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

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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.