New York Philharmonic: What's New: Latest News and Stories About The New York Philharmonic
All concerts and events through June 13, 2021 are cancelled. Learn more about our response to COVID-19. Support the Philharmonic by donating your tickets.

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All concerts and events through June 13, 2021 are cancelled. Learn more about our response to COVID-19. Support the Philharmonic by donating your tickets.

Anthony McGill’s Call To #TakeTwoKnees

The New York Philharmonic fully supports our Principal Clarinet Anthony McGill’s moving statement and video in response to the ongoing violence committed against communities of color. We post this in outrage and sadness over what has occurred in Minnesota and beyond, and for what has been a part of this nation’s history. We post this in solidarity to remind ourselves that America can and should be better than this. We cannot remain silent. #taketwoknees #blacklivesmatter

This “normal” isn’t new. It’s just easier to see what’s going on now that some of the horrific hate crimes that happen every day make the national news. Complacency is rampant, and hiding behind privilege is obviously just as bad. If there were hashtag movements in the last century during America’s ‘good old days’ one could have easily been ‘BlackLivesDefinitelyDontMatter.’ Few would have batted an eye.

Earlier this year, before the pandemic, I performed in Birmingham, Alabama and Tulsa, Oklahoma. The challenging history of those places speaks for itself, but in those two trips, I met some of the nicest people that you’ll ever meet in this country. I also pondered how far we’ve come and how far we still have to go in terms of treating everyone with respect and decency. We live alongside that reality all across America. What the news this week and most weeks of my life demonstrates, however, is that Black lives didn’t matter in our glorified past, and still don’t matter that much today.

Flashback then with me to when a football player attempted a protest, bringing to our attention the murder of black people. People said: ‘Let’s not politicize sports,’ and ‘all lives matter.’ Now add to that list Ahmaud Arbery and George Floyd, two men who clearly didn’t deserve their fates.

Now we don’t have sports to distract us, and we’re mostly at home. Now’s the time to protest. Can we say #ALMBLM2 (All lives matter and black lives matter as well)? Or #HowAboutNow? Or maybe the best thing to share is #ICareAboutBlackLives. #ICareAboutBlackLives is a pretty innocent statement, so if that’s considered radical we’ll have really shined a light on the problem.

So join me. Pick one of these potent hashtags, or all of them. And this time let’s try and #TakeTwoKnees in the struggle for justice and decency. No guidelines. Your message, your voice, your mission, your focus. Just #TakeTwoKnees for what you believe in. Pass it along. Let’s try this again and put a spotlight on this evil. #TakeTwoKnees

Remembering Bert Bial

The New York Philharmonic deeply mourns the passing of bassoonist / contrabassoonist Bert Bial (1957–95). Beloved by his colleagues, he was also the Philharmonic’s official photographer, documenting both milestones and daily life. A collection of his photos, Focus on the Philharmonic, was published on the Orchestra’s 150th anniversary. The Philharmonic extends condolences to his wife, children, and granddaughters.

View a slideshow of Bert Bial’s photographs above, and watch a video clip in which he talks about performing Shostakovich’s Fifth Symphony in Moscow in 1959, led by Bernstein and with the composer in attendance.

Virtual Tour: Europe 2020 Concludes with a Love Letter to Amsterdam

This month the New York Philharmonic was supposed to have embarked on its 2020 European tour and performed in Amsterdam as the first American orchestra in the history of the Amsterdam Concertgebouw’s 100-year-old Mahler Festival. Music Director Jaap van Zweden and his wife, Aaltje, would have proudly taken the Orchestra of Amsterdam Avenue around their hometown, sharing the picturesque canals and stroopwafels.

As it happens, the New York Philharmonic’s friendship with Amsterdam’s Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra dates back a century and involves a party train. In honor of this enduring friendship, we present this Love Letter to Amsterdam (above) and this video postcard from the van Zwedens. Enjoy! Geniet!

How To Make Strudel: With Philharmonic Violinist Anna Rabinova

Happy birthday to violinist Anna Rabinova!

In celebration of this 26-year Philharmonic veteran’s birthday and Virtual Tour: Europe 2020, we present to you her grandmother’s strudel recipe. 15 years ago, Anna made this strudel for her colleagues when the Orchestra performed in Berlin while she was living there on sabbatical.

Watch Anna and her daughter make the strudel in this how-to video (guaranteed to make you smile), and then try your hand at it! Recipe here.

Virtual Tour: Europe 2020 Continues with Archival Exhibit on Google Arts & Culture

Today in Virtual Tour: Europe 2020 (May 11–21) — our digital visit to the cultural capitals where the Orchestra would have performed this month if not for the pandemic — we present this online exhibit from the New York Philharmonic Archives, presented in partnership with Google Arts & Culture and narrated by Philharmonic musicians.

Travel across Europe and back in time, from the 1930 booze cruise across the Atlantic to the poem Bernstein penned on the occasion of the Christmas 1989 performance of Beethoven’s Ninth on both sides of the crumbling Berlin Wall.

Virtual Tour: Europe 2020 Continues with Learning @ Home Activity Guide


Today in Virtual Tour: Europe 2020 (May 11–21) — our digital visit to the cultural capitals where the Orchestra would have performed this month if not for the pandemic — we present to our younger followers (in grades 6–12) A Musical Tour of the Netherlands, an activity guide to Amsterdam’s new-music scene in two parts: Lesson 1 and Lesson 2.

In addition to the activity guide, you’ll need:

  • Headphones / speakers
  • Something to write with
  • Instrument / staff paper / music notation software
  • Drawing / art-making tools

Happy learning!

Virtual Tour: Europe 2020 Continues with Musician Slideshow and Broadcast with Daniil Trifonov

Welcome back, willkommen zurück, wëllkomm zréck, welkom terug to Virtual Tour: Europe 2020 (May 11–21), a ten-day digital visit to London, Cologne, Luxembourg, Amsterdam, Berlin, and Dresden — where the Orchestra would have performed this month if not for the pandemic.

Today we share two gems:

  • A slideshow of photos and memories from the musicians themselves, from the Berlin Wall in 1984 to family reunions across the continent (above). You might enjoy viewing it alongside last week’s slideshow of official shots by Philharmonic photographer Chris Lee.
  • The first-ever broadcast of the New York Premiere of Daniil Trifonov’s Quintetto concertante, performed by the composer / pianist and the New York Philharmonic String Quartet at 92nd Street Y in December 2019. The Philharmonic’s Mary and James G. Wallach Artist-in-Residence for the 2019–20 season, Daniil Trifonov would have performed with the Orchestra on tour this month. The broadcast is co-presented with 92nd Street Y.

Virtual Tour: Europe 2020 Continues with Home Video of 1930 Tour with Toscanini


Today in Virtual Tour: Europe 2020, we rewind to the 1930 European tour — which established the Philharmonic as a major international orchestra — conducted by then Music Director Arturo Toscanini. Thanks to the New York Philharmonic Leon Levy Digital Archives, you can watch a home video of the tour, shot by then Principal Trumpet Harry Glantz. Click here, then press the play button in the upper-right corner of the page.

The 16mm black-and-white films show Toscanini, his family, the musicians, and their families aboard ships and trains. The historic tour brought America’s first orchestra to Paris, Zurich, Milan, Turin, Rome, Florence, Munich, Vienna, Budapest, Prague, Leipzig, Dresden, Berlin, Brussels, and London.

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