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Bramwell Tovey Leads the NY Philharmonic at Bethel Woods Center for the Arts Tonight, 7/7

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Bramwell Tovey leads the New York Philharmonic at Bethel Woods Center for the Arts in a program of works by Bernstein, Gershwin, and Tchaikovsky, tonight, July 7, 2012, at 8:00 p.m. Canadian soprano Tracy Dahl will be the soloist in the coloratura aria, "Glitter and Be Gay" from Bernstein's Candide, along with songs by Gershwin, including "The Man I Love" and "Fascinatin' Rhythm," arranged by Mr. Tovey. Also on the program are Three Dance Episodes from Bernstein's On the Town, and two works by Tchaikovsky: music from Act IV of Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake, and the 1812 Overture.

The New York Philharmonic performed at Bethel Woods Center for the Arts in its inaugural season, in July 2006, and has returned every year since, led by Bramwell Tovey.

Bramwell Tovey is in his 12th season as music director of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra (VSO), and makes annual summer appearances with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl. In 2008 the New York Philharmonic and the Los Angeles Philharmonic co-commissioned his Urban Runway, which the New York Philharmonic premiered in 2008.

Mr. Tovey has worked with orchestras in the United States and Europe including the London Philharmonic, London Symphony, and Frankfurt Radio orchestras. In North America he has made guest appearances with the orchestras of Baltimore, Philadelphia, St. Louis, Pittsburgh, Detroit, Seattle, and Montreal as well as ongoing performances with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, where his Trumpet Concerto, commissioned by that orchestra, received its premiere in winter of 2009. His first full-length opera, The Inventor, was premiered in Calgary in the winter of 2011. In 2011 he also made his debut with The Cleveland Orchestra and Boston Symphony Orchestra as well as a return visit to The Philadelphia Orchestra.

Highlights of his 2010–11 season in Vancouver included Verdi's Requiem, the Canadian premiere of John Adams's Dr. Atomic Symphony, and a Bach and Beyond series. In 2009 he toured China and South Korea with the VSO and violinist Hillary Hahn; the ensemble was the first orchestra from Canada to perform in China in 30 years.

Bramwell Tovey is the first artist to win a Juno Award in both conducting and composing. He received the Best Canadian Classical Composition 2003 Juno Award for his Requiem for a Charred Skull, performed and recorded by the Amadeus Choir and the Hannaford Band in Toronto. He is also an accomplished jazz pianist, with two recordings to his name, and he has made memorable appearances on television, including two documentaries with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and a 1996 CBC TV broadcast of Victor Davies's Revelation, a full-length oratorio based on the Book of Revelation, with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra. His recording with the VSO and violinist James Ehnes of the Walton, Korngold, and Barber concertos received both Grammy and Juno Awards in 2007.

Awarded numerous honorary degrees, Mr. Tovey received a fellowship from the Royal Academy of Music in London, honorary foctorates of law from the University of Winnipeg, University of Manitoba, and Kwantlen University College, as well as a fellowship from the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. In 1999 he received the M. Joan Chalmers National Award for Artistic Direction, a prestigious Canadian prize awarded to premier artists for outstanding contributions in professional performing arts organizations. He is conducting and hosting the New York Philharmonic's Summertime Classics in July 2012.

Canadian coloratura soprano Tracy Dahl has performed at opera houses such as Milan's Teatro alla Scala, The Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Canadian Opera Company, and the Théâtre Chatelet in Paris. In 2009 she was awarded the Opera Canada Award.

Highlights of her 2011–12 season include appearances with the Sydney Symphony and Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, works by Bach with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, and the title role in Donizetti's opera Maria Stuarda with Pacific Opera Victoria. In 2010–11 Ms. Dahl portrayed the quirky Violet Beauregard in the world premiere of Peter Ash's The Golden Ticket at the Opera Theatre of St. Louis, where she will return this summer. Other highlights have included Zerbinetta in R. Strauss's Ariadne auf Naxos with Vancouver Opera, Gilda in Verdi's Rigoletto with Calgary Opera, the title role in Donizetti's Lucia de Lammermoor with Boston Lyric Opera and Arizona Opera, and Madame Mao in John Adams's Nixon in China with Houston Grand Opera, Colorado Opera, and Portland Opera.

Notable debuts at major opera houses include Adele in J. Strauss II's Die Fledermaus at The Metropolitan Opera, and Olympia in the San Francisco Opera's production of Offenbach's The Tales of Hoffmann opposite Plácido Domingo (where she returned as Oscar in Verdi's Un ballo in maschera and Lucia in Lucia di Lammermoor).

Ms. Dahl's discography includes A Disney Spectacular with the Cincinnati Pops (Telarc), Glitter and Be Gay with the Calgary Philharmonic (CBC), A Gilbert and Sullivan Gala with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra (CBC), and Love Walked In, a Gershwin collection with the Bramwell Tovey Trio (Red Phone Box Company). She is scheduled to perform with the New York Philharmonic during Summertime Classics in July 2012, conducted by Bramwell Tovey.

In 1943 a last-minute substitution for Bruno Walter vaulted Leonard Bernstein from New York Philharmonic Assistant Conductor to household name. Soon after, he teamed with choreographer Jerome Robbins and lyricists Betty Comden and Adolph Green for the 1944 Broadway musical On the Town, which follows Three Sailors searching for love and adventure in wartime New York City. Bernstein later created a concert suite of Three Dance Episodes from the complete score, noting that the sequences captured the essence of the show. Bernstein's relationship with the Orchestra was cemented by the time he composed Candide, which premiered on Broadway in 1956; music from that operetta has since become a New York Philharmonic staple, with "Glitter and Be Gay" providing coloratura fireworks.

While Bernstein, the first American-born Music Director of the New York Philharmonic, also put his stamp on musical theater history, no visit to the American Songbook would be complete without the immeasurable contributions of George and Ira Gershwin. "The Man I Love" has been an oft-recorded standard since being cut from three different musical productions in the 1920s. "They Can't Take That Away From Me," "A Foggy Day in London Town," and "Fascinatin' Rhythm" were all introduced by Fred Astaire in his collaborations with the Gershwins, and he even handled Promenade ("Walking the Dog") duties in the film, Shall We Dance.

Pyotr Illyich Tchaikovsky's scores lie at the heart of ballet repertoire and yet are superbly effective in the concert hall. After the lukewarm initial reception of his first ballet, Swan Lake, the composer intended to distill an orchestral work from the score. While this project was never realized, orchestras have frequently programmed selections extracted directly from the ballet. The Philharmonic first performed music from Swan Lake in March 1941, conducted by Sir John Barbirolli, and most recently, in October 2008, led by Lorin Maazel.

Tchaikovsky wrote the 1812 Overture in 1880 to commemorate the 60th anniversary of Russia's defeat of Napoleon. The two armies can be heard marching into battle against each other, one side spurred on by "La Marseillaise" the other by the Russian hymn identified as "God Save the Czar." Scored for cannon fire and church bells, among other things, it is a sonic spectacle that has become a staple of July 4 celebrations. The New York Symphony (which merged with the New York Philharmonic in 1928 to form today's New York Philharmonic) first performed the work in 1901, led by Walter Damrosch.

All the works on this program are scheduled to be performed during the New York Philharmonic's Summertime Classics series, Now through July 10, 2012, conducted and hosted by Bramwell Tovey, and featuring Tracy Dahl.

Credit Suisse is the Global Sponsor of the New York Philharmonic.

Programs of the New York Philharmonic are supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, New York State Council on the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Tickets are on sale at www.BethelWoodsCenter.org. For further information call the Box Office at 800-745-3000. 

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