25 September 2013
Free Dress Rehearsal 2013
The final chord of Boléro, the closer of tonight’s Opening Gala Concert as well as today’s Free Dress Rehearsal, is still echoing through Avery Fisher Hall. The first people in line arrived at 4:50 a.m., and a total of approximately 1,500 fans joined them. They enjoyed morning sun; free water and chocolate courtesy of Global Sponsor Credit Suisse; and tango performances and lessons by dancers from Triangulo. A handful of Philharmonic musicians greeted fans and even tangoed. Five lucky fans won the raffle prize: an iPod Shuffle loaded with Philharmonic performances.
It’s been a terrific morning, thanks to all who joined us, and here’s to a great 2013–14 Season!
Oh, and the photo is Bo Derek, the movie is 10, and you’ll never guess what she likes to do while listening to Prokofiev.
11 June 2013
Song of a Wayfarer
"Reflecting my nomadic concertizing experience," writes Sergei Prokofiev of his Violin Concerto No. 2 in Short Biography, “the concerto was written in the most diverse countries: the main subject of the first movement was written in Paris, the first theme of the second movement in Voronezh, the instrumentation was completed in Baku, and the premiere took place in December of 1935 in Madrid.”
Much like his Violin Concerto No. 1, written in the year of the Russian Revolution while the composer sequestered himself in the Caucasus to avoid the turbulent climes, Prokofiev’s second concerto reflects the meeting between outer and inner states of being. Following the completion of the first concerto, Prokofiev fled Russia via Vladivostok, Japan, Honolulu, and San Francisco, before ultimately reaching New York and later settling in Paris. Unsurprisingly, while his first concerto looks for inner peace in the midst of public upheaval, his second takes on a cosmopolitan air, refusing to be pinned down.
Read more about the work in our online program notes, and don’t miss Greek violinist Leonidas Kavakos performing Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No. 2 this week at the Phil.
10 June 2013
In case you need a refresher on the plot of Dukas's The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, the fantastical tale of a proto-intern’s shortcut gone awry, it’s preserved in early cartoon form over at the New York Philharmonic Digital Archives. (Move over, Mickey…)
Conducted by Lionel Bringuier, the Phil plays Dukas’s work this week, paired with music by Stravinsky, Prokofiev, and Kodály. Given the rain that’s been plaguing New York as of late, we’ll be keeping the brooms at bay this time around.
4 June 2013
The Musical Is Political
Dallapiccola's Il Prigioniero isn’t the only politically charged work on this week’s program, which juxtaposes the aforementioned opera with a violin concerto (Prokoviev's First, which was written in 1917, the same year that the Tsar was overthrown by the Bolsheviks).
"One really shouldn’t even try to draw an explicit connection between the two genres," says Alan Gilbert. “Still, in the period leading up to his composing this concerto, Prokofiev was reacting to oppressive forces that were similar to those under which Dallapiccola was subjected when he composed this opera, and I feel together that these two pieces make a sympathetic pairing. Indeed, I see Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No. 1 — which is one of my favorite of his works because of its sincerity and poignancy — as a musical representation of an individual trying to find a resonance in the face of adversity.”
You can dive into the musical world of Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No. 1, as marked by Leonard Bernstein, courtesy of the New York Philharmonic Digital Archives.
3 June 2013
“‘There is a growing audience for contemporary works, especially among the younger attendants at the concerts,’ reads a ‘General Practices’ document,” writes The New York Times in a recent Sunday Arts & Leisure feature. “Though new music might isolate subscribers, the committee believed, ‘careful distribution’ of the works alongside war horses would be beneficial, a tactic still employed, to mixed results.”
While this GP document feels very relevant today, this more-than-half-century old document, one of the many business communications housed in the New York Philharmonic Digital Archives, shows the trajectory of new music at the Philharmonic during Leonard Bernstein's tenure as Music Director. It conveys a spirits that is still alive and is on display through Gilbert’s Playlist, officially launched in last week’s packed concerts with Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. As we turn this week to music by Prokofiev and Dallapiccola with Lisa Batiashvili, Gerald Finley, Patricia Racette, and others this week, the Times takes this occasion to look at what they’ve dubbed ”Lenny’s Playlist.” Read more about the adventures here.
23 April 2013
Doubt Thou the Tsars
April 23 serves as an auspicious date, as it marks the birth-anniversary of both William Shakespeare and Sergei Prokofiev (the latter of whom performed as a piano soloist with the Philharmonic six times). Why choose between celebrating one or the other when you can fête both? As a birthday gift for all from the Digital Archives, we have the score for Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet, marked by maestro Andre Kostelanetz.
Meanwhile, our inspiration from the Bard will play on next year when our Concertmaster Glenn Dicterow plays Korngold’s Much Ado About Nothing Suite as part of his farewell season. More immediately, we explore Prokofiev’s two violin concertos in June, the first performed by Lisa Batiashvili, the second spotlighting Leonidas Kavakos.
10 April 2013
Join us in wishing an outstanding birthday to Yefim Bronfman, next season’s Philharmonic Artist-in-Residence. This keyboard-devouring genius has performed with us already 87 (!) times, including on tour (check out the above video of Prokofiev’s knuckle-busting Second as performed in Spain). While you wait to hear his Beethoven cycle and more with us in 2013–14, don’t forget to pre-order your copy of the CD that includes his performance of a piece composed for him — Magnus Lindberg’s Piano Concerto No. 2 — in a live concert with Alan Gilbert and the Phil in May 2012.
Many happy returns to this lovely gentleman and remarkable musician.
(Video: Chris Lee)
7 February 2013
Where in the World Is Alan Gilbert?
Now, he’s in Leipzig, for concerts tonight and tomorrow, conducting the historic Gewandhaus Orchestra (which has been led by a few maestros you might have heard of, such as Mendelssohn and Masur) in an all-Russian program: Prokofiev’s Classical Symphony and Violin Concerto No. 1 with Lisa Batiashvili (in a warm up to their performance of the work with the Philharmonic in New York this June), as well as Tchaikovsky’s Fourth Symphony.
Alan is coming back to New York next week, and it’s about time. We’ve missed him!
22 October 2012
On Friday, September 28, pianist Daniil Trifonov (who studies at CIM with Sergei Babayan) performed at Avery Fisher Hall in the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts for the first time with the New York Philharmonic conducted by Alan Gilbert.
Mr. Trifonov played Prokofiev’s Concerto for Piano no 3 in C major, Op. 26.
Now, you can hear his performance along with the other works from this three-concert series with the NY Philharmonic—including Mussorgsky’s Night on Bald Mountain and Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade, Op. 35—by visiting InstantEncore.com.