Review: Dalia Stasevska makes New York Philharmonic debut with contemporary works plus Principal Clarinet Anthony McGill

Posted on: October 29, 2021

“For those who prefer their orchestral repertoire more on the recent side of the 20th century … the New York Philharmonic’s program last week was just too enticing,” writes Susan Elliott in Tuesday’s (10/26) Musical America (subscription required). “Add a conductor in her Phil debut and a clarinet soloist whose sensitivity and beauty of tone is without equal, and expectations were high indeed. And, happily, fulfilled. There was a strong relevance factor … anchored by composer Anthony Davis’s You Have the Right to Remain Silent [2006; revised 2011], a piece inspired by his personal experience of being pulled over in a traffic stop…. The piece is written for clarinet and orchestra, with the former as the protagonist and the latter as the often-unyielding foil. Anthony McGill, the Philharmonic’s principal clarinet, dominated … masterfully…. Credit is due McGill, of course, but also conductor Dalia Stasevska, newly appointed chief conductor of the Lahti Symphony Orchestra (among other key positions) and a rising star…. She was overseeing two pieces unfamiliar to the orchestra: … Missy Mazzoli’s 12-minute, swirling Sinfonia (for Orbiting Spheres) [2014; 2016] in its Philharmonic premiere, and John Adams’s punishingly difficult Chamber Symphony [1992]…. These masterful musicians … [played] with breakneck speed yet pinpoint precision.”