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World Premiere of Wynton Marsalis's The Jungle (Symphony No. 4)

NY Philharmonic Alan Gilbert Wynton Marsalis World Premiere NYC Jazz at Lincoln Center 

“New York City is the most fluid, pressure-packed, and cosmopolitan metropolis the modern world has ever seen,” says Pulitzer Prize–winner Wynton Marsalis. “The speed, freedom, and intensity of our relationships to each other — and to the city itself — forces us onto a collective super highway unlike any other in our country.”

Last night Music Director Alan Gilbert led the Philharmonic and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis in the World Premiere of The Jungle (Symphony No. 4), the jazz legend’s depiction of New York as super highway.

The Philharmonic commissioned The Jungle — the third original work the Philharmonic has commissioned from Marsalis — as the first of The New York Commissions, through which the Philharmonic is celebrating its long history as an active commissioner and New York cultural institution by commissioning works on New York–inspired themes from New York–based composers with ties to the Orchestra, on the occasion of the Philharmonic’s 175th anniversary. The remaining two New York Commissions, by Julia Wolfe and Sean Shepherd, will be premiered in the 2018–19 season.

This week’s concerts are almost sold out, but tickets are still available for January 3. Catch it at nyphil.org/marsalis.

(Photo: Chris Lee)

Best of 2016

Esa-Pekka Salonen conducts the New York Philharmonic 

We’re excited to have ranked on many best-of 2016 lists, and are proud of the company we’re in.

The New York Times called out the “ecstatic and mystical account” of Messiaen’s Turangalîla-symphonie led by Composer-in-Residence Esa-Pekka Salonen; the 2016 NY PHIL BIENNIAL performances, demonstrating “the vision and stamina Mr. Gilbert has brought to the Philharmonic”; and Brahms’s A German Requiem with Christoph von Dohnányi.

The New Yorker applauded Circle Map, featuring Salonen leading the Orchestra in works by Kaija Saariaho, presented by Park Avenue Armory, and the World Premiere of Ashley Fure’s Bound to the Bow, performed by the Interlochen Arts Academy Orchestra during the NY PHIL BIENNIAL.

NPR Classical ranked the Philharmonic’s Grammy-nominated album of music by former Composer-in-Residence Christopher Rouse among the “ten classical albums that saved 2016” — saying “there's unbridled splendor in hearing what a modern orchestra, revving on all cylinders, is capable of. Alan Gilbert inspires arresting detail and energy from the New York Philharmonic” — and NPR Music included the Rouse CD in its list of 2016’s top 50 albums.

WQXR’s list of 2016 new-music revelations said that “nothing should be taken for granted about the sustained scope of New York Philharmonic music director Alan Gilbert’s commitment to new music.... New classical music has never seemed more at home.... With two Biennials, CONTACT! new-music shows, composers-in-residence, ambitious multidisciplinary statements like the New York premiere of György Ligeti's opera Le Grand Macabre, Gilbert is leaving a legacy as bold in vision as methodical and inevitable in execution.”

We also made the cut for Musical America, Superconductor, and New York Classical Review.

Here’s to another great year of music-making!

(Photo: Chris Lee)

Alan Gilbert and the New York Philharmonic Perform at the United Nations

Alan Gilbert and the New York Philharmonic performed a historic concert at the United Nations yesterday, paying tribute to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on the conclusion of his ten-year term and welcoming his successor, António Guterres. The concert in the UN General Assembly Hall — the Philharmonic’s 13th in collaboration with the UN — was attended by UN delegates, UN staff, and cultural ambassadors, and featured Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony and Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto, spotlighting Principal Clarinet Anthony McGill.

Rice University Students Named for Global Academy Fellowship Program

Rice University Shepherd Schoo of Music NY Philharmonic Global Academy Fellowship 

Last week, wind, brass, and percussion students at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music auditioned for the opportunity to train and play amongst New York Philharmonic musicians, learning about the life of an orchestra musician from the inside.

Today the six students selected for the New York Philharmonic Global Academy Fellowship Program — the second group of Global Academy Fellows from Rice — were announced: clarinetist John Diodati (25), oboist Tamer Edlebi (28), trumpet player Daniel Egan (25), flutist Kayla Faurie (23), percussionist Robert O’Brien (26), and bassoonist Benjamin Roidl-Ward (24).

The Shepherd School students will travel to New York in April 2017 for a week of immersive activities in all aspects of an orchestral player’s life — including training and playing alongside Philharmonic musicians, conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen, the Orchestra's Marie-Josée Kravis Composer-in-Residence — an experience described by Alan Gilbert as “a window into the real life of the orchestral musician.” It’s all part of the New York Philharmonic Global Academy partnership between Rice’s Shepherd School of Music and the New York Philharmonic, launched in fall 2015.

Congrats and see you in April!

Rice University Shepherd Schoo of Music NY Philharmonic Global Academy Fellowship Phoebe Bobby Tudor 

Photos: (top, courtesy of Rice University) April 2017 Zarin Mehta Fellows from Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music (bottom, by Jennifer Taylor) Rice University president David Leebron and his wife, Y. Ping Sun, and Bobby Tudor — Rice Board Chairman, New York Philharmonic Board Member, and New York Philharmonic Global Academy sponsor — and his wife, Phoebe Tudor

Philharmonic's All-Christopher Rouse Recording Nominated for Grammy Award

NY Philharmonic Christopher Rouse Grammy Award

Alan Gilbert and the Philharmonic’s recording of music by former Marie-Josée Kravis Composer-in-Residence Christopher Rouse, released in May 2016 on Dacapo, is a rousing success: it’s been nominated for a 2016 Grammy Award for Best Orchestral Performance!

The recording features Rouse’s Third and Fourth Symphonies (the Fourth was commissioned and premiered by the Philharmonic for the inaugural NY PHIL BIENNIAL and called “skillful and mature … the best Rouse I’ve heard in 20 years” by Musical America), Odna Zhizn (commissioned and premiered by the Orchestra), and Prospero’s Rooms (commissioned and premiered by the Philharmonic, and dedicated to Alan Gilbert).

Buy the CD here, or check it out on Spotify and iTunes.

The New World Initiative Events in December


It’s December, but this year New York City rings with more than sleigh bells and carols. Dvořák abounds, thanks to The New World Initiative, a centerpiece of our 175th season celebration, which offers New Yorkers the chance to connect with each other through a wide variety of performances of Dvořák’s New World Symphony, a work associated with the Orchestra since its premiere and so a piece of the city’s cultural history.

We kicked it off in September, with our Opening Gala Concert (you can see it here). Now, four other NYC–based groups are performing excerpts, especially “Goin’ Home,” based on the memorable English horn melody heard in the sympho­ny’s Largo.

On December 4 the Greenwich Village Orchestra’s autism-friendly Annual Family Concert features an audience sing-along of “Goin’ Home.”

Head to Brooklyn on December 6 and 9 for the Borough of Manhattan Community College Select Chorus’s premier­e of an original choral piece based on it, written by Eun Ho Kim, its composer-in-residence.

On December 10 Corona Youth Music Project is performing an arrangement of the symphony’s 4th movement.

And on the 15th the middle- and upper-school choirs, orchestras, and jazz ensem­bles of the Berkeley Carroll School will perform “Goin’ Home” in the school’s win­ter concert.

Check out these and future events, as well as videos of the NWI performances to date, at newworldinitiative.com.

Oh, the Places They’re Going!

Shanghai Orchestra Academy New York Philharmonic Global Academy 

The first class of instrumentalists in the Shanghai Orchestra Academy (SOA) graduated in July, and all of them have found jobs at important orchestras and opera companies.

The class of 2014 (the year they entered) successes include violinist Jing Wang and violist Yaorong Huang, who have joined the Shanghai Opera House orchestra; bassist Siyuan Qu and bassoonist Min Cheng, who have become members of the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra (the latter as associate principal bassoon); and Tianhao Yao, who was appointed principal trumpet of the Hangzhou Philharmonic.

What's more, half of the class that entered in 2015 have already won positions: oboist Difan Yang has joined the Shanghai Opera House orchestra; trumpet player Yuchi Gao joined the Shanghai Symphony, and trombonist Yishan Xie and tuba player Xianguan Mu have joined the Ningbo Symphony Orchestra.

The SOA was established as part of the Shanghai Orchestra Academy and Residency Partnership — a joint endeavor of the Philharmonic, Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, and Shanghai Conservatory of Music, presented by Starr International Foundation — which was established to cultivate the next generation of orchestra musicians, with instruction from Philharmonic musicians and others.

Congratulations, all!

(Photo: Chris Lee)

New World Symphony Manuscript Parts Now Available in Digital Archives

NY Philharmonic Dvorak

On December 16, 1893, the New York Philharmonic gave the World Premiere of Dvořák's New World Symphony.

Here's another first: for the first time ever, you can see the manuscript parts used at the premiere, a 1917 recording of the Largo, an early first-edition marked score, the program from the premiere, and business documents relating to the premiere and Dvořák. They're just a click away, in the New York Philharmonic Leon Levy Digital Archives

It's all part of the Philharmonic's Dohnányi / Dvořák: A Philharmonic Festival, December 4–13, 2014, which culminates in performances of the New World Symphony, December 11–13, led by legendary conductor and Dvořák interpreter Christoph von Dohnányi.  

The notes and markings — in different colored pencils, some erased but legible — illuminate the rehearsal and revision process leading up to the World Premiere. The Philharmonic used the parts in subsequent performances until 1931, and markings reflect interpretive decisions from these performances as well.

The New York Times did a cool slideshow. Check it out:

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