Alan Gilbert September 16 marks the beginning of a new era as Alan Gilbert takes over as director of the New York Philharmonic. His tenure officially kicks off that evening with an Opening Night Gala featuring the world premiere of an overture written for Gilbert by Composer-in-Residence Magnus Lindberg. Famed soprano Renee Fleming also sings "Poemes Pour Mi," a song cycle and love poem to his wife Claire by Olivier Messiaen. Gilbert, surprisingly, is the first native New Yorker to hold the position of director. (He grew up on the upper west side of Manhattan and attended a local private school.) Both his parents were both violinists with the Philharmonic, although his father is retired. Gilbert may not be a name familiar to many New Yorkers (Alan who? is a common reaction), but his past credentials include being the first Music Director of the Santa Fe Opera; assistant conductor with the Cleveland Orchestra; and chief conductor of the Royal Stockholm Orchestra. Other highlights of the upcoming season include programs by popular baritone Thomas Hampson and Handel’s "Messiah." And on September 17, 100 years after Gustav Mahler conducted his first concerts as director of the Philharmonic, Gilbert starts off his regular season with Mahler’s monumental Third Symphony. For ticket information, call (212) 875-5656