New York Philharmonic

Busy, Busy, Busy!

Jan 13, 2013

The hardest working people in show business, at least in the classical music world, can take a bow this week. As WRTI’s Jim Cotter reports, data on the busiest conductors and orchestras in 2012 shows The Philadelphia Orchestra maintaining its place in the top 10 ensembles, while the most active conductor began his professional career in the Philadelphia region.

The survey was undertaken by the website BachTrack.com, which found that for the third year in a row, Beethoven was the most performed of all composers with Arvo Part the most performed living composer.

Predictably, Mozart and Bach came in 2nd and 3rd, but it was not a good year for Mahler who slipped from 9th to 25th -  and Liszt who fell from the 6th to the 24th. Their places in the top 10 were taken by Debussy and Schumann.

The busiest conductor in the world last year was Alan Gilbert whose first music directorship appointment was with Camden’s Symphony in C in the early 1990s. The orchestra he currently directs, the New York Philharmonic, was also, not surprisingly the busiest orchestra in the world, taking over the top spot from the San Francisco Symphony. The Philadelphia Orchestra came in at 9th; slipping one place from last year.

In repertoire, the top three most-performed operas were all by Mozart - two of which had librettos by the one-time Pennsylvania resident Lorenzo Da Ponte.  The Magic Flute was at number one followed by Don Giovanni and The Marriage of Figaro.

And finally, the most-performed works in 2012 were, in ascending order: 3) Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7, 2) Bruckner's Symphony No. 4, and in the top spot, 1)  Handel's Messiah.

Here's a link to the full results of that survey.

Alan Gilbert conducts this week's New York Philharmonic concert. Gil Shaham is guest soloist for the Violin Concerto by Samuel Barber.  We'll also hear Sergei Rachmaninoff's final orchestral work, the Symphonic Dances.  The concert opens with a contemporary work by American composer Steven Stucky. Sunday, January 6th, 3 to 5 pm.

Program:
Steven Stucky: Symphony


Barber: Violin Concerto, Op. 14


Rachmaninoff: Symphonic Dances

Don't miss the annual Winter Holiday broadcast from the New York Philharmonic. This year's program is culled from the ensemble's extensive recorded archives - music that's perfect for the season.  Skitch Henderson makes an appearance as well. Christmas Day at 8 pm on the All-Classical Stream and HD-2.

Highlights:

Mozart:  German Dance in C, K. 605, Sleigh Ride (Leonard Bernstein, conductor)

Tchaikovsky:  Symphony No. 1, Winter Dreams

Arr. Henderson: Selections from Winter Holiday, 1961-62

  • Lincoln Center and the New York Phil have confirmed plans for a (long, long overdue) major overhaul of 50-year-old Avery Fisher Hall that "aims to redefine what it means to be a concert hall at a time of challenging orchestra economics and changing audience habits." This will be the third attempt at addressing the venue's acoustical challenges.

Alan Gilbert conducts a performance of one of the greatest violin concertos in the repertoire. Violinist Frank Peter Zimmerman is  guest soloist. Saturday, November 10th, 3 to 5 pm.

Program:

Beethoven: Concerto for Violin in D major, Op. 61
Stravinsky: Symphony in Three Movements
Ravel: Daphnis et Chloé: Suite no 2

Music Director Alan Gilbert conducts the New York Philharmonic in Russian favorites, Sunday, October 28th, 3 to 5 pm. On the program, Mussorgsky's A Night on Bald Mountain, and Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov's hypnotic Scheherazade.  The dynamic, young Russian pianist Daniil Trifanov makes his Philharmonic debut in the colorful Piano Concerto No. 3 by Prokofiev in this program.

It's all all-French program on this week's New York Philharmonic broadcast - performances drawn from the Philharmonic's vast recorded archive.  Music by Massenet that includes an historic performance by the Philharmonic conducted by Josef Stransky (who became the orchestra's music director in 1911, following the death of Gustav Mahler), and appearances by Luciano Pavarotti and mezzo-soprano Nancy Maultsby.  Also on the program, works by Clause Debussy that include the Image pour Orchestra, and Le Martyre de Saint Sebastian.

Finnish composer Magnus Lindberg is the Philharmonic's composer-in-residence, at the invitation of Music Director Alan Gilbert.  Lindberg's music opened the 2009-10 season of the Philharmonic, Gilbert's first concert as music director.  This Sunday, it's an all-Lindberg program, with the opening work, Expo, as the first item on the program.  We'll also hear the world-premiere performance of his Piano Concerto No. 2, with Pianist Yefim Bronfman as soloist. Sunday, September 2nd, 3 to 5 pm.

Music Director Alan Gilbert conducts the NY Philharmonic in concert performances of two works from their summer home in Colorado: the Sinfonia Espansiva, Carl Nielsen's Symphony No. 3 for large orchestra with a wordless soprano and baritone obbligato, and the Brahms Piano Concerto No. 2, one of the cornerstones of the repertoire.  Yefim Bronfman joins the orchestra for the Brahms. Sunday, August 26th  3 to 5 pm.

Join us as the New York Philharmonic takes us away to Vail, Colorado for a performance from the Philharmonic's summer home - the Vail Valley Music Festival.  Andrey Boreyko is on the podium, with pianist Benjamin Grosvenor for a program that includes the Saint-Saëns Piano Concerto No. 2, and the heroic Symphony No. 1 of Johannes Brahms. Sunday, August 19th, 3 to 5 pm.

The complete program is here

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