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Alan Gilbert returns to Berlin Philharmonic, Leipzig Gewandhaus, & La Scala (October 2016)
Alan Gilbert in 2016-17: farewell season at NY Phil; returns to top European orchestras (September 2016)
Tomorrow (Aug 5): Alan Gilbert conducts Messaien's "Canyons" on new recording (August 2016)
Alan Gilbert: new honors on heels of triumphant LSO debut (April 2016)
This spring, Alan Gilbert makes LSO debut & leads premieres in 2nd NY PHIL BIENNIAL (April 2016)
This winter Alan Gilbert celebrates Sibelius on three continents (January 2016)
Alan Gilbert leads four major European orchestras this fall, including two debuts (November 2015)
Alan Gilbert: 7th season at NY Phil, plus 4 major European debuts in 2015-16 (September 2015)
Alan Gilbert: from NYC to Shanghai with New York Phil; Mostly Mozart debut; Santa Fe residency (June 2015)
Alan Gilbert leads NYPO in Eötvös U.S. premiere this week, "Joan of Arc at the Stake," and more (May 2015)
Alan Gilbert takes New York Philharmonic on EUROPE / SPRING 2015 tour (April 16–May 1)
Alan Gilbert's spring at NY Phil: premieres by Adams & Escaich; Barnatan's concerto debut (March 2015)
Alan Gilbert launches New Year with NY Phil, Silk Road Ensemble, & Metropolitan Opera (January 2015)
Alan Gilbert returns to Germany for concerts with Berlin Philharmonic and more this fall (November 2014)
Alan Gilbert in 2014-15: Gewandhaus tour, 6th season at helm of NY Philharmonic, and more (August 2014)
Alan Gilbert launches first NY PHIL BIENNIAL (May 28–June 7) and much more this spring (April 2014)
Alan Gilbert leads NY Philharmonic in NY and Asia; guest conducts Berlin Philharmonic (December 2013)
Alan Gilbert guest conducts Munich Philharmonic (Oct 31–Nov 3) & NDR Symphony (Nov 7–10) (October 2013)
Alan Gilbert launches fifth season at helm of New York Philharmonic (August 2013)
Alan Gilbert rounds out spring season at NY Phil with "Gilbert's Playlist" and more (May 2013)
Gilbert returns to Germany to lead the Bavarian Radio Symphony (April 2013)
Alan Gilbert's programming enriches New York Philharmonic's 2013-14 season (January 2013)
Alan Gilbert leads BSO & New York Philharmonic, makes Leipzig Gewandhaus debut (January 2013)
Alan Gilbert leads Shanghai Symphony Orchestra over New Year in Shanghai (December 2012)
Alan Gilbert's contract with NY Philharmonic extended through 2016-17 season (October 2012)
Alan Gilbert discusses his fall 2012 highlights (September 2012)
Alan Gilbert launches fourth season at NY Phil in September (September 2012)
Alan Gilbert leads NY Phil at Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival this week (July 2012)
Alan Gilbert and NY Phil: May/June 2012 highlights (May 2012)
Alan Gilbert conducts Wagner & Mahler in Stockholm this month; more (April 2012)
Alan Gilbert and NY Phil tour Europe, Feb 2 - 18 (February 2012)
Alan Gilbert's Munich Philharmonic debut highlights fall guest conducting dates (October 2011)
Alan Gilbert's adventurous new season: 2011-12 highlights (September 2011)
Alan Gilbert and NY Phil in A Concert for New York Sept. 10
Alan Gilbert conducts Janácek's "The Cunning Little Vixen" (June 2011)
Alan Gilbert takes NY Phil to Europe for spring tour (May 2011)
Alan Gilbert conducts Mahler 9 with Juilliard Orchestra on Friday, April 15 (Apr 2011)
Alan Gilbert: April 2011 highlights (Mar 2011)
Alan Gilbert heads to Europe (Feb 2011)
Alan Gilbert named Director of Conducting and Orchestral Studies at Juilliard (Jan 2011)
Alan Gilbert's winter 2011 concerts (Jan 2011)
Alan Gilbert's November 2010 concerts (Nov 2010)
Alan Gilbert discusses European tour (Oct 2010)
Alan Gilbert conducts Magnus Lindberg's Kraft (Oct 2010)
Alan Gilbert conducts Mahler's Sixth Symphony (Sep 2010)
Alan Gilbert: 2010-11 season (Sep 2010)
Alan Gilbert: summer 2010 (Jul 2010)
Alan Gilbert's June Concerts with NY Philharmonic (Jun 2010)
Alan Gilbert conducts Ligeti's Le Grand Macabre (May 2010)
Alan Gilbert spring 2010 highlights (Apr 2010)
Alan Gilbert and NY Phil: EUROPE/WINTER 2010 (Jan 2010)
Alan Gilbert: winter 2010 highlights (Dec 2009)
Conversation with Alan Gilbert (Oct 2009)
Alan Gilbert's 2009-10 season (Aug 2009)
Alan Gilbert triumphs in Berlin (Apr 2009)
Alan Gilbert appointed to William Schuman chair at Juilliard (Mar 2009)
Alan Gilbert's Winter/Spring 2009 (Feb 2009)
India crisis forces Sangat Chamber Music Festival to relocate (Dec 2008)
Alan Gilbert's Bernstein concerts (Nov 2008)
Alan Gilbert's 2008-09 Season (Sep 2008)
Alan Gilbert: late summer concerts (Aug 2008)
Alan Gilbert: Finale in Stockholm (Jun 2008)
Alan Gilbert returns to New York (Mar 2008)
Alan Gilbert leads Curtis Symphony Orchestra (Feb 2008)
Alan Gilbert: Winter/Spring 2008 (Jan 2008)
Alan Gilbert: 2007-08 Season Preview (Sep 2007)
Alan Gilbert Leads NY Philharmonic at Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival This Week, After "Philharmonic 360" Triumph

This week, Alan Gilbert joins the New York Philharmonic at the orchestra's summer home, the Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival, for programs that include Brahms's Second Piano Concerto with powerhouse pianist Yefim Bronfman; Tchaikovsky's Fourth Symphony; and festival premieres of Mozart's Great Mass in C minor and Nielsen's Third Symphony. The Colorado residency follows the conductor's phenomenal success with "Philharmonic 360," pronounced the "boldest venture to date" (New Yorker) in Gilbert's tenure as Music Director of the storied orchestra (he begins his fourth season in the position on September 19, 2012 with a program that includes Stravinsky's Rite of Spring). On a more intimate scale, in August, Gilbert heads to the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival where, as the 2012 Artist-in-Residence, he leads three works for chamber ensemble, and plays violin and viola in collaboration with some of today's preeminent chamber musicians.

At the Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival

Now celebrating its silver anniversary, the Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival runs for seven weeks in the heart of the Colorado Rocky Mountains. This Wednesday, July 25, Gilbert leads the New York Philharmonic in the first of their three appearances there together, with Principal Associate Concertmaster Sheryl Staples as violin soloist in renditions of "Winter" and "Spring" from Vivaldi's Four Seasons, alongside Tchaikovsky's powerful Fourth Symphony.

Next day, on Thursday, July 26, Gilbert directs two of the festival's most important premieres: Nielsen's Third Symphony, "Sinfonia Espansiva," which the conductor describes as exploring "the deepest and most wrenching aspects of humanity," with soloists soprano Jennifer Zetland and baritone Joshua Hopkins, and Brahms's Piano Concerto No. 2 in B-flat, featuring Grammy Award-winning pianist Yefim Bronfman, whose collaboration with the conductor and orchestra this past May proved a "brilliant and triumphant performance" (New York Times).

Finally, on Friday, July 27, Gilbert and the New York Philharmonic conclude their festival season with Stravinsky's Symphony in Three Movements coupled with the Vail premiere of Mozart's monumental Great Mass in C minor. Jennifer Zetlan, Jennifer Johnson Cano, Paul Appleby and Joshua Hopkins are the soloists, with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra Chorus. Gilbert has called the work "one of those iconic masterpieces that really makes you happy to be a musician," and after he directed the Philharmonic's performance of the work with the same quartet of soloists at New York's Lincoln Center this June, the New York Times observed: "Alan Gilbert led as majestic a Mozart performance as anyone might want, with the kind of guests that would make cognoscenti sit up and take notice."

"Philharmonic 360" triumph

Just days after their all-Mozart program, Gilbert and the New York Philharmonic pulled off what many consider their "most daring project yet" (Philadelphia Inquirer): "Philharmonic 360." Presented in two concerts at New York's Park Avenue Armory, this was a program of spatial music from Gabrieli and Mozart to Ives, Boulez, and Stockhausen, designed to exploit the cathedral-like sonic qualities of the Armory's cavernous 55,000-square-foot Wade Thompson Drill Hall.

With Stockhausen's Gruppen as its centerpiece, the program's impact was profound, marking another milestone moment in Gilbert's tenure as music director of the orchestra. According to the New York Times: "Those who think classical music needs some shaking up routinely challenge music directors at major orchestras to think outside the box. That is precisely what Alan Gilbert did on Friday night for an exhilarating concert with the New York Philharmonic in the Drill Hall of the Park Avenue Armory. His program, 'Philharmonic 360,' took the orchestra outside the box of Avery Fisher Hall and into the armory's cavernous hall, a space the size of a football field with a vaulted 80-foot ceiling. …The Drill Hall was perfect for Gruppen. …The audience broke into prolonged applause and cheers."

In the New Yorker, Alex Ross was equally impressed, describing the event as "Gilbert's boldest venture to date, harking back to the most experimental period in the orchestra's history, the years of Bernstein and Boulez." Ross continued: "What I liked most about the scheme was that it reversed the usual tactic of squirreling a contemporary piece amid familiar fare; here, Mozart was the odd man out, the awkward interloper," and went on to single out the performance of Ives's Unanswered Question as "the most enchanting rendition of this 20th-century classic I have ever heard – an uncanny approximation of the natural sublime."

The Financial Times admired the way "the project offered fascinating explorations of unorthodox spatial, acoustical, and social relations," and found the results "bold and bracing," while the Los Angeles Times reported that "the orchestra played…with a restrained, expressive brilliance that made it seem for once proud of its Boulezian heritage. For his part, Gilbert found the Armory's acoustic sweet spot. …The vibrations here were of such a magically high quality that they were worth experiencing directly through every body part." In short, as the Philadelphia Inquirer concluded, "the project had true event status in a city where even everyday life can be an event."

For those unable to share the experience firsthand, a film of "Philharmonic 360" is through September 2012 for streaming, free of charge, at

Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival and Salt Bay Chamberfest

On a more intimate scale, Gilbert begins August at New Mexico's Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, now celebrating its 40th anniversary season. As the festival's 2012 Artist-in-Residence, he leads three tight-knit works for small, virtuoso, ensemble: Schoenberg's First and Second Chamber Symphonies and Richard Strauss's First Sonatina for winds. Also an active instrumentalist himself, Gilbert packs both viola and violin alongside his baton, joining superlative musicians who include the members of the former Guarneri Quartet (John Dalley, Arnold Steinhardt, Michael Tree and Peter Wiley) – "among the most revered and enduring ensembles of its kind in the world" (NPR) – for renditions of Brahms's Second String Sextet and the Mendelssohn Octet (Aug 1–12).

Likewise, at the Salt Bay Chamberfest, Gilbert joins a stellar lineup of chamber musicians to play Richard Strauss's Metamorphosen in an arrangement for string septet based on the composer's own short score, as came to light in 1990 (Aug 19).

A list of Alan Gilbert's upcoming engagements follows, and additional information may be found at his website:

Alan Gilbert: engagements, summer 2012

July 25; Vail, CO
Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival
Respighi: The Fountains of Rome
Vivaldi: Concerto No. 1 in E, Op. 8, RV 269, La primavera (with Sheryl Staples, violin)
Vivaldi: Concerto No. 4 in F minor, Op. 8, RV 297, L'inverno (with Sheryl Staples, violin)
Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 4 in F minor, Op. 36

July 26; Vail, CO
Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival
Nielsen: Symphony No. 3, Op. 27 (with Jennifer Zetlan, soprano & Joshua Hopkins, baritone)
Brahms: Piano Concerto No. 2 in B-flat, Op. 83 (with Yefim Bronfman, piano)

July 27; Vail, CO
Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival
Stravinsky: Symphony in Three Movements
Mozart: Mass in C minor, K. 427 (with Colorado Symphony Orchestra Chorus / Duain Wolfe; Jennifer Zetlan, soprano; Jennifer Johnson Cano, mezzo-soprano; Paul Appleby, tenor; Joshua Hopkins, baritone)

August 1 & 2; Santa Fe, NM
Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival
Brahms: String Sextet No. 2 in G, Op. 36 (viola)

August 5 & 6; Santa Fe, NM
Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival
Schoenberg: Chamber Symphony No. 1 in E
Mendelssohn: Octet in E-flat, Op. 20 (violin)

August 8 & 9; Santa Fe, NM
Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival
Schoenberg: Chamber Symphony No. 2, Op. 38

August 12; Santa Fe, NM
Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival
R. Strauss: Sonatina No. 1 for 16 wind instruments in F, Op. 135

August 19; Damariscotta, ME
Salt Bay Chamberfest
R. Strauss: Metamorphosen for septet (violin)

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© 21C Media Group, July 2012