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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 © 2019 by Paul J. Pelkonen. For more about Superconductor, visit this link. For advertising rates, click this link. Follow us on Facebook.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Festival Preview: The NY PHIL BIENNIAL

All of New York's new music under one big umbrella.
by Paul J. Pelkonen
Alan Gilbert and an umbrella welcomes you to the NYPHIL BIENNIAL!
Original photo of Alan Gilbert © Chris Lee, photo alteration by the author.
For music to survive, a new audience must be created. That's part of the philosophy behind the New York Philharmonic's first ever BIENNIAL, a festival which engulfs New York in the music of the late 20th and 21st centuries. A collaboration with the Gotham Chamber Opera, Orchestra of St. Luke's, SubCulture, the American Composer's Orchestra and both the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art, the NY Phil Biennial will push the musical envelope while hopefully introducing a new generation of composers to interested listeners.

With 11 days and 21 concerts to choose from (whew!) featuring crossovers into the world of opera, modern music and the world premiere of a new symphony by Philharmonic composer-in-residence Christopher Rouse, this promises to be a revolutionary event. Here are five programs that  Superconductor readers will not want to miss:

Gotham Chamber Opera: The Raven
Promotional art for The Raven
© 2014 Gotham Chamber Opera.
(at the Gerald W. Lynch Theater at John Jay College for Criminal Justice, May 28, 30, 31.)
New York's rapidly rising mid-sized opera company returns for their final event of the season--and the first performance of the BIENNIAL. This is the premiere of Toshio Hosokawa's opera The Raven, a setting of the famous poem by beloved author and troubled soul Edgar Allen Poe.

(at SubCulture, June 3)
The Philharmonic heads downtown to NoLiTa's own SubCulture for this program of new chamber music, featuring five world premiers and one New York premiere. Afterwards, stay for a post-concert "Play Date" with the musicians at the SubCulture bar.

Gloria: A Pig Tale
(at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, May 29-31.)
Preview art for H.K. Gruber's Gloria: A Pig Tale
© 2014 Giants Are Small/The New York Philharmonic.
A mischievous opera by German composer H.K. Gruber gets produced with the help of Giants are Small and the equally mischievous puppeteer Doug Fitch. Part of the Biennial Contact! series, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Alan Gilbert conducts

New York Philharmonic: Rouse Symphony No. 4
The closest thing to a typical Philharmonic subscription concert this week is the world premiere of the Fourth Symphony by decidedly un-traditional composer-in-residence Christopher Rouse. Also on the progam: DoReMi by composer Peter Eötvös. Alan Gilbert conducts.

Watch the official trailer for the NY Phil Biennial.
All footage © 2014 New York Philharmonic.

New York Philharmonic: Pintscher conducts Carter
(at Lincoln Center: Avery Fisher Hall June 6)
The celebrated Austrian composer Matthias Pintscher conducts the New York premiere of his Reflections on Narcissus in collaboration with cellist Alisa Weilerstein. Also on the program, the first New York performance of Instances by the late and beloved Elliot Carter.

Full details of Biennial programming are available on the New York Philharmonic website, along with details on how to purchase a Biennial Pass ticket that allows you to hear as much of the festival as you can fit into your busy schedule.

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