A Friday Surprise: Alan Gilbert Will Leave The New York Philharmonic

February 6, 2015 7:25 PM

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The New York Philharmonic sprang an enormous surprise this morning: Its music director, Alan Gilbert, announced that he will be leaving the orchestra in the summer of 2017. Gilbert will have spent eight years as the artistic head of the ensemble by the time of his departure, and during his time there he broke all kinds of new ground. Not only was he the first native New Yorker and first Asian-American to serve as its artistic director, but he literally grew up with the Phil — both his parents were Philharmonic violinists for many years.

More than that, the 47-year-old Gilbert reinvigorated the New York Philharmonic. Under previous artistic chiefs, including Lorin Maazel, Kurt Masur and Zubin Mehta, the orchestra's repertoire was largely conservative and inward-looking. Since Gilbert's arrival in 2009, he introduced several projects...

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