New York Philharmonic to Present Film Music, Beethoven Concertos and a 'Biennial' in 2013-14

Wednesday, January 23, 2013 - 12:00 PM

The New York Philharmonic on Wednesday announced a 2013-14 season that seems to aim for maximum variety.

The season will include a festival of music featured in the movies; a 10-day "NY Phil Biennial" new-music festival; and a Beethoven piano concerto cycle featuring Yefim Bronfman, who becomes the orchestra’s new artist in residence. Details were announced in a press conference in The Greene Space at WQXR.

Several programs will pay tribute to Glenn Dicterow, the orchestra’s concertmaster since 1980, who is retiring in June 2014. They include a chamber music recital in January and a Beethoven Triple Concerto performance with Bronfman and Philharmonic cellist Carter Brey in June 2014, plus works such as Strauss’s Don Juan that prominently feature Dicterow.

The season opens on Sept. 25 with a Spanish-tinged gala concert featuring soloist Yo-Yo Ma performing Osvaldo Golijov’s Azul and Piazzolla’s Suite from La serie del Ánge.

But before that, the Philharmonic will present "Film Week" (Sept. 17-21), in which the orchestra presents scores from Alfred Hitchcock movies as well as "2001: A Space Odyssey," performed live as the entire film is screened in Avery Fisher Hall. Film music returns in May with a program featuring Disney Pixar clips.

The film music programs were the idea of Alec Baldwin, the orchestra's radio broadcast host and a board member.

The 2013-14 season is the first programmed under the leadership of Matthew VanBesien, who became orchestra's executive director in September. In October, the Philharmonic renewed Gilbert's contract through 2016-17. In his remarks, Gilbert said that, after five years, he believes the orchestra is programming in a way that "creates a journey for our audience to follow along with."

The Philharmonic will continue a longstanding practice of an international winter tour, with a trip to Asia in January and February 2014. It is to come days after Long Yu, the prominent Chinese conductor, leads the Philharmonic at Avery Fisher Hall in a program with the pianist Yuja Wang in Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini. The Philharmonic has begun a partnership with the Shanghai Symphony, which Long conducts.

After previous seasons that featured a splashy, end-of-year visual work – including last year’s "Philharmonic 360" at the Park Avenue Armory – June 2014 will see a change of course. The NY Phil Biennial, said Gilbert, will be a "window into the state of music around the world," comparable to the biennials of modern art museums.

Full details are to be announced this spring but the programming is to draw on collaborations with the Orchestra of St. Luke's, Juilliard and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Programs are to include chamber events around New York City, and the premiere of Christopher Rouse’s Symphony No. 4 in Avery Fisher Hall.

"These projects are a major investment, certainly artistically but also financially," said VanBesien. "I'm very pleased that we have significant support for the biennial." He declined to cite specific costs.

Rouse will continue in his second season as the Philharmonic’s composer in residence, where he will advise on the "Contact" new music series. This year’s series will expand its reach to include performances at the 92YTribeca, the 92nd St. Y's downtown outpost.

WQXR is a broadcast partner of the New York Philharmonic.


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Comments [3]

Reverend Bulworth from Westchester NY

I am personally delighted to see the NY Phil expanding its format to include film scores. The Philadelphia Orchestra has made it a staple of their summer sabaticals in Saratoga the past few seasons and it is a popular night. In order to pass this art form on to the next generation, technology must be accomodated despite the protestations of the purists. Young people are not inclined to sit still for 2 hours with nothing to watch. I'm not saying that every concert needs to have a video screen playing behind the orchestra, but on occasion it makes for a more interesting experience. If we do not find ways to use technology to capture the imagination and interest of young people, this tradition might just be heading into thesunset along with the purists themselves. And btw Mr Baldwin writes a large check to the Phil every year, that's who he is.

Jan. 25 2013 07:51 AM

What's with film scores and who put Alec Baldwin in charge? Isn't there a big enough market in New York that they have to resort to such things?

Jan. 24 2013 10:15 PM
Kenneth Bennett Lane, Lake Hiawatha, NJ from Richard Wagner Music Drama Institute, Boonton, NJ

MAESTRO ALAN GILBERT has the consummate vision as to what one should do to widen the experience of audiences in what out there. Living composers rely on contemporary performers to give expression to their creativity. Like JUILLIARD in the past had three orchestras to cover amongst themselves the opera, chamber music and all ages of the orchestral history, so it would be fantastic to have a larger NEW YORK PHILHARMONIC SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA to cover a still wider rep including works that would strain the resources of lesser talented performers. I personally am appalled at the music scene today where classically trained instrumentalists and singers are marginally kept out of sight by commercial interests whom cater to the lowest knowledgeable of the populace. I am a Wagnerian romantischer heldentenor, an opera composer, and director of the Richard Wagner Music Drama Institute. My websites are, and

Jan. 23 2013 11:02 PM

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