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Alan Gilbert conducts Sibelius, Debussy and Adams featuring violinist Leila Josefowicz

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Former New York Philharmonic music director Alan Gilbert leads a recent work by California-based composer John Adams, his Scheherezade.2, a work composed for violinist Leila Josefowicz. Adams's four-movement work is a 21st-century response to the Arabian Nights paralleling Rimsky-Korsakov's 1888 symphonic score. Opening the program is Jean Siblelius's atmospheric tone poem En Saga ("A Saga"), which features many of the composer's characteristic touches of orchestration and folk-music-influenced melody. Claude Debussy's Jeux ("Games"), was enormously influential for later composers in its luminous and nuanced orchestration.

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Alan Gilbert, conductor
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New York Philharmonic Music Director Alan Gilbert began his tenure in September 2009. He simultaneously maintains a major international presence, making guest appearances with orchestras including the Berlin Philharmonic, Leipzig Gewandhaus, Royal Concertgebouw, London Symphony, Cleveland, Philadelphia, Boston Symphony, Munich Philharmonic, Dresden Staatskapelle, and Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France. Gilbert is Conductor Laureate of the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic and former Principal Guest Conductor of the NDR Symphony Orchestra Hamburg. He has led productions for the Metropolitan Opera, Los Angeles Opera, Zurich Opera, Royal Swedish Opera, and Santa Fe Opera, where he served as the first appointed Music Director. 

In seven years at the New York Philharmonic, Gilbert has succeeded in transforming the 175-year-old institution into a leader on the cultural landscape. He has led staged productions of Ligeti's Le Grand Macabre, Janácek's Cunning Little Vixen, Stravinsky's Petrushka, and Honegger's Joan of Arc at the Stake to great acclaim, and encouraged the development of two series devoted to contemporary music: CONTACT!, introduced in 2009, and the NY PHIL BIENNIAL, an exploration of today's music by a wide range of contemporary and modern composers, which was inaugurated in 2014 and returned in 2016. 

Gilbert is Director of Conducting and Orchestral Studies and holds the William Schuman Chair in Musical Studies at the Juilliard School. He made his Metropolitan Opera debut in 2008 conducting John Adams's Doctor Atomic, the DVD of which received a Grammy Award. He was elected to the American Academy of Arts & Sciences in 2014, honored with the Foreign Policy Association Medal and named an Officier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French government in 2015, and nominated for Emmy Awards for Outstanding Music Direction of two New York Philharmonic productions: Sweeney Todd and a 100th-birthday gala tribute to Frank Sinatra, broadcast on PBS's Live from Lincoln Center in 2015 and 2016, respectively. 

 

Alan Gilbert, conductor Leila Josefowicz, violin
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Leila Josefowicz's passionate advocacy of contemporary music for the violin is reflected in her diverse programmes and enthusiasm to perform new works. She frequently collaborates with leading composers and works with orchestras and conductors at the highest level around the world. In 2008 she was awarded a prestigious MacArthur Fellowship, joining prominent scientists, writers and musicians who have made unique contributions to contemporary life.

Highlights of Josefowicz's 2016/17 season include engagements with the Berliner Philharmoniker, Tonhalle-Orchester Zurich, Royal Flemish Philharmonic, and the Helsinki Philharmonic and Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony orchestras. Josefowicz returns to the London Symphony Orchestra in December 2016, performing John Adams' Scheherazade.2 in London, Paris and Dijon. In North America Josefowicz appears with the St Louis Symphony, the San Francisco Symphony, and the Chicago Symphony and Minnesota orchestras.

Violin concertos have been written especially for Leila Josefowicz by composers including John Adams, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Colin Matthews and Steven Mackey. Scheherazade.2 (Dramatic Symphony for Violin and Orchestra) by Adams was given its world premiere by Josefowicz in 2015 with the New York Philharmonic. Luca Francesconi's concerto Duende - The Dark Notes, also written for Josefowicz, was given its world premiere by her in 2014 with Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra and Susanna Mälkki before being performed by Josefowicz, Mälkki and the BBC Symphony Orchestra at the BBC Proms in 2015.

Recent highlights include tours with The Cleveland and the Finnish Radio Symphony orchestras as well as performances with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Seattle Symphony, Washington's National Symphony Orchestra, the Orquesta Nacional de España, and the Royal Concertgebouw, Toronto Symphony and Sydney Symphony orchestras. In recital Josefowicz has recently appeared at New York's Zankel Hall, London's Wigmore Hall, and in Denver, Berkeley, and Budapest.

Josefowicz has released several recordings, notably for Deutsche Grammophon, Philips/Universal and Warner Classics and was featured on Touch Press' acclaimed iPad app, The Orchestra. Her latest recording, featuring Scheherazade.2 with the St Louis Symphony conducted by David Robertson, is released in September 2016. Josefowicz's recording of Esa-Pekka Salonen's Violin Concerto with the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra conducted by the composer, was nominated for a Grammy Award in 2014.

Leila Josefowicz, violin
Program Notes Audio
SIBELIUS - En saga (20 min)
DEBUSSY - Jeux (17 min)
John ADAMS - Scheherazade.2, for violin and orchestra (48 min)
Audio Concert Preview - Full Program Notes
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