News

back to top

Biography 623 words

Download biography as pdf Download biography as word doc

New York Philharmonic Music Director Alan Gilbert began his tenure in September 2009, and is the first native New Yorker to be appointed to that post. He simultaneously maintains a major international presence, making regular guest appearances with orchestras including the Berlin Philharmonic, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra of the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, and Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France. Gilbert is Conductor Laureate of the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, where he served as Music Director for eight years, and this season marks his tenth anniversary as Principal Guest Conductor of the NDR Symphony Orchestra Hamburg. He has led operatic productions for the Metropolitan Opera, Los Angeles Opera, Zurich Opera, Royal Swedish Opera, and Santa Fe Opera, where he served as the first appointed Music Director and conducted repertoire including Carmen, Eugene Onegin, Falstaff, and Peter Grimes among other works. At the New York Philharmonic, Gilbert has widened the artistic reach of the 172-year-old institution. He initiated annual residencies for composers (with Magnus Lindberg the first appointment) and leading performing artists (this season, violinist Lisa Batiashvili and pianist Inon Barnatan). Semi-staged productions of Ligeti's Le Grand Macabre, Janácek's Cunning Little Vixen, and Stravinsky's Petrushka have been presented to critical acclaim and capacity audiences. Gilbert also encouraged the development of two series devoted to contemporary music, CONTACT! devoted to premiering new scores, and the New York Philharmonic Biennial, a curatorial approach to exploring a wide range of contemporary and modern composers, inaugurated in spring of 2014.

read more...

New York Philharmonic Music Director Alan Gilbert began his tenure in September 2009, and is the first native New Yorker to be appointed to that post. He simultaneously maintains a major international presence, making regular guest appearances with orchestras including the Berlin Philharmonic, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra of the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, and Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France. Gilbert is Conductor Laureate of the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, where he served as Music Director for eight years, and this season marks his tenth anniversary as Principal Guest Conductor of the NDR Symphony Orchestra Hamburg. He has led operatic productions for the Metropolitan Opera, Los Angeles Opera, Zurich Opera, Royal Swedish Opera, and Santa Fe Opera, where he served as the first appointed Music Director and conducted repertoire including Carmen, Eugene Onegin, Falstaff, and Peter Grimes among other works.

At the New York Philharmonic, Gilbert has widened the artistic reach of the 172-year-old institution. He initiated annual residencies for composers (with Magnus Lindberg the first appointment) and leading performing artists (this season, violinist Lisa Batiashvili and pianist Inon Barnatan).  Semi-staged productions of Ligeti's Le Grand Macabre, Janácek's Cunning Little Vixen, and Stravinsky's Petrushka have been presented to critical acclaim and capacity audiences.  Gilbert also encouraged the development of two series devoted to contemporary music, CONTACT! devoted to premiering new scores, and the New York Philharmonic Biennial, a curatorial approach to exploring a wide range of contemporary and modern composers, inaugurated in spring of 2014.

Alan Gilbert opens the 2014-15 season with the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, where he replaces the orchestra’s indisposed music director, Riccardo Chailly, in season-opening concerts and on tour at the Lucerne Festival, Musikfest Berlin, and London’s BBC Proms. Other guest engagements this season include guest weeks with the Berlin Philharmonic, Munich Philharmonic, and the NDR Symphony Hamburg, as well as returns to the Metropolitan Opera, where he will conduct Don Giovanni with Peter Mattei in the title role, and the Philadelphia Orchestra, where he gives that organization’s first-ever performances of Janácek's Glagolitic Mass.

With the New York Philharmonic, Gilbert conducts programs including a pairing of Mahler's First Symphony with the U.S. premiere of Unsuk Chin’s Clarinet Concerto; La Dolce Vita: Music of Italian Cinema featuring Joshua Bell, Renée Fleming, and Josh Groban; Verdi’s Requiem; a staging of Honegger’s Jeanne d'Arc au bûcher featuring Oscar winner Marion Cotillard; and an evening with Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble. He concludes The Nielsen Project—the multi-year initiative to perform and record the Danish composer’s symphonies and concertos, the first release of which was named by the New York Times as among the Best Classical Music Recordings of 2012—and presides over a tour of major European cities.

Gilbert is Director of Conducting and Orchestral Studies and holds the William Schuman Chair in Musical Studies at the Juilliard School. He made his Metropolitan Opera debut to great acclaim in 2008 conducting John Adams’s Doctor Atomic, the DVD of which received a Grammy Award. Renée Fleming’s recent Decca recording Poèmes, on which he conducted, received a 2013 Grammy Award. His recordings have also received top honors from the Chicago Tribune and Gramophone magazine. In May 2010 Mr. Gilbert received an Honorary Doctor of Music degree from The Curtis Institute of Music, and in December 2011 Columbia University’s Ditson Conductor’s Award for his “exceptional commitment to the performance of works by American composers and to contemporary music.” In 2014 he was elected to The American Academy of Arts & Sciences.

back to top

Photos

back to top

Reviews

"The NYPO has made a magnificent choice. [Gilbert is] energising, contemporary, inclusive."

James Jolly, Gramophone Magazine

"Mr. Gilbert is excellent at revealing, without being didactic, the way the phrase-to-phrase layout of a composition fits into its larger structural arcs. His inquisitive mind lights on inner details, harmonic clashes and contrapuntal intricacies, and makes the music leap off the stage… His account of Bach’s Mass in B minor, utilizing the full resources of a modern orchestra, was lucid, sensitive and urgent. I have found his performances of Tchaikovsky, Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms and Bruckner symphonies consistently involving and insightful. I learn something when he conducts this repertory… His Beethoven is insightful and strong. And by programming these and other staples alongside new and recent pieces, he presents them in revealing historical context… He is building a legacy that matters and is helping to change the template for what an American orchestra can be."

Anthony Tommasini, The New York Times

"Alan Gilbert set out Friday to demonstrate with the Cleveland Orchestra that music from the Second Viennese School isn't all thorny and intellectual, and in that he certainly succeeded. And yet Gilbert, music director of the New York Philharmonic and a former assistant conductor here, also managed, perhaps inadvertently, to do something else, something just as important: model a new, refreshing way forward for conductors of major orchestras. The myth that Schoenberg and his pupils had no musical heart Gilbert, conducting in Cleveland for the first time since his New York appointment, shot to smithereens. No one who experienced his vital, sweeping accounts Friday of Webern's 'Im Sommerwind' or Schoenberg's 'Pelleas und Melisande' can have left Severance Hall clinging to such a relic. Neither can anyone have failed to appreciate Gilbert's efforts before the Schoenberg, when he grabbed a microphone and offered a full ten minutes of commentary. Not dull, academic stuff, either, but rather live musical excerpts and key insights. Just the tools essential to a basic appreciation of the score. If only more conductors felt so at ease... Just as he kept listeners engaged, Gilbert also kept the orchestra on its toes, demanding lushness, delicacy and transparency throughout. The result was a scintillating performance of tremendous but never violent volatility, a gentle maelstrom of colors and emotions... Gilbert, even with his history here, was something of an eye-opener, and now we can say for certain we want more."

Zachary Lewis, The Cleveland Plain Dealer

back to top

Discography