On Feb. 16, students from the S. Daniel Abraham Honors Program at Stern College for Women attended the New York Philharmonic at Lincoln Center, which was recently renovated and re-opened. Leading the orchestra was the dynamic conductor, Ruth Reinhardt.
The concert started with a moving tribute to the victims of the recent earthquake in Turkey and Syria, with a performance of Bach’s Air on the G String. After a moment of silence, the audience applauded enthusiastically.
The next performance was Grażyna Bacewicz’s Overture for Orchestra. Bacewicz, one of the first female Polish composers, crafted the piece during World War ll. The students took note that the exciting energy of her short piece was a stark contrast to the darkness of that era.
The orchestra then played Thomas Adés’ piano concerto, In Seven Days, a musical interpretation of Creation, as told in Genesis. Accompanying the performance was a video created by Adés’ wife, Tal Rosner, to help viewers visualize what the music was conveying. While the video started with images of waves from the ocean depicting the beginning of Creation, the remaining part mostly contained abstract shapes. As the tone of the music changed, the color and shapes changed as well. Following multiple rounds of applause, pianist Kiril Gerstein rejoined the orchestra to play an additional piece by Adés, from his opera, The Exterminating Angel, as an encore. Then, the evening concluded with the orchestra playing Dvorak’s infrequently performed 5th Symphony, which Ruth Reinhardt has described as a “hidden gem.”
“I chose this performance because it featured the works of woman artists and marked Ruth Reinhardt’s Philharmonic debut as conductor,” explained Dr. Cynthia Wachtell, director of the Honors Program. “Also, the collaborative work by Adés and Rosner, In Seven Days, offers an astounding, sensory evocation of Genesis and was especially well received by the students.”
Thank you to Vered Gottlieb ‘26S for her contribution to the writing of this article.