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Launching the 2016-17 Season at the New York Philharmonic

Bethany Taylor / 12th September 2016 / Journal

In seven years as Music Director of the New York Philharmonic, Alan Gilbert has continued to evolve the role of the modern orchestra; as the New York Times put it, “helping to change the template for what an American orchestra can be.” The eighth and final season of Gilbert’s tenure, which also marks the Philharmonic’s 175th anniversary season, not only honors their shared hometown, but also celebrates this extraordinary legacy. Thus world premieres of new Philharmonic commissions rub shoulders with iconic masterworks and an adventurous opera performance; artistic residencies continue to forge and nurture meaningful musical partnerships; innovative programming explores the ways music can foster global community and positive change; and the conductor and orchestra once again take their vision overseas on their seventh and final European tour together.

To launch his farewell season at the Philharmonic, Gilbert leads the Opening Gala Concert on September 21 that pays tribute to their native city. The New York premiere of John Corigliano’s Stomp, for Orchestra shares the program with two key New York works of the past: Gershwin’s Concerto in F, which the Philharmonic commissioned and premiered, with American jazz virtuoso Aaron Diehl, and Dvořák’s Symphony No. 9, “From the New World,” which the Philharmonic premiered in 1893. This work forms the centerpiece of the orchestra’s season-long New World Initiative, which seeks to make the beloved symphony a cultural touchstone for as many New Yorkers as possible. By way of an upbeat to the new season, for the fourth edition of The Art of the Score: Film Week at the Philharmonic, Gilbert and the Philharmonic – the orchestra that anchored the film’s original soundtrack recording – accompany a screening of Woody Allen’s Manhattan on September 16 and 17 with the first live-to-film performance of its classic Gershwin score.

For the season’s first subscription concerts, accounts of Dvořák’s New World Symphony are paired with Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto featuring former Artist-in-Residence Lisa Batiashvili on September 22, 23, and 24 and with Corigliano’s Stomp and Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto performed by Principal Clarinet Anthony McGill on September 27.

Photos: © Chris Lee