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Alan Gilbert Leads NY Philharmonic in Seventh Season As Music Director and Makes Debuts with Four Major European Orchestras in 2015-16

The coming season marks Alan Gilbert’s seventh as Music Director of the New York Philharmonic, where, as the New Yorker observes, he “has made an indelible mark on the orchestra’s history and that of the city itself.” Besides collaborating with Composer-in-Residence Esa-Pekka Salonen, Artist-in-Residence Eric Owens, and Artist-in-Association Inon Barnatan – incumbents of the three artistic partnerships he initiated at the Philharmonic – he looks forward to leading the orchestra in repertoire ranging from Beethoven and Tchaikovsky to multiple world, U.S., and New York premieres, several of which will take place under his curatorship during the orchestra’s second NY PHIL BIENNIAL. Recently recognized with a Foreign Policy Association Medal for his extraordinary commitment to cultural diplomacy, Gilbert also maintains a major international presence. The 2015-16 season sees him make guest conducting debuts with four eminent European ensembles – Milan’s La Scala Orchestra, the Staatskapelle Dresden, the London Symphony Orchestra, and the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields – as well as returning to the podiums of the Cleveland Orchestra, Leipzig’s Gewandhaus Orchestra, Paris’s Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Tokyo’s Metropolitan Symphony, and Hamburg’s NDR Symphony, where he has served as Principal Guest Conductor for more than a decade.

Among Gilbert’s upcoming Philharmonic highlights are performances of Richard Strauss’s Ein Heldenleben to welcome newly appointed Concertmaster Frank Huang; Carnegie Hall’s opening-night gala; world premieres by Esa-Pekka Salonen, Magnus Lindberg, Franck Krawczyk, William Bolcom, and Marc Neikrug; Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde; a celebration of the Sibelius sesquicentennial; music by Wagner to showcase resident bass-baritone Eric Owens; and an all-Mozart program featuring the Gran Partita. Following the resounding success of 2014’s inaugural NY PHIL BIENNIAL – “perhaps the most ambitious and extensive contemporary-music festival yet overseen by an American orchestra” (New York Times) – Gilbert is now co-curating the second edition of the orchestra’s kaleidoscopic, citywide new-music immersion. This sees him lead the world premiere performances of Bolcom’s Trombone Concerto and Salonen’s new Philharmonic commission, as well as a work by Per Nørgård. Finally, the Music Director looks forward to exchanging his baton for a violin when he joins the Philharmonic’s first Artist-in-Association, pianist Inon Barnatan, together with Principal Cello Carter Brey and Principal Clarinet Anthony McGill, for an account of Messiaen’s transcendental Quartet for the End of Time in the orchestra’s “Messiaen Week.”

As Gilbert explains:

“I couldn’t be more thrilled to continue my work with the New York Philharmonic, and to begin a new era for the orchestra with our new Concertmaster, Frank Huang. I’m extremely excited by the enormous range of music we will be playing this season – from favorite works by Mozart, Beethoven, Mahler, and Richard Strauss to a host of contemporary works in our second NY PHIL BIENNIAL. There really is no other orchestra in the world that can play such a wide variety of repertoire with such style and authority. I am also enormously grateful for the extraordinary enthusiasm for what we do that we constantly receive from our audiences.

Gilbert’s forthcoming programs with the London Symphony Orchestra, Bavarian Radio Symphony, and the Cleveland Orchestra all include works by Carl Nielsen, a composer he has ardently championed throughout his career. At the New York Philharmonic he undertook “The Nielsen Project,” a multi-season initiative to perform and record the Danish composer’s complete symphonies and concertos in celebration of his 150th birthday. A Gramophone survey of best recordings of Nielsen’s Third Symphony named the Nielsen Project recording as its top choice, while the New York Times recognized the project as “one of the great successes of Alan Gilbert’s tenure thus far” (New York Times). To see Gilbert conducting Nielsen’s Third Symphony (“Sinfonia espansiva”) with the Berlin Philharmonic last November, click here.

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Last season at the Philharmonic, Gilbert directed three world premieres, the U.S. premiere of Unsuk Chin’s Clarinet Concerto (a Philharmonic co-commission), and works by contemporary Nordic composers during their celebrated CONTACT! series. As Opera News recognizes, “his commitment to contemporary music will be a vital part of his legacy.” He also led the orchestra on EUROPE / SPRING 2015, their eighth international tour together, and in inaugural performance residencies in Shanghai and at Santa Barbara’s Music Academy of the West. His 2014-15 Philharmonic highlights also included a star-studded Verdi Requiem, a 15th-anniversary collaboration with Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble, and – headlined by Academy Award-winner Marion Cotillard – a staging of Honegger’s Joan of Arc at the Stake that was pronounced “one of the [orchestra’s] most spectacular offerings so far” (Classical Voice America).  In his debut at the Mostly Mozart Festival this summer, he triumphed – in a production co-presented by Lincoln Center and the New York Philharmonic – leading the U.S. stage premiere of George Benjamin’s hit opera Written on Skin. The Washington Post called it “the Cultural Event of the New York summer season,” while New York magazine reported, “The score leaves no room for sloppiness, and Alan Gilbert extracts a performance of acid-etched precision from the Mahler Chamber Orchestra.” The New York Times observed, “All the intricacy, beauty and strangeness of the music come through in the assured and colorful performance that the conductor Alan Gilbert, at his most brilliant, draws from the Mahler Chamber Orchestra.”

Beyond the Philharmonic, Gilbert launched 2014-15 with the venerable Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, replacing indisposed music director Riccardo Chailly in season-opening concerts and on tour at the Lucerne Festival, Musikfest Berlin, and London’s BBC Proms. He made welcome returns to the Berlin Philharmonic, Munich Philharmonic, and NDR Symphony Hamburg, and took the podium for the Philadelphia Orchestra’s first performances of Janácek’s Glagolitic Mass. He also returned to the Metropolitan Opera to conduct Don Giovanni with Peter Mattei in the title role, and conducted Mozart’s Gran Partita and Messiaen’s otherworldly Des canyons aux étoiles at the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival. Besides receiving a 2015 Foreign Policy Association Medal, Gilbert was nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Music Direction of the New York Philharmonic’s acclaimed Sweeney Todd production, as seen on PBS’s Live From Lincoln Center. He also had the honor of giving the 2015 lecture for London’s Royal Philharmonic Society, speaking on “Orchestras in the 21st Century – a new paradigm”; an edited version of his talk appeared in the Guardian, and the full text may be downloaded here.

For high-resolution photos, click here.



Alan Gilbert: 2015-16 engagements

Except where noted, all New York Philharmonic concerts take place at David Geffen Hall in New York, NY.

Sep 15, 17, 18
Milan, Italy
Teatro alla Scala
Filharmonica della Scalla (debut)
BEETHOVEN: Symphony No. 6, “Pastoral”
BARTÓK: Bluebeard’s Castle in concert (with John Relyea, Bluebeard; Ildikó Komlósi, Judith)

Sep 24
New York Philharmonic
(Opening Gala)
GRIEG: Piano Concerto (with Lang Lang, piano)
BEETHOVEN: Symphony No. 7

Sep 25 & 26
New York Philharmonic
Esa-Pekka SALONEN: LA Variations
STRAUSS: Ein Heldenleben (with Frank Huang, violin)

Sep 30
New York Philharmonic
BEETHOVEN: Symphony No. 7
BRAHMS: Piano Concerto No. 2 (with Emanuel Ax, piano)

Oct 1 & 3
New York Philharmonic
BRAHMS: Tragic Overture
Marc NEIKRUG: Canta-Concerto (with Sasha Cooke, mezzo-soprano; world premiere of NYPO commission)
BRAHMS: Piano Concerto No. 2 (with Emanuel Ax, piano)

Oct 2
New York Philharmonic
Tilles Center for the Performing Arts
BEETHOVEN: Symphony No. 7
BRAHMS: Piano Concerto No. 2 (with Emanuel Ax, piano)

Oct 7
New York Philharmonic
Carnegie Hall’s Opening Night Gala
Magnus LINDBERG: Vivo (world premiere, co-commissioned by Carnegie Hall)
TCHAIKOVSKY: Piano Concerto No. 1 (with Evgeny Kissin, piano)
RAVEL Daphnis et Chloé Suite No. 2

Oct 9–11
New York Philharmonic
Ann Arbor, MI (Hill Auditorium)
Residency: University Musical Society at the University of Michigan
Oct 9:
Magnus LINDBERG: Vivo
BEETHOVEN: Piano Concerto No. 1 (with Inon Barnatan, piano)
BEETHOVEN: Symphony No. 7
Oct 10:
Esa-Pekka SALONEN: LA Variations
STRAUSS: Ein Heldenleben (with Frank Huang, violin)

Oct 16
New York Philharmonic
BERLIOZ: Le Corsaire Overture
TCHAIKOVSKY: Romeo and Juliet, Overture-Fantasy
CHOPIN: Piano Concerto No. 1 (with Maurizio Pollini, piano)

Oct 23–25
Dresden, Germany
Staatskappelle Dresden (debut)
Kurtág: Grabstein für Stephan, Op. 15c
Shostakovich: Violin Concerto No. 2 (with Frank Peter Zimmermann, violin)
Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 4

Oct 29 & 30
Hamburg, Germany
NDR Symphony Orchestra Hamburg
Shostakovich: Violin Concerto No. 2 (with Frank Peter Zimmermann, violin)
Beethoven: Symphony No. 3, “Eroica”

Oct 31
Bremen, Germany
NDR Symphony Orchestra Hamburg
Shostakovich: Violin Concerto No. 2 (with Frank Peter Zimmermann, violin)
Beethoven: Symphony No. 3, “Eroica”

Nov 4–7
New York Philharmonic
MOZART: Divertimento in D major, K.136/125a
MOZART: Horn Concerto No. 2 (with Philip Myers, horn)
MOZART: Serenade for 13 Winds, Gran partita

Dec 10 & 11
Munich, Germany
Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
Christopher Rouse: Rapture
Mozart: Piano Concerto C minor, K 491 (with Lars Vogt, piano)
Nielsen: Symphony No. 3, Op. 27, “Sinfonia espansiva” (with Christina Landshamer, soprano; Michael Nagy, baritone)

Dec 12 & 13
London, England
Academy of St. Martin in the Fields (debut)
Brahms: Variations on a Theme by Haydn, Op. 56
Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 3 (with Inon Barnatan, piano)
Haydn: Symphony No. 99

Dec 29 & 30; Jan 2
New York Philharmonic
SIBELIUS: The Swan of Tuonela
SIBELIUS: Symphony No. 4
MENDELSSOHN: Violin Concerto (with Joshua Bell, violin)
SIBELIUS: Finlandia

Dec 31
New York Philharmonic
OFFENBACH: Selections from Gaîté parisienne
RAVEL: Pavane for a Dead Princess
SIMONS: “C’est ça la vie, c’est ça l’amour” from Toi c’est moi
OFFENBACH: “Ah! que j’aime les militaires” from La GrandeDuchesse de Gérolstein
OFFENBACH: “Ah! quel dîner” from La Périchole
PIAF & LOUIGUY: “La Vie en rose”
SAINT-SAËNS: Carnival of the Animals
(with Susan Graham, mezzo-soprano; Inon Barnatan and Makoto Ozone, piano)

Jan 7, 8, 9, 12
New York Philharmonic
STRAUSS: Selected Songs
WAGNER: Ride of the Valkyries and Final Scene from Act III of Die Walküre (with Heidi Melton, soprano; Eric Owens, bass-baritone)

Jan 9
New York Philharmonic
SIBELIUS: Symphony No. 4

Jan 14–16
New York Philharmonic
RESPIGHI: Church Windows
Magnus LINDBERG: Violin Concerto No. 2 (with Frank Peter Zimmermann, violin; U.S. premiere of NYPO co-commission with London Philharmonic, Berlin Philharmonic, and Swedish Radio Symphony)
STRAVINSKY: The Rite of Spring

Jan 22–30
Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra
Jan 22: Gunma, Japan
John ADAMS: The Chairman Dances
SHOSTAKOVITCH: Cello Concerto No 2 (with tba, cello)
TCHAIKOVSKY: Symphony No 2

Jan 26 & 27: Tokyo, Japan (Suntory Hall)
TAKEMITSU: Twill by Twilight
WAGNER (arr. Gilbert, after Leinsdorf): A “Ring” Journey

Jan 30: Tokyo, Japan (Metropolitan Theatre)
BEETHOVEN: Coriolan Overture, Op. 62
BEETHOVEN: Piano Concerto No. 3 (with Inon Barnatan, piano)
BEETHOVEN: Symphony No. 7

Feb 19
Paris, France
Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France
Schumann: Manfred Overture
Magnus Lindberg: Violin Concerto No. 2 (with Frank Peter Zimmermann, violin)
SCHUMANN: Symphonie No. 1

Feb 25 & 26
Leipzig, Germany
(In celebration of 150th anniversary of Sibelius’s birth)
Dutilleux: Métaboles
Schumann: Symphony No. 1, “Spring Symphony”
Schumann: Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 54 (with Leif Ove Andsnes, piano)
Sibelius: Symphony No. 7

March 3, 5, 6
Cleveland, Ohio
Cleveland Orchestra
SCHUMANN: Manfred Overture
DVORÁK: Piano Concerto (with Stephen Hough, piano)
NIELSEN: Symphony No. 6

March 13
New York, NY
Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Temple of Dendur in The Sackler Wing
(Messiaen Week)
MESSIAEN: Quartet for the End of Time (on violin with Carter Brey, cello; Anthony McGill, clarinet; Inon Barnatan, piano)

March 17–19
New York Philharmonic
SIBELIUS: Violin Concerto (with Leonidas Kavakos, violin)
SHOSTAKOVICH: Suite from The Age of Gold
Esa-Pekka SALONEN: Karawane (with New York Choral Artists / Joseph Flummerfelt; New York premiere of NYPO co-commission with Zurich’s Tonhalle Orchestra, Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Bamberg Symphony, and Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra)

April 3–7
London, UK
London Symphony Orchestra (debut)
Barbican Centre
April 3
NIELSEN: Maskarade Overture
SIBELIUS: Symphony No. 3
Anders HILLBORG: Exquisite Corpse
TCHAIKOVSKY: Violin Concerto (with Joshua Bell, violin)
April 7
PROKOFIEV: Piano Concerto No. 2 (with Daniil Trifonov, piano)
NIELSEN: Symphony No. 4, Op. 29, “Inextinguishable”

April 20–22
New York Philharmonic
SIBELIUS: Symphony No. 7
MAHLER: Das Lied von der Erde (with Stefan Vinke, tenor; Thomas Hampson, baritone)

April 27–30
New York Philharmonic
Franck KRAWCZYK: Trophée (world premiere of NYPO commission, with the support of the Kravis Prize for New Music)
SCHUMANN: Cello Concerto (with Carter Brey, cello)
BRAHMS: Symphony No. 2

May 30
New York, NY
New York Philharmonic
Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine
(Annual Free Memorial Day Concert)
SIBELIUS: Symphony No. 7
BRAHMS: Symphony No. 2

Spring 2016 New York, NY
A kaleidoscopic exploration of today’s music by a wide range of composers through concerts and events presented with cultural partners in venues across NYC.

New York Philharmonic
William BOLCOM: Trombone Concerto (with Joseph Alessi, trombone; world premiere of NYPO co-commission with Shanghai Symphony Orchestra)

New York Philharmonic
Esa-Pekka SALONEN: New work (world premiere of NYPO commission)
Per Nørgård: Work tba

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© 21C Media Group, September 2015

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