15 April 2013
Remembering Sir Colin
The New York Philharmonic joins orchestras and artists around the world in mourning the passing of Sir Colin Davis, who died yesterday at the age of 85. This “parfit gentil knight” (for whom Chaucer may have coined that phrase) conducted the Phil 139 times, beginning with his debut in 1968, when he led a program devoted to Berlioz, one of his specialties.
His subsequent appearances ran the gamut, ranging from Mozart’s complete The Abduction from the Seraglio to Tippett’s A Child of Our Time, and included the Orchestra’s 14,000th concert in 2004. This photo was taken during his final Philharmonic appearance, in December 2010, which included works by his compatriot, Elgar. We will miss his elegance, warmth, and wisdom.
(Photo: Chris Lee)
19 October 2012
“I’m sure that any of you who has ever had a crush on someone who didn’t return your feeling will understand that passionate melody perfectly and you can easily see how a lovesick musician could become obsessed by it.” Leonard Bernstein puts a universal spin on the idea of the idée fixe in Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique.
18 October 2012
“There’s rosemary, that’s for remembrance. Pray you, love, remember.”
Those words are spoken by Ophelia during her mad scene in Shakespeare’s Hamlet. This was role famously portrayed by Harriet Smithson (above), an early 19th-century Irish actress and the inspiration for Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique, which the Philharmonic is performing October 18–23.
Pained by his then unrequited love for her, Berlioz composed the work to depict an artist tormented by love. Read more about their tragic tale in this week’s program notes.
17 October 2012
The Philharmonic performs Hector Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique this week, under the direction of Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos. But in his own time, the composer’s trademark shock of red curly hair and eagle nose made him a prime target for cartoonists. Check out how our Facebook fans have been captioning this caricature.
15 October 2012
This week’s performances of Berlioz’s powerful and evocative Symphonie fantastique will feature occasional members of the Philharmonic — enormous bells, like those heard in churches. Principal Percussionist Christopher S. Lamb shares their biography, and why you won’t be seeing them on stage, in the concert’s program notes.
25 April 2012
Engaging Repartee — Tonight!
What better way can there be to get insights and information about the works about to be performed on tonight’s Rush Hour Concert than to Engage at the Atrium with Philharmonic Program Annotator James M. Keller. Those attending this free Pre-Concert Talk, which begins at 5:30 p.m. at the David Rubenstein Atrium, will meet the man behind the mountains of musical information you read in our programs, and be treated to musical nuggets that will enrich their enjoyment of the performances by Alan Gilbert of music by Berlioz, Mozart, and Debussy that follows.
For those who would like to discuss what they have just heard: Return to the Atrium after the concert for a free Casual Conversation, facilitated by one of Lincoln Center’s Performing Arts Docents.
24 April 2012
From the Big Apple to City of the Arts
The first stop on the CALIFORNIA 2012 tour is the “City of the Arts” – Costa Mesa. The New York Philharmonic has performed in the Orange County locale only three times in its 170-year history, most recently in 2006 when it helped to inaugurate the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts, en route to a major tour of the Far East. On May 8, Alan Gilbert takes the Orchestra back to Segerstrom Hall, treating the audience to Berlioz, Debussy, Ravel, and a Beethoven concerto with Yefim Bronfman.
23 February 2012
“These are masterpieces.”
The latest On the Music podcast brings you mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato, who talks about the songs that comprise Berlioz’s Nuits d’été, which she performs with the Orchestra this week. Podcast host Mark Travis also provides a guide to the other works on the program: Steven Stucky’s Son et lumière and the Ravel orchestration of Musorgksy’s Pictures at an Exhibition.