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New York Philharmonic looks west ... mostly

February 16, 2010 |  2:55 pm

Salonen ny

At noon on Tuesday, New York time, the New York Philharmonic announced its 2010-11 season, the second with Alan Gilbert as music director. It beat the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s season announcement, which was at 10 a.m. L.A. time, by an hour. Give the classical music Yankees a point for timing. And give them more points for having some very attractive offerings next season.

We should know. Many of the New York season’s highlights given top billing in the orchestra’s press release read like L.A. Philharmonic redux.

A three-week “Hungarian Echoes” festival in March 2011, for instance, will pair Haydn, Bartók and Ligeti. In 1998, Esa-Pekka Salonen put on an “Around Ligeti” festival pairing Ligeti and Haydn at the Music Center in celebration of the contemporary Hungarian composer’s 75th birthday. The conductor for the tamer New York follow-up? Salonen.

The main Bartók news of  “Hungarian Echoes” moreover, will be Salonen’s concert performance of the opera “Bluebeard’s Castle” direct from the West Coast – Salonen will be doing that first when he returns to visit his his old band in Walt Disney Concert Hall in November.

That is not the only music hopping onto the jet stream in L.A. Thomas Adés’ “In Seven Days,” a work for piano and video created for Disney Hall in 2008, will make it to New York in January.  (It returns to L.A. next season as well, as part of an Adès festival, which will include the premiere of a major new orchestral  work by the British composer). 

The New York Philharmonic’s composer-in-residence, Magnus Lindberg, will be the pianist in the much-belated New York premiere of his kitchen-sink orchestral 1985 blowout, “Kraft,” just as he was at the U.S. premiere given by the L.A. Philharmonic in 1999. Meanwhile, Salonen will conduct the U.S. premiere of Lindberg’s new large-scale work for orchestra and chorus, “Graffiti,” in Disney in November. No New York date for this thus far.

But to give the New York Philharmonic its due, L.A. will finally only next season hear Messiaen's wondrous last work, "Éclairs sur l'au-delà…" -- which was commissioned by the New York Philharmonic in 1992 and premiered by Zubin Mehta to what appeared the dismay of his audience.

Plus, New York does have its firsts coming up. It will premiere a new work by Wynton Marsalis for jazz band and orchestra on its Sept. 22 opening gala. A co-commission with the L.A. Philharmonic and other orchestras, the piece reaches the West Coast later in the season. The New Yorkers will also premiere an orchestral work by Aaron Jay Kernis and three chamber pieces it has commissioned from Lindberg, James Matheson and Jay Alan Yim.

The full New York season is here.

-- Mark Swed

Related stories:

L.A. Phil announces 2010-11 season

The full L.A. season

Photo: Esa-Pekka Salonen conducting the New York Philharmonic in Avery Fisher Hall in 2008. Credit: Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times


Comments () | Archives (1)

Mr. Swed,

Why the inanely comparative tone? You do not share an audience with the Philharmonic. You are not in direct competition with them. It's best for our profession when everyone does well.

I am all for you and your city being incredibly proud of your orchestra. The orchestra deserves your pride, but if you can't recognize the difference between pride and arrogance, you risk alienating some of the people whose attention you seem to be trying to get. Other orchestras in other cities have their own visions, plans, agendas. If they program something your orchestra played years ago, that is not akin to being behind the times. When you write things like "We should know...", you actually sound desperate -- like you're trying to convince everyone of something that we don't need to be convinced of. Be proud, but please, have a little class and tact about how you do it.

Do you remember the little yapping dog from Looney Tunes who f0llowed the big bulldog around, annoying him?

Brant Taylor


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