Alan Gilbert Conducts 2014 New York Philharmonic CONCERTS IN THE PARK, Now thru 7/15
The 2014 New York Philharmonic Concerts in the Parks, presented by Didi and Oscar Schafer, will return for the 49th season with five free outdoor concerts, conducted by Music Director Alan Gilbert, in Prospect Park, Brooklyn (today, July 9); Cunningham Park, Queens (July 10); the Great Lawn in Central Park, Manhattan (July 11 and 14); and Van Cortlandt Park, Bronx (July 15). In addition, New York Philharmonic musicians will perform a Free Indoor Concert at the Center for the Arts, College of Staten Island, CUNY (July 13).
Alan Gilbert will conduct Richard Strauss's Don Juan and Till Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks; Smetana's Vyšehrad from Má vlast; and Tchaikovsky's Romeo and Juliet, Overture-Fantasy, on the concerts July 9-11. The Music Director, who is a supporter of the music of Carl Nielsen, will lead the composer's Maskarade Overture as well as Bruch's Violin Concerto No. 1, with Joshua Bell as soloist; selections from Grieg's Peer Gynt; and Liszt's Les Préludes, at the concerts July 14-15.
All orchestral performances begin at 8:00 p.m. and there will be fireworks by Bay Fireworks following the performances in Brooklyn, Manhattan, and the Bronx.
Alan Gilbert first led the Concerts in the Parks in the summer of 2008 as Music Director Designate. He conducted all five Concerts in the Parks in the summer of 2009, just prior to beginning his tenure with the Philharmonic that fall, and led Concerts in the Parks programs in the summers of 2013 and 2012.
The New York Philharmonic's free parks concerts have become an iconic New York summer experience since they began in 1965, transforming parks throughout the New York area into a patchwork of picnickers, and providing music lovers with an opportunity to hear the best classical music under the stars. More than 14 million listeners have been delighted by the performances since their inception.
"One of the most joyful times of the New York Philharmonic's year is when we join our fellow New Yorkers in the city's beautiful parks," said Alan Gilbert. "The shared spirit of community and love of music among the audience is palpable, and I look forward to joining our neighbors in enjoying pieces by Strauss, Tchaikovsky, Nielsen, and others, and to sharing this warm and wonderful tradition with our good friend Joshua Bell."
"One of the New York Philharmonic's traditions of which I am the most proud is the almost half-century of our Concerts in the Parks," said Executive Director Matthew VanBesien. "It is perhaps the clearest demonstration of how this Orchestra has served our neighbors, bringing the musicians' passion and virtuosity in great music to New York residents and visitors in the oases that are the city's parks. I thank Didi and Oscar Schafer and Time Warner, Inc. for their dedication in providing generous support for this endeavor."
"Each summer Didi and I look forward to the combination of the masterful New York Philharmonic, beautiful music, and New York's lovely parks," said Board Member Oscar S. Schafer, who with his wife, Didi, sponsors the concerts. "We are honored to help make it possible for all New Yorkers and visitors to enjoy this incredible New York City summer tradition."
"Time Warner is committed to engaging a larger community with the unmatched cultural offerings of our city," said Lisa Garcia Quiroz, Time Warner's Chief Diversity Officer and Senior Vice President, Corporate Responsibility. "We are honored to once again help bring the world-class New York Philharmonic to audiences throughout the five boroughs."
Time Warner Inc. - a global leader in media and entertainment with businesses in television networks, filmed entertainment, and publishing - uses its industry-leading operating scale and brands to create, package, and deliver high-quality content worldwide through multiple distribution outlets.
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.
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 was screened; and a staged production of Sondheim's Sweeney Todd starring Bryn Terfel and Emma Thompson. 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."
Violinist Joshua Bell is equally at home as a soloist, chamber musician, and orchestra leader. In the 2013-14 season he tours with the Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields (ASMF), where he was recently named music director - the first person to hold this post since Sir Neville Mariner formed the orchestra in 1958. Other highlights of his 2013-14 season include the ASMF's European and U.S. tour and performances with the Houston, Dallas, and St. Louis symphony orchestras. Mr. Bell performs Brahms's Violin Concerto with the Vienna Philharmonic, led by Paavo Järvi, and Sibelius's Violin Concerto with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Gustavo Dudamel. The season also includes a U.S. recital tour and a Kennedy Center appearance with the National Symphony Orchestra. As a soloist, chamber musician, and conductor, Mr. Bell has recorded more than 40 CDs, garnering Grammy, Mercury, Gramophone, and Echo Klassik Awards. Recent releases include French Impressions with pianist Jeremy Denk, At Home with Friends, Vivaldi's The Four Seasons with the ASMF, and Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto with the Berlin Philharmonic. His discography encompasses the major violin repertoire in addition to John Corigliano's Oscar-winning sound track for The Red Violin. Mr. Bell's 2007 incognito subway station performance in Washington, D.C., resulted in a provocative Washington Post Pulitzer Prize-winning story examining art and context; the conversation continues with the new Annick Press illustrated children's book The Man with the Violin. Born in Bloomington, Indiana, Joshua Bell received his first violin at age four, and at twelve began studying with Josef Gingold at Indiana University. Two years later he came to national attention when he performed with Riccardo Muti and The Philadelphia Orchestra, and he made his Carnegie Hall debut at age 17. Mr. Bell, who plays the 1713 Huberman Stradivarius, is the recipient of the Avery Fisher Prize, and recently received the New York Recording Academy Honors, among other accolades.
More information is available at nyphil.org/parks.