Prelude, Fugue & Riffs

In The News


Carnegie Hall Opening

Oh, what a night! September 24th was the Gala Opening Night of Carnegie Hall's 118th season. The evening was also the launch of the city-wide festival Leonard Bernstein: The Best of All Possible Worlds celebrating the life of that longtime New Yorker. The San Francisco Symphony, under the baton of Bernstein's friend Michael Tilson Thomas, presented an all- Bernstein program featuring vocal soloists Dawn Upshaw, Christine Ebersole and Thomas Hampson. Yo-Yo Ma and Mr. Hampson brought the house to tears with a selection from Bernstein's Songfest: To What You Said. An ensemble of the Vocal Arts Department with the Drama Division of The Juilliard School presented lively selections from West Side Story. After the concert, elegantly dressed patrons were whisked away in buses to the Waldorf Astoria for a fulltilt gala dinner, complete with crabmeat Louis and filet mignon. Clive Gillinson, executive and artistic director of Carnegie Hall, spoke with great warmth about Leonard Bernstein's relationship to Carnegie Hall and the city of New York. Thomas Hampson and Yo-Yo Ma, seemingly still under the spell of their magical collaboration earlier in the evening, were among the last to leave, and could not seem to stop affectionately clowning around with each other.


www.leonardbernstein.com

The Leonard Bernstein Office, Inc. is pleased to announce a new look for www.leonardbernstein.com. It has all the features you have come to expect laid out in a more user friendly and efficient way. New features include links from the discography and videography to amazon.com, an easier to read Calendar of Events, a more user-friendly store and many other new features. Come and explore the new website.


Peter Pan in Santa Barbara

The Santa Barbara Theatre is presenting the first production of Leonard Bernstein's complete music for J. M. Barrie's classic fantasy play Peter Pan, scheduled to run from December 17th to the 28th. This version uses J. M. Barrie's classic Peter Pan, the comic-fantasy play that has entranced young and old for over 100 years. The actors will be accompanied by a live orchestra performing the songs and incidental music by Leonard Bernstein, from the original 1950 Broadway Production which starred Jean Arthur as Peter Pan and Boris Karloff as Captain Hook and Mr. Darling.

SBT Managing Director Ellen Pasternack said, "We're thrilled to present this beautiful and joyous play to audiences of all ages as our gift for the December holidays." Albert Idhe, SBT's Producing Director and Peter Pan's director, adds: "This version of Peter Pan was the first professional play I ever saw, and it hooked me on theatre for life. Many critics have said that it's the best Peter Pan ever to appear on Broadway."

Ms. Pasternack added, "Our quest to unearth the rights took a year and a half, and a trip to London. In 2005, I discovered that conductor Alexander Frey, working with the Leonard Bernstein Office, had released a CD of the complete songs and previously unrecorded incidental music. When Mr. Frey heard that the Santa Barbara Theatre had secured the rights to stage Bernstein's Peter Pan, he called from Berlin to ask if he could conduct the show. It didn't take us long to say yes!"

For more information, please call the Lobero Theatre at 805.963.0761 or go to www.sbtheatre.org.


Chetham's School of Music: Leonard Bernstein – A Celebration

Chetham's School of Music, the largest music school in the UK (located in Manchester, England), presented Leonard Bernstein – A Celebration in October. The celebration featured mutiple performances by staff and students, including evening recitals, symphonic performances, a film, a children's concert and a Rush Hour series that explored the composer's best-loved as well as his lesser-known works.

Joining the celebration was Bernstein biographer Humphrey Burton, who delivered a lecture on the composer before a screening of the film Leonard Bernstein: A Total Embrace. This film was produced by Nina Bernstein Simmons, Bernstein's youngest daughter, who was also in attendance. Both also presented pre-concert talks at two concerts given by Chetham's Symphony Orchestra: one at Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester and another at Cadogan Hall, London.


Schleswig Holstein Music Festival Honors Bernstein

seventh annual Leonard Bernstein Prize to a young performer to boost their career. This year the 10,000 Euro prize was presented to pianist Anna Vinnitskaya, who performed the Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 2. The prize is made possible by Sparkasse im Giroverbandes fur Schleswig Holstein. On hand to present the prize was bank president Jörg-Dietrich Kamischke; Rolf Beck, the Director of the Festival; and Alexander Bernstein.

The following day, the Festival presented a Gala Concert, Viva Lenny! The NDR Radiophilharmonic was conducted by a former student of Bernstein's, Eiji Oue. Barbara Schöneberger narrated the concert, which featured vocal soloists Measha Brueggergosman and Lina Tetruashvili, sopranos, and Luciano Botelho, tenor. Makoto Ozone was the piano soloist. The concert was broadcast throughout Europe by the European Broadcasting Union.


Vienna Remembers Bernstein

In September and October, several events in Vienna commemorated Leonard Bernstein on his 90th Anniversary. The first event, hosted by Renata Wunderer, was an intimate gathering of 200 friends and colleagues of the Maestro. The evening began with a performance of the Socrates-Alcibiades movement from Serenade, followed by a short film comprising footage from Bernstein's early days in Vienna directing the State Opera, as well as his last appearance in Vienna. After the film, close confidants and collaborators Ernst Wolfram Marboe, Maximillian Schell, Otto Schenck, Renate Wunderer, Christa Ludwig and Peter Weiser shared stories and impressions of Bernstein, and all were in agreement he was "one of a kind." After the round table discussion members of the Vienna Philharmonic performed the Mozart Clarinet Quintet.

In October, the Friends of the Vienna State Opera presented a matinee concert honoring Bernstein. Participants in the event included Christa Ludwig, Adolf Dallapozza, Bernst Weikle, Prof. Peter Schmidl and Michael Bernstein, the Maestro's nephew. Thomas Dänemark moderated the afternoon event, which featured musical selections by Bernstein performed by Lurie Ciobanu, tenor and Katja Reichert, soprano.


Minnesota Orchestra to Celebrate Bernstein

Maestro Osmo Vänskä will lead the Minnesota Orchestra in a two-week, sixconcert festival from January 15-25, 2009, exploring the music of Leonard Bernstein, from his Jeremiah Symphony to selections from West Side Story. The festival culminates in a full staging of Bernstein's Mass, which calls for more than 300 performers in all. Raymond Ayers will sing the primary role of the Celebrant.

Jamie Bernstein will also participate in the festival by presenting her family concert, The Bernstein Beat, which explores the use of rhythm in her father's compositions.


Leonard Bernstein on DVD

As part of the worldwide celebration of the legacy of Leonard Bernstein in his 90th birthday year, Deutsche Grammophon (DG) and Medici Arts have released many new DVDs of Leonard Bernstein conducting the great orchestras of the world.

DG has released the complete Vienna Philharmonic Bernstein/ Beethoven cycle, featuring all the symphonies and overtures; the Choral Fantasy; String Quartet Op. 131 (scored for string orchestra, and one of Bernstein's finest recordings with the Vienna Philharmonic); and complete piano concertos featuring Krystian Zimerman. Also part of this seven-DVD set is the Missa Solemnis recorded with the Concertgebouw Orchestra and Chorus.

As part of the 90th birthday celebration, DG is releasing the complete symphonies of Robert Schumann, again with the Vienna Philharmonic. Another DVD features the New York Philharmonic performances of Gershwin's An American in Paris and Rhapsody in Blue with Bernstein conducting from the piano. This DVD is coupled with another New York Philharmonic performance of Charles Ives's The Unanswered Question and a Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks performance of Ives's Symphony No. 2.

Another DG Release is an all- Tchaikovsky DVD featuring New York Philharmonic performances of the Symphony No. 4, Andante Cantabile and the Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in D Major. The DVD also presents a performance of Symphony No. 5 with the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

The DG Bernstein conducts Bernstein DVD celebrates Bernstein conducting his own works with the New York Philharmonic, including performances of Serenade with violin soloist Gidon Kremer and Symphony No. 2: The Age of Anxiety, with Krystian Zimerman on piano. The Vienna Philharmonic is represented with Divertimento.

Medici Arts has released a deluxe five DVD box set of previously released concerts. The set contains some of Bernstein's most famous performances caught on film, including Brahms's Symphonies Nos. 1 and 3 and Franck's Symphony in D Major, both with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. A first time DVD release presents performances of Milhaud's La Création du Monde and Le Boeuf sur le Toit performed by the Orchestre National de France. Bernstein conducts the Vienna Philharmonic in Mozart's Symphony No. 39 and Piano Concerto No. 17 with Bernstein as piano soloist. Also included in the set is Bernstein's final concert in Vienna with the Vienna Philimonic of Bruckner Symphony No. 9. Rounding out the set is the 1989 historic Ode to Freedom performance in Berlin of Beethoven's Symphony No. 9, which Bernstein conducted to celebrate the fall of the Berlin Wall.


Beijing Music Festival

On October 11, 2008, the Beijing Music Festival (BMF) presented Bernstein Celebration at the BMF, an all-Bernstein concert with the China Philharmonic and narrated by Bernstein's daughter Jamie. The concert, commemorating the composer's 90th birthday year, included Serenade, Three Dance Episodes from On The Town and Symphonic Dances from West Side Story. Vera Tsu was the featured violin soloist in Serenade and Yang Yang was the conductor. Excerpts of the concert were included in a film telecast on October 21, seen simultaneously online and on the Jumbotron in Times Square, New York City. Jamie Bernstein said, "seeing the China Philharmonic on the Jumbotron in Times Square playing Times Square from On the Town was the biggest kick imaginable!"


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