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Alan Gilbert

Alan Gilbert headshot


Grammy Award-winning conductor Alan Gilbert is Chief Conductor of Hamburg’s NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra, Music Director of the Royal Swedish Opera, Principal Guest Conductor of Japan’s Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony and Conductor Laureate of the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic. He maintains a major international presence, making regular guest appearances with orchestras including the Berlin Philharmonic, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, Orchestre de Paris and Amsterdam’s Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. He has led operatic productions at Dresden Semperoper, Los Angeles Opera, Metropolitan Opera, Milan’s La Scala, Zurich Opera and Santa Fe Opera, where he was the inaugural Music Director.

Highlights of Gilbert’s first five seasons with the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra, where his contract has been extended through the 2028-29 season, include the ensemble’s 75th-anniversary celebrations; extensive Asian and European tours; the launch of “Elbphilharmonie Visions,” their new biennial celebration of 21st-century music; a festival devoted to the “Age of Anxiety – An American Journey”; high-profile appearances at the annual Hamburg International Music Festival, including star-studded concert performances of Porgy and Bess; world premieres of new commissions from Jake Heggie, Jennifer Higdon, Edgar Meyer, Jessie Montgomery, Marc Neikrug, Enno Poppe, Kevin Puts, Lisa Streich and Composer-in-Residence Unsuk Chin; and ambitious repertoire ranging from Magnus Lindberg’s Kraft and a semi-staged production of Ligeti’s Le Grand Macabre to symphonies by Haydn, Beethoven, Brahms, Schumann, Bernstein and Bruckner, whose Seventh Symphony they recorded for Sony Classical. In his first three years at Royal Swedish Opera, Gilbert has led productions of Ariadne auf Naxos, Elektra, Parsifal, Salome, The Queen of Spades and Tosca. He opened the company’s 250th anniversary season with a concert celebrating the Golden Jubilee of the King of Sweden, who recently appointed the conductor as Royal Court Kapellmeister.

Gilbert was the first native New Yorker to serve as Music Director of the New York Philharmonic. During his successful eight-year tenure, he transformed the orchestra, already one of the nation’s most venerable arts institutions, into a leader on the current cultural landscape. Summarizing his achievement, the New Yorker observed, “Gilbert has made an indelible mark on the orchestra’s history and that of the city itself.” Other previous positions include Director of Conducting and Orchestral Studies at New York’s Juilliard School, where he was the first holder of the William Schuman Chair in Musical Studies.

Gilbert’s leadership of John Adams’s Doctor Atomic, captured for DVD release at the Metropolitan Opera, was recognized with a Grammy Award. He also conducts on Renée Fleming’s Grammy-winning album Poèmes and has received Emmy nominations for Outstanding Music Direction in PBS’s Live from Lincoln Center broadcasts of two New York Philharmonic productions. Other honors include Columbia University’s Ditson Conductor’s Award and Honorary Doctor of Music degrees from Curtis Institute of Music and Westminster Choir College. Gilbert has also been elected to the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, named an Officier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French government, and awarded a Foreign Policy Association Medal for his commitment to cultural diplomacy.

© 21C Media Group, December 2023

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