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NY Philharmonic's Music Director Alan Gilbert Extends Contract Through 2016-17 Season

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Related: Alan Gilbert, New York Philharmonic

New York Philharmonic Chairman Gary W. Parr and Executive Director Matthew VanBesien announced today the extension of Alan Gilbert's contract as Music Director through the 2016–17 season. Mr. Gilbert opened his tenure as Music Director on September 16, 2009, and has just begun his fourth season.

Among the first actions of New York Philharmonic Executive Director Matthew VanBesien - who officially assumed his position on September 1, 2012 - the three-year contract extension reflects the strong chemistry between the Music Director, the Orchestra, and the organization. The new contract also creates a powerful five-year horizon in which the partnership of the Music Director and the Executive Director can define and evolve their vision for the New York Philharmonic.

Alan Gilbert and the Philharmonic musicians share a rare synergy that infuses every concert, and have traversed the repertoire from Bach and Mozart through Mahler and Stravinsky to music of the present day. Their performances together have garnered critical acclaim on the three continents which they've visited together, through tours that included highlight events such as the Philharmonic's Vietnam debut; the inaugural International Associates residency at London's Barbican Centre; and a spotlighted role in the San Francisco Symphony's centennial celebrations. Events at home have consistently landed on media lists of the year's top cultural events, including nods to sold-out Philharmonic milestones such as Ligeti's Le Grand Macabre, Janácek's The Cunning Little Vixen, and Philharmonic 360 at the Park Avenue Armory, the acclaimed spatial-music program featuring Stockhausen's Gruppen. Alan Gilbert has transformed the Philharmonic with his all-embracing and multifaceted approach to programming, and also by introducing 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 focused on a single composer or musical family; and CONTACT!, the new-music series. The Music Director's 2012–13 Philharmonic season builds on this momentum with more premieres and canonical masterpieces, a fifth European tour, and A Dancer's Dream: Two Works by Stravinsky - a fusion of symphony, theater, and ballet. In his leadership roles at both the Philharmonic and The Juilliard School, Alan Gilbert has become a leading New York City cultural figure.

"Alan Gilbert is an innovative and visionary leader for the New York Philharmonic," said Chairman Gary W. Parr. "He has brought a thoughtful and intelligent revolution that has advanced this storied institution at home in New York and in its role as cultural ambassador abroad. Every concert has an energy that is contagious. I know that our audiences and musicians alike have been thrilled with the journey Alan has taken them on. He has the total and enthusiastic support of the Board of Directors and our management team, and we look forward to continuing this great musical adventure with Alan for years to come."

"I came to the New York Philharmonic not only because of the wonderful tradition here at this Orchestra, but also to have the opportunity to forge the strongest of partnerships with Alan," said Matthew VanBesien, Executive Director. "Working closely with him, our musicians, and the entire organization, we are charting a new path for the Philharmonic, emanating from, and in full support of, Alan's artistic vision. His initiatives and accomplishments are already transforming the institution - his programming is fresh and exciting, juxtaposing works from every era and musical language, and his bold, creative ideas about how we should lead the musical dialogue are having a serious impact on the larger artistic conversation in America. We share a passion in the belief that the New York Philharmonic is not only a truly magnificent orchestra, but also an incredible resource, one that we can expand and develop even further in the years to come. To find myself at the beginning of a five-year working canvas in partnership with him is a thrilling prospect."

"When I first became Music Director I said that this was the dream I hadn't dared to dream," commented Alan Gilbert. "After these three amazing seasons, I can say it's been a spectacular adventure. My relationship with these extraordinary musicians grows and deepens every day, and it infuses every concert with an intangible magic. Together, we've had a string of successes here at home and around the world, and I am particularly gratified to see that we've begun to stake a central place in the cultural life of New York. After concerts, people stop me on the street to say thank you, although it is I who would like to thank our audience for their enthusiasm and dedication. In fact, I've felt incredible support from every quarter - from the musicians, the Board, the dedicated staff, and now Matthew, with whom I look forward to writing the next chapter of the Philharmonic's story. I'm profoundly grateful to all, and I would like to thank our donors for making so much possible. We are on an amazing journey."

"This is a very positive step for the New York Philharmonic," said Fiona Simon, Chairperson of the Orchestra Committee. "Alan's total commitment to the organization is evidenced behind the scenes as well as when he is on the podium. Generous of spirit, enthusiastic, and collegial, he has become a youthful symbol of the New York music scene. Alan's innovative and enthusiastic approach to contemporary music is placing the Philharmonic at the vanguard of this genre. We look forward to music-making of a very high level over the coming years."

New York Philharmonic Music Director Alan Gilbert, The Yoko Nagae Ceschina Chair, began his tenure in September 2009. The first native New Yorker to hold the post, he has sought to make the Orchestra a point of civic pride for the city and country.

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