Glen Roven on Creating 'The Runaway Bunny' with Brooke Shields

Brooke Shields will star in the New York premiere concert of The Runaway Bunny, a concerto by Glen Roven, for reader, violin and orchestra at Carnegie Hall on Tuesday, April 29 at 7:30PM in the Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage; conducted by Glen Roven.  Tickets are on sale now at

Presented by Medical Development for Israel with the Ilona Feher Foundation, The Runaway Bunny will be featured as part of the Schneider Children's Medical Center of Israel Benefit Concert.

Taking the audience through the journeys of the wayward bunny, this special one-night only, star-studded concert introduces both children and adults alike to the beauty and power of classical music.  Filling a much-needed gap in the symphonic repertoire for family audiences, The Runaway Bunny touches the hearts of anyone who has had a mother or is a mother.  As an organization dedicated to improving the well-being of children, SCMCI is thrilled to be joining hands with fellow child advocates Brooke Shields and the ASO.

In 2006, Emmy award-winning composer Glen Roven collaborated with violin supernova Ittai Shapira to produce The Runaway Bunny recording with Brooke Shields and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in London.  Since its UK release on the SONY/BMG label, millions of listeners have embraced it. Following its recent success across the pond, SONY/BMG is slated to release The Runaway Bunny/Paddington Bear's First Concert/Tubby The Tuba children's classics album in the United States April 8.

The program will include American Symphony Orchestra with conductor Glen Roven and Brooke Shields. Plus violinists Ittai Shapira, Shmuel Ashkenasi, Netanel Draiblate, Arnold Steinhardt, Hagai Shaham and Itamar Zorman.

As this is the World premiere of The Runaway Bunny, as it's Roven's Carnegie Hall conducting debut and as Brooke Shields is graciously appearing as the soloist, Roven discussed how he and Shields got to Carnegie Hall...

How did you get to Brooke Shields?

Actually, that was just about the easiest piece of the "collaborative" puzzle. We had the SONY/BMG deal in place, I had already recorded the orchestra with the Royal Philharmonic and we were looking to add the narrator. We had a list and Brooke's name was at the top. The whole thing with Tom Cruise had broken and Brooke seemed like the perfect mother figure. I had a friend who knew her and one Friday night he went to her dressing room; she was performing in Chicago.  She was a huge fan of the book (as is almost everyone!) and twenty minutes later, he called and said she would love to do it. I was thrilled, of course. And just to make me even happier, her agent called that very night to make the deal. I've been in the business long enough to know no Hollywood agent EVER calls at 10PM on a Friday night to say his client was NOT going to do a project.

 You mentioned 'almost' everyone loves the book. Who couldn't possibly love this book? Barbarians?

Shrinks! They think it's about a predatory Mother. Ridiculous!

Back to Brooke: What was it like recording with her?

A total pleasure, beginning to end. When she came to the studio she brought her beautiful daughter Ronan, and Ronan's grandmother. I actually didn't put two and two together until after the session when I realized that was Brooke's infamous mother, Terry! That was exciting in retrospect. It was a wonderful performance because Brooke knew the book so well. And obviously loved it. As did her daughter. When she started to record, her daughter screamed out to her mom, "That's my Bunny book!"

So her second baby wasn't born yet?

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