Last month, Alan Gilbert scored “a true home run” (Klassik Begeistert) in the concerts that launched his second season as Chief Conductor of Hamburg’s NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra. Next he looks forward to leading two programs featuring Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony, to celebrate the orchestra’s 75th anniversary this year. Scheduled to stream live, free of charge, to home audiences worldwide, the first program recalls the NDR’s very first concert, which took place on the same date 75 years earlier (Oct 30), while the second showcases a collaboration with violinist Frank Peter Zimmermann (Nov 1). Each under an hour in length, and performed with appropriate safety measures, these programs bookend the next installment of Gilbert’s “Conductors Talk” streaming series, for which he will be joined via Zoom on Facebook Live by Thomas Morris and Christoph von Dohnányi (Oct 31). Click here to see a video trailer for the NDR’s 75th-anniversary celebrations.
When it comes to Tchaikovsky’s symphonies, Gilbert has long proven himself to be a master. During his eight seasons as Music Director of the New York Philharmonic, he led a “hypercharged” performance of the Russian composer’s Fourth Symphony at the orchestra’s “blistering Disney Hall debut” (Los Angeles Times) and a “magisterial account” of his Fifth that “culminated in breathless, exuberant playing of the symphony’s thrilling final moments” (New York Times). In Hamburg, as in the NDR’s inaugural concert, Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony shares the program with Brahms’s Double Concerto for Violin and Cello, with International Classical Music Award-winners Julia Fischer and Daniel Müller-Schott as soloists. The performance will stream live at the orchestra’s website and Gilbert’s Facebook page on October 30 at 8pm CET (3pm EDT).
Two days later, Gilbert couples Tchaikovsky’s symphony with Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto, featuring Frank Peter Zimmermann (Nov 1).