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ALAN GILBERT, MUSIC DIRECTOR DESIGNATE OF THE NEW YORK PHILHARMONIC, RETURNS TO U.S. IN FEBRUARY FOR CONCERTS IN NEW YORK AND PHILADELPHIA

FOLLOWING RETURN ENGAGEMENT WITH PHILADELPHIA ORCHESTRA, GILBERT CONDUCTS THE ORCHESTRA OF CURTIS INSTITUTE, HIS ALMA MATER, IN PHILADELPHIA AND AT NEW YORK'S CARNEGIE HALL

IN MARCH, GILBERT WILL LEAD NEW YORK PHILHARMONIC IN TWO SUBSCRIPTION PROGRAMS


Midway through the final season of his seven-year tenure as the chief conductor and artistic advisor of the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, Manhattan-born Alan Gilbert returns to his home country for several concerts, beginning with performances in Philadelphia and New York in February.

Gilbert's first stop in America will be a return engagement with the Philadelphia Orchestra, where he will conduct a program featuring Anders Hillborg's Exquisite Corpse (a 2002 work that Gilbert has previously conducted with the Chicago Symphony and elsewhere); Bartók's Concerto for Two Pianos, Percussion, and Orchestra; and Nielsen's Symphony No. 2, The Four Temperaments (February 7–9).

Alan Gilbert will remain in Philadelphia to lead the orchestra of his alma mater, the Curtis Institute (February 11), before taking the young musicians of the Curtis Symphony Orchestra to New York for their annual appearance at Carnegie Hall (February 12). On the program for both concerts will be Barber's Overture to The School for Scandal; Mahler's orchestral arrangement of Beethoven's String Quartet No. 11 in F minor, Op. 95, "Serioso"; and another Nielsen symphony – No. 3, Sinfonia espansiva. These concerts will mark the first time that Gilbert, who attended Curtis between 1989 and 1992, has ever conducted the orchestra in concert. Gilbert comments:

It's tremendously exciting, and very meaningful to me, to be conducting the Curtis Symphony. I have many powerful memories of the concerts I played in and listened to while at Curtis. Those were formative years in my life and in my development as a musician, and it is important and inspiring to come full circle with them and lead them both in Philadelphia and at Carnegie.

The concerts in Philadelphia and New York City mark the finale of a Curtis-wide study of Beethoven's "Quartetto serioso," called the "Beethoven Op. 95 Project." In addition to rehearsing and performing Mahler's arrangement of the Beethoven piece, every student string quartet studied the work in its original form. At the same time, several classes analyzed the score and studied Beethoven's letters from the period (the "Quartetto serioso" dates from 1810). Nielsen's Third Symphony was on the program of Gilbert's debut with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in Spring 2004, a performance that led the Chicago Tribune to praise the "Dionysian appetite he brings to his music-making." That same review concluded: "Gilbert is a conductor destined to make his mark on the music world."

Two Programs with the New York Philharmonic

Following concerts at home and on tour (February 19 – March 1) with Hamburg's NDR Symphony Orchestra, where he has been principal guest conductor since 2004, Alan Gilbert will return to the U.S. for concerts with the New York Philharmonic, his first since being named Music Director Designate of the orchestra, last June. The first of his two subscription programs features high-spirited symphonies by Haydn (No. 48, "Maria Theresia") and Beethoven (No. 4), coupled with Luciano Berio's extraordinary Folk Songs (March 5–8). The following week, Gilbert will conduct the world premiere of American composer Marc Neikrug's Symphony No. 2, Quintessence, and Richard Strauss's Ein Heldenleben (March 12–15). The concerts will be supplemented for audiences by an "Inside the Music" discussion between Gilbert and Gerard McBurney for Strauss's Heldenleben (the only work to be performed on March 14), and by two "Hear & Now Premiere Previews" for Neikrug's Quintessence.

Gilbert's concerts with the New York Philharmonic this season mark the second year of a three-year arrangement, during which he spends multiple weeks with the orchestra. He made his debut with the New York Philharmonic in October 2001 as the Diamond American Conductor. He has since appeared numerous times with the orchestra, notably at the acclaimed May 2004 Philharmonic festival – "Charles Ives – An American Original in Context," and most recently in March 2007, when he led works by Bach, Ligeti, and Schumann. Gilbert begins his tenure as the 25th Music Director of the New York Philharmonic in the 2009-10 season.

Additional spring concerts

Before returning to Europe, Gilbert will head to California for a return engagement with the San Francisco Symphony. The program for his four concerts there comprises Steven Stucky's 1998 work Son et lumière, Nielsen's Symphony No. 2, and Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 18 in B-flat major, with soloist Richard Goode (March 26–29).

Between Gilbert's last two concert series in Stockholm – the programs of which feature Messiaen's Turangalîla Symphony (April 15–17) and Mahler's Symphony No. 9 (June 5 and 7) – he returns to Zurich, Switzerland in May, for two weeks of conducting and a single concert playing chamber music with members of the Tonhalle Orchestra. He conducts Liszt's Faust Symphony, Daniel Börtz's Parados, and Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto (with Joshua Bell) in the first week, and a program of Sibelius, Brahms, and Vaughan Williams in the second.

Alan Gilbert: Winter/Spring 2008 engagements

Feb 7, 8, 9 Philadelphia Orchestra
HILLBORG: Exquisite Corpse
BARTOK: Concerto for Two Pianos, Percussion, and Orchestra
NIELSEN: Symphony No. 2, The Four Temperaments

Feb 11 Curtis Symphony Orchestra, Philadelphia
BARBER: Overture to The School for Scandal
BEETHOVEN: String Quartet in F Minor, Op. 95, "Serioso" (arr. Mahler)
NIELSEN: Symphony No. 3, Sinfonia espansiva

Feb 12 Curtis Symphony Orchestra, Carnegie Hall, NYC
Same program as Feb 11

Feb 19 NDR Symphony Orchestra, Hamburg

Feb 22 NDR Symphony Orchestra, Hamburg

Feb 23-Mar 1 NDR Symphony Orchestra tour: Lübeck, Feb 23; Cologne, Feb 25; Llubljana, Feb 27; Prague, Feb 28-29; and Vienna, Mar 1.

Mar 5-8 New York Philharmonic
HAYDN: Symphony No. 48, "Maria Theresia"
BERIO: Folk Songs for mezzo-soprano
BEETHOVEN: Symphony No. 4

Mar 12 New York Philharmonic
R. STRAUSS: Ein Heldenleben (Rush-Hour concert)

Mar 13, 15 New York Philharmonic
MARC NEIKRUG: Symphony No. 2, Quintessence
R. STRAUSS: Ein Heldenleben

Mar 14 New York Philharmonic
R. STRAUSS: Ein Heldenleben ("Inside the Music" with Gerard McBurney)

Mar 26-29 San Francisco Symphony
STUCKY: Son et lumière
MOZART: Piano Concerto, No. 18 in B-flat major (with Richard Goode)
NIELSEN: Symphony No. 2, The Four Temperaments

Apr 10, 12 Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra
MAHLER: Des Knaben Wunderhorn
PETTERSSON: Symphony No. 2, Symphonic Movement

Apr 15-17 Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra
MESSIAEN: Turangalîla Symphony

May 21-23 Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich
MENDELSSOHN: Violin Concerto (with Joshua Bell, May 21-22)
BÖRTZ: Parados (May 23)
LISZT: A Faust Symphony

May 25 Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich – Chamber Concert (Gilbert on violin)
BRAHMS: Clarinet Quintet in B minor
BRAHMS: String Sextet No. 2 in G major

May 27-29 Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich
SIBELIUS: En Saga (May 27, 29)
VAUGHAN-WILLIAMS: Tuba Concerto (May 27, 29)
BRAHMS: Serenade No. 1 in D major

Jun 5, 7 Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra
MAHLER: Symphony No. 9

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