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.
- Pre-Concert Talk
Writer and music historIan Harvey Sachs will introduce the program October 3, 5, and 9. Nicolas Bell, curator of the music collections at the British Library, will introduce the program October 4 and 8. Pre-Concert Talks are $7; discounts available for multiple concerts, students, and groups. They take place one hour before each performance in the Helen Hull Room, unless otherwise noted. Attendance is limited to 90 people. Information: nyphil.org or (212) 875-5656.
- Exhibition: Philharmonic Pioneers: The Founding of the New York and Royal Philharmonic Societies
The New York Philharmonic Archives presents this exhibit exploring the pioneering spirit of the founders of the Royal Philharmonic Society and the New York Philharmonic. Materials from both archives will be on display, including materials relating to the 1846 U.S. Premiere of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, the first time that the English translation of "Ode to Joy," commissioned by the New York Philharmonic, was performed. The original choral parts, hand-written translation, and printing plates - all of which are housed in the New York Philharmonic Archives - will be on view alongside memorabilia and programs from the RPS.
September 25-November 23
Bruno Walter Gallery on Avery Fisher Hall's Grand Promenade
- Royal Philharmonic Society Lecture: "A Future for Music - We're All in this Together"
Roger Wright, Wednesday, October 9, 2013, 6:00 p.m.
Stanley H. Kaplan Penthouse at Lincoln Center
Roger Wright, controller of BBC Radio 3 and director of the BBC Proms, offers his thoughts about the future of classical music. Royal Philharmonic Society Lectures examine the future of classical music in a high profile public forum. This lecture is part of the Royal Philharmonic Society's bicentennial celebrations in New York. www.rps200.org.
- Chamber Music Performance
New York Philharmonic Musicians
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, as part of a private event featuring insights into the history and work of the Philharmonic and RPS.
Monday, October 7, 2013
The Morgan Library & Museum
- National and International Radio Broadcast
This program will be broadcast the week of October 20, 2013* on The New York Philharmonic This Week, a radio concert series syndicated weekly to more than 300 stations nationally, and to 122 outlets internationally, by the WFMT Radio Network.
The 52-week series, hosted by actor Alec Baldwin, is generously underwritten by The Kaplen Foundation, the Audrey Love Charitable Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Philharmonic's corporate partner, MetLife Foundation. The broadcast will be available on the Philharmonic's Website, nyphil.org. The program is broadcast locally in the New York metropolitan area on 105.9 FM WQXR on Thursdays at 9:00 p.m. *Check local listings for broadcast and program information.
Mark-Anthony Turnage's Frieze was composed in response to Beethoven's Ninth Symphony to celebrate the bicentennial of the Royal Philharmonic Society. It was co-commissioned by the Royal Philharmonic Society, the New York Philharmonic, and BBC Radio 3. In a 2012 program note, Mr. Turnage explained that the title was inspired by Gustav Klimt's Beethoven Frieze, a painting housed in Vienna that is another artistic response to Beethoven's Ninth. Of the music itself, Turnage wrote: "Frieze has little shadows cast from the Beethoven. Although in four movements, it's not a symphony. The opening movement opens with open fifths as in the Beethoven but then goes in a different direction. The second is more bluesy but shares with the Beethoven Scherzo a lot of dramatic silences. The third quotes a little phrase from the glorious slow movement but disguised as an inversion. I didn't attempt to be in the shadow of the epic last movement so I opted for a fast and furious rondo more like the final movement of the Seventh." These concerts mark the composition's U.S. Premiere.
Beethoven's Symphony No. 9, commissioned by the Royal Philharmonic Society, had its world premiere on May 17, 1824, at the Kärtnerthor Theater in Vienna. The deaf composer stood on the stage beating time and turning the pages of his score, but the real conducting was done by Michael Umlauf. The performance evoked great enthusiasm, but when it ended, Beethoven was still hunched over, turning the leaves of his score. Someone onstage gently turned him around so that he might see the applause he could not hear. The New York Philharmonic gave the work's first performance in the United States - for which it commissioned the first English translation of "Ode to Joy" - on May 20, 1846, under the direction of George Loder, and it was last performed by the Orchestra on New Year's Eve 2004, with Kurt Masur on the podium.
Single tickets for these performances start at $31. Single tickets for the Royal Philharmonic Society Lecture "A Future for Music - We're All in this Together" are $20. Pre-Concert Talks are $7; discounts are available for multiple concerts, students, and groups (visit nyphil.org/preconcert for more information). All tickets may be purchased online at nyphil.org or by calling (212) 875-5656, 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, and noon to 5:00 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets may also be purchased at the Avery Fisher Hall Box Office. The Box Office opens at 10:00 a.m. Monday through Saturday, and at noon on Sunday. On performance evenings, the Box Office closes one-half hour after performance time; other evenings it closes at 6:00 p.m. To determine ticket availability, call the Philharmonic's Customer Relations Department at (212) 875-5656. [Ticket prices subject to change.]