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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) (April 2015)
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 Celebrates Sibelius on Three Continents This Winter

This winter, Alan Gilbert celebrates the 150th anniversary of the birth of Jean Sibelius with leading orchestras on three continents. At the New York Philharmonic, where he is now serving in his seventh season as Music Director, Gilbert reprises his "exciting account" (New York Times) of the Finnish master's tragic Fourth Symphony (Jan 9) and undertakes his iconic Violin Concerto with Gramophone Artist of the Year Leonidas Kavakos as soloist (March 17–19). With both the Philharmonic (Jan 7–12) and Japan's Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra (Jan 26 & 27), he leads Sibelius's stirring tone poem En Saga. And with Germany's Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra (Feb 25 & 26), where he is already a favored guest, the conductor commemorates the sesquicentennial with programs featuring Sibelius's mighty yet enigmatic Seventh Symphony, which he will reprise with the New York Philharmonic later in the season (April 20–22; Annual Free Memorial Day Concert, May 30).

When Gilbert featured Sibelius's Fourth Symphony in his most recent program with the New York Philharmonic, the New York Times admired the way his "performance powerfully conveyed the astonishing strangeness of this inventive work; the Philharmonic sounded magnificent." Similarly, in The Swan of Tuonela, "the tremulous stirrings and elusive episodes of this mysterious 10-minute score sounded utterly original in the glowing performance Mr. Gilbert drew from his players."

The conductor explains: "I think [Sibelius's] music says something very true about all humanity." He continues:
"There's no question that the Fourth Symphony ends sadly. It's deeply pessimistic and profoundly tragic. It really takes a conscious effort to decide to do this piece because you know that you're committing yourself to a very, very difficult emotional road, but at the end of the day …, it may be my favorite of the Sibelius symphonies."
Click here to see Gilbert discuss Sibelius further in this preview video.

The conductor's winter lineup also showcases music by Sibelius's compatriot Magnus Lindberg. It was Gilbert who appointed Lindberg as the New York Philharmonic's inaugural Marie-Josée Kravis Composer-in-Residence, conducting numerous premieres of his music, and his electrifying leadership of Lindberg's Kraft at Volkswagen's Transparent Factory in Dresden remains one of the high points of his tenure to date. Lindberg's Second Violin Concerto, a Philharmonic co-commission, was written for German violinist Frank Peter Zimmermann, who joins Gilbert for the work's U.S. premiere with the Philharmonic (Jan 14–16) and its French premiere with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France at the new Paris Philharmonie (Feb 19). Another of the contemporary composers Gilbert has most consistently championed is Esa-Pekka Salonen, Lindberg's latest successor as Composer-in-Residence of the New York Philharmonic, and the conductor gives the New York premiere of Salonen's Karawane – also a Philharmonic co-commission – with the orchestra (March 17–19).

Further Philharmonic highlights include collaborations with The Mary and James G. Wallach Artist-in-Residence Eric Owens (Jan 7–12) and Artist-in-Association Inon Barnatan, with whom – alongside Philharmonic principals Carter Brey on cello and Anthony McGill on clarinet – Gilbert plays violin in Messiaen's transcendent Quartet for the End of Time at The Temple of Dendur at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art (March 13). The Israeli pianist also accompanies Gilbert to Japan, taking part in the conductor's all-Beethoven program with the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony (Jan 30).

During his residency with the Japanese orchestra, Gilbert also conducts a program of John Adams, Shostakovich, and Tchaikovsky (Jan 22) and reprises A Ring Synthesis, his own arrangement of selections from Wagner's "Ring" cycle (Jan 26 & 27). Elsewhere, the music of Schumann figures prominently in his programming, as at the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France (Feb 19) and Leipzig Gewandhausorchester, where Gilbert will be joined by celebrated Norwegian pianist Leif Ove Andsnes as soloist in the composer's Piano Concerto in A minor (Feb 25 & 26).

Rounding out the conductor's winter schedule are two of the works on which he has most memorably made his mark. At the Philharmonic, he reprises Stravinsky's Rite of Spring (Jan 14–16); as the New York Times's Anthony Tommasini once put it:
"Mr. Gilbert's account … stood out for me as bracing, organic and elemental. … He reminded us, in a gripping, inexorable performance, that the Rite is not just an evocation of primitivism, but an astonishing musical composition."
Similarly, at the Cleveland Orchestra, Gilbert takes the podium for Nielsen's Sixth Symphony (March 3–5). It was under his curatorship that the Philharmonic celebrated the Danish composer's own sesquicentennial with the multi-season Nielsen Project, named "one of the great successes of Alan Gilbert's tenure thus far" (New York Times). The project yielded a complete Nielsen cycle on the Dacapo label, of which their recording of the Sixth Symphony made a "fitting conclusion to an impressive new Nielsen cycle" (The Arts Desk, UK).

For high-resolution photos, click here.
Alan Gilbert: winter engagements

Except where noted, the New York Philharmonic concerts listed below take place at David Geffen Hall in New York, NY.

Jan 7, 8, 9 & 12
New York Philharmonic
SIBELIUS: En Saga
R. STRAUSS: Selected songs
WAGNER: "Ride of the Valkyries" and Final Scene from Act III of Die Walküre (with Heidi Melton, soprano and Eric Owens, bass-baritone)

Jan 9m
Musicians from the New York Philharmonic
GRIEG: String Quartet
SIBELIUS: Symphony No. 4

Jan 14, 15 & 16

New York Philharmonic
RESPIGHI: Church Windows
Magnus LINDBERG: Violin Concerto No. 2 (U.S. premiere of New York Philharmonic co-commission with London Philharmonic Orchestra, Berlin Philharmonic, and Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra; with Frank Peter Zimmermann, violin)
STRAVINSKY: The Rite of Spring

Jan 22
Gunma, Japan
Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra
John ADAMS: The Chairman Dances
SHOSTAKOVICH: Cello Concerto No. 2
TCHAIKOVSKY: Symphony No. 2

Jan 26 (Suntory Hall) & 27
Tokyo, Japan
Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra
Toru TAKEMITSU: Twill by Twilight
SIBELIUS: En Saga
WAGNER (arr. Alan Gilbert): A Ring Synthesis

Jan 30
Tokyo, Japan
Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra
BEETHOVEN: Coriolan Overture, Op. 62
BEETHOVEN: Piano Concerto No. 3 (with Inon Barnatan, piano)
BEETHOVEN: Symphony No. 7

Feb 19
Paris, France
Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France
SCHUMANN: Manfred Overture
Magnus LINDBERG: Violin Concerto No. 2 (with Frank Peter Zimmermann, violin)
SCHUMANN: Symphony No. 1

Feb 25 & 26
Leipzig, Germany
Gewandhausorchester
Leipzig Gewandhaus
(In celebration of Sibelius's 150th birthday)
Henri DUTILLEUX: Métaboles
SCHUMANN: Symphony No. 1, "Spring Symphony"
SCHUMANN: Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 54 (with Leif Ove Andsnes, piano)
SIBELIUS: Symphony No. 7

March 3, 5 & 6
Cleveland, Ohio
Cleveland Orchestra
SCHUMANN: Manfred Overture
DVORÁK: Piano Concerto (with Stephen Hough, piano)
NIELSEN: Symphony No. 6

March 13
New York, NY
Metropolitan Museum of Art
The Temple of Dendur in the Sackler Wing
Musicians from the New York Philharmonic
MESSIAEN: Quartet for the End of Time
Alan Gilbert, violin; Carter Brey, cello; Anthony McGill, clarinet; Inon Barnatan, piano

March 17, 18, 19
New York Philharmonic
SIBELIUS: Violin Concerto (with Leonidas Kavakos, violin)
SHOSTAKOVICH: Suite from The Age of Gold
Esa-Pekka SALONEN: Karawane (NY premiere of New York Philharmonic co-commission with Zurich's Tonhalle Orchestra, Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Bamberg Symphony, and Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra; with New York Choral Artists / Joseph Flummerfelt)

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© 21C Media Group, January 2016