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After the Dream

Sara Mearns Rehearsal

"Every night, I got to sit next to the concertmaster on stage ... Every night he looked at me and smiled as if to say the notes are yours, let's make something beautiful."  — Sara Mearns

New York City Ballet principal dancer Sara Mearns shares more about her experience performing with the Phil in A Dancer's Dream — and what happens when that dream ends — in her blog for The Huffington Post. Plus, she leads a video tour of her Philharmonic dressing room filled with her Dancer's Dream costumes.

Photo by Chris Lee

Traffic Jammin'

Joseph Alessi New York Legends

Riding in his sports car from his home in New Jersey to Avery Fisher Hall, Principal Trombone Joseph Alessi gets stuck in traffic at the entrance to the Lincoln Tunnel. Unfazed, Alessi grabs his trombone and serenades his fellow commuters. 

This never happened, but it’s what composer-conductor Bramwell Tovey imagines in his 2006 piece The Lincoln Tunnel Cabaret, written for his friend Alessi. 

“In New York, anything can happen,” quips Tovey. 

He conducts Alessi and the Orchestra in the World Premiere of the work’s orchestral version tonight and tomorrow at “Star-Spangled Celebration,” the opening program of the Philharmonic’s annual Summertime Classics series, and again at Bravo! Vail.

Ring-a-Ding-Ding!

Michelle Kim and Eileen Moon

If she weren't a violinist, Assistant Concertmaster Michelle Kim says she'd be a vocalist. "We are all ultimately trying to sound like the voice," she says. Her father is a tenor and her son, Ethan, sings in the school chorus. The best advice she was ever given is to "study the score, sing, and breathe." 

So it comes as no surprise that Michelle's ringtone is The Voice himself, Frank Sinatra. Her current selection is Ol' Blue Eyes singing "Fly Me to the Moon."

"Always loved him and always will," Michelle says.

Pictured: Assistant Concertmaster Michelle Kim (left) backstage with Associate Principal Cello Eileen Moon. Photo by Chris Lee.

Saturn Night Live

The Planets - An HD Odyssey

Holst nicknamed Saturn “The Bringer of Old Age," but it's still winning beauty pageants: astronomers call Saturn the most photogenic member of the solar system in interviews for The Planets – An HD Odyssey, the high-definition film of NASA images that will accompany the Philharmonic’s performance of Holst’s epic suite, July 5–7. 

Holst was actually channeling each planet's astrological meanings, rather than astronomical features, but Duncan Copp, the film's director/producer, says Holst's music syncs up with the NASA images best in "Saturn," which happened to be Holst's favorite movement. “Look carefully and you’ll see two small ‘shepherd’ moons scooting along next to the rings as the planet majestically rises and the music builds to a crescendo,” Copp told the Houston Symphony, which commissioned the film.

Copp, who holds a doctorate in astronomy, still has a soft spot for Venus; for four years he was a member of the NASA team that mapped it. “Temperatures are 470 degrees Celsius [878 degrees Fahrenheit] on the surface, and it’s got a choking atmosphere. It’s a hellish world, but Holst saw it as a beautiful world, and his music reflects that. It’s the goddess of beauty and love … a picture of pure serenity.”

Future Wave

A Dancer's Dream

"And it was delightful to see the skilled members of the Philharmonic so eagerly embracing the chance to act, stomp and ham it up. At one point in ‘Petrushka,’ the violist Rebecca Young did a little Russian dance, juggling colored handkerchiefs and twirling about exuberantly. Is this the future of the American orchestra? Let’s hope so."

— The New York Times reviews the New York Philharmonic’s production of A Dancer's Dream.

Photo by Chris Lee

PHOTOS: A Dancer's Premiere

Last night, Avery Fisher Hall was filled with jealous puppets, dancing violinists, the Swiss Alps, a magic baton, and one passionate ballerina. Check out the slideshow above to relive opening night of the Philharmonic's genre-bending season finale, A Dancer's Dream, running through Saturday. 

The sold-out performances will be broadcast to theaters nationwide and beyond beginning in September.

Photos by Chris Lee

A Bubbly Birthday

Magnus Lindberg Kraft

A very happy 55th birthday to our former Composer-in-Residence, Magnus Lindberg! He remains a friend of the Phil, as evidenced by his participation as a soloist in his own work, Kraft, during our EUROPE / SPRING 2013 tour. The performance, at Volkswagen’s Transparent Factory in Germany, is available for streaming at medici.tv. Or celebrate with Alan Gilbert and the Philharmonic’s recent release on Dacapo, featuring three works composed during Magnus’s tenure as Composer-in-Residence: Expo, Piano Concerto No. 2, and Al Largo.

PHOTOS: At Today's Dress Rehearsal

We're about an hour away from the first performance of A Dancer's Dream! To get your toes tapping, here's a sneak peek from today's dress rehearsal.

Photos by Chris Lee.

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