Performance Wednesday, October 7, 2015 | 7 PM

Carnegie Hall's
Opening Night Gala
New York Philharmonic

Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
Here’s an opening night at Carnegie Hall you will remember all your life. In what is indeed a gala event, Evgeny Kissin joins the New York Philharmonic and Music Director Alan Gilbert for Tchaikovsky’s immortal Piano Concerto No. 1 to launch the 2015–2016 season. Gilbert and the orchestra also perform the world premiere of a Carnegie Hall commission by Finnish composer Magnus Lindberg and Ravel’s sumptuously orchestrated Daphnis et Chloé Suite No. 2.


  • New York Philharmonic
    Alan Gilbert, Music Director and Conductor
  • Evgeny Kissin, Piano


  • MAGNUS LINDBERG Vivo (World Premiere, co-commissioned by Carnegie Hall)
  • TCHAIKOVSKY Piano Concerto No. 1
  • RAVEL Daphnis et Chloé Suite No. 2

  • Encore:
  • TCHAIKOVSKY Méditation, Op. 72, No. 5

Event Duration

The printed program will last approximately 90 minutes with no intermission.


  • New York Philharmonic

    The New York Philharmonic plays a leading cultural role in New York City, the United States, and the world. This season's projects connect the Philharmonic with up to 50 million music lovers through live concerts in New York City and on its worldwide tours and residencies; digital recording series; international broadcasts on television, radio, and online; and as a resource through its wide range of education programs and Digital Archives. Today, the orchestra's performances are enriched by collaborations among today's leading artists, a philosophy behind the creations of the positions of The Marie-Josée Kravis Composer-in-Residence, currently held by Esa-Pekka Salonen; The Mary and James G. Wallach Artist-in-Residence, now held by bass-baritone Eric Owens; and Artist-in-Association, who is now pianist Inon Barnatan. The Philharmonic works with institutional partners on groundbreaking initiatives, including critically acclaimed staged productions; the NY PHIL BIENNIAL, which will return in 2016; and the Lincoln Center-New York Philharmonic Opera Initiative.

    The orchestra has commissioned and/or premiered works by leading composers from every era since its founding in 1842-including Dvořák's "New World" Symphony; John Adams's Pulitzer Prize-winning On the Transmigration of Souls, dedicated to the victims of 9/11; and Magnus Lindberg's Piano Concerto No. 2. Renowned around the globe, the Philharmonic has appeared in 432 cities in 63 countries-including the groundbreaking 1930 tour of Europe; the unprecedented 1959 tour to the USSR; the historic 2008 visit to Pyongyang, DPRK, the first there by an American orchestra; and the orchestra's debut in Hanoi, Vietnam, in 2009. The New York Philharmonic serves as a resource for its community and the world. It complements its annual free concerts across the city-including the Concerts in the Parks, Presented by Didi and Oscar Schafer-with Philharmonic Free Fridays and a wide range of education programs, among them the famed, long-running Young People's Concerts and Philharmonic Schools, an immersive classroom program that reaches thousands of New York City students. Committed to developing tomorrow's leading orchestral musicians, the Philharmonic has established the New York Philharmonic Global Academy, featuring collaborations with partners worldwide offering training of pre-professional musicians, often alongside performance residencies. These include the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra Academy and Residency Partnership and collaborations with Santa Barbara's Music Academy of the West and The Shepherd School of Music at Rice University.

    The oldest American symphony orchestra and one of the oldest in the world, the New York Philharmonic has made almost 2,000 recordings since 1917, including several Grammy Award winners, and its self-produced digital recording series continues in the 2015-2016 season. Music Director Alan Gilbert began his tenure in September 2009, succeeding a distinguished line of 20th-century musical giants that includes Leonard Bernstein, Arturo Toscanini, and Gustav Mahler.

    Alan Gilbert

    Alan Gilbert, music director of the New York Philharmonic since 2009, introduced the positions of The Marie-Josée Kravis Composer-in-Residence, The Mary and James G. Wallach Artist-in-Residence, and Artist-in-Association; CONTACT!, the new-music series; NY PHIL BIENNIAL, an exploration of today's music; and the New York Philharmonic Global Academy, featuring collaborations with partners worldwide that offer training of pre-professional musicians, often alongside performance residencies.

    In the 2015-2016 season, Mr. Gilbert conducts Strauss's Ein Heldenleben to welcome concertmaster Frank Huang, as well as five world premieres; co-curates the second NY PHIL BIENNIAL; and performs violin in Messiaen's Quartet for the End of Time. He also leads the orchestra as part of the Shanghai Orchestra Academy Residency and Partnership, and appears at Santa Barbara's Music Academy of the West. Philharmonic tenure highlights include acclaimed stagings of Ligeti's Le grand macabre, Janáček's The Cunning Little Vixen, Stephen Sondheim's Sweeney Todd starring Bryn Terfel and Emma Thompson (for which he is nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Music Direction), and Honegger's Joan of Arc at the Stake starring Marion Cotillard; 24 world premieres; The Nielsen Project; Verdi's Requiem; the score from 2001: A Space Odyssey alongside the film; Mahler's Symphony No. 2, "Resurrection," on the 10th anniversary of 9/11; and nine tours around the world. In August 2015, he led the Mahler Chamber Orchestra in the US stage premiere of George Benjamin's Written on Skin, co-presented as part of the Lincoln Center-New York Philharmonic Opera Initiative.

    Conductor laureate of the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra and principal guest conductor of Hamburg's NDR Symphony Orchestra, Mr. Gilbert regularly conducts leading orchestras nationally and internationally. This season Mr. Gilbert makes debuts with four great European orchestras--Filarmonica della Scala, Staatskapelle Dresden, London Symphony Orchestra, and Academy of St. Martin in the Fields--and returns to The Cleveland Orchestra and Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra. Juilliard's director of conducting and orchestral studies, his honors include election to the American Academy of Arts & Sciences (2014) and a Foreign Policy Association Medal (2015).

    More Info

  • Evgeny Kissin

    Evgeny Kissin's musicality, the depth and poetic quality of his interpretations, and his extraordinary virtuosity have earned him the veneration and admiration deserved only by one of the most gifted classical pianists of his generation and, arguably, generations past. He is in demand the world over and has appeared with many legendary artists, including Abbado, Ashkenazy, Barenboim, Dohnányi, Giulini, Levine, Maazel, Muti, and Ozawa.

    Mr. Kissin began playing piano by ear at age two. At age six, he entered the Gnessin School of Music in Moscow, where he was a student of Anna Kantor. He came to international attention in 1984 when, at age 12, he performed Chopin's First and Second piano concertos in the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory with the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra under Dmitri Kitaenko. In 1990, Mr. Kissin made his North American debut, performing both Chopin piano concertos with the New York Philharmonic, conducted by Zubin Mehta, and the following week opened Carnegie Hall's centennial season with a spectacular debut recital, recorded live by BMG Classics. This season, in addition to Carnegie Hall's Opening Night Gala with Alan Gilbert and the New York Philharmonic, Mr. Kissin performs with the Boston and Chicago symphony orchestras and The MET Orchestra, and appears in two recitals, a chamber music program, and a Jewish poetry program as part of his Carnegie Hall Perspectives series.

    Mr. Kissin has received a number of musical awards and accolades from around the world. He was special guest at the 1992 Grammy Awards ceremony, broadcast live for an audience estimated at more than one billion, and three years later he was named Musical America's youngest Instrumentalist of the Year. He was awarded an honorary doctorate of music by the Manhattan School of Music, the Shostakovich Award, and an honorary membership of the Royal Academy of Music in London. 

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TCHAIKOVSKY Piano Concerto No.1 (Allegro non troppo e molto maestoso—Allegro con spirito)
Herbert von Karajon, Conductor | Evgeny Kissin, Piano | Berliner Philharmoniker
Deutsche Grammophon

At a Glance

Formerly the New York Philharmonic's Marie-Josée Kravis Composer-in-Residence, Finnish composer Magnus Lindberg has long displayed a penchant for complexity in his music. His new work, Vivo (subtitled "Concert Opener for Orchestra"), which receives its world premiere tonight, is a lively piece with a direct character that Lindberg has described as "definitely linked to [Ravel's] Daphnis et Chloé … [a] score which I love so much." Indeed, Ravel's ballet—composed for Sergei Diaghilev's famous Ballets Russes, which gave the premiere in Paris in 1912—is a cornerstone of musical impressionism. Daphnis is best-known in the concert hall for its final tableau, which Ravel excerpted as the Suite No. 2. Tchaikovsky's First Piano Concerto, the middle work on tonight's program, initially seemed headed for failure: When Tchaikovsky showed the manuscript to his mentor Nikolai Rubinstein, he heard his music denounced as "utterly worthless," so when the concerto was premiered in America to rapturous reviews and public acclaim, the 35-year-old composer basked in his first international triumph. The concerto is among the most popular and virtuosic in the repertory, full of soaring melody and thrilling pianistic display-a workout for both soloist and orchestra.
Program Notes

Carnegie Hall is delighted to open our 125th Anniversary season with a thrilling evening of classical works and a world premier performed by the fantastic New York Philharmonic and piano virtuoso Evgeny Kissin under the baton of Alan Gilbert. This landmark performance will be followed by an elegant black-tie gala dinner on Carnegie Hall's Weill Terrace and Terrace Room above the concert hall.

Gala Benefit Tickets
Gala benefit tickets include prime concert seating and the option of attending either a pre-concert reception ($1,250 per person) or a post-concert dinner in Carnegie Hall's Weill Terrace (starting at $6,000 per person) and Weill Terrace Room ($3,000 per person).

Please reserve online via the upper-right-hand link or contact the Special Events office at 212-903-9679. Please note that exact concert and dinner seating assignments will not be determined until the month of the event. Early reservations are encouraged as dinner seating availability is limited. 

Opening Night Gala benefit tickets directly support Carnegie Hall's artistic and education programs.



Gala Chairs

Gala Lead Chairman
Beatrice Santo Domingo

Gala Chairmen
Shahla and Hushang Ansary
Mercedes T. Bass
Annette de la Renta
Bruce and Suzie Kovner
Marie-Josée and Henry Kravis
The Marc Haas Foundation
Ronald O. Perelman
Sana H. Sabbagh
Alejandro Santo Domingo and Charlotte Wellesley
Lauren and Andrés Santo Domingo
Sydney and Stanley S. Shuman
David M. Siegel and Dana Matsushita
Hope and Robert F. Smith
Margaret and Ian Smith
Joan and Sanford I. Weill 

Gala Details

5:30 PM  
Cocktail Reception
Rohatyn Room
Carnegie Hall
7 PM  
Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
8:30 PM  
Gala Dinner
Weill Terrace and Terrace Room
Carnegie Hall

Black Tie
Perspectives: Evgeny Kissin
PriceWaterhouseCoopers 60x100 extra header space GIF
Opening Night Gala Lead Sponsor: PwC
Major support for the 125 Commissions Project is provided by the Howard Gilman Foundation.
This performance is part of Perspectives: Evgeny Kissin.

Part of