NY Philharmonic's 'Insights Series' Now Free; 2013-14 Lineup Kicks Off Today
Beginning with the 2013-14 season, the New York Philharmonic's Insights Series - in which artists and experts will explore some of the season's themes and concerts - will now be free, and take place at the David Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center. This season's events will include discussions with Concertmaster Glenn Dicterow during his farewell season (TODAY, October 23); composer-conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen and violinist Leila Josefowicz (October 28), who will discuss Mr. Salonen's Violin Concerto, written for Ms. Josefowicz (which they will perform with the Philharmonic in its New York Concert Premiere, October 30-November 5); Music Director Alan Gilbert and Executive Director Matthew VanBesien on the state of the Philharmonic (March 3, 2014); The Mary and James G. Wallach Artist-in-Residence Yefim Bronfman (May 20, 2014), who will talk about Beethoven's piano concertos (which he will perform during The Beethoven Piano Concertos: A Philharmonic Festival, June 11-28, 2014); and discussions relating to the NY PHIL BIENNIAL, the details of which will be announced at a later date. All Insights Series events begin at 7:30 p.m. For more information, visit nyphil.org/insights.
Carol J. Oja - a noted music historian and author, whose most recent book examines Leonard Bernstein's work on Broadway - has been appointed the sixth Leonard Bernstein Scholar-in- Residence at the New York Philharmonic. She will be featured in an Insights Series event titled "Leonard Bernstein Emerges: Defying Boundaries and Challenging Racial Politics During World War II" (April 7, 2014) a look at the Philharmonic Laureate Conductor's emergence as a conductor, composer, and activist for racial justice during his 20s. She will also moderate the Insights Series event spotlighting Yefim Bronfman, and conduct research in the Philharmonic Archives.
The Philharmonic again presents its popular Pre-Concert Talks one hour before each subscription concert. The speakers in the 2013-14 season will include composers Victoria Bond, Paul Moravec, Joelle Wallach, and Daniel Felsenfeld; curator of the music collections at the British Library Nicholas Bell; writer and music historIan Harvey Sachs; Philharmonic Program Annotator James M. Keller; author, pianist, and professor Arbie Orenstein; author and lecturer Fred Plotkin; musicologist and professor Elizabeth Seitz; Philharmonic Principal Librarian Lawrence Tarlow; violist and Philharmonic Senior Teaching Artist David Wallace; Philharmonic Audio Producer Mark Travis; and Philharmonic Vice President, Artistic Planning, Edward Yim.
Insights Series Participants:
Glenn Dicterow, a native of Los Angeles, California, made his solo debut at the age of 11 in Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, where his father, Harold Dicterow, served as principal of the second violin section for 52 years. He went on to win numerous awards and competitions, including the Young Musicians Foundation Award and Coleman Competition Award (Los Angeles), The Julia Klumpke Award (San Francisco), and the Bronze Medal in the International Tchaikovsky Competition in 1970. He graduated from The Juilliard School, where he was a student of Ivan Galamian. His other teachers included Jascha Heifetz, Henryk Szeryng, Joachim Chassman, Naoum Blinder, and Manuel Compinsky. Mr. Dicterow frequently appears as a guest soloist with other orchestras, including those of Los Angeles, Baltimore, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Mexico City, and Montreal, as well as the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Monterey Symphony, Hong Kong Philharmonic, and the National Symphony Orchestra (Washington, D.C.). He performed Bernstein's Serenade with the Curtis Symphony Orchestra in Isaac Stern at Eighty: A Birthday Celebration at Carnegie Hall. Mr. Dicterow is featured in the violin solos in Richard Strauss's Ein Heldenleben and Also sprach Zarathustra with Zubin Mehta for CBS Records. He has recorded works by Wieniawski with Zubin Mehta and the Los Angeles Philharmonic; Lee Holdridge's Violin Concerto with the London Symphony Orchestra, conducted by the composer; Shostakovich's Violin Concerto
No. 1 with the New York Philharmonic, conducted by Maxim Shostakovich (on a Radiothon recording); and the Philharmonic's recording of Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherazade with Yuri Temirkanov (BMG). He can be heard in collaboration with violist Karen Dreyfus and pianist Gerald Robbins on his most recent CD, a recital on Cala Records' New York Legends series, featuring works by John Corigliano, Korngold, Bernstein, and Martin?. Glenn Dicterow enjoys an active teaching career. He is on the faculty of The Juilliard School and Manhattan School of Music. Beginning in the fall of 2013, Glenn Dicterow will become the first to hold the Robert Mann Chair in Strings and Chamber Music, a faculty position at the University of Southern California's Thornton School of Music, one of the country's oldest and most prestigious music schools.
Barbara Haws, the New York Philharmonic's Archivist/Historian since 1984, has lectured extensively about the Orchestra's past and curated major exhibitions at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts (1992), London Barbican (2000), and Cologne Philharmonie (1998). In the fall of 2003 she mounted the largest multimedia exhibition on the Philharmonic's history, which opened at the UBS Art Gallery and relocated to the Grand Promenade and Tiers of Avery Fisher Hall. She has lectured at Bard College, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Grolier Club, as well as in the New York Philharmonic's Pre-Concert Talks. In 1995 Barbara Haws became the Executive Producer of the Philharmonic's Special Editions record label, which released award-winning and Grammy-nominated CD collections, including the 12-CD set The Mahler Broadcasts:1948-1982; the10-CD set Bernstein LIVE; and the first new recording in 20 years of Stephen Sondheim's Sweeney Todd: Live at the New York Philharmonic. Ms. Haws has been an archival consultant to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the Leonard Bernstein Estate, and a project archivist for the Bowery Savings Bank, the Jackie Robinson Papers, and Trinity Church. She has served as president of the Archivist Round Table of Metropolitan New York, is a founder of New York Archives Week, and is a Board Advisor to the Brooklyn Academy Of Music Archives. Barbara Haws, who has a master's degree in history from New York University, collaborated with Burton Bernstein as author of Leonard Bernstein: American Original, published in September 2008 by Harper Collins, and authored the essay "U.C. Hill, An American Musician Abroad (1835-37)," in American Orchestras in the Nineteenth Century, ed. John Spitzer (The University of Chicago Press, 2012). She led the effort to digitize 1.3 million pages of archival material, funded by the Leon Levy Foundation and available online at archives.nyphil.org.
Esa-Pekka Salonen is principal conductor and artistic advisor for the Philharmonia Orchestra in London and the conductor laureate for the Los Angeles Philharmonic, where he was music director from 1992 to 2009, when he was credited with revitalizing the organization and bringing the idea of the symphony orchestra into the 21st century. At both organizations, he has pioneered several award-winning festivals, installations, and collaborations. As a composer, his pieces Floof and LA Variations have become established modern classics, and new compositions continue to be performed around the globe. His guest conducting appearance brings him as a frequent guest of the world's top orchestras: during the 2013-14 season, these engagements include the New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, and FilarMonica Della Scala. Mr. Salonen has an extensive recording career. As an enthusiastic interpreter of a broad range of composers (including Bach, Beethoven, Debussy, Mahler, Bartók, Schoenberg, Stravinsky, Shostakovich, Berlioz, Pärt, Sibelius, Janá?ek, Lutos?awski, Dutilleux, and Strauss), he has received broad critical and popular acclaim, including a Grammy Award and two Grammy nominations. Recordings of his own works include his Violin Concerto, with Leila Josefowicz as soloist, and his orchestral work Nyx, with the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra; a CD of his orchestral works performed by the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra; and a CD featuring his Piano Concerto, Helix, and Dichotomie. Esa-Pekka Salonen's many major honors have included the Royal Philharmonic Society's Opera Award in 1995 and, two years later, the society's Conductor Award; Litteris et Artibus medal, one of Sweden's highest honors, presented by the King of Sweden in 1996; and, in 1998, the rank of Officier de l'ordre des Arts et des Lettres, awarded by the French government. He was also honored with the Pro Finlandia Medal of the Order of the Lion of Finland. To date, Mr. Salonen has received seven honorary doctorates in four different countries. Musical America named him its Musician of the Year in 2006, and he was elected as an honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2010.
Leila Josefowicz is an outstanding advocate and champion of contemporary music for the violin, which is reflected in her diverse programs and enthusiasm to perform new works. A frequent collaborator with several leading composers, she works with orchestras and conductors at the highest level around the world. Violin concertos have been written especially for her by Esa- Pekka Salonen, as well as Colin Matthews and Steven Mackey, and John Adams and Luca Francesconi have recently been commissioned to write new pieces for her. The latter will be given its world premiere by Josefowicz in February 2014, with Susanna Mälkki conducting the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra. She first performed the Salonen concerto with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, conducted by the composer, before subsequent performances throughout Europe and North America; their upcoming collaboration on the work with the New York Philharmonic represent its first concert performances in New York City. During the 2013-14 season Ms. Josefowicz performs John Adams's Violin Concerto with the Sydney and Melbourne Symphony Orchestras, conducted by the composer, as well as appearances with the BBC, Finnish Radio, and Toronto symphony orchestras, Orchestra della Scala, and Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della Rai. Ms. Josefowicz also has engagements with the Chicago, San Francisco, Baltimore and National (Washington, D.C.) symphony orchestras, and Los Angeles Philharmonic. She gives recitals at London's Milton Court Concert Hall and Handelsbeurs Concertzaal in Belgium. Recent highlights include performances with the Boston and London Symphony Orchestras, London Philharmonic, and The Philadelphia Orchestra, as well as the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, and Gothenburg Symphony, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, and Danish National Symphony orchestras. Leila Josefowicz has released several recordings, notably for the Deutsche Grammophon, Philips/Universal, and Warner Classics labels. Her latest, released by Deutsche Grammophon in autumn 2012, features Esa-Pekka Salonen's Violin Concerto with the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, conducted by the composer.
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 is screened; and a staged production of Sondheim's Sweeney Todd starring Bryn Terfel. 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."
Matthew VanBesien is the Executive Director of the New York Philharmonic. Prior to coming to New York, Mr. VanBesien served as managing director of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra (2010-12); this followed positions at the Houston Symphony as executive director and chief executive officer (2005-10) and general manager (2003-05). He is a member of the Board of Overseers for The Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia and a former Board Director for Symphony Services International (formerly Symphony Australia). A native of St. Louis, Missouri, Mr. VanBesien earned a bachelor of music degree in French horn performance from Indiana University. As a professional musician, he was second French horn of the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra in New Orleans from 1992 to 2000. In the 2001-02 season he completed the League of American Orchestra's Orchestra Management Fellowship Program, a highly selective, year-long management training program designed to develop orchestral leadership talent. During this fellowship he worked at the Aspen Music Festival, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Phoenix Symphony, and Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. Matthew VanBesien is married to Rosanne Jowitt, a geoscientist.
As the 2013-14 Mary and James G. Wallach Artist-in-Residence at the New York Philharmonic, Yefim Bronfman plays concertos by composers ranging from Tchaikovsky to Magnus Lindberg; appears in chamber concerts featuring works by Esa-Pekka Salonen, Marc-André Dalbavie, Marc Neikrug, Schubert, Bartók, and others; travels on the ASIA / WINTER 2014, performing Magnus Lindberg's Piano Concerto No. 2; and concludes the season with The Beethoven Piano Concertos: A Philharmonic Festival. Other season highlights include a tour with Pinchas Zukerman to Ottawa, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Diego, Berkeley, and Vancouver; performing Beethoven with conductor Zubin Mehta at the Berlin Philharmonic's new spring residency in Baden-Baden; and returns to the orchestras of Los Angeles, San Francisco, Philadelphia, and Boston, as well as Paris, Munich, Berlin, and Amsterdam. He tours Australia with Amsterdam's Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra as part of its worldwide centenary celebrations. Mr. Bronfman was nominated for a Grammy Award in 2009 for his recording of Esa-Pekka Salonen's Piano Concerto, with Mr. Salonen conducting (released on Deutsche Grammophon), having received a Grammy in 1997 for his recording of the three Bartók piano concertos with Mr. Salonen and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. His performance of Beethoven's Fifth Piano Concerto with Andris Nelsons and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra from the 2011 Lucerne Festival is now available on DVD. His most recent CD release is Lindberg's Piano Concerto No. 2, commissioned for him and performed by the New York Philharmonic, conducted by Alan Gilbert, on the Dacapo label. Born in Tashkent, in the Soviet Union, in 1958, Yefim Bronfman immigrated to Israel with his family in 1973. There he studied with pianist Arie Vardi, head of the Rubin Academy of Music at Tel Aviv University. He later studied in the United States, at The Juilliard School, Marlboro, and The Curtis Institute of Music, and with Rudolf Firkusny, Leon Fleisher, and Rudolf Serkin. He became an American citizen in July 1989. Yefim Bronfman last appeared with the Philharmonic in January 2013 performing Brahms's Piano Concerto No. 1, led by Lorin Maazel.
The Leonard Bernstein Scholar-in-Residence:
Carol J. Oja, as The Leonard Bernstein Scholar-in-Residence at the New York Philharmonic for the 2013-14 season, will present the Insights Series event "Leonard Bernstein Emerges: Defying Boundaries and Challenging Racial Politics During World War II" and conduct research in the Philharmonic Archives. Dr. Oja is William Powell Mason Professor of Music at Harvard University, where is also on the faculty of the graduate program in American Studies. Her newest book, Bernstein Meets Broadway: Collaborative Art in a Time of War, is in production with Oxford University Press. Dr. Oja's Making Music Modern: New York in the 1920s won the Lowens Book Award from the Society for American Music and an ASCAP-Deems Taylor Award. Her other books include Aaron Copland and his World (co-edited with Judith Tick); Colin McPhee: Composer in Two Worlds; A Celebration of American Music: Words and Music in Honor of H. Wiley Hitchcock; and American Music Recordings: A Discography of 20th-Century U.S. Composers. Carol J. Oja has held fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Newhouse Center for the Humanities at Wellesley College, the National Humanities Center, NEH, and the Mellon Faculty Fellows Program at Harvard. She is past-president of the Society for American Music.
The Leonard Bernstein Scholar-in-Residence at the New York Philharmonic program honors and recognizes the enduring contribution of Leonard Bernstein, the Orchestra's Music Director from 1958 to 1969 and subsequent Laureate Conductor. The position was created in the 2005-06 season to coincide with the 15th anniversary of Bernstein's death, on October 14, 1990. Charles Zachary Bornstein served as the first Leonard Bernstein Scholar-in-Residence, from 2005-06 through 2007-08. New York Philharmonic Program Annotator James M. Keller served in this post in the 2008-09 season; baritone Thomas Hampson combined the role with that of The Mary and James G. Wallach Artist-in-Residence in the 2009-10 season; Jack Gottlieb held the post in 2010-11 until his untimely passing in February 2011; and Harvey Sachs held the post through the 2012-2013 season.
Pre-Concert Talk Speakers:
Nicolas Bell is a music curator at the British Library, where he has worked since 2000. His primary interests are in music manuscripts of all periods, but especially the middle ages. He completed a Ph.D. on 13th-century music from Spain and has published three books and several articles in the field of medieval music. In recent years Dr. Bell has made more extensive studies of music manuscripts in the British Library, including those of Handel and of several 20th- century composers. He is a member of the council of the Royal Philharmonic Society, and of the editorial committee of Musica Britannica, the series of scholarly editions of British music. Among his other responsibilities, he is chairman-elect of the Gerald Coke Handel Foundation, which administers the internationally important collection of material relating to Handel and his contemporaries housed at the Foundling Museum in London.
Victoria Bond leads a dual career as composer and conductor. Her compositions have been praised by The New York Times as "powerful, stylistically varied and technically demanding," and her conducting has been called "impassioned" by The Wall Street Journal and "full of energy and fervor" by The New York Times. Ms. Bond has been commissioned by ensembles including American Ballet Theater, Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival, Houston Symphony, and Shanghai Symphony Orchestra. Her compositions have also been performed by the Dallas Symphony, New York City Opera, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, and musicians from the New York Philharmonic, among others. She was recently honored with the American Academy of Arts and Letters's Walter Hinrichsen Award and the Miriam Gideon Prize. Ms. Bond, who has served as Exxon/Arts Endowment Conductor with the Pittsburgh Symphony, has appeared as a guest conductor throughout the United States, Europe, South America, and China. She has been profiled in The Wall Street Journal, People magazine, The New York Times, and on NBC's TODAY, and she was voted Woman of the Year in Virginia (1990-91). The first woman awarded a doctorate in orchestral conducting from The Juilliard School, Ms. Bond has served as music director of the New Amsterdam and Roanoke Symphony Orchestras; artistic director of Opera Roanoke, Harrisburg Opera, and Bel Canto Opera; music adviser of the Wuhan Symphony in China; principal guest conductor of Chamber Opera Chicago; and assistant conductor of New York City Opera. She has worked with Ray Charles (including leading his 70th birthday concert in Warsaw, Poland), André Previn, Pierre Boulez, Aaron Copland, Mstislav Rostropovich, Sixten Ehrling, Leonard Slatkin, James Conlon, Herbert Blomstedt, and Herbert von Karajan.
Composer Daniel Felsenfeld's works have been commissioned and performed by a range of artists and ensembles, including Simone Dinnerstein, Two Sense, Metropolis Ensemble, American Opera Projects, Opera on Tap, Great Noise Ensemble, Da Capo Chamber Players, ACME, ETHEL, REDSHIFT, Two Sides Sounding, Momenta Quartet, Friction Quartet, and Ensemble 212. His works have been performed at venues such as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, BAM, the Kennedy Center, ATLAS, Le Poisson Rouge, City Winery, Galapagos Art Space, The Stone, The Kitchen, and Stanford and Harvard Universities. He has also worked with Jay-Z, The Roots, Keren Ann, Rick Moody, Stew, and Mark Z. Danielewski, and is the court composer for John Wesley Harding's Cabinet of Wonders. As a Teaching Artist for the New York Philharmonic, he works with students participating in the Very Young Composer's program. Mr. Felsenfeld is also an accomplished essayist, annotator, and author, with eight books to his name, as well as articles that have appeared in The New York Times, Listen, Playbill, Time Out New York, Symphony magazine, Strings magazine, New Music Box, and Early Music Magazine; program notes for The Metropolitan Opera, New York City Opera, The Philadelphia Orchestra, Miller Theatre, and Carnegie Hall; and liner notes for recordings on the Naxos, Bridge, Koch, EMI, Sony, and Adjustable Music labels. He served as curator for "The Score" in the Opinionator section of The New York Times, as well as for Music After, a marathon concert on September 11, 2011, which he co-produced with Eleonor Sandresky. Recordings of Daniel Felsenfeld's works are available on the Sony, Def Jam, Black Box, and Naxos labels.
James M. Keller has been the New York Philharmonic's Program Annotator, The Leni and Peter May Chair, since 2000 and also serves as the program annotator of the San Francisco Symphony. In the 2008-09 season he was the Philharmonic's Leonard Bernstein Scholar-in- Residence. His book Chamber Music: A Listener's Guide was published in 2011 by Oxford University Press, and will be issued in its Chinese edition in 2014 by Shanghai Music Publishing House. His many articles include contributions to Leonard Bernstein at Work: His Final Years, 1984-1990 (Amadeus Press), Leonard Bernstein: American Original (HarperCollins), George Crumb and the Alchemy of Sound (Colorado College Music Press), and the Encyclopedia of New York City (Yale University Press). He was a writer-editor on staff at The New Yorker for ten years, and he was honored with the ASCAP-Deems Taylor Award for his writing in Chamber Music magazine, for which he serves as contributing editor. His recent projects include serving as curator of the exhibition Singing the Golden State, spotlighting historical popular music about California, which ran throughout 2012 at the Society of California Pioneers in San Francisco before embarking on a multiyear tour of that state's regional museums. He lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where he is the award-winning critic-at-large for The Santa Fe New Mexican, the oldest newspaper west of the Mississippi.
Paul Moravec, recipient of the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for Music, is the composer of numerous orchestral, chamber, choral, operatic, and lyric pieces. His music has earned the Rome Prize Fellowship, a Guggenheim Fellowship, three awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Rockefeller Foundation. A graduate of Harvard College and Columbia University, he has taught at Columbia, Dartmouth, and Hunter College and currently holds the position of university professor at Adelphi University. He was the 2013 Paul Fromm Composer-in-Residence at the American Academy in Rome, recently served as artist-in-residence at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, and was recently elected to membership in the American Philosophical Society. Mr. Moravec is frequently commissioned by notable ensembles and major music institutions, and his upcoming premieres include The King's Man and Amorisms. Last season included the New York Premiere of The Blizzard Voices, with the Oratorio Society of New York at Carnegie Hall, and the premieres of his Violin Concerto with Maria Bachmann, Symphony in C, and Shakuhachi Concerto with James Schlefer and the Orchestra of the Swan. Other recent premieres included Danse Russe; Brandenburg Gate, with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra at Carnegie Hall; Piano Quintet, with Jeremy Denk and the Lark Quartet; and Wind Symphony. Mr. Moravec's discography includes Northern Lights Electric, an album of his orchestral music with the Boston Modern Orchestra Project. His chamber music albums include Tempest Fantasy, with Trio Solisti and clarinetist David Krakauer; The Time Gallery, with eighth blackbird; Cool Fire, with the Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival; and Useful Knowledge, with soprano Amy Burton, baritone Randall Scarlata, Trio Solisti, and La Fenice Quintet.
Arbie Orenstein was born in New York City and attended the High School of Music and Art, Queens College, and Columbia University Graduate School, where he received a Ph.D. in Musicology. He is the author of Ravel: Man and Musician (Columbia University Press, 1975, reissued as a Dover paperback in 1991) and Ravel: Lettres, Ecrits, Entretiens (Flammarion, 1989), which was translated into English as A Ravel Reader (Columbia University Press, 1990, reissued by Dover in 2003). His books have been translated into German, Italian, and Japanese. As a pianist, he has accompanied many outstanding cantors and concert artists and has recorded the world premieres of several works by Ravel, which he discovered while studying in Paris, France, on a U.S. government Fulbright grant. Dr. Orenstein is professor of music at the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College, where he has taught for the past 45 years. His courses focus on European music history and Jewish music. He is the editor of Musica Judaica (a scholarly journal devoted to all aspects of Jewish music) and a regular contributor to the French journal Cahiers Maurice Ravel. In 1998 Arbie Orenstein was knighted by the French government, receiving the medal of Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters.
Fred Plotkin discovered the concept of "The Renaissance Man" as a small child growing up one block from Avery Fisher Hall, and he has devoted himself to pursuing that ideal. He has worked in opera since 1972, as well as in management, production, design, coaching, consulting, and broadcasting - everything but singing. As a Fulbright Scholar, he directed opera at Milan's Teatro alla Scala and later was the performance manager of The Metropolitan Opera for five years. Mr. Plotkin has also worked for orchestras and other classical music organizations. He is the author of Opera 101: A Complete Guide to Learning and Loving Opera and Classical Music 101: A Complete Guide to Learning and Loving Classical Music, for which he recorded audio versions. Mr. Plotkin has written six renowned books on Italian cuisine and has cooked on television and radio. His articles appear regularly in The New York Times, Time, London's Guardian and Daily Telegraph, Opera News, Bon Appétit, and other leading publications. His blog posts for WQXR (www.wqxr.org/#!/people/fred-plotkin/) have a devoted following.
Elizabeth Seitz received her doctorate from Boston University with a dissertation on the early works of Manuel De Falla and his relationship to the Impressionist movement. She is a full-time faculty member at The Boston Conservatory, where she teaches a wide range of undergraduate and graduate musicology courses, including seminars on J.S. Bach, Schubert, Berlioz, and Britten. Her specialties are turn-of-the-century German Post-Romanticism and Impressionism. She has also taught at New England Conservatory of Music, and Boston, Tufts, Northeastern, Washington, and Brown universities. In addition to teaching, Dr. Seitz participates in a variety of community outreach programs. She has lectured on topics ranging from Machaut to MTV for audiences of varying ages; is the principal guest lecturer for the Boston Lyric Opera; and frequently lectures at the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Tanglewood, Rockport Chamber Music Festival, and Exploritas, in addition to the New York Philharmonic. Elizabeth Seitz is the author of the musicological murder mystery Dissertation Most Deadly and is currently working on a sequel, Murder Most Melodious.
New York Philharmonic Principal Librarian Lawrence Tarlow got his start when, as a tubist in the Roslyn (Long Island) High School Band, he streamlined the system for handing out music at rehearsals. He attended The Juilliard School as a student of Joseph Novotny, former Principal Tuba of the New York Philharmonic, and graduated from The Curtis Institute of Music, where he was student orchestra librarian. Before joining the New York Philharmonic in 1985, he served as librarian of the Berkshire (now Tanglewood) Music Center Orchestra, worked for the music publishers C.F. Peters Corporation and G. Schirmer, Inc., and became the Oklahoma Symphony's first full-time librarian in 1977. During his 1979-85 tenure as librarian of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, he also played the occasional second tuba part, including a recording of the Berlioz Requiem under then-music director Robert Shaw. Mr. Tarlow, who cites a love of "esoterica and trivia" as one of the reasons he enjoys his job, is an active member and former three-term president of the Major Orchestra Librarians' Association.
Mark Travis, an award-winning 18-year music industry veteran, joined the New York Philharmonic as its full-time in-house producer in August 2011. For the previous 12 years he worked for Chicago's WFMT Radio Network. He has written and produced The New York Philharmonic This Week since its inaugural season in 2004-05. Other broadcast credits include the Lyric Opera of Chicago Broadcasts as well as broadcasts by the Berlin Philharmonic, L'Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Bavarian Staatsoper, and the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Travis has an extensive discography as a music producer that ranges from recordings by the New York Philharmonic to those by William Warfield, Jenny Lin, Jeffrey Siegel, the Lyrebird Ensemble, and the Chicago Chorale. An accomplished singer and classical guitarist, he also hosts and produces several podcasts and educational pieces for a variety of organizations. He is a member of the Classical Committee of the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, Inc. (NARAS) and serves on both the grand jury and advisory board of the New York Festivals International Broadcasting Competition. From 2010-2012, Mr. Travis proudly served as a music committee chair for the United States Artists Music Awards in Los Angeles. In 2013 he and his production team earned a Gold World Medal for Best Sound, A Bronze World Medal for Best Regularly Scheduled Music Program, and a Finalist Certificate for Best Classical Format from the New York Festivals International Radio Awards for their work on The New York Philharmonic This Week.
Dr. David Wallace, violist and violinist, is a faculty member of The Juilliard School, a Senior Teaching Artist at the New York Philharmonic, an internationally touring musician, and an award-winning composer. Known for his mastery of eclectic styles ranging from all classical genres to fiddling, rock, and free jazz, DR. Wallace has also gained widespread acclaim for his ability to connect with audiences in diverse community settings, including schools, hospitals, psychiatric facilities, houses of worship, and prisons. He has performed with The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, at School Day Concerts with the New York Philharmonic, and on international tours with the Philharmonic's Teaching Artist Ensemble. DR. Wallace concertizes regularly with his flute-viola-harp trio Hat Trick, his downtown composer collective KNOT, and his Texas-style swing band The Doc Wallace Trio. He has been broadcast as a soloist and chamber musician on NPR, WQXR, KTV (Korea), CBS, ABC, PBS, Tokyo-MX, and NHK television. The New York Times compares his solo improvisations to "Jimmy Page fronting Led Zeppelin." His commissions include chamber works for musicians from the New York Philharmonic, The Juilliard School, and the Marian Anderson String Quartet. As a Teaching Artist for the New York Philharmonic's Very Young Composers and Bridge Composers programs, David Wallace has mentored more than 100 children whose original compositions have been performed by Philharmonic musician, and he holds multi-year residencies through the Philharmonic's School Partnership Program. He is the author of Reaching Out: A Musician's Guide to Interactive Performance (McGraw Hill).
Joelle Wallach composes for orchestra, chamber ensemble, solo voice, and chorus. Her String Quartet (1995) was the American Composers Alliance nominee for the 1997 Pulitzer Prize in Music. The New York Philharmonic Ensembles premiered her octet, From the Forest of Chimneys, written to celebrate the series' tenth anniversary. To commemorate its 35th anniversary season in Carnegie Hall, the New York Choral Society commissioned her secular oratorio, Toward a Time of Renewal, for 200 voices and orchestra. Ms. Wallach's ballet, Glancing Below - a 1999 Juilliard Dance Theater showcase production originally commissioned by the Carlisle Project - was premiered in Philadelphia during the summer of 1994, entered the repertory of the Hartford Ballet in February 1995, and received its New York City premiere that June. As early as 1980, her choral work On the Beach at Night Alone won first prize in the Inter-American Music Awards. Born in New York, Joelle Wallach grew up in Morocco. Her early training in piano, voice, theory, bassoon, and violin included study at the Pre-College Division of The Juilliard School, and she earned her bachelor's and master's degrees from Sarah Lawrence College and Columbia University, respectively. In 1984 the Manhattan School of Music, where she studied with John Corigliano, granted her its first doctorate in composition. Last year, Dr. Wallach joyfully returned to her New York City home after a two- year sojourn as Visiting Professor of Composition at the College of Music of University of North Texas.
Edward Yim is Vice President, Artistic Planning, for the New York Philharmonic. In this capacity, he works closely with Music Director Alan Gilbert and Philharmonic Executive Director Matthew VanBesien on programming, artistic planning, and engaging guest artists. Prior to joining the New York Philharmonic, Mr. Yim was director of artistic planning for the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Leading a team that worked across a wide range of musical genres - including classical, jazz, world music, and popular entertainment - he created artistic programming for more than 200 concerts per season for the Los Angeles Philharmonic, both at Walt Disney Concert Hall (where he was involved in planning the inaugural seasons) and at the Hollywood Bowl. He later served as director of artistic planning for New York City Opera and senior vice president and director of the conductors and instrumentalists division of IMG Artists North America. He is a graduate of the League of American Orchestra's Management Fellowship Program. Born and raised in Los Angeles, Edward Yim holds an A.B. degree in government from Harvard College and an M.B.A. from Case Western Reserve University. He serves on the board of New Music USA.
Tickets for Insights Series events are free; subscribers, Friends at the Affiliate level and above, and Patrons may request reserved seating by e-mailing AdultEd@nyphil.org. Space is limited. Single tickets for Pre-Concert Talks are $7; discounts are available for multiple concerts, students, and groups (visit nyphil.org/preconcert for more information). All tickets may be purchased online at nyphil.org or by calling (212) 875-5656, 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, and noon to 5:00 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets will be available the night of each event at the venue. Tickets may also be purchased at the Avery Fisher Hall Box Office. 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. To determine ticket availability, call the Philharmonic's Customer Relations Department at (212) 875-5656. [Ticket prices subject to change.]
Pictured: The Leonard Bernstein Scholar-in-Residence Carol J. Oja. Photo by Lesley Bannatyne.