David Robertson to Conduct New York Philharmonic, 2/25-2/27

In his second week with the New York Philharmonic this season, David Robertson will lead the Orchestra in Ravel's Mother Goose Suite, Barber's Violin Concerto, with Gil Shaham as soloist, and Bartók's The Wooden Prince (complete, with surtitles to indicate story line).

The concerts will take place Thursday, February 25, 2010, at 7:30 p.m., Friday, February 26, at 11:00 a.m., and Saturday, February 27 at 8:00 p.m.

Mr. Robertson will also conduct the Saturday Matinee Concert on February 27 at 2:00 p.m. The program will open with Beethoven's Septet, performed by New York Philharmonic musicians Michelle Kim, violin; Irene Breslaw, viola; Carter Brey, cello; Eugene Levinson, bass; Mark Nuccio, clarinet; Judith LeClair, bassoon; and Philip Myers, horn. After intermission Mr. Robertson will lead the Orchestra in Ravel's Mother Goose Suite and Barber's Violin Concerto, with Gil Shaham.

In discussing the program, David Robertson noted: "Gil Shaham and I were looking at the way music can tell stories. Barber's Violin Concerto has two unbelievably lyrical movements right at the beginning - so much so that it really feels as if they're songs without words. This beauty is counterbalanced by a very fun and energetic last movement. It almost makes you wonder if it isn't like music for ballet, with a story. That led us to putting it together with two wonderful fairytale stories - Bartók's The Wooden Prince and Ravel's Suite from Mother Goose - which would take us all to a wonderful place where stories abound and our imagination is delighted."

New York Philharmonic Off Stage at Barnes & Noble
Violinist Gil Shaham will talk about his life with Jeff Spurgeon, morning host of Classical 105.9-FM WQXR, and perform a few works, on Tuesday, February 23, 2010, at 7:30 p.m., at Barnes & Noble, Lincoln Square, 66th Street and Broadway.

Pre-Concert Talk
David Wallace, a faculty member of The Juilliard School and a Senior Teaching Artist at the New York Philharmonic, will introduce the program one hour before each performance. Tickets are $5 in addition to the concert ticket. Attendance is limited to 90 people. Information: nyphil.org or (212) 875-5656

New York Philharmonic Podcast
Mark Travis, a producer for the WFMT Radio Network since 1999 and the producer of the 52-week-per-year nationally syndicated radio series, The New York
Philharmonic This Week, is the producer of this podcast. 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 or from iTunes.

National Radio Broadcast
This concert will be broadcast the week of March 8, 2010,* on The New York Philharmonic This Week, a radio concert series syndicated nationally to more than 295 stations by the WFMT Radio Network. The 52-week series, hosted by the Emmy Award-winning actor Alec Baldwin, is generously underwritten by The Kaplen Foundation, the Audrey Love Charitable Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Philharmonic's corporate partner, MetLife Foundation. The broadcast will be available on the Philharmonic's Website, nyphil.org. The program is broadcast locally in the New York metropolitan area on 105.9 FM WQXR on Thursdays at 9:00 p.m.
Check local listings for broadcast and program information.

American conductor David Robertson began his fifth season as music director of the 130-year-old St. Louis Symphony Orchestra in fall 2009, while continuing as principal guest conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra, a post he has held since 2005. Highlights of his 2009-10 season in St. Louis include tours to Carnegie Hall and four cities in California. Guest engagements include performances with the San Francisco and Chicago Symphony Orchestras, Cleveland Orchestra, and, internationally, with the BBC Scottish Symphony and Royal Concertgebouw Orchestras, Dresden Staatskapelle, Berlin Philharmonic, and Israel Philharmonic.

Born in California, David Robertson was educated at London's Royal Academy of
Music, where he studied French horn and composition before turning to orchestral
conducting. He has received numerous awards, including Columbia University's Ditson Conductor's Award (2006) and the Seaver/National Endowment for the Arts Conductors Award (1997). He and the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra were honored with the 2008-09 Award for Programming of Contemporary Music, and the 2005-06 Morton Gould Award for Innovative Programming. Musical America named him Conductor of the Year for 2000. Mr. Robertson is the recipient of honorary doctorates from Webster University (2009) and Maryville University (2007), as well as the 2010 Excellence in the Arts award from the St. Louis Arts and Education Council. Mr. Robertson, who is conducting Philharmonic programs on February 18-20, 2010, as well, last appeared with the Orchestra in May 2009.

Violinist Gil Shaham's 2009-10 season includes his "Violin Concertos of the 1930s" project, which highlights masterpieces by influential composers of that decade and features 35 performances of works by Barber, Berg, Prokofiev, Stravinsky, and Walton. Also this season are appearances with Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Michael Tilson Thomas and the London Symphony Orchestra, and Mariss Jansons with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra. In April he will join the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra for a tour of the West Coast performing Mozart, Prokofiev, and Stravinsky.

Gil Shaham was born in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, in 1971. He moved with his parents to Israel where at seven he began violin studies with Samuel Bernstein of the Rubin Academy of Music and was granted annual scholarships by the America-Israel Cultural Foundation. In 1981 he made debuts with the Jerusalem Symphony and the Israel Philharmonic Orchestras and that same year began studies with Dorothy DeLay and Jens Ellerman at Aspen. In 1982 he became a scholarship student at The Juilliard School, working with Ms. DeLay and Hyo Kang. He was awarded an Avery Fisher Career Grant in 1990, and in 2008 he received the coveted Avery Fisher Award. Mr. Shaham last appeared with the New York Philharmonic in November 2008, performing Khachaturian's Violin Concerto, conducted by Andrey Boreyko.

Maurice Ravel composed the five pieces of his Mother Goose Suite for the children of Cipa and Ida Godebski, patrons of the arts whose home was a gathering place for the creative minds of the time, including Jean Cocteau, André Gide, Erik Satie, Alfredo Casella, and Igor Stravinsky. The work - a musical setting of several favorite childhoodtales - was originally a piano duet dedicated to the Godebski children, who Ravel hoped would give the first performance. That prospect, however, proved too intimidating for Mimie and Jean Godebski, and the premiere performance in April 1910 was given by Jeanne leleu and Geneviève Durony, ages 11 and 14 respectively. Ravel transcribed the suite for orchestra, and an expanded ballet version was premiered in Paris in 1912. The work was first performed by the New York Symphony (which would later merge with the New York Philharmonic) in November 1912, led by Walter Damrosch. The most recent complete performance of the suite was given in September 2008, led by Lorin Maazel.

Single tickets for these performances are $29 to $112. The Saturday Matinee Concert tickets are $29 to $72. Tickets for Pre-Concert Talks are $5. Tickets for Open Rehearsals are $16. All tickets may be purchased online at nyphil.org or by calling (212) 875-5656, 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and 12:00 noon to 5:00 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets may also be purchased at the Avery Fisher Hall Box Office or the Alice Tully Hall Box Office at Lincoln Center, Broadway at 65th Street. The Box Office opens at 10:00 a.m. Monday through Saturday, and at noon on Sunday. On performance evenings, the Box Office closes one-half hour after performance time; other evenings it closes at 6:00 p.m. A limited number of $12 tickets for select concerts may be available through the Internet for students within 10 days of the performance, or in person the day of. Valid identification is required. To determine ticket availability, call the Philharmonic's Customer Relations Department at (212) 875-5656. (Ticket prices subject to change.)

For press tickets, call Lanore Carr in the New York Philharmonic Communications Department at (212) 875-5714, or e-mail her at carrl@nyphil.org.

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