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Road Warrior: Alan Gilbert

Alan Gilbert

Photo by Hayley Sparks

Believe it or not, Alan Gilbert is the only native New Yorker to be named music director of the New York Philharmonic in its 168-year history.

Believe it or not, Alan Gilbert is the only native New Yorker to be named music director of the New York Philharmonic in its 168-year history. The job of a maestro is always heavy on travel—in fact, a music lover can catch this newly appointed music director with his orchestra at concerts in Spain, Germany and Switzerland later this month. But Gilbert gets to spend most of his time conducting (both music and business) in his hometown. Catch his concerts January 2 to 16 at Lincoln Center.

Favorite thing about New York in the wintertime:  Snow days
As a kid, I always liked it when the city shut down because of snow days. And I still enjoy it even now—when the city that’s normally so bustling becomes quiet and still.

Best place to take a big donor for dinner: Yakitori Totto
I particularly love Japanese food, and New York is an amazing place for it. I spend a lot of time in Tokyo, and I have to say the Japanese food in New York rivals that of even Tokyo. Yakitori Totto is a yakitori place—which is grilled chicken, but also vegetables and things on skewers. It’s an amazing little place in Midtown, and it’s very authentic. For sushi, I always go to Hatsuhana. I particularly like to sit upstairs with Oishi—he’s one of the master sushi chefs and he’s just a genius. 

Best place for your morning coffee: Fairway
I live on the Upper West Side, not far from Fairway [the neighborhood’s iconic grocery market and organic café]. It actually has an impressive selection of organic coffees, and so I have my special blends I like to concoct.

Best place to kill a few hours between meetings and rehearsals: Metropolitan Museum
I love the Metropolitan Museum. I go there as often as I can. And I’ve been making a point to go to all different parts of the museum.

Best place to impress your ultrahip colleagues: Le Poisson Rouge
Le Poisson Rouge is a very exciting club down in the village! I’ve met the owners, and they’ve really made a great thing there.

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