After 556 days of closure due to the coronavirus pandemic, the New York Philharmonic Orchestra returns to a classical stage on Friday for its 2021-22 season, a
that relieves its musicians.
On display this new season are Beethoven's Piano Concerto No.4 and more contemporary works by Aaron Copland (“Quiet city”), George Walker (“Antifonys”) and Anna Clyne (“ Within her arms ”).
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The pandemic had forced the famous symphony orchestra, one of the oldest American musical institutions, to put aside its 2020-2021 season, or $ 21 million in ticket sales.
And the orchestra now finds itself without its traditional setting, the David Geffen room in Lincoln Center being in full renovation, a site at 550 million dollars.
But even if the “Phil” will have to fall back on two other rooms in the center located in Manhattan, the principal trumpeter of the orchestra, Chris Martin, feels like
"As a musician, I see it almost as a rebirth," he
told AFP during a dress rehearsal.
"We play 130, 140 concerts a year
sometimes you say to yourself
" I'm a little tired today, I still have to play that "
but it's over, I really feel a lot of gratitude"
, explains- he does.
The departure of the conductor
Throughout the season, the musicians performed in impromptu sessions in town, to satisfy New Yorkers deprived of concerts.
“Playing outdoors is wonderful,”
agrees Chris Martin, adding that it allows artists to stay
“connected to the city in a different way”
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The preparation for this premiere was also marked by the announcement this week of the departure of conductor Jaap van Zweden after the 2023-24 season.
"It is not a question of frustration, or anger, or coming from a difficult situation
the Dutch musician, who lived the pandemic with his family,
New York Times
in his country of origin.
"It's just out of freedom,"
he added. The Covid hit New York hard in the middle of the second season of the Philharmonic's musical director, who found himself isolated from his orchestra, unable to travel to the United States.
The opening of the philharmonic season is one more step in the return to a form of normalcy for New York's cultural life, after the extravagant Metropolitan Museum of Art (Met) gala on Monday evening. On September 27, it will be the turn of the Metropolitan Opera. For all indoor shows, the obligation to be vaccinated against Covid is in effect in New York.