The three performances (tonight's program will repeat tomorrow and Saturday) will also include Mozart's Concerto for Flute and Harp, performed by principal harp Nancy Allen and principal flute Robert Langevin; Schumann's Konzertst‹ck for Four Horns with Philip Myers (principal horn), Erik Ralske, R. Allen Spanjer and Howard Wall; and Gershwin's An American in Paris.
Wagner, who won the 1999 Pulitzer Prize in Music for her Concerto for Flute, Strings and Percussion, says of her Trombone Concerto, "The most important feature of my music is that it is narrative. The act of composing is, for me, then, one of discovering and exploring the 'life story' of a musical idea. It has been a joy to create music for Joseph Alessi and the trombone. This winning combination has allowed me to express strength, energy, beauty and delicacy. I am still exploring the possibilities!"
Born in Philadelphia in 1957, Wagner received graduate degrees from the University of Chicago and the University of Pennsylvania, where she studied with Richard Wernick, George Crumb, Shulamit Ran and Jay Reise. Her music has been performed by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, which commissioned works including Falling Angels (1992) and Extremity of Sky (2002), a piano concerto. She served as composer-in-residence at the University of Texas (Austin) in 2005.
The Philharmonic concert will be broadcast the week of March 12 on The New York Philharmonic This Week, a radio concert series syndicated nationally to more than 200 stations by the WFMT Radio Network. The program is broadcast in the New York metropolitan area on 96.3 FM WQXR on Thursdays at 9:00 p.m.
For two weeks beginning March 8, the concert will be available in streaming audio on the orchestra's website, www.nyphil.org.