch the slide show that captures some of Glenn’s many Philharmonic and family experiences and read the excerpts from the hundreds of reviews over the years.

Read what Glenn has to say about his performances and listen to excerpts in our Online Exhibit.

Digital Archives Expands With Leon Levy Foundation Grant

NY Philharmonic Digital Archives

The New York Philharmonic Leon Levy Digital Archives will be adding 1.4 million pages thanks to a generous gift from the Leon Levy Foundation. That means every document created between 1842 and 1970 as well as every concert program, press release, and annual report through 2014 will be digitized and made accessible to anyone in the world.

To kick off this exciting new stage in the Archives' evolution, everything from our inaugural season, 1842–43, is available now.

Read the New York Times article, and start exploring.

Death of the President: The Philharmonic and Leonard Bernstein Respond

leonard bernstein mourns jfk 

News of President John F. Kennedy's assassination reached the New York Philharmonic during an afternoon subscription concert led by George Szell. Following Beethoven's Leonore Overture No. 3, the Orchestra's manager, Carlos Moseley, broke the news to the audience and canceled the rest of the program. The remaining concerts that weekend replaced the overture with the funeral march from Beethoven's Symphony No. 3, Eroica, performed without applause.

On November 24, Leonard Bernstein conducted Mahler's Symphony No. 2, Resurrection, in a televised tribute to President Kennedy.

Read the full story, watch part of the televised tribute concert, read Bernstein's handwritten draft of his remarks explaining his choice of the Mahler, and view Bernstein's score to the symphony.

Thank-You Notes Usher in Subscriber Appreciation Month

 Subscriber Appreciation Month

As many of you have learned from thank-you notes on your seats, our third-annual Subscriber Appreciation Month began October 25.

That night, approximately 950 subscribers found a signed letter from Concertmaster Glenn Dicterow taped to their seat. Included with the note was a coupon for a free gift at one of our Subscriber Appreciation podiums on the Grand Promenade. The gift is a shrink-wrapped package of four notecards with New York Philharmonic images on them.

Subscriber Appreciation Month goes until November 22. Subscribers of 50 or more years will find a rose on their seat. Subscribers of three or more years will see their name listed in a recognition insert in Playbill. Subscribers of 50 or more years will be invited to take an Archives tour with Archivist Barbara Haws.

More fun ideas are in the works. Subscribers: it's official. We truly appreciate you, and thank you.

(Photo by James Eng)

Philharmonic Pioneers

Philharmonic Partners 

When you're next in Avery Fisher Hall, don't miss Philharmonic Pioneers: The Founding of the New York and Royal Philharmonic Societies, an exhibition by The New York Philharmonic Archives in the Bruno Walter Gallery. It features original materials belonging to the Royal Philharmonic Society that pertain to their commissioning of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. It also showcases materials related to the 1846 U.S. Premiere of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony by the New York Philharmonic, which commissioned the first English translation of “Ode to Joy” for the occasion. The exhibition closes November 23.

Throwback Thursday

Jackie Kennedy and John D. Rockefeller III

50 years ago, two special guests attended Opening Night of the Philharmonic's 1963–64 season in style: Jackie Kennedy and John D. Rockefeller III.

You, too, can be among the season-opening attendees. The box office opens Sunday at noon, when you can grab tickets to the Opening Gala with Yo-Yo Ma, the subscription season-opening concerts with Artist-in-Residence Yefim Bronfman, and any of this season's other 100+ concerts. If you're a subscriber, you can get your tickets now and take advantage of the One Week Sale, which ends this Sunday at noon.

Photo courtesy of New York Philharmonic Digital Archives

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