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NY Philharmonic Hosts Historic 15,000th Concert 5/5

The New York Philharmonic, the oldest symphony orchestra in the United States and one of the oldest in the world, will perform its 15,000 concert - a milestone unmatched by any other symphony orchestra in the world - on Wednesday, May 5, 2010, at 7:30 p.m. at Avery Fisher Hall. An estimated 46,835,718 people have heard the Philharmonic live, in person, since its inception in 1842; 1,590 musicians have served as members of the Orchestra over the years.

In honor of the occasion, the New York Philharmonic is inviting audiences to become a part of history by joining in a challenge grant from the Board of Directors, which has pledged $750,000 toward a goal of $1.5 million, to be completed by August 31, the end of the Orchestra's fiscal year. Donors who contribute at least $250 to the campaign will have their names inscribed in the Philharmonic's Archives. In addition, a photograph of the audience on May 5th will be taken and placed on the Orchestra's Website, along with the names of ticket holders to the concert. To donate, please go to nyphil.org/15000 or call (212) 875-5381.

The May 5th concert, which is part of The Russian Stravinsky: A Philharmonic Festival conducted by Valery Gergiev, will feature Stravinsky's Symphony in C, which has been performed 14 times by the Philharmonic; the Capriccio for Piano (also performed 14 times), with Denis Matsuev as soloist in his Philharmonic debut; and the complete Petrushka (1911 version), which has been performed 60 times. The same program will also be played on Thursday, May 6, at 7:30 p.m.
"This is a great occasion for a great organization," says Philharmonic Chairman Gary W. Parr. "The very number reveals the impact that this Orchestra has made on the life of this city and on the world of music. This is especially true now, as we embark on a new era under the musical leadership of Alan Gilbert, whose vision we support in every way. And as we approach the 15,000th concert, we are proud to honor the Orchestra's past by challenging its friends to help support what we know will be a distinguished future."

The 15,000th concert will be broadcast the week of May 17, 2010,* on The New York Philharmonic This Week, a radio concert series syndicated nationally to more than 300 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.

Single tickets for the May 5-6 concerts are $31-$109. Tickets for Pre-Concert Talks are $5. 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.]

About the New York Philharmonic
Founded in 1842 by a group of local musicians led by American-born Ureli Corelli Hill, the New York Philharmonic is by far the oldest symphony orchestra in the United States, and one of the oldest in the world. It currently plays some 180 concerts a year, and on December 18, 2004, gave its 14,000th concert - a milestone unmatched by any other symphony orchestra in the world.
Alan Gilbert began his tenure as Music Director in September 2009, the latest in a distinguished line of 20th-century musical giants that has included Lorin Maazel (2002- 09); Kurt Masur (Music Director from 1991 to the summer of 2002; named Music Director Emeritus in 2002); Zubin Mehta (1978-91); Pierre Boulez (1971-77); and Leonard Bernstein, who was appointed Music Director in 1958 and given the lifetime title of Laureate Conductor in 1969.

Since its inception the Orchestra has championed the new music of its time, commissioning or premiering many important works, such as Dvo?ák's Symphony No. 9, From the New World; Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 3; Gershwin's Concerto in F; and Copland's Connotations, in addition to the U.S. premieres of works such as Beethoven's Symphonies Nos. 8 and 9 and Brahms's Symphony No. 4. This pioneering tradition has continued to the present day, with works of major contemporary composers regularly scheduled each season, including John Adams's Pulitzer- and Grammy Award- winning On the Transmigration of Souls; Augusta Read Thomas's Gathering Paradise, Emily Dickinson Settings for Soprano and Orchestra; Esa-Pekka Salonen's Piano Concerto; Magnus Lindberg's EXPO; and Christopher Rouse's Odna Zhizn.

The roster of composers and conductors who have led the Philharmonic includes such historic figures as Theodore Thomas, Antonín Dvo?ák, Gustav Mahler (Music Director, 1909-11), Otto Klemperer, Richard Strauss, Willem Mengelberg (Music Director, 1922- 30), Wilhelm Furtwängler, Arturo Toscanini (Music Director, 1928-36), Igor Stravinsky, Aaron Copland, Bruno Walter (Music Advisor, 1947-49), Dimitri Mitropoulos (Music Director, 1949-58), Klaus Tennstedt, George Szell (Music Advisor, 1969-70), and Erich Leinsdorf.

Long a leader in American musical life, the Philharmonic has over the last century become renowned around the globe, appearing in 429 cities in 62 countries on five continents. In February 2008 the Orchestra, led by Music Director Lorin Maazel, gave a historic performance in Pyongyang, Democratic People's Republic of Korea - the first visit there by an American orchestra and an event that was watched around the world and for which the Philharmonic received the 2008 Common Ground Award for Cultural Diplomacy. Other historic tours have included the 1930 Tour to Europe, the first European tour with Toscanini; the first South American Tour, in 1951; the first Tour to the U.S.S.R., in 1959; the 1984 Asia Tour, including the first Tour of India; the 1998 Asia Tour, the first performances in mainland China; the 75th Anniversary European Tour, in 2005, with Lorin Maazel; and the Asian Horizons tour in October 2009, led by Alan Gilbert, which included debuts in Hanoi, Vietnam, and Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

The Philharmonic, a longtime media pioneer, began radio broadcasts in 1922, and is currently represented by The New York Philharmonic This Week - syndicated nationally 52 weeks per year, and available on nyphil.org. On television, in the 1950s and '60s, the Philharmonic inspired a generation through Bernstein's Young People's Concerts on CBS. Its television presence has continued with annual appearances on Live From Lincoln Center on PBS, and in 2003 it made history as the first Orchestra ever to perform live on the Grammy awards, one of the most-watched television events worldwide. In 2004, the New York Philharmonic was the first major American orchestra to offer downloadable concerts, recorded live. Following on this innovation, in 2009 the Orchestra announced the first-ever subscription download series: Alan Gilbert: The Inaugural Season, available exclusively on iTunes, produced and distributed by the New York Philharmonic, and comprising more than 50 works performed during the 2009-10 season. Since 1917 the Philharmonic has made nearly 2,000 recordings, with more than 500 currently available.
On June 4, 2007, the New York Philharmonic proudly announced a new partnership with Credit Suisse, its first-ever and exclusive Global Sponsor.

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