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Musicians Up Close, on NYPhil+

Each musician in the New York Philharmonic is a true virtuoso. Beginning today until December 15, you can revel in their talents up close on NYPhil+. Four new programs present a variety of players from the string, wind, and brass sections performing chamber music composed across the centuries.


Daniela Candillari Conducts Philharmonic Brass: the conductor who led our performances of Thomson’s The Mother of Us All returns to head the Philharmonic brass in a bravura program of works by composers ranging from Bruckner to Dorothy Gates, the first woman to be an official composer with The Salvation Army Band.


Webern and Beethoven String Quartets: the New York Philharmonic String Quartet performs Webern’s Langsamer Satz of 1905, and Beethoven’s F-minor Quartetto serioso.


Chamber Music Gems: string and woodwind players are joined by harp and piano for works by J.S. Bach, Françaix, and Mendelssohn.


A Trio of Trios: musicians bring their artistry and expertise to this combination of works by two French composers, Poulenc and Debussy, and a serenade by the Hungarian Dohnányi.


The performances were captured at the Kaufman Music Center’s Merkin Hall and at Manhattan School of Music’s Neidorff-Karpati Hall in the fall of 2020 and winter of 2021. Catch them before December 15 and browse through the offerings for full orchestra on NYPhil+.

Composing Inclusion

The Juilliard School’s Preparatory Division, in partnership with the New York Philharmonic and the American Composers Forum, has been selected by the Sphinx Organization as a recipient of a 2022 Sphinx Venture Fund grant. The $100,000 award will catalyze the first two years of a partnership designed to bring together multiple generations, musical levels, perspectives, and community members in the creation and performance of new music.


The program, named Composing Inclusion, will commission nine composers who identify as Black and / or Latinx to create “flexible” — or adaptable — scores suited for different musical levels, bringing together young and seasoned musicians. The works will all be premiered by New York Philharmonic musicians and Juilliard Preparatory Division students in side-by-side performances, and will be published and shared with professional ensembles throughout the country who have established partnerships with youth music programs.


Composing Inclusion will connect Preparatory Division students and student composers from the New York Philharmonic Very Young Composer’s Program (VYC) with nine composers selected and supported through collaboration with the American Composers Forum. The new works resulting from this initiative will be five orchestral pieces, one string quartet, one wind quintet, one brass quintet, and one piece for percussion ensemble. All nine composers will be selected and commissioned in 2022 and 2023, and the first premiere will take place in New York in an upcoming season. 


The New York Philharmonic will engage its musicians, partner youth ensembles, and Teaching Artists in creating and performing these works in the first-ever side-by-side collaboration by Philharmonic musicians and Juilliard Preparatory Division students. Further, the composers who participate in VYC will contribute ideas during the creative process and will have the opportunity to be mentored by the professional composers. VYC is an after-school program that teaches children — both those with and those without previous musical training — to create, notate, and experience their very own music, most of which is performed by Philharmonic musicians. 


Gary Padmore, New York Philharmonic Director, Education and Community Engagement, The Sue B. Mercy Chair, said: “We are excited about the impact this initiative will have on the Philharmonic and the many young, talented musicians with whom we collaborate each season. Through these rich artistic experiences, we will collectively celebrate and amplify the works of living Black and Latinx composers. This is only the beginning.”

We’re Back, Live, and on NYPhil+

In mid-September, after 556 days, Jaap van Zweden and the New York Philharmonic returned to performing for our audience, live. The 2021–22 season opened with a concert titled From Silence to Celebration, which is available to stream on NYPhil+ today. 


The New York Times wrote of the performance: “The concert on Friday also showed a major institution attempting to address issues of racial and gender representation in classical music that have grown only more gnawing over the past year and a half. … The program was thoughtfully conceived and finely performed.”


Maestro van Zweden conducted Anna Clyne’s Within Her Arms, a meditation on the death of the composer’s mother; Copland’s Quiet City, with Philharmonic Principal Trumpet Christopher Martin and English horn / oboe Ryan Roberts as soloists; Antifonys by Walker, the first Black American to receive the Pulitzer Prize in Music; and Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4, with Daniil Trifonov as soloist, itself tracing a journey from stillness to joy. Poet Mahogany L. Browne opened the concert by reciting the verse that gave Clyne’s work its title, and returned to the stage to declaim the World Premiere of her own poem Country of Water.


You can relive the program — captured on September 18, 2021, at Alice Tully Hall — on NYPhil+, now through December 15.

The Power of a Voice

The artists and activists participating in The Power of a Voice, October 15, 2021

The New York Philharmonic and John Jay College of Criminal Justice co-present The Power of a Voice: How Artists and Organizations Speak Up for Justice, exploring how and why artists and institutions use their platforms to draw attention to issues in the criminal justice system. The event, a panel and performance, takes place on Friday, October 15, 2021, at 1:40 p.m. and is being livestreamed on the New York Philharmonic’s Facebook page.

The panel features Philharmonic Principal Clarinet Anthony McGill, Pulitzer Prize–winning composer Anthony Davis, and poet / writer Ian Manuel, who at 13 was sentenced to life in prison and was released after 26 years with support from the Equal Justice Initiative; the moderator is arts leader and activist Robyne Walker Murphy.  Their conversation will be followed by a performance by McGill and a poetry reading by Manuel.

The Power of a Voice complements the Philharmonic’s October 20–23 performances of Davis’s You Have the Right To Remain Silent, in which McGill, as soloist, represents the individual at the mercy of the criminal justice system.

Honor & Praise: Celebrating the Influence of the African Diaspora on Global Culture

The New York Philharmonic was honored to join Bronx Arts Ensemble, Van Cortlandt House Museum, and Van Cortlandt Park Alliance in co-presenting Honor & Praise: Celebrating the Influence of the African Diaspora on Global Culture, a free event held in Van Cortlandt Park on September 29 that featured performances by musicians from the Philharmonic and Bronx Arts Ensemble (BAE), plus a panel discussion on the intersection of music, culture, and Black identity.

The event was held near the Enslaved African and Kingsbridge Burial Grounds, the resting place of those who lived and worked on the Van Cortlandt plantation; you can learn more about the grounds, which were publicly identified this past Juneteenth, here.

Philharmonic violinists Fiona Simon and Sharon Yamada, violist Robert Rinehart, and cellist Alexei Yupanqui Gonzales performed Dr. Trevor Weston’s Juba, and BAE flutist Theresa Norris, oboist Marsha Heller, clarinetist Mitchell Kriegler, bassoonist Atsuko Sato, and horn player Kyra Sims performed Valerie Coleman’s Umoja and Coleman’s arrangement of Enoch Mankayi Sontonga’s Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika. The Philharmonic musicians, including bassist Rion Wentworth, joined BAE players in performing Dorothy Rudd Moore’s Transcension, composed in 1986 in honor of the first observance of a national holiday for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., in the US. The interdisciplinary panel of scholars included ethnomusicologist Dr. Fredara Hadley, cultural anthropologist Dr. Raymond Codrington, and Dr. Weston.

The event opened with Tambiko, a traditional African libation ceremony, led by Elder Mahalet Susann Miles (a deacon and choir member at Harlem’s Abyssinian Baptist Church), Rev. Rhonda Akanke McClean-Nur, and percussionist Baba Don Eaton. In Tambiko the pouring of water is a symbol of the continuity of life, offered to ancestors as convocation for auspicious events, while calling their names in respect. For people of African descent, ancestors are the focus of profound respect, a source and symbol of lineage, ethical life, service, and achievement. Throughout the ceremony, those gathered were invited to repeat the word “Ashe” (meaning “So it is”).

Future Archive

The Leon Levy Foundation has given the NY Phil Digital Archives $1.5 million toward supporting technological innovation.

Millions upon millions of people around the world have already delved into the New York Philharmonic Leon Levy Digital Archives, a treasure trove of information about music in America going back to 1842 that is available for free online. Now, thanks to the Leon Levy Foundation, the Digital Archives can embark on a five-year modernization that includes an expansion to new lobby screens, bringing the Orchestra’s multifaceted collections to all who visit the renovated David Geffen Hall, due to reopen in the fall of 2022.

This ambitious plan is bolstered through a recent $1.5 million gift from the Leon Levy Foundation, supporting the $500,000 National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) digital infrastructure challenge grant the Philharmonic was awarded last December. Thanks to this collaboration, the Digital Archives will remain at the forefront of technological development and adapt to rapidly evolving research and content needs by migrating to a cloud-based system, building an advanced search function, incorporating multimedia storage functionality, and more.

Since its founding the Digital Archives, which celebrated its tenth anniversary this year, has been made possible by unprecedented support from the Leon Levy Foundation, with this latest gift bringing its total contributions to $6.5 million.

While we wait for the next chapter in the life of the Philharmonic and its archives to begin next year, virtual visitors can already peruse more than four million pages of correspondence, photographs, marked scores and orchestral parts, printed programs, financial ledgers, minutes from business and artistic meetings, and press clippings. Choose your own adventure today at archives.nyphil.org.

New York’s Orchestra Is Back

After 556 days since the last concert in David Geffen Hall, Jaap van Zweden and the New York Philharmonic opened the 2021–22 season with a concert at Alice Tully Hall, one of the New York City venues where the Orchestra will perform through June. The program featured a tapestry of the classic and contemporary, tracing a journey from the contemplative and commemorative to virtuosic joy. Maestro and Orchestra were joined onstage by a poet, an internationally acclaimed guest soloist, and musicians from the Orchestra performing solos. Relive the evening that The New York Times called “a heartening return,” with a program that was “thoughtfully conceived and finely performed.” (Photos: Chris Lee, unless otherwise credited)

WE LOVE NYC: The Homecoming Concert, August 21, 5:00 PM ET

New York City’s hometown orchestra kicks off the star-studded concert in Central Park on August 21 at 5:00 p.m. ET — broadcast on CNN!

The New York Philharmonic is New York City’s hometown orchestra, so who better to kick off WE LOVE NYC: The Homecoming Concert — the August 21 star-studded concert on Central Park’s Great Lawn, produced by New York City, Clive Davis, and Live Nation that begins at 5:00 p.m. ET — celebrating the Big Apple’s comeback after the pandemic.


After the Orchestra, conducted by Marin Alsop, opens the concert with a new New York Medley, arranged by William Ross, and Bernstein’s Candide Overture, they’ll be joined by two stellar vocalists. Tenor Andrea Bocelli, who last performed with the Orchestra in Central Park in 2011, will sing ’O sole mio and Youll Never Walk Alone from Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Carousel. The Philharmonic closes its set with its first-ever collaboration with Jennifer Hudson — winner of honors including Academy and Grammy Awards and the star of the new Aretha Franklin biopic — singing Nessun dorma from Puccini’s Turandot, which the queen of soul herself once sang on the Grammys.


WE LOVE NYC: The Homecoming Concert is a highlight of NYC Homecoming Week, August 14–22, which also features cultural events, free movie screenings, Restaurant Week, and more. Learn about the week’s activities as well as concert VIP packages (with premium location, VIP entrance, private restrooms, concessions with specialty food and drink options, and more) at nyc.gov/homecomingweek.


Can’t make it in person? No worries! You can catch the five-hour extravaganza live beginning at 5:00 p.m. ET on CNN, CNN International, and CNN en Español; you can also watch it without a cable login on CNN.com and via CNNgo apps for Apple TV, Amazon Fire, Android TV, Chromecast, and Roku.


Nessun dorma from Turandot by Giacomo Puccini, Giuseppe Adami, and Renato Simoni, arranged by Steven Mercurio published by Casa Ricordi, a Universal Music Publishing Classical company