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9 February 2015, 11:28
Alan Gilbert is to step down as music director of the New York Philharmonic in 2017, fuelling speculation and rumour about his next destination.
Gilbert was philosophical about the end of his tenure: "The orchestra's changed in a lot of ways — ways that a lot of people said wouldn't be possible when I started. The chemistry’s very strong. But it will have been eight years, and it's harder than it looks."
So, where will Gilbert head after his contract ends in 2017? Rumours are already circulating that he might have his eye on a challenging new prospect at the Berlin Philharmonic, filling the space left by the outgoing musical director Sir Simon Rattle.
Not only has Gilbert commented that he's "very happy working in Europe and I have good relationships with a number of orchestras there," but Twitter seems to echo his opinion:
Alan Gilbert is leaving the NYPhil in '17, Rattle leaves Berlin in '18. Coincidence?— Andrew Ardizzoia (@aardizzoia) February 6, 2015
@GilbertConducts leaves @nyphil in 2017. Rattle leaves @BerlinPhil in 2018. Odds 8:1 that one shows up in the other's job. #conducting— Theo T. Smith (@TheoTSmith) February 8, 2015
Gilbert's already got a great working relationship with the Berlin Philharmonic itself:
Just heard Alan Gilbert on WQXR say that conducting the Berlin Philharmonic was so great because they play towards a unified product.— Jon Nelson (@musicianjon) December 8, 2014
And he's clearly a fan of the area. Could he get used to sampling the delights of one of Germany's greatest exports?
Loving Berlin--great beer! -AG pic.twitter.com/qEk4cYnmym— Alan Gilbert (@GilbertConducts) November 20, 2014
(FYI Alan - Tiger isn't a German beer. Might want to brush up on your nationalities lest a diplomatic incident occur.)
Speculation is also rife regarding who will take on the music director role at the NY Phil. Chief among the rumours is Esa-Pekka Salonen, who has recently been announced as the orchestra's composer in residence and will take on some conducting there as well.
Esa-Pekka Salonen would be super> Who Will Replace Alan Gilbert At The NY Phil? http://t.co/BHHpUPTwZy— 瀅です (@mahlerian) February 8, 2015
Other names in the frame include the St Louis Symphony's David Robertson, who was in the running last time the post became available.
Here's a gif of Alan Gilbert looking disapproving at all this speculation:
Who do you think will take Gilbert's place at the New York Phil? And where do you think Gilbert will end up next? It looks like Europe could be a possibility, but will it be Germany? Let us know in the comments below.