Day: September 18th, 2007

Opening night at the Philharmonic

Tuesday, September 18th, 2007 | All Things, Events, Music

On my way home, I passed through a parade of finery heading into Avery Fisher Hall for the New York Philharmonic’s Opening Night Gala Concert. Flashbulbs, red carpet, tuxedoed men and their burnished and ballgowned escorts – hey, that’s Henry Kissinger and his wife Nancy — and me with my dirt-smudged canvas sack of organic vegetables.

Opening Night is always something of an event here in the city, and to add to the excitement this season, the Philharmonic hosted its first free public dress rehearsal earlier in the day. At midnight Tuesday, the first of the eager music lovers arrived at Lincoln Center to line up for the 8:00 am ticket distribution. 2,500 others would eventually join him. The 9:45 am open rehearsal of the evening’s gala concert was to be an all-Dvořák program, featuring Yo-Yo Ma, (and Petunia, his 1733 Montagnana) led by Music Director Lorin Maazel. The run-through would be Ma’s only one with the orchestra and conductor.

The concert launches the Philharmonic’s 166th season and Maazel’s sixth and penultimate season as music director.

At showtime, there were more opportunities for the plebes to take part in the event, as 1,000 chairs were set up on the Lincoln Center’s plaza for a free, live broadcast of the concert, sponsored by the Philharmonic’s new (and first) exclusive global sponsor, Credit Suisse. Thousands more eventually filled the standing room only slots, or caught the simulcast on PBS.

Philharmonic opening night

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