In Wednesday’s (5/14) New York Times, Michael Cooper writes that retirements and a couple of departures have left the New York Philharmonic with “the most turnover of principal players, or section leaders, since World War II. The orchestra has begun the process of auditioning, hiring and breaking in five new principals, including a concertmaster to replace the retiring violinist Glenn Dicterow.… Two Metropolitan Opera Orchestra principals, Timothy Cobb, a bass player, and Anthony McGill, a clarinetist, are joining the Philharmonic, Alan Gilbert, the Philharmonic’s music director, disclosed.… The changing roster of musicians is perhaps the most visible manifestation of the transformation underway at the Philharmonic, the oldest symphony orchestra in the United States…. [Gilbert] said that … he was looking for players who would energize the ensemble while maintaining its traditions.” Also covered in the article are the Philharmonic’s challenge of balancing its budget, and the renovation of Avery Fisher Hall, the Philharmonic’s home at Lincoln Center, as well as ways other orchestras are “working to try to stay both solvent and culturally relevant in the 21st century,” including the orchestras of Los Angeles, Cleveland, Detroit, Chicago, and Philadelphia.

Posted May 15, 2014

Pictured left to right: bassist Timothy Cobb (photo by Ruth Fremson), Alan Gilbert (photo by Chris Lee), Anthony McGill (photo by Hiroyuki Ito)