This September, Chief Conductor Alan Gilbert and the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra launch the 2019–20 season with a three-week festival titled #SoundsLikeGilbert. Under Alan’s curatorship, the festival’s six programs offer a first look at the musical journey ahead, celebrating both the traditional and the new.
Paying tribute to the NDR’s living heritage, the Opening Night program (September 6 & 7) kicks off with the First Symphony of Hamburg native Brahms, followed by the world premiere of a new work by South Korea’s Unsuk Chin, the NDR’s 2019–20 Composer-in-Residence. The program concludes with three emotionally charged 20th-century works from Gilbert’s American homeland: Bernstein’s First Symphony, “Jeremiah,” which is still rarely performed in Germany; Ives’s The Unanswered Question; and Varèse’s visionary Amériques.
On September 12 & 13, Alan and the orchestra are joined by Yuja Wang for Shostakovich’s Piano Concertos Nos. 1 & 2. The concerts also include Magnus Lindberg’s epic Kraft.
Alan and the NDREO perform an all-Haydn program on September 19. The evening highlights the composer’s Symphonies No. 48 & 99, along with the Sinfonia concertante in B flat major.
September 21 hears Alan on viola, in a chamber concert with musicians of the NDREO. Joining forces with violinists Stefan Wagner and Rodrigo Reichel, violist Jan Larsen, and cellists Andreas Grünkorn and Christopher Franzius, together, they perform Brahms’s String Sextets Nos. 1 & 2.
For the final performances of #SoundsLikeGilbert, Alan and the orchestra look ahead to Beethoven’s 250th anniversary next year, with a program that contrasts music by the master composer with contemporary works by Jörg Widmann and Enno Poppe. Violinist Carolin Widmann is featured as guest soloist (September 26 & 29).