Former Yankee and Four-time World Series Winner is going up to bat for the first time in a brand new kind of ballpark: The New York Philharmonic. Ex-Yankee outfielder Bernie Williams is not only a revered baseball player, but is also a classically trained guitarist who made his musical debut while still on the Yankees in 2003, and studied guitar and composition at SUNY Purchase, receiving his Bachelor of Music from the Manhattan School of Music in 2016.

Williams, a Billboard Best-Selling Artist, will perform in the orchestra under the direction of Gustavo Dudamel. Dudamel is currently the music director for the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and this 2024 precedes his formal introduction to the New York Philharmonic when he officially joins in 2026.

Bernie Williams Off the Field and On the Stage

Bernie Williams is a former professional baseball player and now a musician, composer, and philanthropist. Born and raised in Puerto Rico, he was signed by the New York Yankees in 1987. After working his way through the farm system, the switch-hitting Williams made his Major League debut with the Yankees in May 1991. In his 16-year career with the team Williams was a four-time World Series Champion and a five-time All-Star. He is among the Yankees’ all-time leaders in every major batting category, standing alongside legends such as Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle, Lou Gehrig, and Joe DiMaggio. In 2015 the Yankees retired Williams’s uniform number 51, and dedicated and placed a plaque in Monument Park in Yankee Stadium.

As a composer and guitarist, Bernie Williams released his first album, The Journey Within, in 2003. The record — which featured fusions of jazz, rock, and the tropical rhythms of Williams’s Latin heritage — had instant chart success, reaching No. 3 on Billboard’s Contemporary Jazz Chart. In 2009 his second album, Moving Forward, debuted as Billboard’s No. 2 Contemporary Jazz album and led to two consecutive Billboard No. 1 singles. The album was nominated for a Latin Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Album.

Williams is an active crusader for arts and music education in the lives of all students and is a national spokesman for the NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants) Foundation’s SupportMusic Coalition. In 2016 he graduated from the Manhattan School of Music, receiving a bachelor’s degree in jazz performance. He now serves as a member of his alma mater’s board of trustees.

Lincoln Center's Spring Gala 2024

Bernie Williams will make his debut with the New York Philharmonic on April 24, 2024 at the Philharmonic’s Spring Gala at the Lincoln Center. Gala events will begin with a cocktail reception at 6:00 p.m. on the Leon and Norma Hess Grand Promenade and continue with the concert, at 7:00 p.m., concluding with a post-performance seated dinner, attended by New York Philharmonic musicians, on the Hess Grand Promenade and Hearst Tier 1. Gala dress will be cocktail attire. For more information visit here.

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