Alan Gilbert Conducts Philharmonic Orchestra's School Day Concert, 5/19-21


In his continuing commitment to education and to encouraging young people to experience music, New York Philharmonic Music Director, Alan Gilbert will conduct the Orchestra's six School Day Concerts for the first time, Wednesday–Friday, May 19–21, at 10:30 a.m. and 12:00 noon. Mr. Gilbert is the first Philharmonic Music Director to lead these performances since Zubin Mehta did so in February 1991.  

These concerts, which are designed exclusively for school children in grades 3 through 12, will showcase world-premiere compositions by six New York Philharmonic Very Young Composers, ages 10 and 11, and three composers participating in the Making Score program of the New York Youth Symphony, ages 13 to 16. Also on the program: the score of Stravinsky's ballet Petrushka. New York Philharmonic Director of Education Theodore Wiprud will be the host.  

"I think there is no time like now to get kids started and to expose them to the beauty and the power of what we're all about," says Mr. Gilbert. "An organization that is as rich and as profound as the New York Philharmonic has the capacity to operate on so many levels and in so many ways, and to touch so many different people. I think that music can be an incredibly important and enriching aspect of anybody's life, and for what we do in the future." 

The School Day Concerts this year will involve 12,000 students and teachers from 100 schools from the Tri-State region, including the 15 School Partnership Program schools from the five boroughs of New York City. All teachers have received a curriculum guide written by New York Philharmonic Teaching Artist Richard Mannoia with elementary and high school teachers. Teachers in the program attend free workshops at Avery Fisher Hall to learn how to use the curriculum to prepare their classes. School Partnership Programs also have Teaching Artists from the New York Philharmonic visiting their schools to help them prepare. Concerts offered during the school day for students began at the New York Philharmonic in 1973 under then-Music Director Pierre Boulez. 

The Very Young Composers program, led by Young Composers' Advocate and retired Philharmonic Associate Principal Bass Jon Deak, is an after-school activity that gives students the opportunity to learn how to compose music that ultimately will be performed by Philharmonic musicians. Providing new works for this year's School Day Concerts are Isaac Draper, age 10 (P.S. 199); Noah Jimenz, age 11 (Delta Middle School, P.S. 199 alum); Adam Bernstein, age 11 (Delta Middle School, P.S. 199 alum); Elmir Nikocevic, age 11 (East Side Middle School, P.S. 59 alum); Brooke Samerson, age 11 (M.S. 51 William Alexander School, P.S. 39 alum); and Amina Durakovic, age 11 (Wagner Middle School, P.S. 59 alum).  
Making Score, a program of the New York Youth Symphony, provides aspiring composers under age 23 with a series of rigorous seminars in composition. Based on an advanced level study of orchestration, score reading, compositional technique, and a full spectrum of musical styles and genres, students work with prominent guest speakers who bring their expertise directly to the students. The participants in the Philharmonic's School Day Concerts are Stella Fiorenzoli, age 16 (Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts); Michael Parsons, age 14 (Central Middle School, Long Hill Township, New Jersey); and Ethan D'Ver, age 16 (Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts).  


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