Residents of the Upper West Side’s Chatsworth are steeped in tradition both visually and culturally: in addition to the architectural gems that populate the neighborhood, the condos are a stone’s throw from New York’s musical heart, Lincoln Center. Making its home at Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall, The New York Philharmonic is oldest among the “Big Five” American orchestras.
Boasting more than 14,000 performances since its 1842 inception, The New York Philharmonic is currently led by Alan Gilbert. Gilbert, an Upper West Side native, has created an ascending legacy at the Philharmonic, from which his father, a violinist, retired in 2001. His mother, also a violinist, still plays in ensemble pieces there. Young Alan learned piano, violin, and viola and excelled at track at the Ethical Culture Fieldston School in Riverdale before studying at Harvard, The New England Conservatory of Music, and The Juilliard School. Gilbert has also brought residency experience from across the U.S. and Sweden back home to Lincoln Center.
Exciting fall programs at the New York Philharmonic begin in mid September. This year’s opening gala concert will feature Chinese pianist Lang Lang performing work by Beethoven and Grieg. “Lang Lang has conquered the classical world with dazzling technique and charisma,” according to NPR’s Morning Edition program. He stormed onto the scene as a strutting, electric 18-year-old prodigy in 1999 and has channeled his bravado into a powerful, maturing artistry that has earned him a huge global following at the still-tender age of 33.
The NY Phil also receives a visit from elder piano statesman Maurizio Pollini in October. Pollini’s outstanding recording history covers a hearty swath of classical works, and he is also known for championing the work of contemporary composers. His Italian countryman Luigi Nono has created avant-garde works expressly for Pollini. For his performance with the NY Phil, Pollini will dip into a stylistic variety of work from Berlioz, Tchaikovsky, and Chopin.
This summer the orchestra is traveling, with a weeklong engagement at the annual Bravo! Vail festival in Colorado. Sort of a classical music all-star gathering at high altitude, the month-long program puts The New York Philharmonic alongside The Dallas Symphony Orchestra and The Philadelphia Orchestra. For Upper West Side Condo residents who wish to escape the humid summer in New York City, the festival provides a compelling destination for music lovers, seated as it is in majestic natural surroundings and a pleasant semi-arid climate.