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

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'Vibrant, Lucid and Intriguing'

Alan Gilbert 

"As music director of the New York Philharmonic, the conductor Alan Gilbert has probably drawn the highest praise for his compelling advocacy of new, recent and overlooked repertory. But he is now making a significant artistic statement by leading a performance of a towering repertory work, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony," The New York Times' Anthony Tommasini wrote.

Here's Tommasini's review of that statement:

"For the New York Philharmonic’s concert at Avery Fisher Hall on Thursday night, the conductor Alan Gilbert took the idea of pairing a new work with a Beethoven symphony, which has become fairly common, to another dimension. The main work was Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Mr. Gilbert’s first performance of that piece with the Philharmonic. He led a vibrant, lucid and intriguing account that culminated with a fleet, exciting finale. ...

True to form, this insightful musician reveals the inner workings and wondrous complexities of the piece. In the first movement, I have seldom heard the bursts of counterpoint played with such transparency and rhythmic point. ...

His tempo for the scherzo was reined in just enough to make the jarring rhythmic accents leap out and the matrix of interwoven lines come through. The slow movement, which unfolded at a lapping Adagio pace, had lyrical elegance and rich string sound."

The Beethoven followed the U.S. Premiere of Frieze, by the British composer Mark-Anthony Turnage. “Frieze is an audacious and vividly orchestrated piece from a major composer," Tommasini wrote. "Mr. Gilbert drew a kaleidoscopic performance from the Philharmonic."


Back to School Partnership Program

School Partnership Program 

To kick off each new school year, teachers of the Philharmonic's School Partnership Program (SPP) from all five boroughs gather at Lincoln Center to participate in Professional Development workshops led by New York Philharmonic Teaching Artists. Teachers and Teaching Artists work together to set goals, deepen their partnerships, and discuss strategies to engage each SPP student.

In addition, new SPP teachers are welcomed with a workshop to introduce them to the program (see photo). This year the 20 Teaching Artists are partnering with 186 teachers to serve more than 4,300 students.

Learn more about the Philharmonic's Education program. The program includes Young People's Concerts, the first of which this season is October 12 at 2 p.m.

This Is Your Brain on Music

World Science Festival Panel 

Alec Baldwin, Joel and Ethan Coen, film composer Carter Burwell (who's done the music for many of the Coens' films), and neuroscientist Aniruddh Patel explored the uniquely powerful role of music in shaping the narrative flow and the emotional impact of film at a sold-out event that was part of last month's THE ART OF THE SCORE: Film Week at the Philharmonic. If you missed it, World Science Festival, which co-presented the event, just posted video of the whole discussion, plus insightful blogs on related topics. From Stanley Kubrick’s classic 2001: A Space Odyssey to the Coen Brothers’ Miller’s Crossing and True Grit, the program examines the creative process of scoring feature films and the neuro-scientific insights that reveal how such compositions profoundly shape the audience experience.

'Mr. Gilbert Could Not Stop Dancing'

Alan Gilbert 

Critical acclaim confirms what everyone around here has seen, heard, and felt this past week: Alan Gilbert and the New York Philharmonic are off to a bright start to the season.

Of last Thursday's concert, The New York Times' Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim wrote:

"There were many moments during this first subscription concert, in which Alan Gilbert conducted works by Ravel, Bernstein and Tchaikovsky, when the musicians seemed to be having far too much fun to justify the word 'work.' For starters, Mr. Gilbert could not stop dancing. His conducting is always physically animated, but in Ravel’s Alborada del gracioso and Bernstein’s Symphonic Dances From West Side Story, the Latin rhythms took shape in expressive body movements that ranged from a quick forward snap of the shoulder and a slight twitch of the hips to the theatrical flamenco arm gesture with which he brought the Alborada to a close."

Tickets are still available for tonight's performance of that program.

Reviewing the Opening Gala, which took place last Wednesday, Sedgwick Clark wrote, in Musical America, that Mr. Gilbert and the Orchestra delivered "a smashing performance. ... The Philharmonic is in great shape these days." In New York Classical Review, Eric C. Simpson, describing Boléro, wrote that "Gilbert certainly deserves credit for drawing disciplined playing and vibrant tone out of his orchestra." 

Noting the standing ovation the audience gave the Philharmonic and Yo-Yo Ma's performance Osvaldo Golijov's Azul, Simpson wrote, "New York audiences have a reputation for stodginess, but Gilbert has demonstrated repeatedly that compelling performances of admirable new music can be invigorating for both performers and listeners."

VIDEO: Gala Goings-On

The buzz of activity — behind the scenes and onstage, before and during the concert — that made the New York Philharmonic's Opening Gala Concert the place to be on September 25, 2013, included: arrivals, receptions, orchestra and audience standing for the National Anthem, Audra McDonald taping her commentary for the concert's future Live From Lincoln Center telecast, and the rousing conclusion with Ravel's Boléro.

SLIDESHOW: A Glamorous Opening Gala

The New York Philharmonic's 2013–14 season kicked off yesterday with a full day of celebratory activities: a Free Dress Rehearsal, courtesy of the Philharmonic and Global Sponsor Credit Suisse, complete with chocolates and tango dancers; buzzing pre-concert receptions; the Opening Gala Concert itself headlined by Yo-Yo Ma; and the post-concert dinner. Relive the day's highlights!

Free Dress Rehearsal 2013

Free Dress Rehearsal 

It's just after noon, and the Philharmonic can be heard playing Boléro, the closer of tonight's Opening Gala Concert as well as today's Free Dress Rehearsal. The first people in line arrived at 4:50 a.m., and a total of approximately 1,500 fans joined them. They enjoyed morning sun; free water and chocolate courtesy of Global Sponsor Credit Suisse; and tango performances and lessons by dancers from Triangulo. A handful of Philharmonic musicians (including violinist Hae-Young Ham, above, at left) greeted fans and even tangoed. Five lucky fans won the raffle prize: an iPod Shuffle loaded with Philharmonic performances.

Watch this space for more on today's events, including a full slideshow capturing these and more elements of the day and night. It's been a terrific morning, thanks to all who joined us, and here's to a great 2013–14 Season!


New Worlds, New Audience

"2001: A Space Odyssey" at NY Philharmonic 

Thank you to all who joined us for 2001: A Space Odyssey — especially those new to us. The New York Times' Anthony Tommasini wrote, "Like the previous film night earlier last week, devoted to music from Alfred Hitchcock movies, this event packed the hall with exactly the demographic of younger, diverse people American orchestras are trying to reach."

More than half the audience was new to our database, and almost half of the audience for Hitchcock!, the other program in The Art of the Score: Film Week at the Philharmonic, was new.

"The ovation at the end was long and ardent," Tommasini wrote. "Maybe this film night will entice some newcomers to take in a symphonic program without a film."

We hope so, knowing there are many more thrilling moments in our new season, which opens tomorrow.


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