Alan Gilbert Directs NY Phil in U.S. Premiere of Mark-Anthony Turnage's FRIEZE, Now thru 10/9
Music Director Alan Gilbert will conduct the New York Philharmonic in Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 and the U.S. Premiere of Mark-Anthony Turnage's Frieze - written in response to Beethoven's Ninth and co-commissioned by the Royal Philharmonic Society, New York Philharmonic, and BBC Radio 3 - tonight, October 3, 2013, at 7:30 p.m.; Friday, October 4 at 8:00 p.m.; Saturday, October 5 at 8:00 p.m.; Tuesday, October 8 at 7:30 p.m.; and Wednesday, October 9 at 7:30 p.m. Part of the Royal Philharmonic Society's 2013 bicentennial, this program reflects the New York Philharmonic's historic link to the Ninth Symphony: the Royal Philharmonic Society (RPS) commissioned the work in 1817, and the New York Philharmonic gave its U.S. Premiere in 1846, for which it commissioned the first English translation of "Ode to Joy."
These concerts mark Alan Gilbert's first performances of the Ninth Symphony with the New York Philharmonic. The soloists will be soprano Julianna di Giacomo (in her Philharmonic subscription debut), mezzo-soprano Kelley O'Connor, tenor Russell Thomas (subscription debut), and bass Shenyang, who will be joined by the Manhattan School of Music Symphonic Chorus, Kent Tritle, director.
"For the modern audience, I think it's fascinating to be reminded that when Beethoven's music was first played, it was then a contemporary-music concert," said Music Director Alan Gilbert. "The hope is that both pieces - Turnage's Frieze and Beethoven's Ninth - will be illuminated by the juxtaposition."
The title of Mark-Anthony Turnage's work is a reference to painter Gustav Klimt's Beethoven Frieze, located in Vienna's Secession building, which is itself a response to Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. "I've been obsessed with Beethoven since the age of eight," said Mr. Turnage. "He's a towering figure, but I find him more inspiring than intimidating. As I discovered Klimt's Beethoven Frieze I also studied and delved deeper into my favorite composer's work. In the end Frieze has little shadows cast from the Beethoven."
The New York Philharmonic Archives will present the exhibition Philharmonic Pioneers: The Founding of the New York and Royal Philharmonic Societies, featuring materials relating to the 1846 U.S. Premiere of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, at Avery Fisher Hall's Bruno Walter Gallery September 25-November 23. New York Philharmonic musicians will perform the
U.S. Premiere of Poul Ruders's String Quartet No. 4, one of the works commissioned by the Royal Philharmonic Society for its bicentennial, October 7 at the Morgan Library & Museum as part of a private event featuring insights into the history and work of the Philharmonic and RPS.
New York celebrations of the RPS bicentennial will also include the Royal Philharmonic Society's annual lecture - the first time it is being presented outside the U.K. - by Roger Wright, controller of BBC Radio 3 and director of the BBC Proms, who will present "A Future for Music - We're All in this Together," October 9 at 6:00 p.m. at Lincoln Center's Stanley H. Kaplan Penthouse. In addition, The Juilliard School and the Morgan Library & Museum will present the exhibition Beethoven's Ninth: A Masterpiece Reunited, displaying together for the first time since 1842 the RPS's copyist's score of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, annotated by the composer, alongside Juilliard's original copyist's score; the exhibit will be on display at the Juilliard Library September 30-October 4, and at the Morgan October 8-December 1. RPS executive director RoseMary Johnson and RPS projects coordinator Tom Hutchinson will hold a public discussion at The Juilliard School's Peter Jay Sharp Theater September 29 at 4:00 p.m. with Joel Sachs, conductor, author, teacher, and founder/director of the New Juilliard Ensemble, which will perform the U.S. Premieres of RPS commissions by Judith Weir and Magnus Lindberg September 29 at 5:00 p.m. On October 1 Juilliard will host a doctoral forum with Dr. Nicolas Bell, curator of the music collections at the British Library. In addition, the Music Division of the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts will present an exhibition on Beethoven's Ninth Symphony October 15-November 30.