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NY Philharmonic Opens Season with Yo-Yo Ma Gala Concert Tonight

NY Philharmonic Opens Season with Yo-Yo Ma Gala Concert Tonight

Music Director Alan Gilbert opens the New York Philharmonic's 2013-14 season with the Opening Gala concert, headlined by cellist Yo-Yo Ma, tonight, September 25, 2013, at 7:30 p.m. Mr. Gilbert will conduct Mr. Ma and the Orchestra in two works by Argentinian composers: the World Premiere of Octavio Brunetti's arrangement, commissioned by the New York Philharmonic, of a suite from Astor Piazzolla's La serie del Ángel, and Osvaldo Golijov's Azul, composed for the eminent cellist. The program opens with Ravel's Alborada del gracioso and closes with Boléro, two pieces that reflect the French composer's fascination with Spain. The concert will be telecast nationally on Live From Lincoln Center at a later date, and Classical 105.9 FM WQXR at 7:30 p.m.

The concert will mark the Philharmonic's first performance and Yo-Yo Ma's first New York performance of Azul, written for Mr. Ma, as well as the Orchestra's first performance of any work by Mr. Golijov. In its review of the piece, the Los Angeles Times praised, "Of all the music written for Ma, this one captures him most fully.... Ma and Golijov are artists made for each other."

"I think Osvaldo Golijov is one of the most important composers working today, and I've loved his music for a long time," said Alan Gilbert. "To work with Yo-Yo Ma is a huge honor, and it's a dream to have him opening the season. His championing of this music makes a lot of sense to me because I can see the emotional kinship that these two great artists share. When Yo-Yo commissions a new piece, I admire that he doesn't just play it once: he brings it to different orchestras and gives the piece life."

For the seventh 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 Gala concert Wednesday, September 25, 2013, 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.

The black-tie Opening Gala on Wednesday, September 25, 2013, will include a pre-concert champagne reception from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m., the concert, and a dinner immediately following the performance. The Opening Gala Co-Chairmen are Noreen and Ken Buckfire, Gabriela and Antonio Quintella, and Phoebe and Bobby Tudor. The Executive Vice Chairmen are Agnes and Gerald L. Hassell and PamEla Thomas-Graham and Lawrence Otis Graham. The Gala is generously underwritten by BNY Mellon, Credit Suisse, Mr. and Mrs. J. Christopher Flowers, Daria L. Foster, and Phoebe and Bobby Tudor.

Related Events ? Free Dress Rehearsal

The Philharmonic and Credit Suisse will offer a Free Dress Rehearsal of the Opening Gala concert Wednesday, September 25, 2013, at 9:45 a.m. General admission tickets will be handed out on a first-come, first-served basis, one per person, starting that morning at 8:00 a.m. on Lincoln Center's Josie Robertson Plaza.

? Opening Gala The black-tie Opening Gala, September 25, will include a pre-concert champagne reception from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m., the concert, and a dinner immediately following the performance. The Opening Gala Co-Chairmen are Noreen and Ken Buckfire, Gabriela and Antonio Quintella, and Phoebe and Bobby Tudor. The Executive Vice Chairmen are Agnes and Gerald L. Hassell and PamEla Thomas-Graham and Lawrence Otis Graham. The Gala is generously underwritten by BNY Mellon, Credit Suisse, Mr. and Mrs. J. Christopher Flowers, Daria L. Foster, and Phoebe and Bobby Tudor.

? Empire State Building Salute On September 25 the Empire State Building will be lit in Philharmonic red in celebration of the Philharmonic's Opening Gala and the start of the 2013-14 season.

Artists Music Director Alan Gilbert began his New York Philharmonic tenure in September 2009, the first native New Yorker in the post. He and the Philharmonic have introduced the positions of The Marie-Josée Kravis Composer-in-Residence and The Mary and James G. Wallach Artist-in- Residence; CONTACT!, the new-music series; and, beginning in the spring of 2014, the NY PHIL BIENNIAL. "H

In addition to inaugurating the NY PHIL BIENNIAL, in the 2013-14 season Alan Gilbert conducts Mozart's three final symphonies; the U.S. Premiere of Mark-Anthony Turnage's Frieze coupled with Beethoven's Ninth Symphony; four world premieres; an all-Britten program celebrating the composer's centennial; the score from 2001: A Space Odyssey as the film is screened; and a staged production of Sondheim's Sweeney Todd starring Bryn Terfel. He continues The Nielsen Project - the multi-year initiative to perform and record the Danish composer's symphonies and concertos, the first release of which was named by The New York Times as among the Best Classical Music Recordings of 2012 - and presides over the ASIA / WINTER 2014 tour. Last season's highlights included Bach's B-minor Mass; Ives's Fourth Symphony; the EUROPE / SPRING 2013 tour; and the season-concluding A Dancer's Dream, a multidisciplinary reimagining of Stravinsky's The Fairy's Kiss and Petrushka, created by Giants Are Small and starring New York City Ballet principal dancer Sara Mearns.

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. Renée Fleming's recent Decca recording Poèmes, on which he conducted, received a 2013 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."

The multi-faceted career of cellist Yo-Yo Ma is testament to his continual search for new ways to communicate with audiences, and to his personal desire for artistic growth and renewal. He balances his engagements as soloist with orchestras worldwide with recital and chamber music activities. His discography includes more than 75 albums, including more than 15 Grammy award winners.

Mr. Ma is artistic director of the Silk Road Project, which he founded to promote the study of cultural, artistic, and intellectual traditions along the ancient Silk Road trade routes. Since the Project's inception, more than 60 works have been commissioned specifically for the Silk Road Ensemble, which tours annually. Mr. Ma also serves as the Judson and Joyce Green creative consultant to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra's Institute for Learning, Access and Training, focusing on the transformative power of music in individuals' lives, and on increasing the opportunities audiences have to experience music in their communities.

Yo-Yo Ma was born in Paris to Chinese parents who later moved the family to New York. He began to study cello at the age of four, attended The Juilliard School, and in 1976 graduated from Harvard University. He has received numerous awards, among them the National Medal of Arts, Sonning Prize, World Economic Forum's Crystal Award, Presidential Medal of Freedom, 2011 Kennedy Center Honors, and 2012 Polar Music Prize. Mr. Ma serves as a U.N. Messenger of Peace and as a member of the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities. He has performed for eight American presidents, most recently at the invitation of President Obama on the occasion of the 56th Inaugural Ceremony. Yo-Yo Ma most recently appeared with the Philharmonic in June 2012 performing Henri Dutilleux's Cello Concerto, Tout un monde lontain ... (A Whole Distant World ...), led by Music Director Alan Gilbert, at a concert dedicated to the works of Mr. Dutilleux, inaugural recipient of The Marie-Josée Kravis Prize for New Music.

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