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PHOTOS: Concerts in the Parks Begin in Brooklyn

The New York Philharmonic's 2014 Concerts in the Parks, Presented by Didi and Oscar Schafer, have begun! 

Check out highlights from last night's kick-off in Brooklyn's Prospect Park, where 15,000 picnickers flocked to hear Music Director Alan Gilbert and the Philharmonic perform beautiful music by Richard Strauss, Smetana, and Tchaikovsky under the stars, followed by spectacular fireworks. What politicians and celebrities can you spot in the audience?

Stay tuned for more snapshots from the Concerts in the Parks — and join us in Queens's Cunningham Park (tonight), Central Park (Friday and Monday), Staten Island (Sunday), or the Bronx's Van Cortlandt Park (Tuesday).

VIDEOS: Phil Smith Memory Lane

Retiring Philharmonic Principal Trumpet Philip Smith is world-renowned not only for his lyrical, soaring sound, but also for his kind collegiality, masterful teaching, and inspiring influence — as both a musician and role model for living a good life. His colleagues around the country sent us video postcards of their favorite Phil memories.

Make your own Phil Smith memories this Saturday at the celebratory concert honoring Phil Smith July 5 at 2:00 p.m. (Student Rush available.) Be prepared for some surprises.

Jazz trumpeter Vincent DiMartino shares his favorite memory of Phil Smith — calm, cool, collected, and the ultimate colleague.


Hunter Eberly, Detroit Symphony Orchestra Principal Trumpet, shares his favorite Phil Smith memories — from his well-loved copies of Phil Smith's orchestral excerpts CD, to his two-and-a-half-hour drive to see Phil teach a masterclass.


Trumpeter/composer/arranger Brandon Ridenour, formerly of Canadian Brass, finally gets a chance to ask Phil Smith, his favorite orchestral trumpeter, a question he's been meaning to ask for years. In the meantime he shares a (probably) heartwarming story and reflects on what makes Phil great.


In Time for Father's Day: Advice Alan Gilbert Got From His Dad

Alan Gilbert NY Philharmonic

Just in time for Father's Day, Music Director Alan Gilbert spoke with Gotham about some good advice he got from his father, former Philharmonic violinist Michael Gilbert:

“One of the most important things I learned from my father is to never forget to identify with the musicians I am conducting — to always be aware of what they are feeling."

(Photo by Julie Skarratt: family photo of Alan Gilbert; his wife, Kajsa William-Olsson; his father, Michael; and his mother, recently retired Philharmonic violinist Yoko Takebe)

A Great Dane: Per Nørgård Awarded The Marie-Josée Kravis Prize for New Music

Kravis Prize Per Norgard Alan Gilbert NY Philharmonic

At last night's concert, Music Director Alan Gilbert took the stage to make an exciting announcement: Danish composer Per Nørgård has been awarded The Marie-Josée Kravis Prize for New Music, one of the world's largest new-music prizes, which recognizes a composer for extraordinary artistic endeavor in the field of new music.

The prolific composer of 400+ works — including 8 symphonies, 11 concertos, 6 operas, 2 ballets, and 4 film scores including Babette's Feast — and inventor of the Infinity Series receives $200,000 plus a commission to write a work for the Philharmonic. Also announced: the Orchestra will give the U.S. Premiere of Nørgård's Third Symphony during the 2016 NY PHIL BIENNIAL. As previously scheduled: Alan Gilbert will lead Philharmonic musicians in Nørgård's music March 7, 2015, as part of next season's CONTACT!, the new-music series, at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. 

Check out The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal's coverage of the announcement, and hear his music from the Vienna Philharmonic's new Dapaco recording of his First and Eighth Symphonies.

We leave you with this thought from Karl Aage Rasmussen:

"The world according to Nørgård is not just a confusing host of random events; it is an enchanted place, full of things to discover when your mind and your senses are wide open — the endless connections and relations in nature, the infinite universe represented by any sound, no matter how modest. A composer must have an ear for the wonders of the audible world, and must be able to sense miracles where others hear only the buzz of everyday life. On a South Indian beach, listening to the surf from the enormous waves, Per Nørgård suddenly became aware of an extremely deep sound from the seas, a kind of 'shadow tone,' unchanging by day or night. And he asked himself: might this be the basic sound, the very fundamental of the ocean?"

(Photo by Chris Lee: Music Director Alan Gilbert (right) with Per Nørgård)

Glenn Dicterow, A Most Masterful Musician

The longest serving Concertmaster in the New York Philharmonic’s 172 year history

“It has been an amazing 34 years,” Glenn Dicterow said of his departure as Concertmaster. “Every single one has been challenging and inspiring. I feel very much part of the Philharmonic family. It is not going to be easy for me to leave this great Orchestra, which has been part of my life for so long.”  Watch the slide show that captures some of Glenn’s many Philharmonic and family experiences and read the excerpts from the hundreds of reviews over the years.

Read what Glenn has to say about his performances and listen to excerpts in our Online Exhibit.

PHOTOS: Attend the Tale of Sweeney Todd

A bloody good time was had last night at the New York Philharmonic. The Spring Gala celebrated opening night of the Philharmonic’s staging of Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler’s wickedly macabre musical thriller Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, with an all-star cast led by Bryn Terfel and Oscar winner Emma Thompson — “tonight is the most thrilling night of my professional career,” she said during brief remarks at the Gala dinner — along with the Orchestra performing the score, conducted by Music Director Alan Gilbert. The glitterati — Meryl Streep, Neil Patrick Harris, Bernadette Peters, and Governor Andrew Cuomo, to name a few — feted the production with the Philharmonic, its generous supporters, and even Sondheim himself at a festive cocktail reception and the Spring Gala dinner after the show. Relive the excitement.

Photos: Tour Concludes in Taiwan

The ASIA / WINTER 2014 tour came to a triumphant conclusion this week with a concert in Yokohama and two in Taipei. Joining Alan Gilbert and the Philharmonic for brilliant concerto performances were new and longtime friends: jazz sensation Makoto Ozone; pianist Yefim Bronfman, the Philharmonic’s current Mary and James G. Wallach Artist-in-Residence; and violinist Lisa Batiashvili, who will succeed him next season. After two weeks, ten concerts, six cities, and three countries, the Orchestra headed back to New York to resume performing for their hometown audience.

PHOTOS: Tokyo

The Philharmonic's week in Tokyo was packed with performances: a concert for families featuring Alan Gilbert narrating Britten's The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra in Japanese and the Orchestra playing music by 10- to 15-year-old composers from New York and Fukushima; concertos with jazz pianist Makoto Ozone, Artist-in-Residence Yefim Bronfman, and violinist Lisa Batiashvili; and the Principal Woodwind Quintet in chamber music at the Residence of the U.S. Ambassador to Japan, Caroline Kennedy.

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