After 25 years, internationally renowned violinist Itzhak Perlman took the baton for Philharmonic founder Paul Lustig Dunkel, but the professional orchestra shows no signs of slowing. It still puts on five mainstage concerts a season, in additional to smaller and chamber events. Always cutting-edge, the Philharmonic was one of the early champions of classical stars Midori and Joshua Bell, and has premiered new works by composers Derek Bermel and Melinda Wagner, the latter winning a Pulitzer Prize for her Concerto for Flute, Strings, and Percussion.
Best of Westchester - Editors' Picks
Best Maestro 2007
Even though he hasn't so much as lifted a baton for the Westchester Philharmonic--yet--Itzhak Perlman, the Philharmonic's new artistic director, already has gotten us excited about the future of our local classical-music scene. The Tel Aviv native has conducted some of the best orchestras in the world, including the New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, and the Boston Symphony, and yet he doesn't shy away from more casual venues like The Late Show with David Letterman or Sesame Street; his highbrow/lowbrow blend fits perfectly in Westchester. If you don't believe he's the best, then we say, hear for yourself and attend his debut with the Westchester Philharmonic on October 11. Then check back with the orchestra often, as he occasionally will join in as a soloist.
Best Orchestra 2007
The's no need to take a trip down to Avery Fisher Hall when some of the best, most respected orchestral musicians live and work right here. This past season, the orchestra thrilled audiences with everything from grand-scale productions of Beethoven's works to intimate chamber performances at the Westchester Arts Council. Expect another set of world-class performances from the Westchester Philharmonic, whose 2007-2008 series, its 25th anniversary year, promises an all-French program of symphonic masterpieces, a hilarious family-oriented evening with the famous P.D.Q. Bach, outstanding soloists like violinist Elmar Oliveira, and a variety of special events to be announced. Stay tuned.
Best Cultural Experience 2008
Any orchestra that can get the world's best violinist to be its maestro has got to be pretty darn good. But longtime subscribers didn''t need the hiring of Itzhak Perlman to tell them that the Westchester Philharmonic is special. Just attend a concert. The music says it all.
Best of Westchester Winners: