Lincoln Center's David Geffen Hall.

An evening at Lincoln Center’s David Geffen Hall offered a refreshing change of pace for the 14 busy students taking part in this semester’s New York City program directed by Professor Naomi Guttman. Thanks to a generous donation from Karen and Kevin Kennedy, the group attended a New York Philharmonic symphony concert on March 1.

The concert was the world premiere of composer Lera Auerbach’s NYx: Fractured Dreams (Violin Concerto No. 4), featuring soloist Leonidas Kavakos, followed by Mahler’s Symphony No. 4, featuring soprano Christina Landshamer. Conducted by music director Alan Gilbert, these performances were the Philharmonic’s first of Ms. Auerbach’s work.

Kavakos and Auerbach have collaborated in the past, and NYx was commissioned by the Philharmonic. In her remarks before the performance, Auerbach explained that the name comes from the Greek word for night, “Nyx.” Capitalizing the “NY”’ connotes New York, the “city of ultimate dreamers,” Auerbach said.

“The symphony was amazing. I loved that the orchestra played both a contemporary piece and a classic one,” said New York City program participant Laura Whitmer ’18. “It was especially interesting to hear the composer of the contemporary piece speak before the performance. That definitely added a lot to the experience, and it’s something you wouldn’t get from a strictly classical performance.”

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