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Audra McDonald Hosts Broadcast of the New York Philharmonic Opening Gala Tonight, 9/27

Tune in to PBS tonight, September 27, 2012, at 8 p.m.* for Live From Lincoln Center's telecast of the New York Philharmonic's Opening Gala conducted by Music Director Alan Gilbert. The program will feature world famous violinist Itzhak Perlman performing personal favorites including Williams' Theme from Schindler's List and Massenet's "Meditation from Tha?s, as well as works by Sarasate, Tchaikovsky and Rimsky-Korsakov. The broadcast, which features extended artist profiles, will also include Respighi's celebrated Fountains of Rome and Pines of Rome.

Itzhak Perlman is the reigning virtuoso of the violin as well as an eminent conductor and educator. In January 2009 he performed at the Inauguration of President Barack Obama. In December 2003 he received a Kennedy Center Honor celebrating his contributions to the cultural and educational life of the country. In October 2012 Mr. Perlman will play recitals in Peru, Brazil, and Argentina with pianist and frequent collaborator Rohan De Silva. Other highlights of his 2012–13 season include the release of his new album, Eternal Echoes, on Sony Classical. He will perform in cities across North America, including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Montreal, Kansas City, Sarasota, Houston, Las Vegas, and Seattle. Mr. Perlman has won four Emmy and fifteen Grammy Awards. He performed at the 2006 Academy Awards and at The Juilliard School's Centennial gala, telecast nationally on Live From Lincoln Center. One of Mr. Perlman's proudest achievements is his collaboration with John Williams on the music for Steven Spielberg's Schindler's List, for which he performed the violin solos. Mr. Perlman was music advisor of the St. Louis Symphony (2002–04) and principal guest conductor of the Detroit Symphony (2001–05). He has conducted the New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, and the Boston, Chicago, National, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Pittsburgh, Seattle, Montreal, Atlanta, and Toronto symphony orchestras as well as at the Ravinia and OK Mozart festivals. Internationally, Mr. Perlman has conducted the Berlin Philharmonic, Amsterdam's Royal Concertgebouw, London Philharmonic, English Chamber, and Israel Philharmonic orchestras. Each summer Itzhak Perlman participates in the Perlman Music Program, and he holds the Dorothy Richard Starling Foundation Chair at The Juilliard School. In May 2005 he received an honorary doctorate and a centennial medal at Juilliard's 100th commencement ceremony.

Alan Gilbert began his tenure as Music Director of the New York Philharmonic in September 2009, launching what New York Magazine called "a fresh future for the Philharmonic." The first native New Yorker in the post, he has introduced the positions of The Marie-Josée Kravis Composer-in-Residence and The Mary and James G. Wallach Artist-in-Residence, an annual multi-week festival, and CONTACT!, the new-music series, and he has sought to make the Orchestra a point of civic pride for the city and country. In 2012–13, Alan Gilbert conducts world premieres; presides over a cycle of Brahms's complete symphonies and concertos; continues The Nielsen Project, the multi-year initiative to perform and record Nielsen's symphonies and concertos; and leads the EUROPE / SPRING 2013 tour. The season concludes with June Journey: Gilbert's Playlist, four programs showcasing themes he has introduced, including the season finale: a theatrical reimagining of Stravinsky ballets with director/designer Doug Fitch and New York City Ballet Principal Dancer Sara Mearns. Last season's highlights included tours of Europe and California, several world premieres, Mahler symphonies, and Philharmonic 360, the Philharmonic and Park Avenue Armory's acclaimed spatial-music program featuring Stockhausen's Gruppen, about which The New York Times said: "Those who think classical music needs some shaking up routinely challenge music directors at major orchestras to think outside the box. That is precisely what Alan Gilbert did." 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. 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."

Founded in 1842, the New York Philharmonic is one of the oldest orchestras in the world. Since its inception, it has played a leading role in American musical life, reaching out to audiences with touring that began in 1882; recordings beginning in 1917; and radio broadcasts since 1922, now represented by The New York Philharmonic This Week, syndicated nationally 52 weeks a year.

Live From Lincoln Center is in its 37h broadcast season. The series has received 13 Emmy Awards, most recently for the broadcast of New York City Opera's Madama Butterfly. Live From Lincoln Center has made the world's greatest artists on Lincoln Center's renowned stages accessible to home viewers in virtually every corner of the United States.

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