Press Room webcasts pioneering “Philharmonic 360” this Friday, July 6

This Friday, July 6, presents a milestone – its first New York Philharmonic webcast from the U.S. and a blockbuster event at that: Philharmonic 360, a co-presentation of the New York Philharmonic and Park Avenue Armory, which showcases a spectacular program of spatial music from Mozart and Ives to Boulez and Stockhausen. Filmed by the New York Philharmonic in the monumental ‪Wade Thompson Drill Hall of the Park Avenue Armory just days ago, and already acclaimed as another landmark event in Alan Gilbert’s tenure as Music Director of the orchestra, the concert will be available for streaming free on for 90 days, starting tomorrow at 2pm EDT.
A complete program for Philharmonic 360 can be found below.
A sample of critical acclaim for the concert follows.
What the critics are saying about Philharmonic 360
“Those who think classical music needs some shaking up routinely challenge music directors at major orchestras to think outside the box. That is precisely what Alan Gilbert did on Friday night for an exhilarating concert with the New York Philharmonic in the Drill Hall of the Park Avenue Armory. His program, Philharmonic 360, took the orchestra outside the box of Avery Fisher Hall and into the armory’s cavernous hall, a space the size of a football field with a vaulted 80-foot ceiling. …The Drill Hall was perfect for Gruppen. …[It’s] an organic piece with dazzling instrumental colors, craggy rhythmic energy and astringent sonorities — both dissonant and beautiful. Hearing the music volleyed among three ensembles ratchets up the dramatics. There are few moments in Gruppen when Stockhausen just piles it on. Instead he uses the distance between ensembles to highlight arresting, challenging details. The audience broke into prolonged applause and cheers.”
–      Anthony Tommasini, New York Times
“Friday night’s Philharmonic 360 program at the Park Avenue Armory offered the musical equivalent of team skydiving, with an emphasis on 20th-century works that were risky, thrilling, and offered stunning changes of perspective. … Opera also featured in Friday night’s season-capper, which contained the finale of Act I of Mozart’s Don Giovanni. … The true spectacle, however, was a set of orchestral works by Karlheinz Stockhausen, Pierre Boulez, and Charles Ives that were perfectly suited for exploiting the spatial possibilities of the 55,000-square-foot Wade Thompson Drill Hall, set up for the event with three stages arranged around a circular floor-seating area with additional bleachers rising between and opposite the stages.”
–      Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim, Wall Street Journal
“Many eyes in the symphonic world were on conductor Alan Gilbert and the New York Philharmonic over the weekend as he created his most daring project yet: a concert of surround-sound works that included excerpts from Mozart’s Don Giovanni, but more significant, one of the avant-garde Everests of the orchestral literature, Karlheinz Stockhausen’s Gruppen.  Besides being a logistical feat, the project had true event status in a city where even everyday life can be an event. The two performances were sold out weeks in advance.”
–      David Patrick Stearns, Philadelphia Inquirer
“The splendid performance of [Boulez’s] Rituel [was] the highlight of Friday’s concert. The orchestra played…with a restrained, expressive brilliance that made it seem for once proud of its Boulezian heritage. For his part, Gilbert found the Armory’s acoustic sweet spot. I wish that a rug hadn’t been placed over the hardwood floor to make sitting a bit easier. The vibrations here were of such a magically high quality that they were worth experiencing directly through every body part.”
–      Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times
“America has always loved its wide open spaces. When it comes to concert locales, none is wider and more open – or higher and deeper – than the Park Avenue Armory, built in 1877 and officially called ‘part palace, part industrial shed.’ The soaring drill hall, spanning 55,000 square feet, was invaded on Friday by the New York Philharmonic, three conductors, including top maestro Alan Gilbert, and an assortment of opera singers. With the audience camping on the central floor, also seated in tiers and balconies, and with the players spread out in varying configurations, the project offered fascinating explorations of unorthodox spatial, acoustical and social relations. The results, directed and designed by Michael Counts, proved bold and bracing in the relatively modern music of Pierre Boulez, Karlheinz Stockhausen, and Charles Ives.”
–      Martin Bernheimer, Financial Times
“Tense and demanding, Gruppen consists of 174 brief units of music based on 12-tone rows and bristling with percussion (ranging from ratchets and cow bells to xylorimbas and tam tams). On Friday evening, the audience received Gruppen rapturously, and for good reason. The Philharmonic’s playing was coruscating throughout, and the immersive experience thrilled the eyes as well as the mind and ears, as Gilbert, Lindberg, and Pintscher exchanged signals and glances in a kind of alertly coordinated dance. The orchestra threw pinpricks of light flying across the hall, summoned an eardrum-splitting explosion of percussion, sent forth a blizzard of jagged brass notes and electric guitar, and sounded ominous gong tolls.
–      Marion Lignana Rosenberg, The Classical Review
Philharmonic 360 program
Giovanni Gabrieli (1554/1557-1612): Canzon XVI
Pierre Boulez (b. 1925): Rituel in memoriam Bruno Maderna
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-91): Don Giovanni – Finale of Act I
Karlheinz Stockhausen (1928-2007): Gruppen
Charles Ives (1874-1954): The Unanswered Question
Alan Gilbert, conductor
Magnus Lindberg, conductor
Matthias Pintscher*, conductor
Michael Counts*, director and designer
Fisher Dachs Associates, Theater Design
Ken Roht*, choreographer
Brian Aldous*, lighting designer
Kyle Chepulis*, lighting designer
Kaye Voyce*, costume designer
Joshua Weilerstein, assistant conductor
Don Giovanni: Ryan McKinny*, bass-baritone
Leporello: Keith Miller*, bass-baritone
Donna Anna: Julianna Di Giacomo*, soprano
Don Ottavio: Russell Thomas*, tenor
Donna Elvira: Keri Alkema*, soprano
Zerlina: Sasha Cooke*, mezzo-soprano
Masetto: Kelly Markgraf*, baritone
Waiter: Brian T. Scott*, dancer
Oratorio Society of New York
Manhattan School of Music Chamber Choir
Ken Tritle, director
Ronnie Oliver Jr., assistant director
Gareth Morell, rehearsal pianist and musical consultant
* New York Philharmonic debut
About the New York Philharmonic:
Founded in 1842, the New York Philharmonic is the oldest symphony orchestra in the United States and one of the oldest in the world; on May 5, 2010, it performed its 15,000th concert. The orchestra has always played a leading role in American musical life, championing the music of its time, and is esteemed around the globe, having appeared in 431 cities in 63 countries – including its October 2009 debut in Vietnam and its February 2008 historic visit to Pyongyang, DPRK. The Philharmonic’s concerts are broadcast on the weekly syndicated radio program The New York Philharmonic This Week, and streamed on the Orchestra’s website,, and telecast annually on Live From Lincoln Center on U.S. public television. The Philharmonic has made nearly 2,000 recordings since 1917, with more than 500 currently available. The first major American orchestra to offer downloadable concerts, recorded live, the Philharmonic in 2009-10 released the first-ever classical iTunes Pass. The series has continued through last season, with Alan Gilbert and the New York Philharmonic: 2011-12 Season. The orchestra has built on the long-running Young People’s Concerts to develop a wide range of education programs such as the School Partnership Program, enriching music education in New York City; and Learning Overtures, fostering international exchange. Alan Gilbert became Music Director, The Yoko Nagae Ceschina Chair, in September 2009, succeeding Lorin Maazel in a distinguished line of musical giants. Credit Suisse is the New York Philharmonic’s exclusive Global Sponsor.
About Park Avenue Armory:
Part palace, part industrial shed, Park Avenue Armory fills a critical void in the cultural ecology of New York by enabling artists to create, and the public to experience, unconventional work that could not otherwise be mounted in traditional performance halls and museums. With its soaring 55,000-square-foot Wade Thompson Drill Hall – reminiscent of 19th-century European train stations – and array of exuberant period rooms, the Armory invites artists to draw upon its grand scale and distinctive character to both inspire and inform their work. The Armory is currently undergoing a $200-million revitalization of its historic building, named among the “100 Most Endangered Historic Sites in the World” by the World Monuments Fund in 2000. The renovation and restoration, designed by Herzog & de Meuron, will stabilize and preserve the building and create new resources and spaces for exhibitions, installations, and performances, as well as artist-in-residence studios, rehearsal rooms, and back-of-house amenities – offering dynamic environments for artists and audiences alike.
Since its first production in September 2007 – Aaron Young’s Greeting Card, a 9,216-square-foot “action” painting created by the burned-out tire marks of 10 choreographed motorcycles presented with Art Production Fund – the Armory has organized a series of immersive performances, installations, and works of art that have drawn critical and popular attention. The year 2011 marked the Armory’s first full season of artistic programming, which culminated in December with site-specific performances by STREB and Shen Wei Dance Arts, as well as the final performances of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company.
Music has been an integral part of the Armory’s rebirth as a groundbreaking non-profit arts center. In July 2008, the Armory paired with Lincoln Center Festival to stage Bernd Alois Zimmermann’s opera Die Soldaten on a long runway flanked by a split orchestra and moving seating platforms; the audience literally moved through the music on railroad tracks installed on the Drill Hall’s floor. The next year brought the U.S. premiere of Heiner Goebbels’s Stifters Dinge, an extraordinary sonic and visual performance landscape presented as part of Lincoln Center’s Great Performers series, as well as a series of free master classes with conductor Kurt Masur and the Manhattan School of Music.
In February 2011, the Armory presented its first Tune-In Music Festival. Curated by the ensemble eighth blackbird, the contemporary festival brought together a diverse array of composers and performers, and it included the world premiere of the Armory’s first-ever music commission, ARCO, as well as the New York (and indoor) premiere of John Luther Adams’s Inuksuit. The second Tune-In Music Festival, held in February 2012, celebrated iconic composer Philip Glass; it featured appearances by Patti Smith, The Philip Glass Ensemble, Nico Muhly, Vijay Iyer, and Zack Glass, as well as a world-premiere commission based on Allen Ginsberg’s Kaddish by Hal Willner and Bill Frisell, with visuals by Ralph Steadman.
The Armory’s 2012 season, which began with the Tune-In Music Festival, also showcases Tom Sachs’s SPACE PROGRAM: MARS; Trisha Brown’s Astral Converted, with original décor by Robert Rauschenberg and sound by John Cage; Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller’s The Murder of Crows; a site-specific installation by Ann Hamilton; and Under Construction, a new series of intimate salon-style evenings in the Armory’s period rooms with artists presenting works-in-progress.
In addition to this month’s new live offerings, the extensive library of on-demand programs on includes performances, documentaries, and archival features, available via subscription. These programs spotlight leading musical institutions and world-class artists – from golden-age legends to today’s top stars. New to the video-on-demand library are Verdi’s Don Carlo from Covent Garden, starring Rolando Villazón and conducted by Antonio Pappano; Purcell’s The Fairy Queen as staged by Jonathan Kent and conducted by William Christie at Glyndebourne; and the Netherlands Opera production of the John Adams/Peter Sellars Doctor Atomic, starring Gerald Finley. See for details on these and many more. Along with such must-see opera productions, offers the 30-plus films by documentarian Christopher Nupen; they include not only priceless documents of cellist Jacqueline du Pré (such as Elgar’s Cello Concerto and a number of all-star chamber performances) but also films of Evgeny Kissin, Vladimir Ashkenazy, and Nathan Milstein. Now complete on are all 32 Beethoven piano sonatas performed by Daniel Barenboim in 1983-84.
Critical praise accrues to with each passing month. The Toronto Star called “a seismic shift in the world of classical music,” New Yorker writer Alex Ross said on his blog The Rest Is Noise that “the hits keep coming at” Offering “treasures aplenty” was how Gramophone editor-in-chief James Jolly put it, naming as one of the web’s best classical experiences. The app for iPads, iPhones, and other digital devices – available for free at the Apple app store – was named one of the top five apps for classical music by WQXR, the classical music station of New York City.
Since its official launch in May 2008, has gained international recognition, bringing together a community of music and arts lovers from 182 countries – online viewers who have watched over twelve million videos to date. The site currently averages more than 80,000 individual visitors each month. In addition to offering live concert hall events that music lovers can experience on their computers and entertainment systems, now offers a free application (available at the Apple App Store) that makes it possible to experience world-class artistry on iPads and iPhones.
One of the biggest successes to date at has been the webcast of a Lucerne Festival concert with Gustavo Dudamel and the Vienna Philharmonic. This has been watched more than 347,500 times (live and as video-on-demand) by visitors from 182 countries. Other recent popular offerings from include an evening of chamber music at the Atelier Lyrique de l’Opéra de Paris; Georges Pretre conducting La Scala Orchestra in a program of Franck and Respighi; Daniel Harding conducting the same orchestra in Strauss’s Alpine Symphony; and an all-Brahms evening featuring Leonard Slatkin and the Orchestre National de Lyon.
Building on the success of webcasts from the Verbier Festival in 2007, has offered high-definition webcasts from many other leading festivals, including Aix-en-Provence, Saint-Denis, Aspen, Glyndebourne, Salzburg, and Lucerne; from such Parisian venues as the Opéra National de Paris, Auditorium du Louvre, Cité de la Musique, and Salle Pleyel; and from Milan’s famed La Scala. Many operas and concerts performed by the world’s top artists and orchestras have been webcast as live events and later as video-on-demand (VOD) – all available for free. The list of artists presented at is a “who’s who” of today’s stars, including Claudio Abbado, Martha Argerich, Daniel Barenboim, Pierre Boulez, Plácido Domingo, John Eliot Gardiner, Valery Gergiev, Bernard Haitink, Riccardo Muti, Anna Netrebko, Maurizio Pollini, Thomas Quasthoff, and Simon Rattle. Among the featured orchestras are such renowned ensembles as the Berlin Philharmonic, Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, London Philharmonic, Royal Concertgebouw, Orchestre National de France, Orchestre de Paris, Filarmonica della Scala, and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe.
In addition to webcasts of more than 100 live concerts each year, has partnered with the world’s top artists and music institutions to offer subscriptions giving music-lovers the opportunity to watch more than 1,000 VOD programs. These include concerts, operas, recitals, documentaries, master classes, artist portraits, and archival material. Artists in the spotlight include such legendary musicians as Leonard Bernstein, Maria Callas, Glenn Gould, Herbert von Karajan, Yehudi Menuhin, David Oistrakh, Sviatoslav Richter, Mstislav Rostropovich, Arthur Rubinstein, Georg Solti, and Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, as well as such leading film directors as Bruno Monsaingeon, Paul Smaczny, and Frank Scheffer. In November, added to its library the invaluable film record of Daniel Barenboim performing all 32 of Beethoven’s piano sonatas in the 1980s in Vienna.
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