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Our motto: "Critical thinking in the cheap seats." Unbiased, honest classical music and opera opinions, occasional obituaries and classical news reporting, since 2007. All written content © 2016 by Paul J. Pelkonen. For more about Superconductor, visit this link. For advertising rates, click this link. Follow us on Facebook.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Conducting Up a Storm

The June Philharmonic Preview
by Paul J. Pelkonen
Cartoon by Ward, reproduced from the Stockhausen Cartoon Archive. © the artist.
The Metropolitan Opera has shifted into ballet hosting/fund-raising mode. Carnegie Hall is hosting graduation ceremonies. So the eyes and ears of New York's classical music cognoscenti turn to Avery Fisher Hall, the longtime home of the New York Philharmonic.

During Alan Gilbert's term as music director, June has become an exciting time for experimentation for New York's oldest orchestra. The ensemble offers an exciting slate of concerts, from the traditional (lots of Mozart) to the experimental (the season-ending Philharmonic 360 concerts, held in the Drill Hall of the Park Avenue Armory.

Here's what's scheduled:

On June 1 and 2, the Philharmonic offers the last two performances of Carl Orff's massive Carmina Burana under the baton of Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos. A stellar cast of singers (including tenor Nicholas Phan) is scheduled.

Starting on June 6, violinist Pinchas Zukerman leads a program of Bach, Mozart and Stravinsky, conducting from the violin.

The same week marks the return of CONTACT! The orchestra's new music initiative features performances at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on June 8th and on June 9th at Symphony Space. David Robertson leads the program which includes a world premiere by 103-year old composer Elliot Carter.

In the most eagerly anticipated concerto of this month, Leonidas Kavakos will play Korngold's Violin Concerto. Alan Gilbert conducts. It is paired with Carl Nielsen's Sinfonia Espansiva, part of the conductor's project to record all six Nielsen symphonies with the orchestra.

The last subscription concert (opening June 20)  of the season focuses on Mozart, with next year's artist in residence Emanuel Ax playing Piano Concerto No. 22. The mighty Great Mass in C Major ends the season in an uplifting key. 

The most anticipated event of the season is Philarmonic 360, (June 29, 30) a huge concert at the Park Avenue Armory. The program is advertised as "an exploration of "spatial music" for multiple ensembles, surrounding and enveloping the audience in the vast drill hall. With three conductors (Mr. Gilbert, Philharmonic composer-in-residence Magnus Lindberg and Matthias Pinscher) this program marks the Philharmonic premiere of Karlheinz Stockhausen's Gruppen, alongside the finale of Act I of Don Giovanni and Pierre Boulez' Ritual in Memoriam Bruno Maderna.

Watch a performance of Part I of GRUPPEN:

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Critical Thinking in the Cheap Seats

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Since 2007, Superconductor has grown from an occasional concert or CD review to a near-daily publication covering classical music, opera and the arts in and around NYC, with excursions to Boston, Philadelphia, and upstate NY. I am a freelance writer living and working in Brooklyn NY. And no, I'm not a conductor.