Alan Gilbert (conductor)
|Born||February 23, 1967|
|Origin||New York, New York|
|Instruments||Violin, viola, piano|
|Associated acts||New York Philharmonic
Santa Fe Opera
Alan Gilbert (born February 23, 1967) is an American conductor and violinist. He is currently the Music Director of the New York Philharmonic, making his debut performance as the orchestra's music director on September 16, 2009. He lives in New York's Upper West Side with his Swedish wife Kajsa and his three children, Lia, Noemi, and Esra.
Alan Gilbert was born in New York City, into a New York Philharmonic family. Both his father, Michael Gilbert, and his Japanese mother, Yoko Takebe, have had careers as violinists in the Philharmonic — his father retired in 2001, and his mother still performs in the orchestra. Growing up in the Upper West Side of Manhattan, Gilbert attended the Ethical Culture Fieldston School. As a youth, he learned the violin, viola, and piano.
In the 1980s Gilbert studied music at Harvard University, where he was music director of the Harvard Bach Society Orchestra in 1988–89. While in Boston, Gilbert also studied with violinist Masuko Ushioda at the New England Conservatory of Music. After obtaining his degree at Harvard, Gilbert studied conducting at the Curtis Institute of Music and the Juilliard School of Music with Otto-Werner Mueller. In 1994, he won the Georg Solti prize, which garnered him a week's private tutoring with maestro Solti. Also in 1994, Gilbert won first prize at the International Competition for Musical Performance in Geneva.
During 1995–97, Gilbert was an assistant conductor with the Cleveland Orchestra. In 1997, he won the Seaver/National Endowment for the Arts Conductors Award.
Royal Stockholm Philharmonic
Gilbert became the Chief Conductor of the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra in January 2000, his first leadership post with an orchestra. During his Stockholm tenure, audience attendance increased, and Gilbert helped to secure additional financial support from the regional government. He concluded his Stockholm tenure in 2008.
Santa Fe Opera
Gilbert's long association with Santa Fe Opera dates back to 1993, when he served as the orchestra's assistant concertmaster. Prior to that, both of Gilbert's parents played in the opera's orchestra, and his father served as concertmaster for a number of years. In 2001, Gilbert conducted his first Santa Fe Opera production, Verdi's Falstaff. In 2003, he became Santa Fe Opera's first Music Director. His initial contract concluded at the end of the 2006 season. In November 2006, it was reported that Gilbert was to be on "official sabbatical from June through August 2007" to spend more time with his family. In May 2007, Santa Fe Opera announced that Gilbert had officially concluded his tenure as their music director.
New York Philharmonic
Gilbert made his first conducting appearance with the New York Philharmonic in 2001. After a total of 37 appearances as guest conductor, on July 18, 2007, the New York Philharmonic appointed Gilbert as its next Music Director, effective with the 2009–10 season. He is the first native New Yorker to hold this position. His contract includes a commitment of 12 subscription weeks of concerts per season for five years. Gilbert made his debut performance as the orchestra's new music director on the September 16, 2009 opening night gala, with a well-received program of Magnus Lindberg, Olivier Messiaen, and Hector Berlioz, which was telecast nationally on PBS's Live from Lincoln Center.
Gilbert is a conductor who has built much of his reputation conducting contemporary and American music, and his appointment by the Philharmonic marks somewhat of a shift by the orchestra away from his more conservative predecessors Lorin Maazel, Kurt Masur, and Zubin Mehta. For his inaugural 2009–10 Philharmonic season, Gilbert has introduced a number of new initiatives, including the presence of Composer-in-Residence Magnus Lindberg and Artist-in-Residence Thomas Hampson. The festivals and tours he has introduced include CONTACT — the Philharmonic's new-music series; and a major tour of Asia and the Middle East in October 2009, with debuts in Hanoi and Abu Dhabi. During his tenure Gilbert will lead the orchestra in performances of several world, U.S., and New York premieres.
Gilbert has been Principal Guest Conductor of the NDR Symphony Orchestra since 2004. He made his conducting debut at the Metropolitan Opera in November 2008, with an acclaimed performance of John Adams' new opera, Doctor Atomic.
Gilbert is also the first person to hold the William Schuman Chair in Musical Studies at the Juilliard School. The position includes coaching, conducting, and performance master classes, and Gilbert assumed the post in the fall of 2009.
In 2002, Gilbert married Swedish cellist Kajsa William-Olsson, a member of the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra. They have three children.
- Daniel J. Wakin (2007-07-19). "A Son of the Orchestra Returns as Music Director". New York Times. Archived from the original on 24 August 2007. Retrieved 2007-07-21.
- Anthony Tommasini (2007-07-19). "Philharmonic Opts for Generation Next". New York Times. Archived from the original on 23 August 2007. Retrieved 2007-07-21.
- Harvard Bach Society Orchestra (2008). "Past Music Directors". Retrieved 2009-07-01.
- Allan Kozinn (1997-10-23). "An Award Liberates Two More Conductors". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-03-16.
- Daniel J. Wakin (2007-10-07). "Forged in Sweden, Bound for New York". New York Times. Retrieved 2009-04-24.
- "Q&A: Conductor Alan Gilbert, Caught Between Opera and Symphonic Work (And Loving It)". Playbill Arts. 2006-11-18. Retrieved 2007-07-18.
- Matthew Westphal (2007-05-08). "Alan Gilbert Steps Down as Music Director of Santa Fe Opera". Playbill Arts. Retrieved 2007-07-18.
- Anne Constable, "Santa Fe Opera music director steps down". The New Mexican, 2007-05-07.
- Daniel J. Wakin (2007-07-18). "The Philharmonic Picks New Music Director". New York Times. Archived from the original on 25 July 2007. Retrieved 2007-07-18.
- Benjamin Ivry (2007-07-19). "A New Face for the Phil". New York Sun. Retrieved 2007-07-21.
- Tommasini, Anthony. "Gilbert Debuts as Philharmonic’s Director." New York Times. September 17, 2009.
- Tim Page (2007-07-19). "Alan Gilbert to Lead New York Philharmonic". Washington Post. Retrieved 2008-03-16.
- Alan Gilbert – Official Website
- Profile – Who's Who
- Bio through 1999
- IMG Artists – Profile
- "Young Conductor at Home with N.Y. Philharmonic." All Things Considered (NPR), 2007
- Classical Archives Interview
Andrew Davis and Paavo Järvi
|Principal Conductor, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra
(no prior Music Director)
|Music Director, Santa Fe Opera
Kenneth Montgomery (interim music director)