Throughout its existence the New York Philharmonic has been dedicated to enhancing the concert experience in various ways, including educational and enlightening offerings for everyone‹ from the young neophyte to the professional musician. This season the Orchestra introduces intimate conversations prior to each and every subscription concert. "We are very excited to be presenting this new series of pre-concert talks, which we hope will enrich the concertgoing experience," says Philharmonic President and Executive Director Zarin Mehta.
The lion's share of these 108 lectures‹78, to be precise‹will be given by Charles Zachary Bornstein, a conductor, teacher, and the first person to hold the newly created position of Leonard Bernstein Scholar-in-Residence at the New York Philharmonic. His responsibilities also include research in the Philharmonic's Archives and elsewhere; two Bernstein-score lectures for professional conductors, focusing on Bernstein's interpretations of major orchestral works; and two Insights Series lectures, one exploring the American maverick Elliott Carter, the other on Mozart's music and times.
This new program has been created, says Mr. Mehta, "to honor the memory of our late Laureate Conductor, Leonard Bernstein, whose work with audiences‹young and old‹provided formative experiences for generations of music lovers." Alexander Bernstein, the son of the great musician, sees the new series as a fitting tribute: "My father would be so pleased with the New York Philharmonic's continuing commitment to an informed, engaged audience. My sisters and I applaud our old friends, and are so touched that this new position has been created to honor our father."
For the pre-concert talks, other experts will spell Mr. Bornstein throughout the season to provide their unique insights into the works being performed and the composers who created them. Other speakers include the Philharmonic's Artistic Administrator Chad Smith and Director of Education Theodore Wiprud; composers such as Paul Moravec and Joelle Wallach; and scholars such as Philharmonic Program Annotator James M. Keller. On occasion, musicians from the Orchestra will join in the discussions, which take place at Avery Fisher Hall in either the Helen Huntington Hull Room or the Board Room.
Monica Parks is a Publications Editor at the New York Philharmonic.