Gustavo Dudamel to Conduct NY Philharmonic in Vivier and Bruckner, 3/27-29
Gustavo Dudamel will return to the New York Philharmonic to conduct Vivier's Orion and Bruckner's Symphony No. 9, Thursday, March 27, 2014, at 7:30 p.m.; Friday, March 28 at 8:00 p.m.; and Saturday March 29 at 8:00 p.m. The program will be presented without intermission to support the connection between the two works.
This program marks the Philharmonic's first performance of any work by Vivier, who died violently in 1983. The French-Canadian composer grew up in a Catholic seminary, and Orion references the Roman Catholic Requiem Mass and Ingmar Bergman's The Seventh Seal, which is itself a reference to the New Testament's Book of Revelation. A devout Catholic, Bruckner dedicated his Ninth Symphony "to the Lord of Lords, to my dear God, my last work, and hope that He will grant me enough time to complete it and will generously accept my gift."
Composer Victoria Bond will introduce the program. Pre-Concert Talks are $7; discounts available for multiple talks, 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/preconcert or (212) 875-5656.
National and International Radio Broadcast
The program will be broadcast the week of April 20, 2014,* 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 Brothers Fund, 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 8:00 p.m. Information subject to change.
*Check local listings for broadcast and program information.
Gustavo Dudamel is currently serving as music director of both the Simo?n Boli?var Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela (SBSO) and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the impact of his musical leadership is felt on four continents, with guest conducting appearances with some of the world's greatest musical institutions. In the 2013-14 season he returns to the Vienna and Berlin Philharmonic orchestras, and tours Japan with La Scala in opera and concert performances. Additional guest appearances include the Munich Philharmonic, London's Philharmonia Orchestra, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, and Gothenburg Symphony, where he is honorary conductor. He also makes his first foray into film composition, having written the score for the major feature Libertador, which he recorded with the SBSO. Now in his 15th season as music director, Mr. Dudamel leads the SBSO in Venezuela as well as on tour, including in a production of Wagner's Tannha?user at Bogota? Opera; a summer residency at the Salzburg Festival; tours to Paris and the Middle East; and a residency and joint concerts with the Los Angeles Philharmonic as part of its TchaikovskyFest. Mr. Dudamel is in his fifth season as music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and his contract has been extended through 2018-19, the orchestra's 100th season. Under his leadership, the Los Angeles Philharmonic has expanded its outreach through projects such as Youth Orchestra Los Angeles (YOLA), influenced by Venezuela's widely successful El Sistema, which brings music to children in the underserved communities of Los Angeles and inspires similar efforts throughout the United States and in Europe. An exclusive Deutsche Grammophon artist since 2005, Grammy winner Gustavo Dudamel has numerous recordings on that label, as well as many video/DVD releases. He is one of the most decorated conductors of his generation; recent distinctions include Musical America's Musician of the Year (2013), Gramophone's Hall of Fame (2013), Eugene McDermott Award in the Arts at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2010), l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres as a Chevalier (2009), one of TIME Magazine's 100 most influential people (2009), Q Prize from Harvard (2008), and several honorary doctorates. Gustavo Dudamel was born in Venezuela in 1981, with his early musical and mentoring experiences molding his lifelong commitment to music as an engine for social change. In 2012 he and Eloi?sa Dudamel launched The Dudamel Foundation, dedicated to furthering music education and social justice around the world. Gustavo Dudamel made his New York Philharmonic debut in November 2007 leading works by Cha?vez, Dvor?a?k, and Prokofiev; he most recently appeared with the Philharmonic in January 2009 leading works by Knussen and Mahler.
When Claude Vivier (1948-83), composer of Orion, was fatally stabbed in his apartment on the night of March 8, 1983, an unfinished manuscript for a choral work lay on his worktable: Crois- tu en l'immortalite? de l'a?me? (Do You Believe in the Immortality of the Soul?). The music he left behind breaks off abruptly after the line, "Then he removed a dagger from his jacket and stabbed me through the heart." It's as though he had predicted his own death. Born in Montreal, Canada, he grew up in an orphanage and later attended a school for boys destined for the priesthood, from which he was expelled for "inappropriate behavior." He went to Europe, acquainting himself with the likes of Stockhausen and the "spectrum analyzers," but then went his own way. In his music, he was preoccupied with the themes of childhood, death, love, and immortality. Composed in 1979 and inspired by Vivier's 1976 travels from Asia to the Middle East, Orion references Ingmar Bergman's The Seventh Seal and the Roman Catholic Requiem Mass. This program marks the Philharmonic's first-ever performance of any work by Vivier.
The Symphony No. 9 (1887-96) is Anton Bruckner's (1824-96) final symphonic masterpiece, begun when the composer was 63 years old. He considered it the triumph of his creative work, a farewell to the world. Due to his physical weakness and pleurisy, he finished only three movements, having spent most of his last two years working on the third movement, Adagio. After his death, well-meaning people tinkered with his works - including this symphony - and there has been much debate about what Bruckner intended, what material is original, and what to do with the sketches the composer left for a fourth movement. Most orchestras present only the three movements Bruckner completed, as the Philharmonic will do in these performances. As an accomplished organist, Bruckner was familiar with the grand interiors of churches in his native Austria and the effect of organs in these resonant spaces, and he may have wanted to create that effect in his orchestral works. The Ninth Symphony's massive, sweeping score unfolds and rises, like the spires of a grand cathedral symbolically reaching to God. As the composer's dedication of the Ninth Symphony reads: "To the Lord of Lords, to my dear God, my last work, and hope that He will grant me enough time to complete it and will generously accept my gift." William Mengelberg led the Philharmonic's first performance of the symphony in 1927; Christoph Eschenbach led the most recent performances in November 2008.
Tickets for the concerts start at $47. Tickets for Open Rehearsals are $20. Pre-Concert Talks are $7; discounts are available for multiple talks, students, and groups (visit nyphil.org/preconcert for more information). All other 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. Saturday; and noon to 5:00 p.m. 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.]
Pictured: Gustavo Dudamel conducting the New York Philharmonic. Photo by Adam Latham.