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The New York Philharmonic's fourth annual Shanghai performance residency concluded with a New York--themed concert featuring music by former Philharmonic Music Director Leonard Bernstein and Gershwin, whom the late maestro championed. After the residency, Very Young Composers of Shanghai saw the World Premieres of their original music, composed under the guidance of New York Philharmonic and Shanghai Symphony Orchestra educators. The Shanghai Orchestra Academy and Residency Partnership is presented by Starr International Foundation.

10 days ago |
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The first three concerts of the New York Philharmonic's fourth annual Shanghai performance residency were followed by two days of instructing and inspiring the next generation of classical musicians. The Orchestra rehearsed side-by-side with graduate students from the Shanghai Orchestra Academy (SOA) -- a two-year post-graduate program co-founded by the Philharmonic -- and celebrated the graduation of SOA's third class. They also demonstrated their instruments to Very Young Composers of Shanghai, who are working with Philharmonic educators in preparation for a public performance. The Shanghai Orchestra Academy and Residency Partnership is presented by Starr International Foundation.
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In an appropriate nod to the maestro who made the New York Philharmonic a truly global orchestra, the Orchestra, led by Bramwell Tovey, brings the Bernstein centennial celebrations to Shanghai with a concert saluting the Laureate Conductor, including through his ebullient Candide Overture. The concert, on July 6, 2018, was part of the Shanghai Orchestra Academy and Residency Partnership.

(Video: Chris Lee)

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On July 2, 2018, as part of the Shanghai Orchestra Academy and Residency Partnership, Jaap van Zweden conducted the New York Philharmonic in a visceral performance of Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring, the masterpiece with which he will launch his tenure as the Orchestra's Music Director in September 2018.

(Video: Chris Lee)

11 days ago |
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The New York Philharmonic's fourth annual Shanghai performance residency has begun! By day, Philharmonic musicians teach Shanghai Orchestra Academy students. By night, they perform sold-out concerts led by Music Director Designate Jaap van Zweden featuring music by Bernstein, Mahler, Prokofiev, Beethoven, Stravinsky, and others, plus collaborations with violinist Renaud Capuçon and cellist Alisa Weilerstein. It's all part of the Shanghai Orchestra Academy and Residency Partnership, presented by Starr International Foundation.
17 days ago |
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On the eve of becoming the New York Philharmonic Music Director this coming September, Jaap van Zweden rehearses the Orchestra in Tchaikovsky's melodic Rococo Variations, with Alisa Weilerstein as soloist, for the Orchestra's second concert at the 2018 MISA festival, part of the fourth summer in the Shanghai Orchestra Academy and Residency Partnership.

17 days ago |
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As you may have seen, Camryn Cowan and Jordan Millar, 11-year-old students in the Philharmonic's Very Young Composers (VYC) program, have received a joyous burst of media attention after being featured along with their compositions in the New York Philharmonic Concerts in the Parks, Presented by Didi and Oscar Schafer.

In his review of the June 14 Central Park concert, The New York Times's Anthony Tommasini raved about the young womens' pieces, both inspired by the Harlem Renaissance, and insightful stage remarks. He wrote that Ms. Millar's Boogie Down Uptown has "layered elements, starting with a theme in unison that splits into parallel intervals, then leads to episodes with brassy flourishes and bluesy turns over urgent rhythmic riffs," and that Ms. Cowan's Harlem Shake "bustles with sliding brass, sputtering rhythms and an episode of instrumental interplay. At the end, the audience stood and cheered both composers."

On Saturday the Times -- "to start your weekend on a positive note," as it said -- ran a feature story that focused on the two and on the Very Young Composers program. The photos accompanying the article -- and its many social-media shares -- captured perfectly the girls' thoroughly winning aura, as well as their strength and seriousness, and audio clips gave readers a taste of the two compositions.

Want to see what all the fuss is about? On television, WPIX ran a story featuring footage of the Prospect Park concert and interviews with the girls and VYC Founder / Artistic Director Jon Deak. Check it all out, and congratulations to all!

Meet the 11-year-old girls whose music wowed the @nyphilharmonic. Last week, the #Philharmonic performed works by Camryn Cowan and Jordan Millar, who were photographed here by @celestesloman. The Brooklyn composers won over the crowds, who gave standing ovations. In an interview this week, both girls — part of the Philharmonic’s Very Young Composers initiative — were confident in explaining their works, originally written for a Harlem Renaissance-theme program. Camryn said that her “Harlem Shake” was an exercise in layering, but with saxophone improvisations that nodded to the neighborhood’s past. Jordan’s “Boogie Down Uptown” conjures stepping out of the subway onto the streets of Harlem for the first time, with musical textures inspired by the shadowy movement of Aaron Douglas paintings. (Her favorite Disney movie, “The Princess and the Frog,” borrows its aesthetic from his paintings.) Jordan said that their opportunity to have their pieces performed by the @nyphilharmonic is a sign of change. Camryn added: “Women are sometimes put down in orchestras, or they’re not noticed enough for their great talent,” she said, “so I think that me being onstage is a good change. Other people, other kids or adults — maybe they don’t have this same opportunity. I think we can be inspiring for them.”

A post shared by The New York Times (@nytimes) on

24 days ago |
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A team of sociologists has completed a study based on the New York Philharmonic Leon Levy Digital Archives that provides a new understanding of the cultural dynamics of Gilded Age society.

Headed by Fabien Accominotti of the London School of Economics and Shamus Khan of Columbia University, the study shows that in the late 19th century, Philharmonic audiences became more socioeconomically diverse than was previously thought. However, they remained segregated, with the elite sitting apart from middle class audience members. This reveals how in American society "elite cultural behaviors became a source of status by remaining distinctive while also acquiring currency with other social groups," says Accominotti.

The team came to this conclusion by developing an online Philharmonic subscriber database -- containing the names, addresses, and seat locations of Philharmonic subscribers dating back to the 19th century -- using the New York Philharmonic Leon Levy Digital Archives.

The article, "How Cultural Capital Emerged in Gilded Age America: Musical Purification and Cross-Class Inclusion at the New York Philharmonic," was published in the American Journal of Sociology 123, no. 6 (May 2018): 1743--1783. The study was funded in part by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Hear more about this fascinating project on the podcast Especially Big Data.

31 days ago |
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The New York Philharmonic Concerts in the Parks, Presented by Didi and Oscar Schafer, returned for the 53rd season of priceless music, absolutely free, in every New York City borough. Native New Yorker James Gaffigan conducted the Orchestra in music celebrating Laureate Conductor Leonard Bernstein's centennial, evocative works by Saint-Saëns and Rimsky-Korsakov, and -- for the first time ever -- original compositions by students in the Philharmonic's Very Young Composers program. Joining the Orchestra were post-graduate students from the Shanghai Orchestra Academy, who performed alongside their Philharmonic mentors during their weeklong immersion in the life of an orchestral musician.

1 month ago |
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For the fourth consecutive year, the New York Philharmonic hosted a group of fellows from Music Academy of the West selected to participate in the New York Philharmonic Global Academy Fellowship Program -- an immersion in the life of an orchestra musician.

From January 18 to 29, ten fellows, selected by audition, came to New York as Zarin Mehta Fellows, working closely with Philharmonic musicians in one-on-one lessons, mock auditions, and chamber music coaching. They even rehearsed and played alongside Philharmonic musicians in selections from Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet for the Orchestra's January 25--27 subscription concerts conducted by Stéphane Denève. "Different musical tableaux sprung vividly to life bringing to mind choreographic images," concluded the review in Bachtrack. "One couldn't ask for much more."

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