New York Philharmonic emerges as home for contemporary music

Posted on: December 20, 2010

In Sunday’s (12/19) New York Times, Steve Smith writes, “With the arrival of Alan Gilbert as the music director of the New York Philharmonic in 2009 came the promise of youthful vigor and bold initiatives. But who could have anticipated that by the midpoint of Mr. Gilbert’s second season the Philharmonic would be a potent, even groundbreaking force for contemporary music? The most striking example of Mr. Gilbert’s expansive view of the Philharmonic’s potential—and the greatest triumph achieved by any New York musical institution in 2010—came in May, when the orchestra presented the New York premiere of Gyorgy Ligeti’s opera ‘Le Grand Macabre’ … Ligeti’s opera marked new territory, both as an extravagantly challenging composition that demands much of its performers and as a 20th-century milestone that New York’s full-time opera companies had neglected to address. … A similar buzz greeted the Philharmonic’s execution of orchestral works by the French-American maverick Edgard Varèse during the Lincoln Center Festival in July. And in October the Philharmonic immersed subscription audiences in the gnarly industrial roar of ‘Kraft,’ a watershed work by Magnus Lindberg, the orchestra’s composer in residence.”

Posted December 20, 2010