- Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Dawn Upshaw joins the San Francisco Symphony and conductor Michael Tilson Thomas tonight in an all-Bernstein program for Carnegie Hall's Opening Night Gala. After the program's premiere last week in San Francisco, the San Francisco Chronicle hailed Dawn's performance as "the high point," citing her "fizzy, funny and wonderfully evocative rendition" of the aria "What a Movie" from the opera Trouble in Tahiti. Tonight's performance, also featuring baritone Thomas Hampson, vocalist Christine Ebersole, and cellist Yo-Yo Ma, launches Bernstein: The Best of all Possible Worlds, the Hall's joint celebration, with the New York Philharmonic, of the 90th anniversary of the composer's birth.
- Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Dawn Upshaw joins the San Francisco Symphony and conductor Michael Tilson Thomas tonight for the premiere of an all-Bernstein program that will make its way to Carnegie Hall's Opening Night Gala next week. On the program tonight at Davies Symphony Hall and continuing there Thursday and Friday nights are Symphonic Dances from West Side Story, Scenes from A Quiet Place, Meditation No. 1 from Mass, Danzón from Fancy Free, and songs from West Side Story, On the Town, Songfest, and Trouble in Tahiti, some of which were featured on the 1996 Nonesuch release Leonard Bernstein's New York.
About Leonard Bernstein
Leonard Bernstein, one of the most widely acclaimed American conductors and composers, was also among the most notable public figures of the 20th century. Born in Massachusetts in 1918, he studied music at Harvard University with Walter Piston, among others, then went on to the Curtis Institute of Music to study conducting with Fritz Reiner and to Tanglewood, where he pursued post-graduate studies with Boston Symphony Orchestra conductor Serge Koussevitzky. Bernstein later worked as Koussevitzky’s conducting assistant.
Bernstein began his long affiliation with New York City and the New York Philharmonic as assistant conductor in the early 1940s. He would go on to become the orchestra’s music director in 1958 and was given the lifetime title of Laureate Conductor in 1969. Invitations to guest conduct with orchestras the world over were also common from the 1940s on, and Bernstein would later lead the Vienna Philharmonic in a number of recordings in the early 1970s.
As a composer, Bernstein wrote works that would be performed in many venues, from the symphony hall to the opera stage to Broadway theaters and on the silver screen. In 1996, Nonesuch released the album Leonard Bernstein’s New York, on which Audra McDonald, Mandy Patinkin, and Dawn Upshaw, and others, backed by the Orchestra of St. Luke's, salute the maestro with numbers from Broadway classics like On the Town, West Side Story, and Wonderful Town. Entertainment Weekly called it "lovely and sumptuous ... a great romantic's Gotham."
Leonard Bernstein received countless honors throughout his life, from groups like the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Beethoven Society, and the Kennedy Center and a host of national honors from countries around the globe. He died in New York City in 1990 at the age of 72.
August 1, 1996
Audra McDonald, Mandy Patinkin, and Dawn Upshaw, backed by the Orchestra of St. Luke's, are among the artists saluting the maestro with numbers from Broadways classics like On the Town, West Side Story, and Wonderful Town. Entertainment Weekly called it "lovely and sumptuous ... a great romantic's Gotham."