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Learn about our updated health and safety guidelines, and read A Promise to Our Audience.

Preserving the Past, into the Future

 The Philharmonic Leon Levy Digital Archives received a $500,000 Infrastructure and Capacity Building Challenge Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Are you one of the many who helped the usage of the New York Philharmonic Leon Levy Digital Archives surge by 25 percent while staying at home this year? Perhaps you started by looking up the program for the concert we gave on the day you were born, then chased link after link and came upon a rare photo of Marian Anderson taken before she was famous. We have good news for you!

 

The Philharmonic just received a $500,000 challenge grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to ensure that this trove going back to the Orchestra’s founding in 1842 will be able to grow during a time of rapid technological evolution. In fact, the Philharmonic is the only performing arts organization ever to receive an Infrastructure and Capacity Building Challenge Grant for a digital project. Over the next five years this partnership will help fund objectives such as moving the contents to the cloud, building an advanced search function, and incorporating multimedia storage functionality appropriate to today’s and tomorrow’s media.

 

The NEH has helped make possible a long, long future for the free, online archive that sheds light on 178 years of American cultural evolution through more than 4 million pages of correspondence, operation files, financial ledgers, minutes from business and artistic meetings, marked scores, printed programs, press clippings, and more.

 

For now, we invite you to find your own rabbit hole to explore: archives.nyphil.org.

 

 

Happy Birthday, Ludwig!

 The New York Philharmonic joins WQXR’s 'Beethoven Immortal' festival

When asked who was the greatest composer ever, many would answer, “Beethoven, of course!” We think that the composer, who never thought too little of his talents and who set the standard for all who followed, would not be surprised to know that the musical world is toasting him on the 250th anniversary of his birth, in December 1770. The New York Philharmonic’s championing of the great German composer goes back to the very first notes we ever performed, with Beethoven’s Fifth opening our inaugural concert in 1842.

We are most gratified to be part of Beethoven Immortal, December 12–16, WQXR’s exploration of his legacy and artistic longevity. Tune in each day at noon EST to catch Philharmonic performances of Beethoven’s groundbreaking symphonies, conducted by five Philharmonic Music Directors — Leonard Bernstein, Alan Gilbert, Kurt Masur, Zubin Mehta, and, on the first day, Jaap van Zweden, who is celebrating his own birthday that very day by conducting the Seventh Symphony!

True Beethovenistas who check back in over the five-day festival will catch performances and insights from some of our good friends, such as Fidelio by The Metropolitan Opera; a new radio series with Marin Alsop; and artists, including Wynton Marsalis, sharing personal reflections on Beethoven.

Join us in this virtual, musical celebration!

Happy Holidays!


The holidays in New York are always a magical time, thanks to the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree, store windows, and the music of the Philharmonic. While this season is different than any we remember, it’s our pleasure to present you with Holidays with the NY Phil, a box set of video and audio offerings.

It begins today with Handel’s Messiah, Presented by Gary W. Parr, in two different giftwraps: a sing-along video of the Hallelujah chorus (above), and an audio broadcast of the three-part oratorio recorded when Helmuth Rilling conducted the Phil in 2009 featuring Annette Dasch, Daniel Taylor, James Taylor, and Shenyang as the soloists and the Gächinger Kantorei Stuttgart.

There are also three audio broadcasts from the distant and more recent past — Baroque and Classical Beauties; Bernstein and Danny Kaye; and Hansel and Gretel, The Nutcracker, and More — plus a festive Spotify playlist and more.

It is all leading up to the return of an annual favorite, Holiday Brass, which is marking its 25th anniversary with a free concert broadcast on December 18 at noon EST on Facebook and YouTube, and available on demand through January 4, 2021. It’s a fun-filled fest of the sounds of the season, recorded outdoors this year at Montclair State University. Tune in to be regaled by the New York Philharmonic Brass and Percussion and former Philharmonic Principal Trumpet Philip Smith as conductor / host / trumpet.

Happy Hanukkah, Merry Christmas, and Habari Gani!

Project 19 Returns, Online


One hundred years ago this year women finally secured the right to vote with the ratification of the 19th Amendment, and many of their voices could finally be heard. To mark the centennial of that achievement, in February 2020 the New York Philharmonic launched Project 19, the initiative commissioning new works by 19 women composers, and partnering with other New York and national organizations.

With this season’s concerts cancelled and, therefore, many Project 19 premieres postponed, we invite you to join our suffrage celebration online, November 9–12, beginning with Philharmonic performance audio and culminating in a video broadcast, all shared free with audiences worldwide:

Melinda Wagner and Joan Tower, an audio broadcast of past Philharmonic performances of earlier works by two Project 19 composers: Melinda Wagner’s Trombone Concerto, with Principal Trombone Joseph Alessi as soloist, conducted by Lorin Maazel (performed in 2007, broadcast courtesy of Bridge Records, Inc.), and Joan Tower’s Sequoia, conducted by Zubin Mehta (1982) — Nov 9

Now Is the Moment: Women’s Advancement in the Arts, Business, and Beyond, a panel discussion, co-presented with Project 19 partner Catalyst, exploring women’s experiences across sectors and how current events have shaped the conversation. The participants are Philharmonic President & CEO Deborah Borda; Catalyst President & CEO Lorraine Hariton; National Board Chair and President of Women in Sports and Events Kathleen Francis; Project 19 composer Sarah Kirkland Snider; and, as moderator, Magalie Laguerre-Wilkinson, Vice President of News Programming at Nickelodeon and Executive Producer of Nick News — Nov 10

Women Pioneers of the NY Phil, an archival exhibit exploring some of the women who played pivotal roles in the New York Philharmonic’s history, presented in partnership with Google Arts & Culture — Nov 10

Poetry readings of some of the 19 poems co-commissioned by the Philharmonic and the Academy of American Poets as part of Project 19, received by the poets themselves — Mahogany L. Browne, Marilyn Chin, Natalie Diaz, and Linda Gregerson — Nov 11

Nina C. Young, Tania León, and Ellen Reid, a video broadcast of the three Project 19 World Premieres that Music Director Jaap van Zweden and the Orchestra performed in February 2020, complemented by brief profiles of each of the composers, as Facebook and YouTube Premieres  available beginning Nov 12

It’s an immersive exploration of the rising chorus of women’s voices. Join us!




Project 19 partners include The 19th, the Academy of American Poets, Catalyst, Google Arts & Culture, The Juilliard School, Kaufman Music Center’s Special Music School High School (M. 853), League of Women Voters of the City of New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and New-York Historical Society.

Lead support for Project 19 is provided by the Howard Gilman Foundation, the Donald A. Pels Charitable Trust and Dr. Agnes Hsu-Tang and Mr. Oscar L. Tang.

We’ll Be Back!


NY Phil Bandwagon just concluded its fall run, after performing 80-plus concerts across New York City. Launched in late August, the series has connected the Philharmonic with communities across the five boroughs through performances by the Orchestra’s musicians, often joined by countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo — Bandwagon’s producer — of wide-ranging repertoire, including Handel and Purcell, Beethoven and Mozart, Gershwin and Bernstein, and more. A particular joy was discovering new sound worlds by giving World Premieres of Philharmonic commissions composed by Anthony Barfield, Viet Cuong, Jessica Mays, Carlos Simon, and Grace Moore, a 12-year-old participant in the Philharmonic Very Young Composers Program.

It saddens us to have to park the truck as the weather becomes colder, but we will remember all the friends we made on our travels … and we look forward to hitting the streets again in spring 2021.

For now, you can relive the fun by checking out our NY Phil Bandwagon YouTube playlist, and looking at the programs here. 

 

Generous support for NY Phil Bandwagon is provided by The Buck Family Foundation, Andrew Martin-Weber, and Mr. and Mrs. Howard Solomon, with additional support from Carol and Chuck Schaefer and Jennifer and Bud Gruenberg.

Ellen Reid SOUNDWALK — An App for New York


Now that you are free to rediscover New York after months of staying at home, how can you do so in a way that is both joyous but still mindful of social distancing guidelines? Ellen Reid SOUNDWALK combines the pleasures of music with the tranquility of strolling through Central Park. This free app gives you access to a GPS-enabled work of public art in which music enhances the natural environment.

 

New Yorkers are invited to download the app, put in their earphones, and enter the immersive audio experience Reid created especially for Central Park. Musicians of the Philharmonic and others can be heard performing a soundscape that harmonizes with the park’s landscapes and attractions. Every visit to Central Park’s 840 acres can be different — the path chosen dictates the music heard. Musical “Easter eggs” are hidden throughout the park, so you may find yourself hearing a taste of Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony or the World Premiere recording of Reid’s When the World As You’ve Known It Doesn’t Exist (which the Philharmonic commissioned, and premiered in February 2020 as part of Project 19). Ellen Reid SOUNDWALK is available in Central Park through the end of 2020.

The Pulitzer Prize–winning composer and sound designer explained the inspiration behind the new, immersive experience: “We miss our communities, and we miss the very thing that makes our cities special: the people. I hope SOUNDWALK will inspire us and make us feel connected to something larger than ourselves. It is meant to serve as artistic nourishment — a place to recharge, reconnect, and re-energize.”

 

In addition to Philharmonic musicians, the performers on the app are the Young People’s Chorus of New York City, Francisco J. Núñez, founder / artistic director, as well as Poole and the Gang and the SOUNDWALK Ensemble.

 

So put on your mask, go to Central Park, breathe in some fresh air, and download the app now.

 

 

The Project 19 commission of Ellen Reid’s When the World As You’ve Known It Doesn’t Exist was made possible with lead support provided by the Howard Gilman Foundation, the Donald A. Pels Charitable Trust, and Dr. Agnes Hsu-Tang and Mr. Oscar L. Tang, and with generous support by Sheree A. and Gerald L. Friedman; The Hauser Foundation; The Gerald L. Lennard Foundation; Margaret Morgan and Wesley Phoa; Kimberly V. Strauss, The Strauss Foundation; the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation; and an anonymous donor. Project 19 was supported in part by a generous grant from the American Orchestras’ Futures Fund, a program of the League of American Orchestras made possible by funding from the Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation.

Ellen Reid SOUNDWALK is co-commissioned by the New York Philharmonic, Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts, Mann Center for the Performing Arts in association with The Fairmount Park Conservancy, and the Britt Festival Orchestra. 

Ellen Reid SOUNDWALK is made possible in part by the support of Mindscapes, Wellcome’s international cultural program about mental health.

Switched on Pop: "The 5th"

'The Fifth,' the new miniseries on Vox Media Podcast Network’s 'Switched on Pop'

It’s a symphony you recognize instantly from its first four notes: three G-natural eighth notes followed by a long, half-note E-flat. Those are the very first notes the New York Philharmonic ever performed, back in 1842. Now the symphony they introduce, Beethoven’s Fifth, is the subject of a new partnership with Vox Media Podcast Network’s Switched on Pop, the People's Choice winner of the 2020 Webby Award for Best Arts & Culture Podcast.

Hosted by musicologist Nate Sloan and songwriter Charlie Harding, “The 5th” is a four-movement miniseries that explores the music, context, and legacy of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony. Beginning today discover new insights into what may be the most famous symphony ever written though interviews with our Music Director Jaap van Zweden and President and CEO Deborah Borda, as well as Concertmaster Frank Huang, Associate Principal Oboe Sherry Sylar, Principal Clarinet Anthony McGill, Acting Associate Principal Horn Leelanee Sterrett, and Assistant Principal Timpani / Percussion Kyle Zerna. Together they’ll delve into what makes this iconic work so universally recognizable, how it represents a dramatic break from the Classical tradition that preceded it, and why it remains a symbol of freedom for some and exclusion for others.

Check out all four episodes of “The 5th" — September 8,11, 15, and 18 — on Apple podcasts, and sing it with us: da da da DUH!

Live Music Returns!


“At last the New York Philharmonic can start to emerge from our musical quarantine,” said President and CEO Deborah Borda regarding the Philharmonic’s updated Fall 2020 activities, announced today.

These new activities, which replace the previously announced cancelled performances through January 5, 2021, present a mix of live, socially distanced performances throughout New York City and newly recorded performances for broadcast on social media and NY Phil Plays On.

First up: NY Phil Bandwagon, with an eight-week run beginning August 28, will bring live music back to New York City, engaging new audiences in all five boroughs from a customized pick-up truck that serves as a stage for free, “pull-up” concerts for the community. Countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo, producer of the project, joins small ensembles of Philharmonic musicians for the launch of this new, experimental format. The repertoire will include several World Premieres commissioned for this initiative by Anthony Barfield, Viet Cuong, Carlos Simon, and a participant in the New York Philharmonic Very Young Composers Program. Specific programming and surprise guest artists will be announced at each performance; locations will not be announced in advance.

Ellen Reid SOUNDWALK a GPS-enabled work of public art that uses music to illuminate the natural environment. New Yorkers enjoying Central Park’s 840 acres beginning September 10 can download a free app that will access Reid’s soundscape, crafted to harmonize with the park’s landscape and attractions. Ellen Reid SOUNDWALK features fragments of music written by Project 19 composer and Pulitzer Prize–winner Ellen Reid, performed by Philharmonic musicians; the Young People’s Chorus of New York City: Francisco J. Núñez, founder / artistic director; Poole and the Gang; and the SOUNDWALK Ensemble. It will be available through 2020.

That’s only the beginning. Other Fall 2020 digital initiatives will include the continuation of Project 19, the Philharmonic’s multiyear initiative celebrating the centennial of the ratification of the 19th Amendment through commissions of 19 new works by 19 women composers, and Holidays with the NY Phil, including the annual Holiday Brass concert. Additional details to be announced.

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