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New York Philharmonic Music Director Alan Gilbert, The Yoko Nagae Ceschina Chair, began his tenure in September 2009, launching what New York magazine called “a fresh future for the Philharmonic.” The first native New Yorker to hold the post, he has sought to make the Orchestra a point of civic pride for the city as well as for the country. Mr. Gilbert’s creative approach to programming combines works in fresh and innovative ways. He has also forged artistic partnerships, introducing the positions of The Marie-Josée Kravis Composer-in-Residence and The Mary and James G. Wallach Artist-in-Residence, held in the 2012–13 season by Christopher Rouse and pianist Emanuel Ax, respectively; an annual, multi-week festival, which this season is "The Bach Variations" in collaboration with 92nd Street Y; and "CONTACT!," the new-music series in which Philharmonic musicians perform works by today’s leading and emerging composers in New York’s more intimate venues. In the 2012–13 season, Alan Gilbert conducts world premieres by Anders Hillborg, Steven Stucky, and Christopher Rouse; presides over a cycle of Brahms’s complete symphonies and concertos; continues The Nielsen Project, the multi-year initiative to perform and record the Danish composer’s six symphonies and three concertos; conducts Bach’s Mass in B minor and an all-American program that includes Ives’s Fourth Symphony; and leads the Orchestra on the EUROPE / SPRING 2013 tour. The season concludes with "June Journey: Gilbert’s Playlist," four programs showcasing themes and ideas that Alan Gilbert has introduced since becoming Music Director, including the season finale: a theatrical reimagining of Stravinsky’s "Petrushka" and "The Fairy’s Kiss" in collaboration with director/designer Doug Fitch that features New York City Ballet Principal Dancer Sara Mearns.

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New York Philharmonic Music Director Alan Gilbert, The Yoko Nagae Ceschina Chair, began his tenure in September 2009, launching what New York magazine called “a fresh future for the Philharmonic.” The first native New Yorker to hold the post, he has sought to make the Orchestra a point of civic pride for the city and country. “The Philharmonic is once again part of any conversation about the liveliness of the arts: a goal that Mr. Gilbert announced on arrival, then wasted no time in achieving,” The New York Times praised.

Mr. Gilbert’s creative approach to programming combines works in fresh and innovative ways. He has also forged artistic partnerships, introducing the positions of The Marie-Josée Kravis Composer-in-Residence and The Mary and James G. Wallach Artist-in-Residence, held in the 2012–13 season by Christopher Rouse and pianist Emanuel Ax, respectively; an annual, multi-week festival, which this season is The Bach Variations in collaboration with 92nd Street Y; and CONTACT!, the new-music series in which Philharmonic musicians perform works by today’s leading and emerging composers in New York’s more intimate venues.

In the 2012–13 season, Alan Gilbert conducts world premieres by Anders Hillborg, Steven Stucky, and Christopher Rouse; presides over a cycle of Brahms’s complete symphonies and concertos; continues The Nielsen Project, the multi-year initiative to perform and record the Danish composer’s six symphonies and three concertos; conducts Bach’s Mass in B minor and an all-American program that includes Ives’s Fourth Symphony; and leads the Orchestra on the EUROPE / SPRING 2013 tour. The season concludes with June Journey: Gilbert’s Playlist, four programs showcasing themes and ideas that Alan Gilbert has introduced since becoming Music Director, including the season finale: a theatrical reimagining of Stravinsky’s Petrushka and The Fairy’s Kiss in collaboration with director/designer Doug Fitch that features New York City Ballet Principal Dancer Sara Mearns.

Last season’s highlights included performances of three Mahler symphonies, including the Second, Resurrection, on A Concert for New York on September 10; the Orchestra’s first International Associates residency at London’s Barbican Centre as part of its EUROPE / WINTER 2012 tour; the CALIFORNIA / SPRING 2012 tour; and Philharmonic 360, the Philharmonic and Park Avenue Armory’s acclaimed spatial music program featuring Stockhausen’s Gruppen, about which The New York Times said: “Those who think classical music needs some shaking up routinely challenge music directors at major orchestras to think outside the box. That is precisely what Alan Gilbert did.” Highpoints of Mr. Gilbert’s first two Philharmonic seasons included the acclaimed performance of Janáček’s The Cunning Little Vixen, hailed by The Washington Post as “another victory,” building on 2010’s wildly successful staging of Ligeti’s Le Grand Macabre, which The New York Times called “an instant Philharmonic milestone”; world premieres of works by Marie-Josée Kravis Composer-in-Residence Magnus Lindberg, John Corigliano, Christopher Rouse, and composers featured on CONTACT!; Mr. Gilbert’s Philharmonic debut as violin soloist in J.S. Bach’s Concerto for Two Violins; four concerts at Carnegie Hall; and four tours to Europe, as well as the Asia Horizons tour, which included the Philharmonic’s Vietnam debut at the historic Hanoi Opera House.

In September 2011 Alan Gilbert became Director of Conducting and Orchestral Studies at The Juilliard School, where he is also the first holder of Juilliard’s William Schuman Chair in Musical Studies. Conductor Laureate of the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra and principal guest conductor of Hamburg’s NDR Symphony Orchestra, he regularly conducts leading orchestras nationally and internationally, such as the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Amsterdam’s Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, and the Berlin Philharmonic. His 2012–13 season engagements include appearances with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, NDR Symphony Orchestra, and Berlin Staatskapelle.

Alan Gilbert made his acclaimed Metropolitan Opera debut in 2008 leading John Adams’s Doctor Atomic; the DVD and Blu-ray of this production received the 2012 Grammy Award® for Best Opera Recording. Earlier releases garnered Grammy Award nominations and top honors from the Chicago Tribune and Gramophone magazine.

Mr. Gilbert studied at Harvard University, The Curtis Institute of Music, and Juilliard and was assistant conductor of The Cleveland Orchestra (1995–97). In May 2010 he received an Honorary Doctor of Music degree from Curtis, and in December 2011 he received Columbia University’s Ditson Conductor’s Award for his “exceptional commitment to the performance of works by American composers and to contemporary music.”

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Reviews

"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

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Discography