The Philharmonic Plans Its Return to Geffen Hall, With Fanfare

Given the dearth of female conductors among the largest American orchestras, some have argued that the Philharmonic should choose a woman as its next music director. Several rising conductors, many of them women, will make their debuts with the ensemble next season, including Karina Canellakis, the chief conductor of Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra; Ruth Reinhardt, a former assistant conductor of the Dallas Symphony; and Nathalie Stutzmann, who takes the podium of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra next season.

Borda declined to comment on the music director search, except to say that the upcoming season was “obviously an opportunity to see some returning talent and some wonderful new talent as well.”

Soloists appearing for the first time with the orchestra include the Icelandic pianist Vikingur Olafsson, who will play Ravel’s piano concerto in November, and Cynthia Millar, playing the ondes Martenot, an early electronic instrument, in Messiaen’s “Turangalîla-Sinfonie,” alongside the pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet, in March.

The season includes concert series designed to address modern issues, including “Liberation,” about social injustice; “Spirit,” about “humanity’s place in the cosmos”; and “Earth,” about the climate crisis.

As part of “Liberation” in March, the Philharmonic will premiere a work by Courtney Bryan and Tazewell Thompson. “Spirit,” that same month, will include Bach’s “St. Matthew Passion,” which the Philharmonic has not performed since 2008.

“Earth” will close out the season in June, with the world premiere of Wolfe’s “unEarth,” a multimedia oratorio that explores forced migration, loss of nature and adaptation. John Luther Adams’s “Become Desert,” the sequel to his Pulitzer Prize-winning “Become Ocean,” will get its New York premiere.


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