Press Room

Alan Gilbert’s summer festival highlights: weeklong Tanglewood residency with BSO; Schoenberg’s Gurre-Lieder with NDR Elbphilharmonie to close Lucerne Festival; & more

Alan Gilbert (photo: Marco Borggreve)

(May 2024) — Grammy-winning conductor Alan Gilbert makes major festival appearances on
both sides of the Atlantic this summer. In a weeklong residency at the Tanglewood Music
Festival, he leads multiple programs with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and gives a talk
about “The Art of Conducting” (Aug 2–9). As Chief Conductor of the NDR Elbphilharmonie
Orchestra, he follows the NDR’s season finale in Hamburg (June 28–30) with opening-night
concerts at Germany’s Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival (July 6 & 7) and the closing-night
concert of Switzerland’s Lucerne Festival, where their star-studded account of Schoenberg’s
Gurre-Lieder takes place just two days after the 150th anniversary of the composer’s birth (Sep
15). Gilbert completes his summer lineup in Japan, with two programs as Principal Guest
Conductor of the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony (July 15–24).

Tanglewood: Boston Symphony concerts and more (Aug 2–9)

Gilbert, who previously served as Music Director of the New York Philharmonic, returns to the
States for a weeklong residency at the Tanglewood Music Festival, summer home of the Boston
Symphony Orchestra (Aug 2–9). His long association with the festival dates to his student days,
when he conducted there for legendary maestros Leonard Bernstein and Seiji Ozawa. More
recently, Gilbert’s leadership of the Boston Symphony has been described as “revelatory,” thanks
to “his thoughtful musicianship and fresh approaches to programming” (Boston Globe).
Released earlier this season, their world premiere recording of Justin Dello Joio’s Oceans Apart is
spectacularly played by pianist Garrick Ohlsson and the Boston Symphony under Alan
Gilbert” (San Francisco Classical Voice).

This summer, Gilbert conducts the Boston Symphony in an all-Beethoven program that pairs the
composer’s Fourth Symphony with the Triple Concerto, featuring violinist Joshua Bell, cellist
Steven Isserlis, and pianist Kirill Gerstein (Aug 4); there is an open rehearsal the previous day
(Aug 3). Gerstein rejoins Gilbert and the Boston Symphony for Rachmaninoff’s Third Piano
Concerto, which they couple with Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring, of which the conductor’s
white-hot performance” impressed the New York Times (Aug 9).

The residency also sees Gilbert lead the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra in works by
Haydn and Dutilleux, on a program that also features performances by the TMC Conducting
Fellows (Aug 5), and discuss “The Art of Conducting” in the Tanglewood Learning Institute’s
ongoing series of that name (Aug 2). An experienced public speaker, he gave the 2015 lecture,
titled “Orchestras in the 21st Century – a new paradigm,” for London’s Royal Philharmonic
Society, and hosted a popular series of Facebook Live chats with fellow conductors Marin Alsop,
Herbert Blomstedt, Karina Canellakis, Daniel Harding, Sir Antonio Pappano, Sir Simon Rattle, and
Esa-Pekka Salonen during the lockdowns of the early pandemic.

Lucerne (Sep 15), Schleswig-Holstein (July 6 & 7), and more with NDR

Gilbert is now concluding his fifth season as Chief Conductor of Hamburg’s NDR
Elbphilharmonie Orchestra, where his contract has been extended through 2029. After their
recent all-Bartók programs bookending a weeklong celebration of the Hungarian composer’s
music, Slipped Disc reported: “Entering the Elbphilharmonie, excitement is palpable. Gilbert
has always been daring. In Hamburg, he has come into his own. Here he is appreciated for
his adventurous ways and his spot-on conducting.”

Gilbert’s previous Lucerne Festival appearances include concerts with the Leipzig Gewandhaus
and Lucerne Festival Orchestras as well as the NDR, with which he gave the festival’s acclaimed
first performance of Porgy and Bess. Now he and the Hamburg orchestra anchor the festival’s
season-closing concert, celebrating the Schoenberg sesquicentennial with an account of the
Austrian American composer’s mighty Gurre-Lieder, featuring narrator Thomas Quasthoff and
vocal soloists Christina Nilsson, Jamie Barton, Stuart Skelton, Michael Schade, and Michael
Nagy, with the support of both the NDR Vocal Ensemble and MDR Radio Choir (Sep 15).

Earlier that week, Gilbert and the same forces open the NDR’s 2024–25 season with two
additional performances of Gurre-Lieder in Hamburg (Sep 11 & 13), the second of which falls on
the exact anniversary of Schoenberg’s birth. The conductor, who considers the three-part
oratorio to be Schoenberg’s crowning achievement, has led many performances of the composer’s
music. These include a performance of his Friede auf Erden (“Peace on Earth”) with the NDR at
this year’s Hamburg International Music Festival, and a production of his opera Moses und Aron at
Dresden’s Semperoper, which “showed the house at its very best” (Opera Traveller).

The Lucerne performance follows the NDR’s season finale and opening-night concerts at
Germany’s Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival, both under Gilbert’s leadership. They complete
their season with an all-Czech program featuring Dvořák’s “New World” Symphony and
Leonidas Kavakos in Martinů’s Second Violin Concerto (June 28–30), before opening the
Schleswig-Holstein festival with Mahler’s Fifth Symphony and Mozart’s 25th Piano Concerto,
with Emanuel Ax as soloist (July 6 & 7). The second performance of each program will stream
live to audiences worldwide (June 29 & July 7).

Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony (July 15–24)

As Principal Guest Conductor of Japan’s Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony, Gilbert returns to
Japan for two programs with the orchestra this summer. The first combines Beethoven’s Fifth
Symphony with Henry Brant’s arrangement of “The Alcotts” from Ives’s A Concord Symphony and
Mozart’s Sinfonia concertante in E-flat, featuring Daishin Kashimoto on violin and Amihai Grosz
on viola (July 15 & 16).

Gilbert’s second Tokyo program comprises Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade, with violin soloist
Tatsuya Yabe; the Double Bass Concerto by Estonia’s Eduard Tubin, featuring Hiroshi
Ikematsu; and EXPO by Sibelius Prize winner Magnus Lindberg (July 23 & 24). The Finnish
composer has long figured prominently in Gilbert’s programming; having appointed Lindberg as
the New York Philharmonic’s first Composer-in-Residence, Gilbert opened the inaugural program
of his New York tenure with the world premiere of EXPO, a New York Philharmonic commission.
That first account of the work was subsequently issued as part of the conductor’s all-Lindberg
recording, of which MusicWeb International observes: “As an introduction to one of the most
approachable and individual voices in contemporary music, it could hardly be bettered.”

Final dates of season with Royal Swedish Opera and Berlin Philharmonic

Appointed last year as Royal Court Kapellmeister by the King of Sweden, Gilbert has been Music
Director of the Royal Swedish Opera since spring 2021. Earlier this spring, after attending their
production of Wagner’s Parsifal, the Swedish Daily declared: “Under Alan Gilbert, the Royal
Court Orchestra has never sounded better.” Gilbert may currently be found at the Stockholm
house, leading the two remaining performances of Love & Chaos – opera confetti in two acts,
created in collaboration with visionary artist-director Doug Fitch (May 30 & June 1), followed by
a summer concert with the Royal Swedish Opera Orchestra (June 14). Between these
Stockholm dates, he returns to the Berlin Philharmonic to helm Honegger’s dramatic oratorio
Joan of Arc at the Stake in a staged production starring Academy Award winner Marion
Cotillard (June 6–8; livestream June 8).

Click here for high-resolution photos. Conducts

Alan Gilbert: upcoming engagements

May 30; June 1
Stockholm, Sweden
Royal Swedish Opera
Gilbert/Fitch: Love & Chaos – opera confetti in two acts

June 6–8
Berlin, Germany (plus livestream on June 8)
Berlin Philharmonic
HONEGGER: Joan of Arc at the Stake (“Jeanne d’Arc au bûcher”)

June 14
Stockholm, Sweden
Royal Swedish Opera Orchestra
Summer concert

June 28–30 (plus livestream on June 29)
Hamburg Germany
NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra
SMETANA: “Vyšehrad” from Má vlast
MARTINŮ: Violin Concerto No. 2 (with Leonidas Kavakos, violin)
DVOŘÁK: Symphony No. 9, “From the New World”

July 6 & 7 (plus livestream on July 7)
Lübeck, Germany
Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival
MOZART: Piano Concerto No. 25 (with Emanuel Ax, piano)
MAHLER: Symphony No. 5

July 15–24
Tokyo, Japan
Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra

July 15 & 16
IVES (arr. Brant): “The Alcotts” from A Concord Symphony
MOZART: Sinfonia concertante in E-flat (with Daishin Kashimoto, violin; Amihai Grosz, viola)
BEETHOVEN: Symphony No. 5

July 23 & 24
TUBIN: Double Bass Concerto (with Hiroshi Ikematsu, double bass)
RIMSKY-KORSAKOV: Scheherazade (with Tatsuya Yabe, violin)

Aug 2–9
Lenox, MA
Tanglewood Music Festival

Aug 2
Tanglewood Learning Institute’s “The Art of Conducting” series: talk

Aug 3 (open rehearsal); Aug 4 (concert)
Boston Symphony Orchestra
BEETHOVEN: Triple Concerto
(with Joshua Bell, violin; Steven Isserlis, cello; Kirill Gerstein, piano)
BEETHOVEN: Symphony No. 4

Aug 5
Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra
HAYDN: Symphony No. 90
RAVEL: Le tombeau de Couperin (led by TMC Conducting Fellow)
REVUELTAS: Sensemayá (led by TMC Conducting Fellow)
DUTILLEUX: Métaboles

Aug 9
Boston Symphony Orchestra
RACHMANINOFF: Piano Concerto No. 3 (with Kirill Gerstein, piano)
STRAVINSKY: The Rite of Spring

Sep 11 & 13
Hamburg, Germany
NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra
Season-opening concerts
SCHOENBERG: Gurre-Lieder (with soprano Christina Nilsson as Tove; mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton as the
Wood Dove; tenor Michael Schade as Klaus the Jester; tenor Stuart Skelton as Waldemar; baritone Michael
Nagy as the Peasant; Thomas Quasthoff as the narrator; NDR Vocal Ensemble; MDR Radio Choir)

Sep 15
Lucerne, Switzerland
Lucerne Festival
Closing night concert
NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra

SCHOENBERG: Gurre-Lieder (with soprano Christina Nilsson as Tove; mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton as the
Wood Dove; tenor Michael Schade as Klaus the Jester; tenor Stuart Skelton as Waldemar; baritone Michael
Nagy as the Peasant; Thomas Quasthoff as the narrator; NDR Vocal Ensemble; MDR Radio Choir)

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© 21C Media Group, May 2024

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