"In Brooklyn, a New Leader Who Knows No Boundaries"
The New York Times, October 2, 2011
An article about the arrival of Alan Pierson as the new artistic director of the Brooklyn Philharmonic, an esteemed ensemble that has known tremendous highs and disheartening lows over the years. At a time when the orchestra is not only starting over more or less from scratch but also critically redefining what an orchestra can be, and what the Brooklyn Philharmonic should mean within the context of its home borough, Pierson's reputation as a gifted musician, an unconventional thinker and a diligent collaborator should help him fit right in.
Pierson's not the only new kid in town: the orchestra also has an unorthodox new CEO, Richard Dare, an international investment strategist with no prior experience running a nonprofit, but one who has deep connections with and commitment to the arts. Hard to predict what's to come in the seasons ahead, but one thing is certain: it's going to be interesting.
The season starts this Saturday afternoon, October 8, at 12:30pm in Brooklyn's Bedford Stuyvesant neighborhood, when Pierson will conduct members of the orchestra as they accompany rapper Mos Def in songs arranged by Derek Bermel as part of Restoration Rocks, a hip-hop festival. Pierson & posse then come to the Winter Garden at the World Financial Center on Wednesday, October 12, for an eclectic New Sounds Live concert featuring Mos Def, Corey Dargel, Mellissa Hughes and the Brooklyn Youth Chorus, in a program ranging from shape-note singing to new pieces by Dargel, David T. Little and Lev "Ljova" Zhurbin.
Update, Oct. 3: Another article covering Pierson's arrival, by my friend and colleague Amanda MacBlane, appears in the new issue of Time Out New York.