Juilliard Announces Alan Gilbert Will Conduct Juilliard Orchestra at Annual Commencement Concert

Mike Lawson • News • May 7, 2015

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Alan Gilbert (c) Chris LeeAlan Gilbert to conduct the Juilliard Orchestra at annual commencement concert, Thursday, May 21, 2015. 


Thursday, May 21, 2015 at 6:00 p.m. in Alice Tully Hall

Mr. Gilbert Leads Works by R. Strauss and Beethoven in his

Only Juilliard Orchestra Appearance of the Season

NEW YORK –– Alan Gilbert, director of conducting and orchestral studies at Juilliard, music director of the New York Philharmonic, and a Juilliard alumnus, conducts the Juilliard Orchestra’s traditional commencement concert on Thursday, May 21, 2015 at 6:00 p.m. in Alice Tully Hall. The program features Richard Strauss’s Don Juan and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7 in A Major, Op. 92. This will be Mr. Gilbert’s only appearance with the Juilliard Orchestra this season. The orchestra features the school’s graduating class of instrumentalists and is attended by their family members and friends, many of whom are in New York City for Juilliard’s 110th Commencement Ceremony the following morning, Friday, May 22, 2015 at 11 a.m. in Alice Tully Hall.

The concert and its early start time are part of a special evening that includes a private dinner hosted by Juilliard for the distinguished recipients of the school’s honorary doctorates to be awarded at the following morning’s ceremony. This year’s honorees are dancer Suzanne Farrell, director Nicholas Hytner, pianist Murray Perahia, singer Dianne Reeves, and director Peter Sellars. Mr. Hytner will be Juilliard’s commencement speaker.

Tickets are limited for the Juilliard Orchestra commencement concert on May 21, 2015 with Alan Gilbert. For more information, please visit events.juilliard.edu.

Alan Gilbert will also be the speaker at Juilliard’s Pre-College Commencement Ceremony, which will be held on Saturday, May 23, 2015 at 4:00 p.m. in Juilliard’s Peter Jay Sharp Theater. Mr. Gilbert is an alumnus of Juilliard’s Pre-College program.


About the Program

The program features Richard Strauss’s first important work, Don Juan, Op. 20, whose inspiration for Don Juan came from poet Nikolaus Lenau’s German verse play (left unfinished at his death). Strauss composed Don Juan in 1888-1889, and the first performance was given by the Weimar Court Orchestra under the composer’s direction in November of 1889.

Beethoven began work on his Seventh Symphony in fall of 1811 and finished it in mid-1812, but the first performance had to wait until the end of 1813. During that time, Napoleon had met with disaster in Russia, and Wellington had defeated the French at Vittoria. Beethoven composed his Wellington’s Victory and presented it on a program with the Seventh Symphony at the University of Vienna on December 8, 1813 on a concert that was a benefit for the troops wounded in the Battle of Hanau.

About Alan Gilbert

Music Director Alan Gilbert began his New York Philharmonic tenure in September 2009, the first native New Yorker in the post. He and the Philharmonic have introduced the positions of The Marie-Josée Kravis Composer-in-Residence, The Mary and James G. Wallach Artist-in-Residence, and the Artist-in-Association; CONTACT!, the new-music series; and the NY PHIL BIENNIAL, an exploration of today’s music by a wide range of contemporary and modern composers inaugurated in spring 2014. As New York magazine wrote, “The Philharmonic and its music director Alan Gilbert have turned themselves into a force of permanent revolution.”

In the 2014–15 season Alan Gilbert conducts the U.S. premiere of Unsuk Chin’s Clarinet Concerto, a Philharmonic co-commission, alongside Mahler’s First Symphony; La Dolce Vita: The Music of Italian Cinema; Verdi’s Requiem; a staging of Honegger’s Joan of Arc at the Stake, featuring Oscar winner Marion Cotillard; world premieres; a CONTACT! program; and Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble. He concludes The Nielsen Project — the multi-year initiative to perform and record the Danish composer’s symphonies and concertos, the first release of which was named by The New York Times as among the Best Classical Music Recordings of 2012 — and presides over the EUROPE / SPRING 2015 tour. His Philharmonic-tenure highlights include acclaimed productions of Ligeti’s Le Grand Macabre, Janáček’s The Cunning Little Vixen, Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd starring Bryn Terfel and Emma Thompson, and Philharmonic 360 at Park Avenue Armory; world premieres by Magnus Lindberg, John Corigliano, Christopher Rouse, and others; Bach’s B-minor Mass and Ives’s Fourth Symphony; the score from 2001: A Space Odyssey alongside the film; Mahler’s Second Symphony, Resurrection, on the tenth anniversary of 9/11; and eight international tours.

Conductor laureate of the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra and principal guest conductor of Hamburg’s NDR Symphony Orchestra, Alan Gilbert regularly conducts leading orchestras around the world. His 2014–15 appearances include the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Berlin Philharmonic, The Metropolitan Opera, and The Philadelphia Orchestra. He made his acclaimed Metropolitan Opera debut conducting John Adams’s Doctor Atomic in 2008, the DVD of which received a Grammy Award. Renée Fleming’s recent Decca recording Poèmes, on which he conducted, received a 2013 Grammy Award. His recordings have received top honors from the Chicago Tribune and Gramophone magazine. Mr. Gilbert is director of conducting and orchestral studies at The Juilliard School, where he holds the William Schuman Chair in Musical Studies. In May 2010 Mr. Gilbert received an honorary doctor of music degree from The Curtis Institute of Music and in December 2011, Columbia University’s Ditson Conductor’s Award for his “exceptional commitment to the performance of works by American composers and to contemporary music.” In 2014 he was elected to The American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Program Listing:

Thursday, May 21, 2015, 6:00 p.m., Alice Tully Hall

The Juilliard School’s 2015 Commencement Concert

Juilliard Orchestra

Alan Gilbert, conductor

Richard STRAUSS Don Juan

BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 7 in A Major, Op. 92


Tickets are limited for the Juilliard Orchestra commencement concert on May 21, 2015 with Alan Gilbert. For more information, please visit events.juilliard.edu

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