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PHOTOS: Casey and Carey at the Bat

On Saturday, the Philharmonic and Music Director Alan Gilbert headed to Central Park to share the stage with pop sensation Mariah Carey and baseball legend Joe Torre for the MLB All-Star Charity Concert benefiting Hurricane Sandy relief.

Visit with Dvořák in New York

Dvorak Family in New York

Principal Cello Carter Brey plays Dvořák’s Cello Concerto for our Philharmonic Concerts in the Parks programs throughout the five boroughs this week. The work has a direct connection to our fair city, as Dvořák composed the piece here during his tenure as director of the National Conservatory of Music (1892–95). He and his family lived in a townhouse at 327 E. 17th Street, near the conservatory, and a statue in his honor stands in Stuyvesant Square, with the street alongside named Dvořák Place.

Attend the Tale

Sweeney Todd

This just in: next season the Philharmonic will present a staged production of Sondheim’s musical thriller Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. Baritone Bryn Terfel will star in the title role, and Alan Gilbert conducts the Orchestra, March 5–8, 2014.

We know you’ll want to attend. Tickets go on sale to the general public August 18 at noon.

Meanwhile, here's a tasty bit to savor, and check out the recording from our 2000 production.

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.”

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