Juilliard Appoints New York Philharmonic Music Director-Designate Alan Gilbert
First Holder of its William Schuman Chair in Musical Studies
Appointment Begins in the 2009-2010 Academic Year
The Juilliard School announced on March 10th that New York Philharmonic Music Director-Designate and Juilliard alumnus, Alan Gilbert is named the first holder of its William Schuman Chair in Musical Studies. His first season as Schuman Chair holder begins in the Fall of 2009, simultaneously with the start of his tenure at the New York Philharmonic. Projects scheduled during the next few years will be wide ranging and include coaching and performance master classes with instrumentalists, singers, chamber ensembles, and conductors; sessions with Juilliard conducting students throughout the teaching year; cooperative projects involving Juilliard young artists and the musicians of the New York Philharmonic; co-teaching varied topical subject matter in graduate seminar. In addition, Mr. Gilbert will conduct the Juilliard Orchestra in a concert each academic year.
Juilliard's William Schuman Chair in Musical Studies is meant to provide a broad platform for a notable musician to share expertise and art with the young musicians who will shape the future of classical music in the U.S. and around the world. By creating a program in which a musician can shape an approach during several seasons at Juilliard while teaching and mentoring, and lead in performance, Juilliard is providing a forum for both student and teacher with great flexibility, and one that challenges and grows along with the student/professional relationship.
In announcing the appointment of Alan Gilbert, Juilliard President Joseph W. Polisi said, "I know I speak for all the members of the Juilliard community when I say how thrilled we are that Alan Gilbert will join our faculty as the first holder of the William Schuman Chair in Musical Studies. Alan's creativity, artistry, and intellectual curiosity will make his work with our students an important part of the Juilliard experience. We look forward to initiating ground-breaking projects under Alan's leadership, and we are particularly excited to know that he will dedicate a portion of his time in New York to the creation of educational initiatives that will have an impact on the next generation of performing artists."
Mr. Gilbert is familiar with the goals and the culture of The Juilliard School. As a young violinist in Juilliard's Pre-College Division of Saturday-only classes for musicians ages 8 - 18, he studied with Margaret Pardee. He received a master of music degree in conducting from Juilliard in 1994, studying with Otto-Werner Mueller. During that time, from 1993 - 1994, he was conductor of Juilliard's Pre-College Orchestra.
In further describing his plans, Mr. Gilbert related, "I am deeply honored to have been appointed to hold the newly-created William Schuman Chair in Musical Studies at The Juilliard School. Teaching and working with young musicians has long been of paramount importance to me - to be able to do both at an institution that has been so crucial to my own musical development is truly very special."
The William Schuman Chair has been specifically conceived to give its holder wide latitude across musical disciplines within the School. I am looking forward to engaging with many Juilliard students over the years, and, especially, to exploiting the possibilities that are inherent in Juilliard's proximity to the New York Philharmonic in devising suitable activities that will enrich both places. It is exciting to imagine ways in which William Schuman's original idea of a Lincoln Center with closely cooperating constituents can be a model for our future endeavors."
Alan Gilbert was named Music Director of the New York Philharmonic in June 2007, and he begins his tenure in September 2009. Following eight years as chief conductor and artistic advisor of the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, he was appointed its Conductor Laureate last June. He has been Principal Guest Conductor of Hamburg's NDR Symphony Orchestra since 2004. Highlights of his 2008-09 season with the New York Philharmonic have included the November 14, 2008, Bernstein anniversary concert at Carnegie Hall - part of the citywide festival, Bernstein: The Best of All Possible Worlds, in collaboration with Carnegie Hall - and a performance with the Juilliard Orchestra, presented by the Philharmonic, featuring Bernstein's Symphony No. 3, Kaddish. In May 2009 he will conduct the World Premiere of Peter Lieberson's The World in Flower, a New York Philharmonic Commission. He also returns to the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Berlin Philharmonic. Mr. Gilbert regularly conducts other leading orchestras in the U.S. and abroad, including the Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, and San Francisco symphony orchestras; The Cleveland Orchestra; Munich's Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra; Amsterdam's Royal Concertgebouw; and Orchestre National de Lyon. In 2003 he was named the first music director of Santa Fe Opera, and has conducted at the Los Angeles Opera as well as at the Zurich Opera. Born and raised in New York City, Mr. Gilbert studied at Harvard University, The Curtis Institute, and The Juilliard School; he was a substitute violinist with The Philadelphia Orchestra for two seasons, and assistant conductor of The Cleveland Orchestra from 1995 to 1997. In November 2008 he made his Metropolitan Opera debut conducting John Adams's Dr. Atomic. His recording of Prokofiev's Scythian Suite with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra was nominated for a 2008 Grammy Award for Best Orchestral Performance.
The William Schuman Chair in Musical Studies is named for Juilliard's fourth president, who led the School from 1945 - 1962 (prior to becoming Lincoln Center's president during its founding years) and, among other numerous accomplishments, re-shaped Juilliard's curriculum and re-located the School to Lincoln Center, where it has thrived. Juilliard and the New York Philharmonic share many links, including the familial -- New York Symphony (one of the predecessors of the New York Philharmonic) was founded by Leopold Damrosch, whose son Frank was the founder of Juilliard (originally called the Institute of Musical Art). Many New York Philharmonic members are faculty at Juilliard, and even more Philharmonic members are alumni of the School.
Juilliard also may enjoy more inter-campus projects at Lincoln Center than any other constituent, something that probably would have pleased William Schuman as the Center prepares for its 50th Anniversary. The appointment of Mr. Gilbert, and its promised partner-projects with the New York Philharmonic is another collaborative link to the professional houses on the Lincoln Center campus. Already in place are two advanced programs for pre-professional performers, the cooperative Metropolitan Opera Lindemann Young Artist Development Program in Partnership with The Juilliard School, which begins in the fall of 2010, and the Juilliard Institute for Jazz Studies, created in 1991 in collaboration with Jazz at Lincoln Center. Numerous other projects have taken place with the Chamber Music Society, Film Society, Lincoln Center Theater, New York City Ballet, and Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, itself. Just completed were several collaborative festival performances celebrating the re-opening of the renovated Alice Tully Hall in which the Juilliard Orchestra, plus faculty and student soloists took part. It marked Juilliard's return to the Hall, which is a frequent venue for the School's orchestra, chamber, and recital performances with approximately thirty appearances each season.