Music Director Designate Jaap van Zweden will open the New York Philharmonic's 176th season, leading two programs that feature the virtuosity of the musicians of the Philharmonic in repertoire both central to the Orchestra's history and new to Philharmonic audiences.
The Philharmonic opens its 2017-18 season with 106 All-Stars: Opening Gala Concert of New York's Orchestra, Tuesday, September 19, 2017, at 7:30 p.m., a celebration of the musicians of the Orchestra, featuring Mahler's Symphony No. 5, a work closely tied with the Philharmonic's lineage that showcases the individual musicians of the New York Philharmonic.
The opening week continues with Maestro van Zweden conducting The New York Premiere of Philip Glass's Concerto for Two Pianos and Orchestra, with Katia and Marielle Labèque as soloists, as well as Mahler's Symphony No. 5,Friday, September 22, 2017, at 8:00 p.m. and Saturday, September 23 at 8:00 p.m.
Philip Glass - who will be celebrating his 80th birthday season - wrote his Concerto for Two Pianos and Orchestra for the Labèque sisters, and the duo gave the World Premiere with the Los Angeles Philharmonic in May 2015. Jaap van Zweden led the Labèques and the Orchestre de Paris in the work's French Premiere in March 2016 at the Philharmonie de Paris. Katia and Marielle Labèque made their Philharmonic debuts in October 1986 performing Berio's Concerto for Two Pianos and Orchestra - a work the Philharmonic had commissioned and premiered in March 1973 - conducted by the composer.
"I felt this was a wonderful moment to put Philip Glass in the spotlight at the New York Philharmonic and to celebrate his 80th birthday," Jaap van Zweden said. "Glass's musical world is a totally transparent one, and he is a composer whose signature is immediately recognizable. »
Philip Glass (b. 1937) composed his Concerto for Two Pianos and Orchestra, commissioned by the Los Angeles Philharmonic, in 2014-15 for the Labèque sisters. "Like many people involved in today's music," writes the composer, "I have long been an admirer of Katia and Marielle Labèque's performance of traditional and new concert music for duo pianos. I was very happy to hear their brilliant playing and interpretative skills with my own music - first with the 2007 work Four Movements for Two Pianos and then, more recently, the Two Movements for Four Pianos." The 25-minute work is in the traditional three-movement concerto form, but rather than the traditional fast-slow-fast arrangement, the first two are fast and the third is slow. Glass adds: "Also it seemed that there were enough 'fireworks' in the first two movements as to make an additional cadenza for the soloists unnecessary." In the piece Glass plays with the traditional relationship of the duo to the orchestra: "Instead the music of the soloists is shared between the two and the orchestra serves to extend the range and color of the soloists." The Labèque sisters joined the Los Angeles Philharmonic for the work's World Premiere in May 2015, led by Gustavo Dudamel. These performances mark its New York Premiere. Jaap van Zweden led the Labèques and the Orchestre de Paris in the work's French Premiere in March 2016 at the Philharmonie de Paris. The Orchestra performed Philip Glass's Koyaanisqatsi: Life Out of Balance, conducted by Michael Riesman in November 2011.