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New York Philharmonic to Honor Former Music Director Zubin Mehta as Part of 175th Anniversary Celebrations

Sharon Paquette Lose • News • October 12, 2016

The New York Philharmonic will honor former Music Director Zubin Mehta with An Evening Celebrating Zubin Mehta — a fundraiser for the 2016–17 New York Philharmonic Ensembles series, the chamber music series Mr. Mehta established in 1984, featuring Musicians from the New York Philharmonic performing chamber music at The Morgan Library & Museum — and Zubin Mehta: Through the Lens of Steve J. Sherman, an exhibit of photographs taken during Mr. Mehta’s Philharmonic tenure.

An Evening Celebrating Zubin Mehta will feature a chamber program that includes Poulenc’s Trio for Piano, Oboe, and Bassoon, the same work that inaugurated the New York Philharmonic Ensembles series, established by Zubin Mehta. Two of the original musicians, Principal Bassoon Judith LeClair and pianist Jonathan Feldman (now as a guest artist), will reprise their performance, this time joined by Associate Principal Oboe Sherry Sylar. The program continues with Dvořák’s Piano Quintet in A major, Op. 81, performed by violinist Quan Ge, Acting Associate Principal, Second Violin Group, Lisa GiHae Kim; violist Vivek Kamath; cellist Ru-Pei Yeh; and pianist Pallavi Mahidhara (guest artist). The inclusion of the Dvořák is linked to the Orchestra’s 175th anniversary season celebrations, which include The New World Initiative,a season-long, citywide project revolving around Dvořák’s Symphony No. 9, From the New World, and its theme of “home.” Throughout the 2016–17 season, The New World Initiative will explore the New WorldSymphony through performances, community outreach, and education projects on the occasion of the Philharmonic’s 175th anniversary season, honoring the Orchestra’s hometown and its role as an adopted home for many.

When the New York Philharmonic Ensembles series was launched in 1984, then Music Director Zubin Mehta said: “I have long supported the theory that individuals of the Orchestra playing chamber music, and therefore working out musical problems amongst themselves instead of always adhering to the wishes of a conductor, in the long run would be most constructive for the development of an orchestra. I am delighted therefore that my colleagues of the Philharmonic have been given this opportunity to show what really fine musicians they are on an individual basis.”

The chamber program will be followed by a dinner. Proceeds from An Evening Celebrating Zubin Mehta will support the 2016–17 season of the New York Philharmonic Ensembles, the chamber music series that was established by Mr. Mehta. The New York Philharmonic 175th Anniversary Chair is Daisy M. Soros. Dinner Co-Chairs are Hira and Toos Daruvala, Phyllis and Slade Mills, Paula L. Root, and Daisy M. Soros.

Zubin Mehta: Through the Lens of Steve J. Sherman features more than 40 photographs taken by then principal Philharmonic photographer Steve J. Sherman during Zubin Mehta’s tenure as Music Director. The exhibit includes conducting shots from rehearsals and concerts, as well as candid and backstage photos of Mr. Mehta with soloists, Philharmonic musicians, and staff members. The exhibit will be on display November 3–December 31 in the Bruno Walter Gallery on David Geffen Hall’s Grand Promenade; during Mr. Mehta’s appearances November 3–5, the exhibit will also be displayed throughout the Grand Promenade. In addition to the New York Philharmonic, Steve J. Sherman has worked for Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, and the Marilyn Horne Foundation. He was one of the main music photographers for The New York Times (1984–2000), and has been regularly featured inTIME, Newsweek, People, Town & Country, Vanity Fair, New York magazine, and The New Yorker. His first major book, Leonard Bernstein at Work: His Final Years, 1984–1990, was published in 2010 by Amadeus Press to critical acclaim.

These events complement Zubin Mehta’s appearances with the New York Philharmonic November 3–5, 2016,when he conducts Schubert’s Symphony in C major, Great, and Ravi Shankar’s Rāgā-Mālā Concerto No. 2, for Sitar and Orchestra, with soloist Anoushka Shankar, the composer’s daughter, in her Philharmonic debut. The Philharmonic commissioned and premiered Shankar’s Rāgā-Mālā Concerto No. 2, for Sitar and Orchestra, led by then Music Director Zubin Mehta, to whom the work is dedicated, in April 1981, with the composer as soloist in his Philharmonic debut.

The 2016–17 season of New York Philharmonic Ensembles continues on November 20, 2016, with Musicians from the New York Philharmonic performing works by Françaix, Prokofiev, Beethoven, and Vaughan Williams at Merkin Concert Hall. Additional Ensembles concerts take place at Merkin Concert Hall on January 8, February 26, April 23, and May 28, 2017. The Ensembles series, established by Zubin Mehta in 1984, allows audiences to experience the artistry of the Philharmonic’s virtuosos in an intimate setting. Ensembles concerts are also offered on the Orchestra’s international and domestic tours, on separate chamber music tours, and at locations throughout New York City. More information can be found at nyphil.org/ensembles .

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