New York Philharmonic Presents The Second Of Four Week Event, ALAN GILBERT'S FINAL WEEKS

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In the second of Alan Gilbert's final four subscription weeks as New York Philharmonic Music Director, he will lead the Orchestra in a program that highlights important artistic relationships he has cultivated during his tenure. The concerts will feature the New York Premiere of Kravis Emerging Composer Anna Thorvaldsdottir's Aeriality; the New York Premiere of The Marie-Josée Kravis Composer-in-Residence Esa-Pekka Salonen's Wing on Wing with sopranos Anu and Piia Komsi, the former in her Philharmonic subscription debut and the latter in her Philharmonic debut; and The Mary and James G. Wallach Artist-in-Residence Leonidas Kavakos in Brahms's Violin Concerto in his final appearances in that role in New York. The performances will take place Friday, May 19, 2017, at 8:00 p.m.; Saturday, May 20 at 8:00 p.m.; and Tuesday, May 23 at 7:30 p.m.

"I love the connection between Aeriality and the sense of flying in Wing on Wing," Alan Gilbert said. "The fact that we can bring a very established composer from today - our wonderful Composer-in-Residence Esa-Pekka Salonen - and a wonderful but not-yet-as-well-known composer - our exciting Kravis Emerging Composer, Anna Thorvaldsdottir - together in the same program is an emblem of what we've tried to do at the Philharmonic. Our brilliant Artist-in-Residence Leonidas Kavakos, another member of our Philharmonic family, opens this 'family concert.'"

The Philharmonic named Anna Thorvaldsdottir the second Kravis Emerging Composer, bestowed on an up-and-coming composer as part of The Marie-Josée Kravis Prize for New Music, established during Alan Gilbert's tenure. As part of the honor, Esa-Pekka Salonen will conduct the World Premiere-New York Philharmonic Commission of a new work by Ms. Thorvaldsdottir in April 2018.

Alan Gilbert's final four subscription programs as Music Director reflect signature themes of his tenure and feature works that hold particular meaning for him and musicians with whom he has formed close relationships. They also include Schoenberg's A Survivor from Warsaw paired with Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 (May 3-6 and 9); Wagner's complete Das Rheingold in concert (June 1, 3, and 6); and Alan Gilbert Season Finale: A Concert for Unity, which celebrates the power of music to build bridges and unite people across borders (June 8-10). A website celebrating Alan Gilbert and the highlights of his tenure as Music Director through video, audio, and photos is available at

The Saturday Matinee Concert on May 20 at 2:00 p.m. opens with Hummel's Piano Quintet in D minor (transcribed from Piano Septet, Op. 74), with Principal Associate Concertmaster Sheryl Staples, Principal Viola Cynthia Phelps, Principal Cello Carter Brey, Principal Bass Timothy Cobb, and guest pianist Shai Wosner. The rest of the program features Brahms's Violin Concerto, with Artist-in-Residence Leonidas Kavakos as soloist and conducted by Alan Gilbert. The chamber works featured on the Saturday Matinee Concerts this season, the Philharmonic's 175th anniversary season, are all tied to the Philharmonic's history. Hummel's Piano Quintet in D minor was featured on the Philharmonic's inaugural concert, on December 7, 1842.

Related Events

  • Philharmonic Free Fridays

The New York Philharmonic is offering 100 free tickets to young people ages 13-26 for the concert Friday, May 19 as part of Philharmonic Free Fridays. Information is available at Philharmonic Free Fridays offers 100 free tickets to 13-26-year-olds to each of the 2016-17 season's 16 Friday evening subscription concerts.

  • Insights at the Atrium - "A Toast to Alan Gilbert"

New York Philharmonic Music Director Alan Gilbert, speaker
Adam Gopnik, moderator
Wednesday, May 24, 2017, 7:30 p.m.
In his final Insights at the Atrium engagement as Music Director and as he concludes his New York Philharmonic tenure, Alan Gilbert sits down with Adam Gopnik to reflect on his eight years leading the Orchestra - the people, projects, and stories.
David Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center (Broadway at 62nd Street)

As Music Director of the New York Philharmonic since 2009, Alan Gilbert has introduced the positions of The Marie-Josée Kravis Composer-in-Residence, The Mary and James G. Wallach Artist-in-Residence, and Artist-in-Association; CONTACT!, the new-music series; the NY PHIL BIENNIAL, an exploration of today's music; and the New York Philharmonic Global Academy, partnerships with cultural institutions to offer training of pre-professional musicians, often alongside performance residencies. The Financial Times called him "the imaginative maestro-impresario in residence."

Alan Gilbert concludes his final season as Music Director with four programs that reflect themes, works, and musicians that hold particular meaning for him, including Beethoven's Ninth Symphony alongside Schoenberg's A Survivor from Warsaw, Wagner's complete Das Rheingold in concert, and an exploration of how music can effect positive change in the world. Other highlights include four World Premieres, Mahler's Fourth Symphony, Ligeti's Mysteries of the Macabre, and Manhattan, performed live to film. He also leads the Orchestra on the EUROPE / SPRING 2017 tour and in performance residencies in Shanghai and Santa Barbara. Past highlights include acclaimed stagings of Ligeti's Le Grand Macabre, Janá?ek's The Cunning Little Vixen, Stephen Sondheim's Sweeney Todd starring Bryn Terfel and Emma Thompson (2015 Emmy nomination), and Honegger's Joan of Arc at the Stake starring Marion Cotillard; 28 World Premieres; a tribute to Boulez and Stucky during the 2016 NY PHIL BIENNIAL; The Nielsen Project; the Verdi Requiem and Bach's B-minor Mass; the score from 2001: A Space Odyssey, performed live to film; Mahler's Resurrection Symphony on the tenth anniversary of 9/11; performing violin in Messiaen's Quartet for the End of Time; and ten tours around the world.

Conductor laureate of the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra and former principal guest conductor of Hamburg's NDR Symphony Orchestra, Alan Gilbert regularly conducts leading orchestras around the world. This season he returns to the foremost European orchestras, including the Leipzig Gewandhaus, Munich Philharmonic, Amsterdam's Royal Concertgebouw, and Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia. He will record Beethoven's complete piano concertos with the Academy of St Martin in the Fields and Inon Barnatan, and conduct Gershwin's Porgy and Bess at Milan's Teatro alla Scala, his first time leading a staged opera there. He made his acclaimed Metropolitan Opera debut conducting John Adams's Doctor Atomic in 2008, the DVD of which received a Grammy Award, and he conducted Messiaen's Des Canyons aux étoiles on a recent album recorded live at the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival. Mr. Gilbert is Director of Conducting and Orchestral Studies at The Juilliard School, where he holds the William Schuman Chair in Musical Studies. His honors include Honorary Doctor of Music degrees from The Curtis Institute of Music (2010) and Westminster Choir College (2016), Columbia University's Ditson Conductor's Award (2011), election to The American Academy of Arts & Sciences (2014), a Foreign Policy Association Medal for his commitment to cultural diplomacy (2015), Officier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (2015), and New York University's Lewis Rudin Award for Exemplary Service to New York City (2016).

Violinist and conductor Leonidas Kavakos is The Mary and James G. Wallach Artist-in-Residence at the New York Philharmonic for the 2016-17 season. His residency features three solo appearances in repertoire ranging from the Baroque to the contemporary, his Philharmonic conducting debut, a recital with pianist Yuja Wang (presented in association with Lincoln Center's Great Performers), and a Young People's Concert. Also in the season he appears with The Philadelphia Orchestra; plays and conducts the Houston Symphony; embarks on a recital tour with Ms. Wang in both Europe and the U.S.; and undertakes a European tour with the Budapest Festival Orchestra and a tour to Switzerland with the Mariinsky Orchestra. Mr. Kavakos had already won three major competitions by age 21: the Sibelius (1985), the Paganini (1988), and the Naumburg (1988). This success led to his making the first recording in history of the original Sibelius Violin Concerto (1903-04), which won the 1991 Gramophone Concerto of the Year Award. He has since appeared regularly as soloist with the New York, Vienna, Berlin, and Los Angeles philharmonic orchestras; London, Boston, and Chicago symphony orchestras; and the Leipzig Gewandhaus and Philadelphia Orchestras. As a conductor Mr. Kavakos has worked with the Atlanta, Boston, London, and Vienna symphony orchestras; Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin; Maggio Musicale Fiorentino; Chamber Orchestra of Europe; Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France; and Budapest Festival Orchestra. This season he makes conducting debuts with the Gürzenich-Orchester Köln and Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra. An exclusive Decca Classics recording artist, Mr. Kavakos's first release on the label, of the complete Beethoven violin sonatas with pianist Enrico Pace (2013), earned him an ECHO Klassik Instrumentalist of the Year award. Later recordings include Brahms's Violin Concerto with the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra and Riccardo Chailly; Brahms's violin sonatas with Yuja Wang; and, his most recent recording, Virtuoso (released in April 2016). His earlier discography includes recordings for BIS, ECM, and Sony Classical. He was named Gramophone Artist of the Year 2014. Leonidas Kavakos plays the "Abergavenny" Stradivarius violin of 1724. He made his New York Philharmonic debut playing Bruch's Scottish Fantasy during the July 2002 Concerts in the Parks, led by Bramwell Tovey; most recently, in March 2017, he performed the World Premiere-New York Philharmonic Commission of Lera Auerbach's NYx: Fractured Dreams (Violin Concerto No. 4), led by Music Director Alan Gilbert.

Coloratura soprano Anu Komsi began her musical education in Kokkola, Finland, where she played both flute and violin in the Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra. Equally at home on both opera and concert stages, she appears regularly throughout Europe and the United States. Also a versatile recitalist and chamber musician, her repertoire spans Renaissance and contemporary genres. In addition to Ms. Komsi's numerous operatic engagements, for which she has amassed a repertoire of more than 60 roles, she has appeared as soloist with major orchestras including the New York, Los Angeles, Berlin, Oslo, Royal Stockholm, Czech, and Rotterdam philharmonic orchestras; BBC, Vienna Radio, City of Birmingham symphony orchestras; and the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Filarmonica della Scala, Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Ensemble Modern, Ensemble intercontemporain, London Sinfonietta, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, and Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra. She has worked with an array of conductors including Alan Gilbert, Rudolf Barshai, Heinz Holliger, Hannu Lintu, Jesús López Cobos, Susanna Mälkki, Roger Norrington, Sakari Oramo, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Jukka-Pekka Saraste, Leif Segerstam, and Franz Welser-Möst. Ms. Komsi's recent highlights include performances of Sibelius's Luonnotar, recorded with the Lahti Symphony for BIS Records; Kaija Saariaho's Leino Songs, recorded for Ondine; Tiensuu's Voice Verser, written for Ms. Komsi; Esa-Pekka Salonen's Wing on Wing, performed with her sister, Piia Komsi, and recorded by Deutsche Grammophon; Magnus Lindberg's Accused; Heinz Holliger's Morgenstern Liede; and Mahler's Symphonies Nos. 2, 4, and 8, recorded with Roger Norrington and the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra. She was most recently praised for her 2016 performance as Eva in Stockhausen's Donnerstag aus licht at Theatre Basel, chosen as Opernwelt magazine's Production of the Year. Anu Komsi leads an opera festival in her hometown of Kokkola. The twelfth festival, in July 2017, which features the Finnish Premiere of Meyerbeer's L'Étoile du Nord, is an official part of Finland's centenary year celebrations. Anu Komsi made her New York Philharmonic debut in July 2010 performing Varèse's Nocturnal, led by Music Director Alan Gilbert as part of the Varèse: (R)evolution concerts during the Lincoln Center Festival.

Coloratura soprano Piia Komsi's international opera, concert, chamber, and Lied performances include a range of Baroque, classical, and contemporary repertoire. She also has a strong background in early church music, which began when she sang in the children's choir of the Kokkola Church with her twin sister, Anu. She began her professional career as a continuo cellist and then began performing as a soprano soloist. Ms. Komsi's breakthrough role as the Maid in Thomas Adès's opera Powder Her Face has led to numerous engagements in major opera houses across the globe. As a soprano soloist she has worked with many of today's leading conductors, including Peter Eötvös, Kent Nagano, Sakari Oramo, Francois-Xavier Roth, Peter Rundel, Esa-Pekka Salonen, and Jukka-Pekka Saraste, and performed with ensembles including the Los Angeles, Royal Stockholm, and Oslo philharmonic orchestras; BBC, Bavarian Radio, and Gothenburg symphony orchestras; the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, London Sinfonietta, Ensemble intercontemporain, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Ensemble Modern, Gulbenkian Orchestra, Orquestra Sinfónica do Porto Casa da Música, Remix Ensemble, MDR Leipzig Radio Symphony Orchestra, Hamburg's NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra, Cologne's Ensemble Musikfabrik, and ELISION; and an array of Finnish orchestras performing early and new music. Recent projects include the lead role of Martha in Fabián Panisello's Le Malentendu, as well as Esa-Pekka Salonen's Wing on Wing, composed for Ms. Komsi and her sister, Anu Komsi. Piia Komsi was a cellist with the Finnish National Orchestra until 2001, and her latest interest is singing while accompanying herself on the cello; several composers have already written new works for this combination. Piia Komsi's recordings include the album Solaris, Wing on Wing, Unsuk Chin's Akrostichon Wortspiel and Alice in Wonderland (DVD), Kaija Saariaho's From the Grammar of Dreams, Wennäkoski's Procris, Tuomela's opera Mothers and Daughters, and Heinz-Juhani Hofmann's Ahti Karjalainen - elämä, Kekkonen ja teot. These performances mark Piia Komsi's New York Philharmonic debut.

Insights at the Atrium Speaker
Adam Gopnik has been writing for The New Yorker since 1986. During his tenure at the magazine, he has written fiction, humor, book reviews, profiles, and reporting from abroad. He was the magazine's Art Critic from 1987 to 1995, and the Paris Correspondent from 1995 to 2000. From 2000 to 2005, he wrote a journal about New York life, and since then has been working as a miscellaneous essayist. His books, ranging from essay collections about Paris and food to children's novels, include Paris to the Moon (2000), The King in the Window (2005), Through the Children's Gate: A Home in New York (2006), Angels and Ages: A Short Book About Darwin, Lincoln, and Modern Life (2009), The Table Comes First: Family, France, and the Meaning of Food (2011), and Winter: Five Windows on the Season (2011). Mr. Gopnik has won the National Magazine Award for Essays and for Criticism three times, and the George Polk Award for Magazine Reporting. In 2013 Mr. Gopnik was awarded the medal of Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters. He lectures widely, and delivered the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's Massey Lectures in 2011. Adam Gopnik lives in New York.

Johannes Brahms (1833-97) wrote his only Violin Concerto in 1878 for Joseph Joachim, a close friend and the most celebrated virtuoso of the day. The composer repeatedly asked for Joachim's advice on the technical aspects of violin writing - and then ignored almost all of his suggestions. Nevertheless, the concerto shows Joachim's influence throughout: in the first-movement cadenza written by Joachim, in the Hungarian-inspired rhythms of the finale, and in the concerto's technical difficulty. The work's innovative metrical effects and the striking thematic unity are hallmarks of Brahms. The New York Symphony (which merged with the New York Philharmonic in 1928 to form today's New York Philharmonic) first performed the work in 1891, led by Walter Damrosch, with Adolph Brodsky as soloist. The most recent performance took place in October 2014, performed by Lisa Batiashvili, the 2014-15 Mary and James G. Wallach Artist-in-Residence, and conducted by Alan Gilbert.

Icelandic composer Anna Thorvaldsdottir (b. 1977) wrote Aeriality in 2010-11. A 13-minute work for large orchestra, it comprises vast sound-textures combined and contrasted with lyrical material. The title is a play on words - combining "aerial," the sky or untouchable, and "reality," the ground - and "refers to the state of gliding through the air with nothing or little to hold on to - as if flying - and the music both portrays the feeling of absolute freedom gained from the lack of attachment and the feeling of unease generated by the same circumstances." Walking the line between symphonic music and sound art, parts of Aeriality build upon thick clusters of sound that, according to the composer, "form a single force - a sound-mass. The sense of individual instruments is somewhat blurred and the orchestra becomes a single moving body, albeit at times forming layers of streaming materials that flow between different instrumental groups." Aeriality was written for the Iceland Symphony Orchestra and premiered in the new Reykjavik Concert Hall and Conference Center, HARPA, in November 2011, conducted by Ilan Volkov.

The Marie-Josée Kravis Composer-in-Residence Esa-Pekka Salonen (b. 1958) composed Wing on Wing - for two soprano soloists, sampler, and orchestra - in 2004 for the opening of the Frank Gehry-designed Walt Disney Concert Hall. Mr. Salonen writes: "In sailing terminology, when a sailboat opens both the foresail and the main sail to a 180-degree angle to produce the maximum amount of sail area, the beautiful sculptural constellation is called 'wing on wing.' Frank Gehry uses that as a metaphor for the view of Walt Disney Concert Hall from the corner of Grand Avenue and First Street. My composition Wing on Wing is, of course, not an attempt to translate architecture into music, which would be an impossible task anyway. Nor is it a musical portrait of Frank Gehry, but rather an homage to an extraordinary building by an extraordinary man. At the same time it celebrates the efforts of every man and woman whose dedication, skill, and faith made a fantastic vision into reality." Inspired by water and wind metaphors, the composer samples the unusual vocalizations made by the Plainfin Midshipman (a species of fish from Southern California's waters), Gehry's voice, the sopranos' singing, and selected woodwinds, additionally dispersing some of these sounds throughout the auditorium.

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Leonidas Kavakos is The Mary and James G. Wallach Artist-in-Residence.

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Esa-Pekka Salonen is The Marie-Josée Kravis Composer-in-Residence.

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Anna Thorvaldsdottir is the Kravis Emerging Composer.

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Major support for Philharmonic Free Fridays is provided by The Pratt Foundation.

Additional funding is provided by Jack and Susan Rudin and Muna and Basem Hishmeh.

Philharmonic Free Fridays is made possible, in part, by a donation from an anonymous donor through the New York Philharmonic's 2014 Share the Music! campaign.

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Insights at the Atrium is presented in partnership with Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Inc.

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Citi. Preferred Card of the New York Philharmonic.

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Emirates is the Official Airline of the New York Philharmonic.

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Programs are supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the New York State Council on the Arts, with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Single tickets for this performance start at $29. Tickets may be purchased online at 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. Saturday; and noon to 5:00 p.m. Sunday. Tickets may also be purchased at the David Geffen 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.)

Insights at the Atrium events are free and open to the public. Seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Subscribers, Friends at the Fellow level and above, and Patrons may secure guaranteed admission by emailing Space is limited.

For press tickets, call Lanore Carr in the New York Philharmonic Communications Department at (212) 875-5714, or email her at

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