New York Philharmonic's Alan Gilbert Named Chief Conductor of Hamburg's NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra
Alan Gilbert will become the new Chief Conductor of the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra. He will take on the position starting with the 2019-2020 season, succeeding Thomas Hengelbrock as head of the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg's orchestra-in-residence.
Lutz Marmor, Director, NDR: "Alan Gilbert is standing for highest quality in music, together with a major zeal for innovation and creativity. We are glad about the commitment of a conductor with such a vast international reputation. NDR Elbphilharmonic Orchestra is well acquainted with Alan Gilbert and regards him highly, having collaborated with him in recent years. Alan Gilbert and the Elbphilharmonie are a perfectly suited pair."
Alan Gilbert: "As I wrap up my time at the New York Philharmonic, very little would have tempted me to take on the challenge of a new position so soon. But the perfect confluence of circumstances seems to have come together with the Elbphilharmonie Orchestra. First of all, this is a group of musicians that I already know so well and love dearly. The musicians and I have shared a very special rapport and musical chemistry for many years. Furthermore, the environment surrounding the orchestra is uniquely exciting: The Elbphilharmonie is the perfect and already iconic physical space in which to play and present music, and the management team, headed by the future management team Achim Dobschall and Sonja Epping of the orchestra and Christoph Lieben-Seutter at the Elbphilharmonie, are the most inspired, ambitious, and forward-looking in the world of music. How rare it is to find a situation in which it is not only possible to imagine pushing the paradigm of orchestras in the 21st century forward, but one in which all constituent groups are demanding that this progress happens. I'm thrilled to have found such a place."
Dr. Carsten Brosda, Senator for Culture for the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg: "In Alan Gilbert, the NDR has appointed someone who is not only a fantastic conductor, but also has an outstanding knowledge of the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra. Alan Gilbert is a real gain for Hamburg as a musical city. I am positive that he will help to further cement Hamburg's cultural reputation at home and abroad."
Joachim Knuth, Program Director, Radio, NDR: "Alan Gilbert is a brilliant musician and meticulous Chief Conductor. During his successful time in New York, he proved that he can make his way by his artistic and programmatic impulses and ideas, despite being in a situation of very high competition. After eleven years as First Guest Conductor, we worked hard to bring him to Hamburg with a more permanent position, and are glad that the road from Hamburg to New York can be travelled in reverse by an artist of this category. We as North German Radio have been wishing for this cast because it promises something great - for NDR and this concert house."
Achim Dobschall, Manager, NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra: "Like hardly any other conductor of our times, Alan Gilbert owns a repertoire which can only look for matches related to scope and stylistic spectrum. He is a fantastic interpreter of symphonic core repertoire, having at the same time distinguished himself by outstanding projects of 20th century music. In the context of future collaboration, we are certain to profit enormously by his experiences with international high class orchestras. We are proud to have won Alan Gilbert as Chief Conductor for our orchestra. He was not only our candidate of choice, but also the favored candidate of the orchestra following Thomas Hengelbrock."
Christoph Lieben-Seutter, General and Artistic Director of the Elbphilharmonie and the Laeiszhalle: "In appointing Alan Gilbert as the future Chief Conductor of the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra, NDR has made an outstanding choice. In his time with the New York Philharmonic, he designed a number of exciting programmes and implemented many great projects. His vision for a 21st century orchestra is a perfect fit for the Elbphilharmonie, and I look forward to witnessing the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra help shape the hall's profile under his direction."
NDR has agreed to a five-year contract with Alan Gilbert, who was born in New York in 1967. Gilbert has had close ties with the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra for many years, serving as the orchestra's First Guest Conductor from 2004 to 2015. From 2009 to June 2017, he served as Music Director of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra. During his New York era, he launched a number of widely acclaimed artistic and programming initiatives and successfully introduced new formats to the stage.
Gilbert has established a reputation as a world-class interpreter with a wide repertoire ranging from baroque to contemporary music. He is highly sought-after as a Guest Conductor, having appeared with leading international orchestras including the Berlin Philharmonic, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam, the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the London Symphony Orchestra.
For further information on the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, visit www.elbphilharmonie.de/en, or follow on Facebook: www.facebook.com/elbphilharmonie.hamburg, Twitter: www.twitter.com/elbphilharmonie, and Instagram: www.instagram.com/elbphilharmonie #elbphilharmonie.
Hamburg is the second-biggest city in Germany with 1.8 million inhabitants. With 5 million inhabitants, the Hamburg metropolitan region is one of the most prosperous and affluent regions in Europe. As a port and trading centre for centuries, Hamburg has relationships spanning the globe. In addition to its thriving trade and booming logistics industry, Hamburg is Germany's media capital. The city ranks as the greenest metropolis in Europe - one fifth of its surface area consists of water and is shaped by two rivers, the Elbe and the smaller Alster, which has been dammed to form a lake in the city centre. Around these two rivers spreads a city with maritime flair, which extends from the leafy and genteel borough of Blankenese to lively, hip urban districts. Ambitious urban development projects like the HafenCity Hamburg, a wide range of cultural events and the high quality of life on the water's edge have attracted more and more tourists to the city in northern Germany in recent years, so that it has now become one of the top ten city destinations in Europe.
Photo Credit: David Finlayson