Lifestyle & Belief

Alan Gilbert to lead New York Philharmonic orchestra through 2017


Music Director of New York Philharmonic, Alan Gilbert conducts the New York Philharmonic Orchestra during the Opening Night Gala of New York Philharmonic sponsored by Breguet at Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts on September 21, 2011 in New York City.


Neilson Barnard

Alan Gilbert will remain at the helm of the New York Philharmonic through the 2016-17 season, after the orchestra announced Wednesday that it was extending the music director's contract.

"Alan Gilbert is an innovative and visionary leader for the New York Philharmonic," the Wall Street Journal quoted the orchestra's chairman, Gary W. Parr, as saying.

"He has brought a thoughtful and intelligent revolution that has advanced this storied institution at home in New York and in its role as cultural ambassador abroad."

Gilbert, music director of the Philharmonic since 2009, told WQXR:

"I couldn’t be happier. It’s been the most inspiring — challenging, yes — but joyous period of my musical life, these last three years. So having a five year span that I can look towards, for me it couldn’t be better and it feels like we’re really on a roll."

Gilbert, 45, is the first native New Yorker to lead the orchestra, is credited with introducing more contemporary music, such as through the annual "Contact!" series.

He was behind the surround-sound program at the Park Avenue Armory in June and also created the role of composer-in-residence.

According to the Associated Press, his parents have had careers as violinists in the Philharmonic, where his mother, Yoko Takebe, still performs.

Gilbert's contract extension was announced by Parr and by Executive Director Matthew VanBesien, who took over that position last month.

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