At a meeting with a group of journalists today, Alan Gilbert, the incoming music director of the New York Philharmonic, divulged some details of his first season, which gets underway next fall. Also in attendance were Zarin Mehta, the Philharmonic's president, and Matías Tarnopolsky, the artistic administrator, both seconding Gilbert's commitment to combining traditional repertory with contemporary work — what the conductor calls a "museum plus laboratory" approach. The orchestra is not yet ready to announce the entire season, but Gilbert did describe his opening-night gala program: a new piece by Magnus Lindberg, Messiaen's Poèmes pour Mi with Renée Fleming as soloist, and Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique. Lindberg — pictured above — will be the Philharmonic's composer-in-residence, a position that lasts two years. The Finn will write another new work for Gilbert's opening season and also direct one of two programs by the Philharmonic's new-music ensemble, which commences operations next season. Lindberg and Gilbert are looking at a long list of potential composers for commissions, including a number of little-known younger Americans. Other items of interest: Valery Gergiev will lead a three-week Stravinsky festival in spring 2010; Thomas Hampson will serve as Artist in Residence, curating several programs; and, in a sign of his commitment to the city, Gilbert will lead all of the Philharmonic's summer parks concerts. Overall, the feeling was good. Dan Wakin has more.
Photograph of Lindberg: Richard Haughton.