During his tenure as music director of the New York Philharmonic, from 2009-2017, Alan Gilbert has made an indelible mark on the orchestra’s history and that of his native New York City. Among his innovations at the Philharmonic are the new-music series Contact! and the NY Phil Biennial, an exploration of today’s music by a wide range of contemporary and modern composers.
Gilbert is conductor laureate of the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic and a regular presence on the world’s most important stages, leading ensembles including the Berlin Philharmonic, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, Boston Symphony Orchestera, Munich Philharmonic, La Scala Orchestra, Staatskapelle Dresden, London Symphony Orchestra, NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra (formerly known as NDR Symphony Orchestra Hamburg), and Academy of St. Martin in the Fields.
Gilbert has led productions for the Metropolitan Opera, Los Angeles Opera, Zurich Opera, Royal Swedish Opera, and Santa Fe Opera. The DVD of his Metropolitan Opera debut in 2008 conducting John Adams’s Doctor Atomic received a Grammy Award, and he was nominated for Emmy Awards for outstanding music direction of the New York Philharmonic’s productions of Sweeney Todd and Sinatra: Voice for a Century.
The recipient of honorary Doctor of Music degrees from Curtis (2010) and Westminster Choir College (2016), in 2011 Gilbert received Columbia University’s Ditson Conductor’s Award for his “exceptional commitment to the performance of works by American composers and to contemporary music.” In 2014 he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the following year received a Foreign Policy Association Medal for his commitment to cultural diplomacy and was named Officier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. In 2016 he received New York University’s Lewis Rudin Award for exemplary service to New York City in recognition of his leadership in making New York one of the world’s great centers for music and the arts.
Gilbert studied at Harvard University, the Curtis Institute of Music, and Juilliard, where he earned an MM degree in orchestral conducting. He was named director of conducting and orchestral studies at Juilliard in 2011 and holds the school’s William Schuman Chair in Musical Studies.