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

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On the Cover: Sumire Kudo

For May (and part of June) On the Cover features cellist Sumire Kudo, who celebrates her tenth anniversary with the New York Philharmonic this June. Learn more about Sumire in our final installment of the season — from her affection for her section, “the best cello section in the world,” to her affection for her dog, Cinnamon. 

Start with Sumire’s Q&A video (above), where she talks about her first time playing cello, her favorite composers, and her life outside the Philharmonic.

There are lots of opportunities to connect with Sumi this month and next. Tune in on Tuesday, May 24 when she takes over our Instagram.

Sumi will be taking your questions live on Facebook this month. Stay tuned to the Philharmonic’s Facebook for updates.

Plus, keep up with Sumi on the Philharmonic’s Snapchat (username: NYPhilharmonic) as she prepares for the season finale, on June 11, when she and six Philharmonic cellists finish off the season with Boulez’s Messagesquisse at the NY PHIL BIENNIAL.

Learn more about Sumire Kudo here.

On the Cover: Sara Griffin

This month we bring into focus the life of one Philharmonic musician who doesn’t sit on stage but is never far away. No, it’s not a percussionist “in der ferne” or an offstage member of the brass section. It is March’s On the Cover musician: Assistant Principal Librarian Sara Griffin.

Watch Sara’s Q&A above and find out how her work — and that of the two other Librarians at the Philharmonic — is critical to the success of the Orchestra. Make sure you follow us on Instagram next Wednesday, March 9, when Sara takes over our account. She’ll take us through a day in her life, and who knows who will pop into the library!

Later in the month we’ll test your librarian chops. Brush up on your music theory, orchestration, the David Daniels book, and your manuscript penmanship…

Sara has even more ways to share the life of a Philharmonic Librarian up her sleeve, so stay tuned to nyphil.org/onthecover. Learn more about Sara Griffin here.

Next month, Associate Principal Horn Richard Deane takes the reins and teaches us how he tackles life in the back row.

On the Cover: Quan Ge


This February we highlight violinist Quan Ge in the cross-channel On the Cover. In the video Q&A above, Quan recalls the impact of hearing the New York Philharmonic for the first time and how she went from “Fingerboard Maniac,” as her teacher called her, to a violinist in the Philharmonic.

Follow along on the Philharmonic’s Instagram tomorrow, when Quan takes over and shows what life is like in the first violin section.

And mark your calendars. Quan will join us for a live Twitter Q&A on Thursday, February 25 at 1:00 PM EST. Follow us on Twitter and have your questions ready!

Keep your eyes peeled for more on Quan by checking nyphil.org/onthecover. Learn more about Quan Ge here.

Next month, Associate Principal Librarian Sara Griffin will uncover the oft-unexplored work-life of an orchestra librarian.

On the Cover: Markus Rhoten

New year, new On the Cover musician!

This January we introduce Principal Timpani Markus Rhoten in our On the Cover series highlighting the great musicians of the Philharmonic. In the video above Markus talks about his journey to the Philharmonic, the role of the Principal Timpani, and (most importantly) whether he prefers red wine or white.

Follow along this month as Markus takes over our Instagram and shows us a typical day in the life of an orchestra musician, juggling rehearsal and teaching.

Also, for you percussionists out there (and for the classically curious): Later this month on Facebook, we will post a video of Markus giving a tutorial on how he crafts each timpani head by hand with a metal frame and calf-skin, also known as tucking. You may not realize how much time and care go into maintaining timpani. They are indeed temperamental instruments!

And because last month’s live Twitter Q&A with Kuan Cheng Lu was such a success, we’re bringing it back. Follow us on Twitter and tune in at the end of January for updates. There is no question too small or too nerdy!

Learn more about Markus Rhoten.

On the Cover: Kuan Cheng Lu

Meet violinist Kuan Cheng Lu, the December On the Cover musician!

In the video above, Kuan shares the moving story of how his mother foresaw his future with the Philharmonic. On December 15, he will take over our Instagram. Follow us to get a sneak peek at what life is like in the string section of the Philharmonic.

Kuan will be the first On the Cover musician to participate in a live Twitter Q&A. Follow us on Twitter, and we’ll let you know when Kuan will answer all your questions about violin technique, performing with the Philharmonic, or even about his favorite places to eat in New York.

Have you ever wanted to check out the Philharmonic’s Archives? If so, we have a holiday present for you! Kuan will take us on a video tour with Philharmonic Archivist Barbara Haws later in the month. After spending days doing research in the Archives for his doctorate, Kuan is an authority. (If you can’t wait, visit the Leon Levy Digital Archives to hold you over.)

Learn more about Kuan Cheng Lu.

Heart-Stopping Classical Moments from Sherry Sylar

“To be able to sit onstage at the New York Philharmonic and hear these wonderful musical phrases that come out of my Orchestra — it is magic every week.”

This month’s On the Cover featured musician, Associate Principal Oboe Sherry Sylar, shares some other magical moments: her list of “heart-stopping" moments in classical music. We'll let Sherry take it from here:

Why a list of "heart-stopping" moments? When I was a freshman in college, one of my professors reveled in playing musical moments that were, to him, magical. I will never forget the effect that these moments had on me. It was profound.

I realize now that we, as music educators, have a responsibility to encourage students to listen with their hearts. Our industry is so competitive that often students focus on being technically perfect. They forget the reason they are musicians — to touch the heart!

The following list contains some of my favorite “heart-stopping" moments, a list that is by no means complete!

Bach “Liebster Gott, erbarme dich” from Cantata BWV 179 (conducted by John Eliot Gardiner)

Bach Double Concerto for Two Violins, Second Movement

Barber Violin Concerto, Second Movement

Barber Cello Concerto, Second Movement

Brahms Double Concerto for Violin and Cello, Third Movement

Brahms Symphony No. 3, Third Movement

Brahms Piano Quartet in C minor, Third Movement (performed by Artur Rubenstein with the Guarneri Quartet)

Dvořák Symphony No. 7, Third Movement

Elgar Enigma Variations, Nimrod

Mozart Sinfonia concertante for Violin and Viola, Second Movement

Prokofiev Romeo and Juliet, Romeo at Juliet’s Grave

Puccini La rondine, “Chi il bel sogno di Doretta” (performed by Montserrat Caballé)

Rachmaninoff Vocalise

Ravel Piano Concerto, Second Movement

Shostakovich Symphony No. 1, Third Movement

Schumann Symphony No. 2, Third Movement

Strauss Der Rosenkavalier Suite

Verdi Requiem, Introit

Hear them for yourself in the Spotify playlist above, and check out our Tumblr post for Sherry's bonus heart-stopping moments from the Broadway and pop worlds.

On the Cover: Sherry Sylar

Do you choose your instrument, or does the instrument choose you?

Associate Principal Oboe Sherry Sylar, our On the Cover musician this month, began her musical life as a flautist, then the oboe “spoke to her.” This fateful decision put Sherry on a trajectory that has brought her to where she is today.

In our new On the Cover video (above), Sherry describes some of her favorite moments from the 31 seasons she has been a member of the Orchestra, from playing under Bernstein in a concert celebrating the fall of the Berlin Wall to the everyday joy of making beautiful music with her colleagues. 

Later this month, check out the Philharmonic’s Tumblr, where Sherry will post a list of her “Heart-Stopping Moments” in the repertoire. And on November 10, Sherry will take over our Instagram for the day, giving us a look at her world and life.

Learn more about Sherry Sylar


On the Cover: Blake Hinson Gives a New View on Strauss

In this final installment of this month's On the Cover series, Philharmonic bassist Blake Hinson gives us his perspective on Richard Strauss's Ein Heldenleben. Blake plays a bow's-eye-view excerpt of the spinning, energy-building — and, for bassists, pulse-racing — section beginning at rehearsal nine.

Learn more about Blake Hinson.

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