Music Director Alan Gilbert will conduct the New York Philharmonic in Haydn's Symphony No. 49, La passione; the Orchestra's first performance of John Adams's The Wound-Dresser, with baritone Thomas Hampson, The Mary and James G. Wallach Artist-in-Residence, as soloist; Schubert's Symphony in B minor, Unfinished; and Berg's Three Orchestral Pieces, Thursday, January 14, 2010, at 7:30 p.m., Friday, January 15 at 2:00 p.m., and Saturday, January 16, at 8:00 p.m.
Alan Gilbert, in speaking about the program, notes that "there's a direct line from Schubert to Berg, and to present Berg as the finishing movement of the Schubert symphony I think makes an interesting grouping. The Schubert Unfinished," he says, "seems to reach forward in music - there's a kind of foreshadowing of where music is going. Both of these composers use similar techniques - although it may not be apparent at face value - and Berg picks up essentially where Schubert leaves off. Schubert's music was written in the Classical period but leading into the Romantic period, and what Berg did in his serial compositional techniques and expressionist philosophy was to pick up where the Romantics left off."
Mr. Hampson, commenting on The Wound-Dresser, said that "John Adams has set to music a small extract of Walt Whitman's magnificent poem, called Drum Taps, which we know as part of Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass. He has taken the central part of the poem, which is quite autographical, of Walt Whitman's time in the hospitals in Washington, D.C., nursing soldiers coming back from battle in the last days of the Civil War. It is, without being overtly anti-war, one of the strongest American voices in all of American literature about the uselessness of aggression."
• Annual Erich Leinsdorf Lecture
Thomas Hampson, the Leonard Bernstein Scholar-in-Residence, will present the lecture, Listening to Thought: Awakening of the American Voice, a discussion of Walt Whitman's impact on American song and the emergence of American identity, in conversation with Philharmonic Director of Education Theodore Wiprud. Mr. Hampson, who is also The Mary and James G. Wallach Artist-in-Residence, will perform several settings of Whitman's poetry by a variety of composers, Monday,
January 11, 2010, at 6:30 p.m. at the Walter Reade Theater, Broadway at 65th Street. Free, but tickets are required. Information: (212) 875-5656 or online at nyphil.org
• Pre-Concert Talk
New York Philharmonic Program Annotator James M. Keller will introduce the program one hour before each performance. Tickets are $5 in addition to the concert ticket. Attendance is limited to 90 people. Information: nyphil.org or (212) 875-5656
• New York Philharmonic Podcast
Elliott Forrest, Peabody Award-winning broadcaster, producer, and weekend host on Classical 105.9 FM WQXR, is the producer of this podcast. These award-winning previews of upcoming programs - through musical selections as well as interviews with guest artists, conductors, and Orchestra musicians - are available at nyphil.org/podcast or from iTunes.
• National Radio Broadcast
This concert will be broadcast the week of January 25, 2010,* on The New York Philharmonic This Week, a radio concert series syndicated nationally to more than 295 stations by the WFMT Radio Network. The 52-week series, hosted by the Emmy Award-winning actor Alec Baldwin, is generously underwritten by The Kaplen Foundation, the Audrey Love Charitable Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Philharmonic's corporate partner, MetLife Foundation. The broadcast will be available on the Philharmonic's Website, nyphil.org. The program is broadcast locally in the New York metropolitan area on 105.9 FM WQXR on Thursdays at 9:00 p.m.
*Check local listings for broadcast and program information.
Alan Gilbert began his tenure as Music Director of the New York Philharmonic in the 2009-10 season, the first native New Yorker to hold the post. For his inaugural season he has introduced a number of new initiatives: The Marie-Josée Kravis Composer-in- Residence Magnus Lindberg; The Mary and James G. Wallach Artist-in-Residence Thomas Hampson; an annual three-week festival; and CONTACT!, the New York Philharmonic's new-music series. He led the Orchestra on a major tour of Asia in October 2009, with debuts in Hanoi and Abu Dhabi; will take the musicians on a European tour in January-February 2010; and is conducting performances of world, U.S., and New York premieres. Also in the 2009-10 season Mr. Gilbert becomes the first to hold the William Schuman Chair in Musical Studies at The Juilliard School, a position that will include coaching, conducting, and performance master classes. Highlights of Mr. Gilbert's 2008-09 season with the New York Philharmonic included the November 14, 2008, Bernstein anniversary concert at Carnegie Hall, and a performance with the Juilliard Orchestra, presented by the Philharmonic, featuring Bernstein's Symphony No. 3, Kaddish. In May 2009 he conducted the World Premiere of Peter Lieberson's The World in Flower, a New York Philharmonic Commission, and in July 2009 he led the
New York Philharmonic Concerts in the Parks, Presented by Didi and Oscar Schafer, and four concerts at the Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival in Colorado.
In June 2008 Mr. Gilbert was named conductor laureate of the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, following his final concert as its chief conductor and artistic advisor. He has been principal guest conductor of Hamburg's NDR Symphony Orchestra (NDRSO) since 2004. Mr. Gilbert regularly conducts other leading orchestras in the U.S. and abroad, including the Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, and San Francisco symphony orchestras; The Cleveland Orchestra; Munich's Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra; Amsterdam's Royal Concertgebouw; and Orchestre National de Lyon. In 2003 he was named the first music director of Santa Fe Opera, where he served for three seasons.