Performer: New York Philharmonic Orchestra
My big night out this week was spent at the New York Philharmonic’s Tuesday evening concert, surely the case for most other 23-year-olds. (I kid, and yet over the past couple of years I have noticed a decided increase in young faces at Avery Fisher Hall.) I had intended to sit anonymously in the audience and get swept into the music like a leaf in the autumn wind.
In the 15,606 concerts given by the New York Philharmonic and its predecessors before this, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony had received nearly 200 renditions.
“Opening Night” at the New York Philharmonic is a gala affair, although it’s rarely the actual opening night of the season. The gala isn’t as gaudy as the one that takes place across the plaza at the Metropolitan Opera, but it’s an auspicious occasion nonetheless, filmed for broadcast on public television and usually featuring a soloist with the appropriate star wattage.
So begins the fifth year of Alan Gilbert’s quest to make the New York Philharmonic the very model of a modern symphony orchestra: a concert in which the music director spent the vast majority of this time seated stock still; in which the luckier of the musicians spent most of their hours looking up at a big screen; and in which the audience spent most of their evening entranced by visuals and ju
Unusual scenes at the New York Philharmonic this past weekend: a ballerina flouncing across the stage; conductor Alan Gilbert lugging a life-size puppet down the aisle amid rows of laughing, bewildered audience members; black-and-white video projections of the orchestra musicians sipping tea.