NEW YORK PHILHARMONIC MUSIC DIRECTOR ALAN GILBERT NAMED DIRECTOR OF CONDUCTING AND ORCHESTRAL STUDIES AT THE JUILLIARD SCHOOL BEGINNING FALL 2011# # #
New Position Expands Mr. Gilbert's Faculty Role at Juilliard as He Continues as First Holder of Juilliard's William Schuman Chair in Musical Studies
LONG-TIME JUILLIARD FACULTY MEMBER JAMES DEPREIST CONTINUES AS THE SCHOOL'S PRINCIPAL CONDUCTOR AND IS NAMED EMERITUS DIRECTOR
Mr. DePreist to Lead Juilliard Orchestra Performances Each Season and Teach
Juilliard President Joseph W. Polisi today named Alan Gilbert, New York Philharmonic Music Director and Juilliard alumnus, as the School's Director of Conducting and Orchestral Studies beginning in Fall 2011. Mr. Gilbert has been the first holder of Juilliard's William Schuman Chair in Musical Studies since 2009, and with this expansion of his responsibilities at Juilliard, Mr. Gilbert will be the principal teacher for all conducting majors at the School. Under Mr. Gilbert's direction, the program is designed to create a rich and multi-faceted educational center for conductors, providing students with the necessary technical training in addition to an extensive exploration of the background and culture of music and orchestras. Through this comprehensive approach, Mr. Gilbert aims to provide students with the insight and understanding that a modern conductor needs to meet the many and diverse demands that the profession now requires. Mr. Gilbert continues as holder of the Schuman Chair, in which he actively has participated in coaching and performance master classes with instrumentalists, singers, and chamber ensembles, as well as conductors.
Long-time Juilliard faculty member James DePreist becomes Principal Conductor at Juilliard and Director Emeritus. A frequent and popular guest conductor of Juilliard ensembles since the mid 1990s, Mr. DePreist became a full-time faculty member at Juilliard in 2004. During the School's centennial the following season, he led the Juilliard Orchestra on tours to Europe and across the United States – the orchestra's first domestic tour in its history. He also has conducted the Juilliard Orchestra's regular concerts in Carnegie Hall and in Avery Fisher Hall.
Plans in formation for Juilliard's conducting program led by Mr. Gilbert strengthen and expand student conductors' practical experience, with emphasis throughout on preparation for the profession. Through personalized coaching by Mr. Gilbert coordinated with their opportunities to lead the School's ensembles, young conductors can broaden their experience as interpreters and develop a well-rounded understanding of a larger cultural world. Mr. Gilbert will teach the conductors on the podium with Juilliard's 'lab' orchestra, and he'll lead classes in analysis and score reading. Juilliard's conductors will attend New York Philharmonic rehearsals, with discussions led by Mr. Gilbert about approaches to specific works taking place at weekly seminars held between Philharmonic rehearsals. One component of the experience that is planned is ready access to the resources that the New York Philharmonic could provide in enriching the education of young conductors. It marks yet another close tie to the major performers and performing institutions at Juilliard's Lincoln Center
campus, where Juilliard has worked in partnership with the Metropolitan Opera, Lincoln Center's White Light and Tully Scope festivals, and Jazz at Lincoln Center.
In making the announcement, President Polisi said, "It is with very great enthusiasm that Juilliard is able to continue the tradition of conductor education that has been heightened during the distinguished tenure of Maestro James DePreist, by announcing the appointment of Alan Gilbert as Director of Conducting and Orchestral Studies beginning with the 2011-12 academic year. Alan's commitment and imagination regarding the nurturing of young conductors are further enhanced by his close association with the New York Philharmonic and its future participation in our conducting program. Alan's transformative vision for that orchestra has yielded remarkable results that can only inspire the students who will be privileged to work with him at Juilliard. We see Alan's presence at Juilliard as a new era that will continue the level of excellence we aspire to every day. We also celebrate the extraordinary achievements of James DePreist, and are grateful that he will have a continuing presence at the School in the future."
Alan Gilbert comments : "It has long been a dream of mine to create a comprehensive conducting program, so when Joseph Polisi and Ara Guzelimian approached me with the idea of establishing an ambitious approach to the training of conductors at such an eminent school as Juilliard, I was enormously excited by this wonderful opportunity to create an important educational center for conductors. More and more, conductors are called on to be both advocates and educators. I am pleased that Joseph, Ara, and I agree on the same, ambitious goal: to build a really rich program that moves beyond the essential matters of technique to explore a multi-dimensional element that includes a broader cultural and philosophical understanding. We are striving to build on the great work that James DePreist, whom I've always admired, has already accomplished through his years of work at Juilliard by creating a program that helps inform well-rounded musicians who are also advocates for music itself."
James DePreist commented about Juilliard's plans by saying, "The expanded role for Alan Gilbert with the Juilliard School marks a significant advance both for the Conducting and Orchestral Studies programs and for the institution. I welcome my friend and distinguished colleague with my very warmest wishes."
Long known for its roster of renowned alumni in dance, drama, and all fields of music during its almost-100 year history, The Juilliard School has been the center of training for many accomplished orchestral conductors. Among them are Marin Alsop, Christian Badea, Herbert Blomstedt, Victoria Bond, Myung-Whun Chung, Catherine Comet, James Conlon, Dennis Russell Davies, Andreas Delfs, JoAnn Falletta, James Levine, and Leonard Slatkin. Many celebrated conductors also have taught at Juilliard – Albert Stoessel, Edgar Schenkman, Frederick Prausnitz, Otto Werner-Mueller, and the legendary Jean Morel, in addition to noted guest conductors who lead concerts and readings. This season alone, an outstanding roster of guest conductors have led Juilliard ensembles in concerts and readings, including John Adams, Harry Bicket, William Christie, James Gaffigan, Christopher Hogwood, James Levine, Nicholas McGegan, Yannick Nezét-Séguin, Michael Tilson-Thomas, Keri-Lynn Wilson, and Xian Zhang, as well as Messrs. DePreist and Glbert.
Music Director Alan Gilbert, The Yoko Nagae Ceschina Chair, assumed the directorship of the New York Philharmonic in September 2009, the first native New Yorker to hold the post, ushering in what The New York Times called "an adventurous new era" at the Philharmonic. In his inaugural season he introduced a number of new initiatives: the positions of Composer-in-Residence, held by Magnus Lindberg; Artist-in-Residence, held in 2010–11 by violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter; an annual three-week festival; and CONTACT!, the New York Philharmonic's new-music series. In the 2010–11 season Mr. Gilbert is leading the Orchestra on two tours of European music capitals; two performances at Carnegie Hall, including the venue's 120th Anniversary Concert; and a staged presentation of Janácek's The Cunning Little Vixen. Highlights of his inaugural season included major tours of Asia and Europe and an acclaimed staged presentation of Ligeti's Le Grand Macabre. In 2009–10 Mr. Gilbert became the first person to hold the William Schuman Chair in Musical Studies at The Juilliard School.
James DePreist As Music Director of the Oregon Symphony from 1980 to 2003, James DePreist helped transform what had long been a regional orchestra into a major, internationally acclaimed ensemble. Over the past three decades he has also served as music director of L'Orchestre Symphonique de Québec, Sweden's Malmö Symphony and L'Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte Carlo, and from 2005 to 2008 was permanent conductor of the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra. As a guest conductor he has appeared with virtually every major North American orchestra, and internationally, he has conducted in Amsterdam, Berlin, Budapest, Helsinki, Munich, Prague, Rome, Seoul, Stockholm, Sydney, Tel Aviv, Tokyo and Vienna, among other cities. He made his London debut with the London Symphony at the Barbican Centre in April 2005. With more than 50 recordings to his credit, Mr. DePreist has a substantial discography. In 2005, James DePreist was presented with the Presidential National Medal of Arts, the nation's highest honor for artistic excellence. More recently he was named artistic advisor to the Pasadena Symphony. Mr. DePreist next appears with the Juilliard Orchestra on March 25, 2011 in Avery Fisher Hall.
For the first ten years after the School's founding in 1905, instrumentalists were taught ensemble disciplines via a small string orchestra conducted by violinist Louis J. Boestelman, who was a member of the faculty from 1911 – 1950. The New York Symphony Society, forerunner of today's New York Philharmonic, was pressed into service when an orchestra was needed at the school. Gradually winds were added to the enrollment, and in 1915 a student orchestra debuted at Aeolian Hall led by Juilliard's founder, Frank Damrosch.
In 1911, Damrosch initiated a training program for U. S. Army Band leaders, selected by audition and testing from regional Army band units coast-to-coast. Each year, five bandleaders were selected for study in a two-year program, and had as their lab ensemble a recruit band of 25 Army musicians, housed at Governor's Island. Strings sometimes supplemented the band, and until the program was relocated to Washington, DC in 1922, New York City saw frequent concerts by the Army Music School Symphony Orchestra and Army Music School Concert Wind Band.
Juilliard's first conducting class didn't arrive until 1934, taught by Albert Stoessel, a self-taught conductor, who would go on to head Juilliard's first opera department while still teaching the conductors. The syllabus included typical study such as 'the technic of gestures', score-reading, theory, harmony, and history, as well as 'stage deportment' and 'the conductor as drill-master and pedagogue'. There was a more far-reaching segment on 'radio and recording techniques', and another unit on "the conductor as Program-maker and 'Leader' in his Community", still considered important to the development of today's Juilliard artist. The young conductors worked with pianos and lab orchestras, but rarely were invited to conduct public performances. They were assigned one annual concert for the display of their growing technique, however. (This is another tradition that lives on in Juilliard's current Conductors' Concert, one in the series of weekly free lunchtime concerts at Alice Tully Hall called Wednesdays at One.) The graduate school at Juilliard did not grant degrees originally, and the School's first master of science degrees in conducting were conferred in 1948. Today, conducting students at Juilliard receive a master of music degree, and those with extraordinary musicianship and intellectual accomplishment may enter Juilliard's doctor of musical arts program with full-tuition funding made possible by the C. V. Starr Foundation.
Among those early Stoessel students were Hollywood composer/conductors Bernard Hermann and Jerome Moross, composers Elie Siegmeister and Robert Ward, arrangers Herschel Gilbert and Elliot Morgenstern, and a host of men who worked with the NBC Symphony in the heyday of radio broadcast – Dean Dixon, Richard Korn, and Robert Lawrence. Frederick Prausnitz and Edgar Schenkman, became noted teachers at Juilliard, two of a number of devoted pedagogues whose long tenures demonstrated their commitment to their students and the School. In 2004, James DePreist joined an illustrious list of master teachers at Juilliard who were part of a developing conducting program that coincided with a growing cultural awareness in 20th century America: Albert Stoessel, who taught at Juilliard 1927 – 1943; Edgar Schenkman, 1940 – 1948; Frederick Prausnitz, 1945 – 1961; Frederic Waldman, 1947 – 1964; Jean Morel, 1948 – 1971; Sixten Ehrling, 1973 – 1987; and Otto Werner-Mueller,1987 – 2004; Visiting conductors have included Adams, Alsop, Boulez, Bernstein, Conlon, Colin Davis, Falletta, Haitink, Karajan, Levine, Masur, McGegan, Mehta, Nezét-Seguin, Norrington, Ormandy, Slatkin, Solti, and Temirkanov, and Tilson-Thomas, among many others; the likes of Walter Hendl, André Kostelanetz, Fritz Reiner, and Max Rudolf taught in Juilliard's summer school, which existed from 1932 to 1952.
In 1979, the Lila Acheson Wallace-funded Young Conductors Project was begun at Juilliard, vastly expanding performing opportunities with orchestras as part of the curriculum. It pointedly addressed the fact that, unlike typical musicians, a conductor's 'instrument' – a full orchestra – was difficult to come by. The Young Conductors Project also was billed as the first year-round program for conductors that provided practical performance experience (as opposed to multi-day or week-long master classes and workshops).
In the post-war period when numerous orchestras were formed in the U.S., and cultural programs were expanding, there still was an overwhelming preference for Europeans to lead from the podium. Up until that time, only two Americans, Leonard Bernstein and Lorin Maazel, had been appointed as music director of a major American orchestra. Juilliard, and specifically its president, Peter Mennin, hoped to rectify that situation with a long term and thorough commitment to creating a core of world-class American conductors. Ironically, the Young Conductors Project's intense study and frequent conducting experience were supervised by two Europeans, noted Swedish conductor Sixten Ehrling, and renowned Italian pedagogue Franco Ferrara.
In 1993 Juilliard became the host organization for the Seaver/NEA Conductors Award, its goal to identify young American conductors who were slated for major careers. Administering the selection in sometimes two- sometimes three-year cycles, Juilliard convened an Executive Council comprised of industry professional who awarded substantial artistic development grants of $50,000 that could be used by the awardee for a remarkable and very personalized range of professional and enrichment projects, so long as they were devoted to the furtherment of a career. Additionally, recipients gained access to master conductors, orchestras, and other important resources to broaden and enrich their artistic perspectives, their musical leadership, and their technical and intellectual growth. Before it ended in 2002, the Seaver/NEA program compiled an impressive roster of awardees, including Kent Nagano and Hugh Wolff, Jahja Ling, Robert Spano, David Robertson, JoAnn Falletta, and Miguel Harth-Bedoya, as well as Mr. Gilbert.