an blog | AJBlog Central | Contact me | Advertise | Follow me:

Just in: New York Philharmonic to appear in a Volkswagen factory

It’s a live webcast, but the conjunction will still raise eyebrows…. not least in Detroit, where they are trying to reboot the US car industry.

The venue for the webcast has been tailored to Magnus Lindberg’s work Kraft, which employs industrial materials. The New York Philharmonic will use luxury Phaeton car parts, provided by Volkswagen specifically for the concert. Alan Gilbert says: ‘Magnus Lindberg’s Kraft is all about power and construction, and therefore it has found a remarkably apt venue in the Volkswagen factory’. Ho-hum.

Press release below:

(to avoid brand confusion, we wish to clarify that the image is from a London Philharmonic advertisement for Mini cars)


On Tuesday, May 14 at 2pm, EDT, will present a free, live webcast of the New York Philharmonic’s concert of 20th- and 21st-centurymusic at Volkswagen’s Die Gläserne Manufaktur, or Transparent Factory, in Dresden, Germany. The sold-out concert, given as part of the orchestra’sEUROPE/SPRING 2013 tour and presented by the Dresden Music Festival, will showcase Magnus Lindberg’s groundbreaking, site-specific workKraft with the composer himself at the piano, alongside Prospero’s Rooms by Christopher Rouse and Bernstein’s Serenade with Joshua Bell as violin soloist. The webcast will be available to audiences worldwide for the following 90 days.


With video production by the New York Philharmonic, this will be the first Philharmonic concert from Europe to appear on, following the success of webcasts of the New York Philharmonic’s historic concert from Pyongyang, DPRK, in February 2008 (the performance was also released on DVD by EuroArts); its 2013 gala concert celebration of Chinese New Year; and the orchestra’s spatial music program Philharmonic 360, a co-production with the Park Avenue Armory in July 2012 that has been seen by more than 65,000 unique viewers to date.


The highlight of the webcast will be Magnus Lindberg’s Kraft, which was given its New York premiere in October 2010 by the New York Philharmonic and Alan Gilbert, during Lindberg’s tenure as the orchestra’s Marie-Josée Kravis Composer-in-Residence. It offers European audiences a taste of the unusual and adventurous repertoire for which the orchestra has become renowned under Gilbert, who describes the piece as “raucous and theatrical.” In keeping with the composer’s original intent, the orchestra will use repurposed, locally sourced metal: in this case luxury Phaeton car parts, provided by Volkswagen specifically for the concert. In addition to Lindberg himself at the piano, Kraft’s soloists include Philharmonic principal percussionChristopher S. Lamb and associate principal percussion Daniel Druckman, principal timpani Markus Rhoten, and principal cello Carter Brey, as well as Chen Halevi on clarinet and Juhani Liimatainen on electronics.


“Magnus Lindberg’s Kraft is all about power and construction, and therefore it has found a remarkably apt venue in the Volkswagen factory,” said Music Director Alan Gilbert. “We are gratified that our collaboration with – which produced our webcasts of other outstanding events, including last year’s Philharmonic 360 at Park Avenue Armory – is allowing us to share this unique experience with as large an audience as possible.”


“Since its New York premiere in 2010, Magnus Lindberg’s Kraft has represented the innovative and exciting journey on which Alan Gilbert is taking the Philharmonic’s musicians and audiences,” said Executive Director Matthew VanBesien. “We are absolutely delighted to have as our partner in realizing our dream of sharing this unique event with a worldwide audience.”


Also featured in the program are two American works, including the Marie-Josée Kravis Composer-in-Residence Christopher Rouse’s Prospero’s Rooms, a Philharmonic commission that received its world premiere in New York by the orchestra in April and will also be heard in Istanbul, Zurich, Munich, and Vienna. The program is rounded out with violinist Joshua Bell performing Bernstein’s Serenade (after Plato’s Symposium), which was described by the composer himself as his most important serious work, and which was recorded by Bell in 2001.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...


  1. Um….this concert had been announced a year ago, or so. The only new part is the webcast. That headline is misleading about what’s actually new to this announcement. And, I don’t see how this has anything to do with Detroit. The piece requires found auto and metal parts for each performance in a local area. They did the same when they performed in NY not too long ago.

  2. Glad to know this piece is getting more exposure. It’s a stunning work. Also, Kraft was not commissioned by the NY Phil but premiered by the Finnish Radio Symphony in 1985.

  3. Thaddeus Watson says:

    It was also performed by the Frankfurt Radio in 1994….. a piece of great wonder and beauty!

  4. They were looking for some place with better acoustics than Avery Fischer Hall.

  5. Dear New York Philharmonic: I understand you’ll be interacting with found auto and metal parts at a VW plant. If you find some window regulators for a ’99 Passat THAT DON’T COST $250 EACH and could drop me a line I’d much appreciate it. Thx.

  6. Stiff competition out there when it comes to vehicular theatricality…

    Will the NY Phil trump the site-specific car carnage in Matthew Barney’s Cremaster 3 (starts at 0:30 and again at 2:47 and so on):

    or… (well, just start watching at 1:30):!

  7. Linda Grace says:

    This brings up something that I have wondered about (but not lately)—after the taxpayers
    bailed out the Detroit automakers and they paid back and are making great profits, have
    the automakers given any money to the Detroit Symphony? Anybody know the answer?

    And bravo to VW for helping finance the tour of the NY Phil.

an ArtsJournal blog