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Interlochen to collaborate with New York Philharmonic in 2023, with Arts Academy performance at David Geffen Hall and Arts Camp scholarship program

Interlochen conductor Leslie B. Dunner will lead the Philharmonic on March 2 and 4 and conduct the Arts Academy Orchestra as part of a multidisciplinary performance presented by Academy students on March 3 at the newly renovated David Geffen Hall.

David Geffen Hall - Interior Rendering

A rendering of the interior of the renovated David Geffen Hall. Photo credit: Diamond Schmitt Architects.

Exterior Rendering of the new David Geffen Hall

A rendering of the exterior of the renovated David Geffen Hall. Photo credit: DBOX for TWBTA & Lincoln Center.

Dr. Leslie B. Dunner conducts the Arts Academy Orchestra in Miami

Dr. Leslie B. Dunner (center) conducts the Interlochen Arts Academy Orchestra at Miami's New World Center on March 6, 2020.

The New York Philharmonic’s 2022-23 season will feature a collaboration with Interlochen Center for the Arts. Interlochen Arts Academy Orchestra conductor Leslie B. Dunner will lead the Philharmonic on March 2 and 4, and as part of a weeklong tour to New York City, nearly 140 Interlochen Arts Academy students will present a multidisciplinary work at David Geffen Hall on Friday, March 3, at 8 p.m. The March 3 program will feature Philharmonic musicians performing side by side with the Arts Academy Orchestra (14 current Philharmonic musicians are Interlochen alumni). Tickets are now available at the New York Philharmonic box office.

The two esteemed cultural institutions will also award 30 young artists from multiple arts disciplines with full-tuition scholarships to attend Interlochen Arts Camp in the summer of 2023 through the newly established NY Phil Interlochen Scholars program. 

“We’re thrilled and honored to partner with the New York Philharmonic,” said Interlochen Center for the Arts President Trey Devey. “Collaborating with the Philharmonic’s world-class musicians will be a formative experience that will inspire our young Interlochen artists for the rest of their lives. In turn, our NY Phil Interlochen Scholars program will make the transformative Interlochen Arts Camp experience accessible to talented young friends of the Philharmonic from across New York City.”

“The rewards of mentorship go both ways,” said New York Philharmonic Managing Director Isaac Thompson. “Interlochen Arts Academy students will benefit from working with the world’s top orchestral musicians, and NY Phil players will be inspired by the passion and potential of these aspiring artists. Add to that our ability to engage with musicians across the city who aspire to be NY Phil Interlochen Scholars, and the results are truly multidimensional, combining top-level training with high-profile performance opportunities.”

Interlochen Arts Academy Conductor Leslie B. Dunner will lead the New York Philharmonic in concerts on March 2 and 4 at 8 p.m. at David Geffen Hall, with a program inspired by the Philharmonic’s weeklong theme of “Liberation”: “Done Made My Vow” by Adolphus Hailstork; Symphony Number 2, “Song of a New Race” by William Grant Still; and a newly commissioned work by Courtney Bryan. 

“I’m thrilled to return to the New York Philharmonic for this important program,” Dunner said. “I’m also very excited that our young Interlochen artists will perform vital works that deserve to be included in the classical canon alongside the world-class musicians of the NY Phil.” 

Interlochen’s March 3 concert will draw inspiration from the Black experience as well as liberation of all kinds. “Fostering global and inclusive perspectives is core to an Interlochen education and to the creation of art that represents our modern world,” said Interlochen Center for the Arts Provost Camille Colatosti. “We’re proud to foster the next generation of creative changemakers.”

The March 3 program will begin with an original multidisciplinary work by Interlochen Arts Academy creative writing, dance, film & new media, interdisciplinary arts, theatre, visual arts, and music students. Next, conductor Leslie B. Dunner will lead the Interlochen Arts Academy Orchestra in the performance of “Umoja” by  Valerie Coleman, “Soul of Remembrance” by Mary Watkins, "Equality" by Jonathan Bailey Holland, and "Unburied, Unmourned, Unmarked: Requiem for Rice" by John Wineglass. The program will also include a side by side with members of the New York Philharmonic.

During the months leading up to the March 3 performance, Interlochen students will join NYC-based creative youth development and arts presenting organizations associated with the Philharmonic to curate and present programs both at David Geffen Hall and other cultural venues around New York City. New York Philharmonic Director of Education and Community Engagement Gary Padmore explains, “Partnership is vital to our work at the NY Philharmonic and with Interlochen, we are honored to work with some of the leading organizations in this city, from Dance Theatre of Harlem to UpBeatNYC and DreamYard, to name a few.”

Interlochen students will perform at David Geffen Hall just months after it reopens to the public following a major renovation. Designed by Diamond Schmitt Architects in collaboration with acoustician Paul Scarbrough of Akustiks and theater designer Joshua Dachs of Fisher Dachs Associates, the hall’s design ensures superior acoustics. The renovation enhances the entire concert-going experience, with spacious new public spaces that encourage more interaction among visitors, as well as a media streaming wall. 

Interlochen Arts Academy’s 2023 New York City tour will build on many recent student touring opportunities, including a critically acclaimed 2016 performance by the Arts Academy Orchestra at the NY Phil Biennial featuring the premiere of Interlochen alum Ash Fure’s Bound to the Bow. The New York Times praised Interlochen for “[rising] to the occasion,” and in his review, The New Yorker’s Alex Ross wrote: “The most arresting of the world premières was Fure’s ‘Bound to the Bow’… I would happily have stayed in the world of this music for twice as long, not least because of the avid commitment of the Interlochen students.” Other recent Arts Academy tours include a multidisciplinary performance at Miami’s New World Center in early March 2020 and premieres of new works at National Sawdust and Carnegie Hall in February 2019.  

Approaching its Centennial in 2028, Interlochen has shifted its focus from establishing world-class facilities to enhancing the student experience and educational programs. Interlochen plans to dramatically expand financial aid to ensure that the Interlochen Arts Camp and Arts Academy experience is accessible to even more young artists. This academic year, 80% of Arts Academy students received need- and merit-based financial aid, totaling nearly $16 million, a level of financial aid that distinguishes the Arts Academy among other top private secondary schools. In addition, in a typical year, Interlochen awards over $2.5 million in financial aid to Interlochen Arts Camp students. 

Interlochen’s partnership with the New York Philharmonic exemplifies its institutional vision to enhance educational programs through innovative collaborations and by recruiting sought-after faculty and guest artists to further elevate the educational experience. These initiatives encompass touring opportunities that allow students to share their work more broadly in Michigan and in major cultural centers around the world. 

Additionally, Interlochen aspires to further strengthen its leadership in diversity and inclusion in arts education. Recent advances in this area include increasing the domestic diversity of the Academy student body from 22% to 30% between 2016 and 2021, and increasing domestic diversity among students attending Interlochen Arts Camp from 22% to 31% between 2016 and 2021.

About the New York Philharmonic 
The New York Philharmonic connects with up to 50 million music lovers each season through live concerts in New York and around the world, as well as broadcasts, recordings, and education programs. The 2022–23 season marks a new chapter in the life of America’s longest living orchestra with the opening of the reimagined David Geffen Hall, programming that engages with today’s cultural conversations, and revitalized connections with New York City communities. The NY Phil has appeared in 435 cities in 63 countries, and commissioned and / or premiered important works, from Dvořák’s New World Symphony to Tania León’s Pulitzer Prize–winning Stride. The Orchestra streams performances on NYPhil+ and shares its extensive history through the New York Philharmonic Shelby White & Leon Levy Digital Archives. Jaap van Zweden became Music Director in 2018–19, succeeding titans including Bernstein, Toscanini, and Mahler.