New York Philharmonic: What's New: Latest News and Stories About The New York Philharmonic

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PHOTOS: The Return to Vail

The Philharmonic has traded New York for cooler climes: the Bravo! Vail festival in the heart of Colorado's Rocky Mountains. The Orchestra has already performed three concerts there, and made time for workshops with Very Young Composers of Vail. Check out photos from the residency thus far.

Photos by Zach Mahone Photography.

PHOTOS: Philharmonic Al Fresco

More than 144,000 New Yorkers and visitors gathered in NYC's five boroughs to hear the Philharmonic during the ever-popular Concerts in the Parks, Presented by Didi and Oscar Schafer.

Audiences were rapt for Principal Cello Carter Brey's stirring performances of Dvořák’s Cello Concerto, Alan Gilbert and the Orchestra delivered powerful accounts of Tchaikovsky's Fifth Symphony, and beautiful sunsets and Bay Fireworks accompanied the New York skyline.

Re-live highlights from the Concerts in the Parks through the Virtual Tour.

The Price of Being an Artist

Ice Maiden Video Shoot

Opening tonight, A Dancer’s Dream is what director/designer Doug Fitch calls an “über Fairy Tale,” combining Stravinsky’s disparate ballets The Fairy’s Kiss and Petrushka to create a new narrative.

Here’s the story: a young woman, played by ballerina Sara Mearns, sits entranced at a Philharmonic concert. She is “kissed” by the passion to become an artist and drawn into the performance, dancing to the complete score of The Fairy’s Kiss. By the second act, she has completed her transformation into an artist, becoming Columbine in Petrushka. But becoming an artist has consequences. As Giants Are Small detailed in a production plan, “she loses her ability to have an ordinary life as the demons of ambition and love claim her as their plaything.”

The real Sara Mearns can relate. As she told The New York Times, "It's kind of true that you have this massive dream to be this ballerina, to be out there onstage performing, and you pour everything into it. Then there is a point where you feel like you are trapped in it and cannot get out. And that is the curse.”

Stravinsky meditated on this theme in The Fairy’s Kiss, which he dedicated to Tchaikovsky, an artist who paid this price (“Tchaikovsky’s personal life was a mess,” Mr. Fitch says in the Times). As Stravinsky inscribed in the score: “I dedicate this ballet to the memory of Pyotr Tchaikovsky by relating the Fairy to his Muse, and in this way the ballet becomes an allegory, the Muse having similarly branded Tchaikovsky with her fatal kiss, whose mysterious imprint made itself felt in all this great artist’s work.”

Deciphering the Dream

Deciphering the Dream

"Tonight, our story unfolds as a kind of über Fairy Tale, connecting two great ballets by Stravinsky,” explains  Doug Fitch,  director/designer of A Dancer's Dream, in a note for Playbill: “The thread that weaves them all together takes the form of a young woman who slips into the world of her own imagination and is swept away by muses to become a ballerina.

"The Fairy’s Kiss is based on a haunting story by Hans Christian Andersen (The Ice Maiden) and was composed by Stravinsky as an homage to Tchaikovsky. Stravinsky saw the ‘kiss’ as a metaphor for the artistic gift — that mysterious, intangible phenomenon that can bestow immortality, but not without extracting its human price. We have merged these into a kind of daydream — a reverie induced by the seductive and transformative power of great music…. She then enters into the world of the Shrovetide Fair-setting of Petrushka and becomes the puppet ballerina character Columbine. Things in this daydream seem to have real consequences and it is hard to distinguish the artifice from the reality it is designed to imitate.

"After its premiere, Stravinsky said that dance is not applied arts — it is a union of arts; they strengthen and complement each other. It is in this spirit of developing a union between artistic media — some old, some new — that we have pursued this project…. We invite you to enter this world with us — to put together the pieces in your own mind and to weave your own stories as you watch and listen. You are very much a part of this collaboration."

(Photo of A Dancer’s Dream rehearsal courtesy of Giants Are Small)

Arrival and Two Concerts in Vienna

The Philharmonic arrives in Vienna, the final stop of the EUROPE / SPRING 2013 tour, to commemorate the centennial of the Vienna Konzerthaus. Joshua Bell and Emanuel Ax join Alan Gilbert and the Orchestra for two of the three concerts in the city of music.

Dortmund and Berlin

The EUROPE / SPRING 2013 tour has embarked on its German leg. Emanuel Ax joined the Orchestra for concerts in Dortmund and Berlin, and a quartet of Philharmonic principal players were musical emissaries at the U.S. Ambassador to Germany’s Berlin residence.

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