The New York Philharmonic will receive the Asia Society's Cultural Ambassador Award
at a black-tie dinner at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel on Tuesday, November 16, 2010, at 6:30 p.m. The Asia Society's Annual Awards Dinner recognizes extraordinary individuals who have contributed to promoting understanding between Asians and Americans. The Philharmonic is being cited for its bridge-building concerts across the globe, particularly its historic concert in Pyongyang, DPRK, in February 2008, and its debut in Hanoi, Vietnam, in October 2009. At the dinner, two members of the Philharmonic - Assistant Concertmaster Michelle Kim and violist Vivek Kamath - will perform two works, including the well-known Korean folk song, Arirang, which they played with the Orchestra in Pyongyang.
Also receiving awards are Mukesh D. Ambani, chairman of Reliance Industries, Ltd. (Global Vision Award) and Jeffrey R. Immelt, chairman and CEO of General Electric (the Society's Global Leadership Award). The evening's emcee is CNBC anchor Melissa Lee.
The New York Philharmonic is currently on its EUROPE / AUTUMN 2010 tour, where it recently made its debut in Vilnius, Republic of Lithuania, and returned to Belgrade, Ljubljana, Warsaw, Hamburg, Paris, and Luxembourg. In October 2009 the Orchestra, led by Music Director Alan Gilbert, made its debut in Hanoi, Vietnam, in the Hanoi Opera House. In February 2008, the musicians, led by then-Music Director Lorin Maazel, gave a historic performance in Pyongyang, Democratic People's Republic of Korea - the first visit there by an American orchestra and an event that was watched around the world, and for which the Philharmonic received the 2008 Common Ground Award for Cultural Diplomacy.
Founded in 1842, the New York Philharmonic is the oldest symphony orchestra in the United States and one of the oldest in the world; on May 5, 2010, it performed its 15,000th concert. The Orchestra has always played a leading role in American musical life, championing the music of its time, and is renowned around the globe, having appeared in 430 cities in 63 countries.
The Philharmonic's concerts are broadcast on the weekly syndicated radio program, The New York Philharmonic This Week, streamed on the Orchestra's Website, nyphil.org, and are telecast annually on Live From Lincoln Center on U.S. public television. The Philharmonic has made nearly 2,000 recordings since 1917, with more than 500 currently available. The first major American orchestra to offer downloadable concerts, recorded live, the Philharmonic, in 2009-10, released the first-ever classical iTunes Pass. The Orchestra has built on the long-running Young People's Concerts® to develop a wide range of education programs, including the School Partnership Program, enriching music education in New York City, and Learning Overtures, fostering international exchange. Alan Gilbert became Music Director in September 2009, succeeding Lorin Maazel in a distinguished line of musical giants. Credit Suisse is the New York Philharmonic's exclusive Global Sponsor.
Violinist Michelle Kim has been Assistant Concertmaster (The William Petschek Family Chair) of the New York Philharmonic since 2001. She has performed as soloist with orchestras such as the New York Philharmonic, New Jersey Philharmonic, Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra, and Pacific Symphony. An active chamber musician, Ms. Kim has collaborated with violinists Cho-Liang Lin, Christian Tetzlaff, and Pinchas Zukerman; cellists Mstislav Rostropovich, Lynn Harrell, and Gary Hoffman; and pianists Lang Lang and Yefim Bronfman. She has performed at the Santa Fe Chamber Music, La Jolla Chamber Music, Strings in the Mountain, and Bravo! Vail Valley Music festivals. She has also served as the first violinist of the Rossetti String Quartet, and was a Sterne Virtuoso Artist at Skidmore College in 2007-08. A former Presidential Scholar, Ms. Kim attended the University of Southern California's Thornton School of Music as a Starling Foundation scholarship recipient. She has been a member of the faculty at the USC Thornton School of Music; Colburn School of Performing Arts; and University of California-Santa Barbara. Michelle Kim currently teaches at Mannes College of Music.
Violist Vivek Kamath joined the New York Philharmonic in January 1998. He earned his bachelor's degree at the Cleveland Institute of Music, studying with Donald Weilerstein. He has appeared as soloist with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and the Metamorphosen Chamber Orchestra. An avid chamber musician, he has performed at the Marlboro, Ravinia, Sarasota, Blossom, and Bowdoin festivals. In 1997 Mr. Kamath was a prize-winner in the Washington International String Competition and in the Irving Klein International String Competition.