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

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Movie Music Mash-Up

A Dancer's Dream

On this date in 1926, the film Don Juan, starring John Barrymore, was released, featuring the Philharmonic on the sound track — the first time in history that a symphony orchestra was heard on a movie.

Fast forward to today:

The Phil presents THE ART OF THE SCORE: Film Week at the Philharmonic, September 17–21, with Alec Baldwin as Artistic Advisor

Also in September, the Orchestra will act, juggle, and perform on movie screens worldwide for the screening of the Phil's hit season finale event, A Dancer's Dream: Two Works by Stravinsky.

As for Don Juan, Alan Gilbert will conduct R. Strauss's musical depiction of the rogue in November, with Glenn Dicterow on the concertmaster solos during his Philharmonic farewell season.

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

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

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.

The Price of Being an Artist

Ice Maiden Video Shoot

Opening tonight, A Dancer’s Dream is what director/designer Doug Fitch calls an “über Fairy Tale,” combining Stravinsky’s disparate ballets The Fairy’s Kiss and Petrushka to create a new narrative.

Here’s the story: a young woman, played by ballerina Sara Mearns, sits entranced at a Philharmonic concert. She is “kissed” by the passion to become an artist and drawn into the performance, dancing to the complete score of The Fairy’s Kiss. By the second act, she has completed her transformation into an artist, becoming Columbine in Petrushka. But becoming an artist has consequences. As Giants Are Small detailed in a production plan, “she loses her ability to have an ordinary life as the demons of ambition and love claim her as their plaything.”

The real Sara Mearns can relate. As she told The New York Times, "It's kind of true that you have this massive dream to be this ballerina, to be out there onstage performing, and you pour everything into it. Then there is a point where you feel like you are trapped in it and cannot get out. And that is the curse.”

Stravinsky meditated on this theme in The Fairy’s Kiss, which he dedicated to Tchaikovsky, an artist who paid this price (“Tchaikovsky’s personal life was a mess,” Mr. Fitch says in the Times). As Stravinsky inscribed in the score: “I dedicate this ballet to the memory of Pyotr Tchaikovsky by relating the Fairy to his Muse, and in this way the ballet becomes an allegory, the Muse having similarly branded Tchaikovsky with her fatal kiss, whose mysterious imprint made itself felt in all this great artist’s work.”

Petrushka, Three Ways

Bernstein Petrushka Score

This week’s performances of A Dancer’s Dream  will bring Stravinsky's Petrushka to the stage in a way that hasn't been seen before at the New York Philharmonic. And that's saying something, as over the years the Orchestra has presented more than 60 performances of the commedia dell’arte fantasy in various incarnations, including an arrangement for four pianos. Three such incarnations sit in the Digital Archives, all marked by Leonard Bernstein to different degrees of thoroughness. You can browse all three here.

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