NY Philharmonic Begins The 171st Season, 9/19-9/27
For the sixth consecutive year, the Philharmonic and its Global Sponsor, Credit Suisse - whose partnership began at the start of the 2007 season - will offer a Free Dress Rehearsal of the Opening Night concert Wednesday, September 19, 2012, at 9:45 a.m. General admission tickets will be handed out on a first-come, first-served basis starting that morning at 8:00 a.m. on Lincoln Center's Josie Robertson Plaza. Previous seasons' Free Dress Rehearsals have drawn thousands of music lovers to Avery Fisher Hall. Classical 105.9 FM WQXR, the Radio Station of the New York Philharmonic, will broadcast live from the Josie Robertson Plaza the morning of the Free Dress Rehearsal, featuring live interviews with musicians and fans.
The launch of the Philharmonic's 2012–13 season continues with the Opening Gala, headlined by violinist Itzhak Perlman Thursday, September 27, 2012, at 7:30 p.m. and presented by Breguet, the exclusive timepiece of the New York Philharmonic. The program opens and closes with Respighi's monumental Fountains of Rome and Pines of Rome and features Mr. Perlman as soloist in Rimsky-Korsakov's Fantasy on Russian Themes, Massenet's Méditation from Thaïs, Glazunov's orchestration of Tchaikovsky's Scherzo from Souvenir d'un lieu cher, John Williams's Theme from Schindler's List, and Sarasate's . The program will be telecast nationally on Live From Lincoln Center on a tape-delayed basis on PBS stations at 8:00 p.m. [check local listings].
"Leif Ove Andsnes is a very serious, though never austere, performer," Alan Gilbert said. "He plays a piece such as Beethoven's Third Piano Concerto with both stylistic rigor and contemporary whimsy. It's fresh and inspiring. I love that he asked us to combine the Beethoven concerto with Kurtág's ... quasi una fantasia ... , a chamber work that involves spatial elements. Leif Ove perceives important and meaningful connections between the two works that will take our audience on a fascinating journey." The Music Director described The Rite of Spring, which marks its centennial in May 2013, as "an iconic piece, one that changed the course of music in the 20th century, and a thrill and a joy every time you play it. The challenges are to make it as fresh and provocative as it was when it was premiered and to make the story it tells come alive pictorially. The New York Philharmonic is the perfect orchestra to do that because the musicians are capable of playing the most gossamer, delicate sounds and the most brutal, rough, aggressive sounds, all of which you need for The Rite of Spring.
"The Opening Gala is going to be an exciting concert," Alan Gilbert added. "We're always happy when Itzhak Perlman performs with us, and he will surely bring the necessary aplomb to the virtuosic pieces he'll be playing. The program begins and ends with two gorgeous, colorful pieces by Respighi: Fountains of Rome and Pines of Rome. They are virtuosic and exciting, and the New York Philharmonic plays them better than anybody."
The black-tie Opening Gala on Thursday, September 27, 2012, will include a pre-concert champagne reception from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m., the concert, and a dinner immediately following the concert. Opening Gala Co-Chairmen are SungEun Han-Andersen and G. Chris Andersen and Ronald and Christie Ulrich. The Executive Vice Chairmen are Agnes and Gerald L. Hassell and Marc A. Hayek. The Opening Gala is presented by Breguet. The Gala is generously underwritten by BNY Mellon and Credit Suisse.
Free Dress Rehearsal
The Philharmonic and Credit Suisse will offer a Free Dress Rehearsal of the Opening Night concert Wednesday, September 19, 2012, at 9:45 a.m. General admission tickets will be handed out on a first-come, first-served basis starting that morning at 8:00 a.m. on Lincoln Center's Josie Robertson Plaza. Classical 105.9 FM WQXR will broadcast live from the Josie Robertson Plaza the morning of the Free Dress Rehearsal, featuring live interviews with musicians and fans.
Leif Ove Andsnes: The Beethoven Journey
On Saturday, September 22, 2012, at 1:00 p.m., WQXR will present Leif Ove Andsnes in his only New York solo appearance at The Greene Space. Set in the station's intimate performance studio, Andsnes will join WQXR host Jeff Spurgeon to discuss Beethoven's music and perform Sonatas No. 21, Op. 53 ("Waldstein") and No. 22, Op. 54. Tickets are $20, available at www.thegreenespace.org.
The black-tie Opening Gala will include a pre-concert champagne reception from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m., the concert, and a dinner immediately following the concert. Opening Gala Co- Chairmen are SungEun Han-Andersen and G. Chris Andersen and Ronald and Christie Ulrich. The Executive Vice Chairmen are Agnes and Gerald L. Hassell and Marc A. Hayek. The Opening Gala is presented by Breguet. The Gala is generously underwritten by BNY Mellon and Credit Suisse.
Empire State Building Salute
The Empire State Building will be lit in Philharmonic red in celebration of the Philharmonic's Opening Gala on September 27.
On the Music:
The New York Philharmonic Podcast New York Philharmonic Audio Producer Mark Travis is the producer and host of this program. Formerly with the WFMT Radio Network, he is the producer of the 52-week-per- year nationally and internationally syndicated radio series, The New York Philharmonic This Week. These award-winning previews of upcoming programs - through musical selections as well as interviews with guest artists, conductors, and Orchestra musicians - are available at nyphil.org/podcast and from iTunes.
Artists Music Director Alan Gilbert, The Yoko Nagae Ceschina Chair, began his tenure at the New York Philharmonic in September 2009, launching what New York Magazine called "a fresh future for the Philharmonic." The first native New Yorker in the post, he has introduced the positions of The Marie-Josée Kravis Composer-in-Residence and The Mary and James G. Wallach Artist-in-Residence, an annual multi-week festival, and CONTACT!, the new-music series, and he has sought to make the Orchestra a point of civic pride for the city and country.
In 2012–13, Alan Gilbert conducts world premieres; presides over a cycle of Brahms's complete symphonies and concertos; continues The Nielsen Project, the multi-year initiative to perform and record Nielsen's symphonies and concertos; and leads the EUROPE / SPRING 2013 tour. The season concludes with June Journey: Gilbert's Playlist, four programs showcasing themes he has introduced, including the season finale: a theatrical reimagining of Stravinsky ballets with director/designer Doug Fitch and New York City Ballet Principal Dancer Sara Mearns. Last season's highlights included tours of Europe and California, several world premieres, Mahler symphonies, and Philharmonic 360, the Philharmonic and Park Avenue Armory's acclaimed spatial-music program featuring Stockhausen's Gruppen, about which The New York Times said: "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."
Mr. Gilbert is Director of Conducting and Orchestral Studies and holds the William Schuman Chair in Musical Studies at The Juilliard School. Conductor Laureate of the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra and Principal Guest Conductor of Hamburg's NDR Symphony Orchestra, he regularly conducts leading orchestras around the world. He made his acclaimed Metropolitan Opera debut conducting John Adams's Doctor Atomic in 2008, the DVD of which received a Grammy Award. His recordings have received top honors from the Chicago Tribune and Gramophone magazine. In May 2010 Mr. Gilbert received an Honorary Doctor of Music degree from The Curtis Institute of Music and in December 2011, Columbia University's Ditson Conductor's Award for his "exceptional commitment to the performance of works by American composers and to contemporary music."
With his commanding technique and searching interpretations, the Norwegian pianist Leif Ove Andsnes has won acclaim worldwide. He gives recitals and collaborates with the foremost orchestras in the world's leading concert halls, besides being an active recording artist. An avid chamber musician, he served as co-artistic director of the Risor Festival of Chamber Music for nearly two decades and was music director of California's 2012 Ojai Music Festival.
Beethoven's music figures prominently in Mr. Andsnes's programming in the 2012–13 season and beyond, through concerto performances, recitals, and recordings. In September 2012, Sony Classical releases his label debut, The Beethoven Journey, on which he directs the Mahler Chamber Orchestra from the keyboard in Beethoven's Piano Concertos Nos. 1 and 3. As Mr. Andsnes's "Beethoven Journey" project enters its second year, he will perform Beethoven's first four concertos with the New York Philharmonic and Los Angeles Philharmonic under Alan Gilbert and Gustavo Dudamel, respectively, and with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra under Riccardo Muti. He also takes this project to Europe and Japan, performing with the Munich Philharmonic and the Philharmonia Orchestra. Additional highlights of the season include a ten- stop European solo recital tour with a program of Beethoven, Bartók, Liszt, and Chopin and duo- recital tours with two leading violinists: Christian Tetzlaff in Europe and Akiko Suwanai in Japan.