14 MAR 2017

Rosemary Curtin to perform with the New York Philharmonic

The SSO Violist is delighted to be part of 'A Concert for Unity'

Sydney Symphony Orchestra Violist Rosemary Curtin has been invited to perform in one of Alan Gilbert’s season finale concerts as Music Director of the NY Phil in June. ‘A Concert for Unity’ will bring together musicians from more than 19 orchestras around the world together with the New York Philharmonic to  perform three concerts at the Lincoln Centre. The program, celebrating the power of music to build bridges and unite people across borders, will feature Yo-Yo Ma (Jun 8) and Wynton Marsalis (Jun 9) as soloists and include Mahler’s Seventh Symphony.

What went through your mind when you were asked to be in these concerts?

Nowadays juggling a busy SSO schedule with family life I usually have to think twice about accepting any extra work but with this invitation it was an instant yes!

Have you ever performed with the NY Phil before?

No. The last time I heard them was in an open rehearsal in their hall in the Lincoln Centre. I never dreamt I’d actually get the chance to perform with them!

How do you feel about performing with Wynton Marsalis and Yo-Yo Ma again?

I haven’t performed with Yo-Yo Ma before but have always admired his musicianship and versatility as a musician. I loved our work last year with Wynton Marsalis and David Robertson. It was one of the highlights of 2016 sharing the stage with Marsalis so it’s thrilling to get another opportunity.

With these concerts Gilbert will launch a new initiative in which musicians from around the world will come together to perform music at critical times in support of peace, development, and human rights.  Have you performed in any other concerts of this nature? And what do you think about the role of music in ‘critical times’?

I have performed in other concerts of this nature but not on this scale. It is a great privilege to be a professional musician and I think we have a duty to contribute to society in whatever way we can. Listening to live orchestral music is such an uplifting and transformative experience. 'A Concert for Unity' and subsequent follow-on projects are a very effective means to unite and focus people on where attention is required through the power of music.

What do you think Gilbert’s legacy will be at the NY Phil?

Viewed from afar it would seem that he has championed much new contemporary and in particular American repertoire. I imagine his legacy with the NY Phil will be to have challenged musicians to think beyond their traditional roles as performers of symphonic orchestra repertoire as a way of keeping orchestral music meaningful to its audiences.

Image: Christie Brewster