New York Philharmonic to partner with Music Academy of the West

Alan Gilbert conducting members of the New York Philharmonic in 2012.
(Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)

Members of the New York Philharmonic will be making regular summer sojourns to the Santa Barbara area beginning this year as part of a new partnership with the Music Academy of the West. The partnership, which was announced Monday, will include public performances led by conductor Alan Gilbert, the New York orchestra’s music director.

The four-year collaboration will officially begin this year and will include Gilbert participating in Music Academy activities in each of the four summers. Select New York Philharmonic musicians will serve as guest faculty for one week each summer in Santa Barbara to train Music Academy fellows.

In addition, a handful of Music Academy fellows will travel to New York for 10-day apprenticeships and musical immersion with the New York Philharmonic each summer.


Located in Montecito, the Music Academy of the West is a conservatory that hosts an annual summer music festival that includes public performances.

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During the 2015 and 2017 summer seasons, the New York Philharmonic will perform at the Music Academy of the West festivals, with Gilbert conducting.

“The partnership is important for me,” said Gilbert on the phone from New York. “It’s a chance for the New York Philharmonic to develop [a] relationship with a new audience over four years.” The conductor is expected to lead a performance this summer in Santa Barbara.

The idea for the partnership began when the orchestra came to Santa Barbara two years ago as part of a tour. Scott Reed, the academy’s president, reached out to the orchestra and helped to form the resulting collaboration.


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