Today, Friday, February 19, Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops announced details of the orchestra's 125th anniversary season, May 4-June 20, 2010, outlining programs that celebrate the orchestra's rich tradition of performing the great music of this country's past and present, for which the Boston Pops is so well known.
The 125th season opens on May 4 with a gala concert featuring multiple Tony Award-winner Idina Menzel and the inimitable Doc Severinsen, who holds the distinction of having performed under the batons of Arthur Fiedler, John Williams, and Keith Lockhart-a perfect addition to a program honoring the leadership legacies of the three most famous Boston Pops conductors. During the season the Pops will present the world premiere of a new work in honor of the Kennedy brothers, mark the 10th anniversary of the popular radio and TV show "From the Top," focus on esteemed artists from the fields of jazz, musical theater, and pop, including Dave Brubeck, Kelli O'Hara, and Maureen McGovern, and honor the legacies of such musical titans as Ray Charles, Duke Ellington, Cole Porter, and Rodgers and Hammerstein. Daniel Bernard Roumain, who in concert melds his classical music roots with his own Haitian-American cultural references and vibrant musical imagination, and Ozomatli, the multi-Grammy award-winning, genre-defying sensation, join the orchestra for programs that continue the Pops tradition of focusing on the best and brightest new talent on the musical scene today. Returning to the Pops schedule is the legendary film music series under the direction of John Williams, this year marking his 30th anniversary with the Pops, and one of the newest Pops traditions, Gospel Night with Charles Floyd. To bring the 125th season to a close in June, the Boston Pops will present one of this country's greatest living legends-the incomparable Arlo Guthrie. A complete program listing appears at the end of this press release.
SPECIAL EVENTS AND INITIATIVES THROUGHOUT THE 125th BOSTON POPS SEASON
WORLD PREMIERE OF KENNEDY BROTHERS TRIBUTE, MAY 18
On May 18, Keith Lockhart, the Boston Pops Orchestra, the Tanglewood Festival Chorus, and several celebrity narrators will perform the world premiere of "The Dream Lives On: A Portrait of the Kennedy Brothers," honoring Massachusetts native sons John, Robert, and Edward Kennedy. Written by Peter Boyer, composer of Ellis Island, which many rank as one of the most successful large-scale American orchestral works of the last decade, and Lynn Ahrens, lyricist of the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical Ragtime, "The Dream Lives On" pays tribute to the call to public service, drive for social change, and the legacy of optimism for America's future, a spirit epitomized by the Kennedy brothers. This new piece will feature four narrators: three male voices representing the three Kennedy brothers and a female voice for the portions of the narration that are not quotes. The new work will also be featured in concert on May 19, 20, 21, and 22. With these performances, the Boston Pops also marks the 40th anniversary of the Tanglewood Festival Chorus.
BOSTON POPS 125th TELEVISION DOCUMENTARY TO AIR ON PBS IN SPRING
A Boston Pops 125th documentary, to air nationally on PBS this spring (further details about broadcast dates to be announced at a later date), will highlight the Pops as an intrinsic part of this country's musical heritage by celebrating its past, present, and future. The tribute recalls how Arthur Fiedler (1930-79) created the modern-day Pops, establishing the orchestra as a national icon and introducing innovations that continue today. The program will also reflect on how Conductor Laureate John Williams (1980-1993) and present-day conductor Keith Lockhart (1995 to present) have shepherded the orchestra through three decades of change in the world of music. The Boston Pops 125th documentary was made possible by a grant from the Mugar Foundation.
This special program will feature interviews and/or performances by Audra McDonald, Kristin Chenoweth, Vanessa Williams, Keith Lockhart, John Williams, Yo-Yo Ma, Wynton Marsalis, Sarah Vaughan, and Roberta Flack. Rare footage of favorite artists past and present, including Ella Fitzgerald, Johnny Cash, Benny Goodman, Tony Bennett, James Taylor, Sammy Davis, Jr., John Raitt, k.d. lang, Patti LaBelle, and Elvis Costello, as well as Broadway stars Ethel Merman, Bernadette Peters, Nathan Lane, and Jerry Herman will also be featured. The program is being produced by longtime Evening at Pops producer, Susan Dangel.
NATIONAL CONTEST FOR FAMILY OF FOUR TO ATTEND BOSTON'S 2010 4TH OF JULY CONCERT USES FACEBOOK, TWITTER, AND TEXT MESSAGING TO DETERMINE WINNER
The Boston Pops is also announcing a national contest to bring a family of four to Boston for the Boston Pops' Fourth-of-July concert on the Charles River Esplanade, with airfare, hotel and ground transportation to and from Logan Airport provided by the travel partners of the Boston Pops: American Airlines, The Fairmont Copley Plaza Hotel, and Commonwealth Worldwide Chauffeured Transportation. Contestants must submit a 125-character-or-less message describing why the Pops should choose their family for a trip to Boston's famous July 4 celebration this year. Entries can be submitted via text message by cell phone, on the Pops Facebook and Twitter pages, or on the Boston Pops website. All submissions are due by May 15. For more information about this contest, please visit www.bostonpops.org/125.
SPECIAL 125TH ANNIVERSARY EDUCATION PROGRAM WITH Keith Lockhart AND DANIEL BERNARD ROUMAIN
The Boston Pops will present a special 125th anniversary education program at three area schools to bring music into the classroom by creating connections between music and the lives of today's students. The program, headed by Keith Lockhart, joined by composer and violinist Daniel Bernard Roumain and members of the Boston Pops in performance, will feature in school lecture-demonstrations, and provide students the opportunity to attend live performances at Symphony Hall. To accompany the in-school program and reach out to other kids, the Pops will create an online, interactive feature as part of this new initiative. The details will be announced in the spring.
FIDELITY FUTURE STAGE MUSIC COMPETITION, MAY 26
Following the phenomenal success of its launch in 2009, Fidelity FutureStage at the Boston Pops returns to Symphony Hall in 2010. Developed by Fidelity Investments to expand its long-standing support of the arts through music and other arts education programs in local communities, the Fidelity FutureStage at the Boston Pops Music Competition is open to full time students grades 9-12 attending any public high school in Boston or Cambridge. Up to four instrumental and/or vocal grand prize winners will be selected to perform at a special Boston Pops Concert on May 26 at Symphony Hall. Applications for the 2010 music competition are now available and will be accepted through March 26, 2010. For more information and application details, visit www.bostonpops.org or www.futurestage.com.
125 WEB INITIATIVES AND WEEKLY WGBH CONCERTS
BostonPops.org celebrates the Pops 125th anniversary season with an interactive timeline of the Pops and its history and a weekly series of Pops video podcasts throughout the season. Highlights will include details about the Pops inception by civil war veteran and Boston Symphony Orchestra founder Henry Lee Higginson; its explosion into the public awareness during the 50-year tenure of the charismatic maestro Arthur Fiedler; its Hollywood partnerships under the baton of John Williams; and its continuing evolution under the leadership of Keith Lockhart, all of which will be illustrated in a colorful, interactive interface with historic and current day images. The site will also feature weekly video podcasts throughout the 125th season, each taking a closer look at the week's programming with interviews with Keith Lockhart and special guest artists. The Boston Pops is online at bostonpops.org, part of bso.org, the largest and most visited orchestra site in the world, receiving more than 7.5 million visitors annually.
In addition, WGBH's 99.5 All Classical station will air weekly Saturday-evening Boston Pops broadcasts throughout the season, May 4-June 20.
CONCERTS IN THE PARKS AND SHOPS AT PRUDENTIAL CENTER CELEBRATES BOSTON POPS' 125TH
Boston's Shops at Prudential Center will mark the Boston Pops' 125th anniversary with an archival exhibit at the Huntington Avenue Arcade, starting in mid-April for three weeks. The focal point of this special display will be a Boston Pops 125 timeline that will give viewers a look into the orchestra's storied history and the many accomplishments that collectively have made the Boston Pops one of Boston's and the country's most treasured traditions. Photos and video of past and present times, along with archival materials including old album covers, programs, and menus, as well as special features on Arthur Fiedler, John Williams, and Keith Lockhart, are just a few of the highlights of this 125th exhibit.
Performing ensembles made up of members of the Boston Pops will present a series of parks concerts, bringing their music to communities throughout the Greater Boston area.
PRESIDENTS AT POPS GALA CELEBRATES 125TH, MAY 19
In honor of the Pops 125th Anniversary, the annual Presidents at Pops fundraising event, now in its 29th year, will present a program marking this landmark year for the Pops. The evening will begin with a pre-concert celebratory reception in festively decorated Symphony Hall. The evening's program, including a performance of the Pops' new work, "The Dream Lives On: A Portrait of the Kennedy Brothers," honoring Massachusetts native sons John, Robert, and Edward Kennedy, will pay special homage to the history of the orchestra by highlighting the unique contributions of the Arthur Fiedler, John Williams, and Keith Lockhart eras, with special guests joining the orchestra for this anniversary celebration. Although tickets to this event have traditionally been available exclusively to the Boston business community, individual tickets and special ticket packages will be offered to the general public. Further details about this gala fund raiser will be announced at a later date.
BOSTON POPS 125TH SEASON PROGRAM, MAY4-JUNE 20
WEEK ONE, MAY 4-8
OPENING NIGHT, MAY 4
Keith Lockhart leads the Boston Pops in a concert that celebrates the 125-year storied history of the Boston Pops in a three-part program that showcases the Pops-past, present, and future-starting with the modern-day Pops, ushered in by Arthur Fiedler starting in the 1930s. The program begins with an exploration of the legacy of Arthur Fiedler and how he put the Pops on the musical map, highlighted by a performance of George Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue" by pianist Michael Chertock. The program continues with musical selections that consider the singular contributions of conductor/composer John Williams, with a special focus on the great film scores he brought to the Pops. An appearance by the inimitable Doc Severinsen, former band leader of "The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson" and one of the few artists to have performed with Arthur Fiedler, John Williams, and Keith Lockhart, will also be featured. For the final portion of the program, Keith Lockhart presents musical selections that highlight the orchestra's present-day accomplishments, while also providing a lighthearted glimpse into the Pops' future and imagining what might be in store down the road for this great orchestra. This portion of the program will feature multiple Tony Award-winning actress and vocalist Idina Menzel (Rent, Wicked) who will sing her Broadway hits and a selection from her new CD "I Stand."
Idina Menzel, MAY 5 AND 6, Keith Lockhart CONDUCTING
Broadway powerhouse Idina Menzel - the multiple Tony Award-winning singer/actress who played "Elphaba" in the internationAl Blockbuster Wicked - joins Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops for two nights this spring, May 5 and 6. Idina Menzel, considered one of the great vocal performers of our time, with a repertoire that focuses largely on classic pop and musical theater favorites, will sing hits from Wicked and Rent, as well as songs from her album "I Stand." Recently in the news, Ms. Menzel will be featured on the popular FOX TV show "Glee!" this spring.
OZOMATLI, MAY 7 AND 8, Keith Lockhart CONDUCTING
Winners of multiple Grammy Awards, Ozomatli perform a genre-defying blend of Latin, hip hop, rap, funk, and rock. The group is well known for going beyond the bounds of the usual performance space, playing in the aisles, and creating a party atmosphere that adds both fun and excitement to all their performances. These performances by Ozomatli continue the Pops tradition of bringing the best and brightest new talent on today's music scene to the Boston Pops stage.
Ozomatli, designated U.S. Cultural Ambassadors, have showcased their unique sound in appearances on TV's Sex and the City, Dancing with the Stars, and Late Night with Conan O'Brien, and in the Drew Barrymore film Never Been Kissed as well as in concerts at Coachella, New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, Berkshire Music Festival, and on tour as the opening act for Carlos Santana.
WEEK TWO, MAY 11-15
HOORAY FOR HOLLYWOOD, MAY 11-15, John Williams CONDUCTING
John Williams, the highly acclaimed composer and conductor behind blockbuster films including Jaws, Star Wars, Indiana Jones, and the Harry Potter series, brings audiences a night showcasing some of the most memorable movie music of all time. Currently Boston Pops Conductor Laureate and celebrating his 30th anniversary with the Pops, John Williams served as Boston Pops Conductor from 1980-1993. The May 15 performance is SOLD OUT.
When John Williams succeeded Arthur Fiedler in 1980, he was the most highly acclaimed composer in Hollywood, and today, with 45 Academy Award nominations, he is the most-nominated living person in Academy history. With the Pops, John continued the orchestra's prolific recording tradition and entertained audiences with live orchestral accompaniment to some of the great film clips of the 20th and 21st centuries. He brought in the great arrangers of the day to produce new and exclusive Boston Pops arrangements of American songbook classics and legendary hits of the jazz, swing, and big band eras. And he brought a bit of Hollywood to the Pops stage, with special appearances by Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, and Frank Langella, not to mention Darth Vader, R2D2, and C3PO.
WEEK THREE, MAY 18-22
WORLD PREMIERE IN TRIBUTE TO THE KENNEDY BROTHERS, AND DISPLAY OF 9/11 FLAG, Keith Lockhart CONDUCTING
"American Heroes" concerts celebrate the legacy of many of our great nation's leaders, servicemen, and everyday citizens, whose lives and principles are forever woven into the fabric of American history. The program features the world premiere performances of "The Dream Lives On: A Portrait of the Kennedy Brothers," honoring Massachusetts native sons John, Robert, and Edward Kennedy. Written by Peter Boyer, and Lynn Ahrens, the new work pays tribute to the call to public service, drive for social change, and the legacy of optimism for America's future, a spirit epitomized by the Kennedy brothers. With these performances, the Boston Pops also marks the 40th anniversary of the Tanglewood Festival Chorus.
These concerts also feature a very special Star-Spangled Banner, The National 9/11 Flag - the flag that was hanging before, during, and after the attacks across from the South Tower - accompanied by members of the New York and Boston Fire Departments, as well as volunteers who travel to disaster areas to help rebuild in a mission to "Pay It Forward." The flag presentation includes a preview of a feature-length documentary film by Scott Rettberg and Megan Sleeper, called "New York Says Thank You," which will make its world premiere at the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival. The presence of the 9/11 Flag is an especially appropriate accompaniment to these Boston Pops concerts premiering "The Dream Lives On," as President Obama signed the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act, which for the first time officially recognized September 11 as a National Day of Service and Remembrance. Also, in the aftermath of 9/11 Senator Kennedy personally called the 177 Massachusetts families who had lost loved ones in the attack.
Peter Boyer is one of the most celebrated young composers working today. His work has been commissioned and performed by more than 80 orchestras worldwide including the London Symphony Orchestra, the Brooklyn Philharmonic, and the Dallas Symphony. In addition to his work for the concert hall, Boyer is an active film and television arranger and has twice arranged and orchestrated music for the Academy Awards. His . His Grammy-nominated work Ellis Island : The Dream of America, which premiered in 2002, was broadcast on NPR's SymphonyCast and recorded with actors including Barry Bostwick, Blair Brown Olympia Dukakis and Eli Wallach.
Writer and lyricist Lynn Ahrens began her career writing songs for "Schoolhouse Rock." In her longtime partnership with composer Stephen Flaherty, she's enjoyed tremendous Broadway success with shows including Once on this Island, Dessa Rose, Seussical the Musical, and Ragtime for which Ahrens won the Tony, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics Circle Awards. The pair also collaborated on the animated movie Anastasia. Her songs have been recorded and/or performed by Aretha Franklin, Aaliyah, Johnny Mathis, Richard Marx and Donna Lewis, Renée Fleming and Bryn Terfel, Donny Osmond, Deana Carter, Audra McDonald, and many others.
WEEK FOUR, MAY 25-29
AN EVENING WITH Maureen McGovern MAY 25, 26, AND 27, Keith Lockhart CONDUCTING
Maureen McGovern, one of America's most popular vocalists, performs a concert that features songs from her newest album, A Long and Winding Road, celebrating the music that inspired her beginnings as a singer in the late '60s. The album features an eclectic mix of songs from such groundbreaking singer-songwriters as Joni Mitchell, Paul Simon, Carole King, and Paul McCartney, including "The Times They Are a-Changin'," "The 59th Street Bridge Song," "Fire and Rain," and "Let It Be." The May 27 performance is SOLD OUT. The May 26 concert will feature on-stage performances by the winners of the Fidelity FutureStage Music Competition.
Maureen McGovern burst onto the music scene in the early 1970s and quickly became known for her hit theme songs to The Poseidon Adventure,The Towering Inferno, and Gold, and later for her appearance as Sister Angelina, the singing nun, in the 1980 disaster movie spoof Airplane. Ms. McGovern has also been acclaimed for her success on the Broadway stage, with roles in The Pirates of Penzance, Nine, Three Penny Opera, and most recently as Marmee in Little Women. Her CD, "A Long and Winding Road," was released in 2009 and is a tribute to the music of her baby boomer childhood.