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New York Philharmonic Announces 2011-12 Season; Digital Archives

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The New York Philharmonic has announced a 2011-12 season that includes a new residency by the German violinist Frank Peter Zimmermann, a touring schedule with stops at the Park Avenue Armory and L.A.'s Walt Disney Concert Hall, and two world premieres.

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The announcement, which took place on Thursday in The Greene Space at WQXR, also included the unveiling of the Philharmonic's digital archives. A repository of scores, documents, letters, program books, audio recordings and photos, it spans the years 1943 to 1970. Visitors can access documents like the program booklet for Leonard Bernstein's debut appearance with the Philharmonic at Carnegie Hall while listening to the original radio broadcast.

The announcement also presented Alan Gilbert's third season as music director. It will open and close at Avery Fisher Hall with major choral works, the Mahler Symphony No. 2 “Resurrection” (Sept. 22, 24 and 27) and the Mozart C-minor Mass (June 20-23, 2012).

Perhaps the most ambitious concert will take place after the season officially ends. On June 29-30, the Park Avenue Armory will welcome the Philharmonic to its 55,000-square-foot Drill Hall for a pair of programs featuring spatially-oriented works. They include Stockhausen’s Gruppen, a 1958 classic that requires three orchestras and conductors arranged around the audience.

On Sept. 30 through Oct. 1 and 4, the Philharmonic will give the world premiere of a new song cycle composed by John Corigliano for mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe. One Sweet Morning, a co-commission with the Shanghai Symphony, is a meditation on the decade since September 11, 2001.

Magnus Lindberg marks his third year as composer-in-residence with a new Piano Concerto No. 2 performed by Yefim Bronfman, for whom it is being written, on May 3–5, 2012.

Correcting a longstanding absence, the Philharmonic will perform the music of Philip Glass for the first time on November 2–3, as Michael Riesman conducts the composer’s Koyaanisqatsi complete with a projection of the Godrey Reggio film score that it accompanies.

As part of the orchestra’s now annual European winter tour, the Philharmonic will also kick off what it says will become an ongoing residency at the Barbican Centre in London. Also scheduled is a West Coast tour in May 2012 that includes the orchestra’s debut at Los Angeles‘s Walt Disney Concert Hall.

Zimmermann, 45 and known as a “violinist’s violinist,” will become the Philharmonic's artist-in-residence, playing concertos by Beethoven, Berg, and Dvořák, plus all-Brahms and all-Bach programs.

Three past music directors will make return appearances. Lorin Maazel takes the podium for two weeks of performances (October 13-18; Oct 20-22). Kurt Masur returns from Oct 27-29, and Zubin Mehta will conduct from January 12-14, 2012.

Zarin Mehta, the orchestra's president and executive director will step down when his contract expires at the end of the 2011-12 season.

Gustavo Dudamel Extends Contract in Los Angeles

The Los Angeles Philharmonic announced Thursday that conductor Gustavo Dudamel has extended his contract as music director through the 2018-19 season. The five-year extension comes just in his second season as music director of the orchestra. Dudamel turned 30 last month.