Philharmonic Free Fridays Program Begins Its 6th Season On September 18

Published on August 08, 2019, 4:28 am
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The opening subscription program of the New York Philharmonic’s 2019–20 season — Jaap van Zweden’s second season as Music Director — will feature Maestro van Zweden conducting the World Premiere of Philip Glass’s King Lear Overture, the Philharmonic’s first-ever commission of a work by Mr. Glass; Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915, with soprano Kelli O’Hara; and selections from Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet. The program will take place Wednesday, September 18, 2019, at 07:30 p.m.; Thursday, September 19 at 07:30 p.m.; Friday, September 20 at 08:00 p.m.; and Saturday, September 21 at 08:00 p.m.

Philip Glass wrote the music for the 2019 Broadway production of Shakespeare’s King Lear, performed throughout the play by an onstage string quartet. “The King Lear Overture was conceived after the extended time I spent with the play in its Broadway presentation this last year,” Philip Glass said. “However, it is musically a completely new version of this subject matter. Were it to become an actual opera, the new thematic material for this new work is actually contained in this Overture.”

Jaap van Zweden led the Philharmonic’s first performance of a symphonic work by Philip Glass — the Concerto for Two Pianos — in his opening concert as Music Director Designate in the 2017–18 season. In November 2011 the Philharmonic celebrated Philip Glass’s 75th birthday year by performing his score for Godfrey Reggio’s 1982 cult film Koyaanisqatsi: Life Out of Balance, joined by Philip Glass and the Philip Glass Ensemble.

“Philip Glass works within his own world, and the beauty of it is that over decades he has stayed true to that world,” said Jaap van Zweden. “Out of respect for who he is, I am very proud that we, for the first time at the New York Philharmonic, have commissioned a new piece by him. It is an honor for us to recognize this important composer!”

Tony Award winner and Oklahoma native Kelli O’Hara will reprise Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915 with the Philharmonic and Jaap van Zweden in October 2019 during the Orchestra’s residency at Oklahoma State University (OSU), featuring the inaugural concerts of the new McKnight Center for the Performing Arts on the OSU campus in Stillwater.

The concert on Friday, September 18 will launch the sixth season of Philharmonic Free Fridays, offering free tickets to 13- to 26-year-olds for each of the 2019–20 season’s Friday subscription concerts. Information on securing Free Fridays tickets is available online here.


Jaap van Zweden, Kelli O’Hara, New York Philharmonic


Single tickets start at $35. (Ticket prices subject to change.) The New York Philharmonic is offering an allotment of free tickets to young people ages 13–26 for the concert Friday, September 18 as part of Philharmonic Free Fridays; learn more at

Tickets to New York Philharmonic performances may be purchased online at or by calling (212) 875-5656, 10:00 a.m. to 06:00 p.m. Monday through Friday; 01:00 p.m. to 06:00 p.m. Saturday; and noon to 05:00 p.m. Sunday. Tickets may also be purchased at the David Geffen Hall Box Office. The Box Office opens at 10:00 a.m. Monday through Saturday, and at noon on Sunday. On performance evenings, the Box Office closes one-half hour after performance time; other evenings it closes at 06:00 p.m.

Event listing

New York Philharmonic

David Geffen Hall at Lincoln Center

Wednesday, September 18, 2019, 07:30 p.m.
Thursday, September 19, 2019, 07:30 p.m.
Friday, September 20, 2019, 08:00 p.m.
Saturday, September 21, 2019, 08:00 p.m.

Jaap van Zweden, conductor
Kelli O’Hara, soprano

Philip Glass King Lear Overture (World Premiere–New York Philharmonic Commission)
Barber Knoxville: Summer of 1915
Prokofiev Selections from Romeo and Juliet

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