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NY Pops, Baldwin, Lazar et al. Honor Sondheim, 11/19

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On Friday, November 19 at 8:00 p.m. in Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage, Broadway stars Kate Baldwin, Aaron Lazar, and Christiane Noll join The New York Pops, under the direction of Steven Reineke to celebrate the 80th birthday of legendary Broadway composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim. Sondheim-whose actual birthday was on March 22-is widely acknowledged as the most innovative and influential composer and lyricist in modern Broadway history. The concert will feature performances of some of the most beloved songs and soliloquies from Sondheim's extensive career. Vocal ensemble Essential Voices USA-led by Judith Clurman-also joins The New York Pops for this special performance.

Stephen Sondheim has written music and lyrics for over a dozen shows including: A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum, Follies, A Little Night Music, Sweeney Todd, and Into The Woods among others, as well as lyrics for West Side Story, Gypsy, Do I Hear A Waltz?, and additional lyrics for Candide. His works have garnered more than sixty individual and collaborative Tony Awards, and among a host of other accolades, Stephen Sondheim has been awarded The Pulitzer Prize for Drama, the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Kennedy Center Honors, a National Medal of Arts, and the Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre. In September 2010, New York's Henry Miller's Theatre was renamed The Stephen Sondheim Theatre.

Stephen Sondheim's 80th Birthday Celebration is the second of seven New York Pops performances at Carnegie Hall this season. The orchestra continues their season with two holiday concerts featuring two-time Tony award winner Brian Stokes Mitchell (December 10-11); a family concert presentation of How The Grinch Stole Christmas! (December 11); Doc Severinsen's El Ritmo de la Vida (January 28); and a tribute to the great Judy Garland with Ashley Brown, Heather Headley, and Karen Olivo (March 11).

Kate Baldwin is a veteran of Broadway and national stages alike. Her starring role in the recent revival of Finian's Rainbow launched her into the same league as Broadway's finest talents and resulted in Tony, Drama Desk, and Outer Critic's Circle Award nominations. Ms. Baldwin has appeared in the Broadway casts of The Full Monty, Thoroughly Modern Millie, and Wonderful Town. She starred in the national tour of Irving Berlin's White Christmas, Henry V at the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, The Women at San Diego's Old Globe, She Loves Me at the Willliamstown Theatre Festival, and South Pacific at Arena Stage, earning a Helen Hayes Award nomination for her portrayal. Most recently, she made her London debut in Paradise Found, directed by Harold Prince and Susan Stroman. Ms. Baldwin's concert work includes several appearances with Stephen Sondheim as a featured performer in his critically acclaimed evening, A Conversation with Stephen Sondheim. She has appeared at the Chicago Humanities Festival, and sang with ensembles ranging from the National Symphony Orchestra and the Portland Symphony Orchestra to The Chesapeake Orchestra and a performance with conductor Rob Fisher as part of Lincoln Center's American Songbook series. This season, she returns to Lincoln Center in a solo concert and appears with the Detroit Symphony. Her television work includes a guest starring role on NBC's Law & Order: SVU and a featured role in the PBS filming of Stephen Sondheim's Passion. Ms. Baldwin's debut album Let's See What Happens (PS Classics) features Lane and Harburg songs from both stage and feature films.

Originally from Cherry Hill, NJ, Aaron Lazar recently starred in Stephen Sondheim's Broadway revival of A Little Night Music. Mr. Lazar's other Broadway credits roles in Impressionism, A Tale of Two Cities, The Light in the Piazza, Oklahoma!, The Phantom of the Opera, and the revival of Les Misérables, for which he earned a Drama Desk nomination. He also starred opposite Reba McEntire and Brian Stokes Mitchell as Lt. Cable in South Pacific at the Hollywood Bowl. Mr. Lazar's television and film work includes White Collar (USA), Ugly Betty (ABC), The Notorious Bettie Paige (HBO), New Amsterdam (FOX), and The Light in the Piazza (PBS). Mr. Lazar has made a series of debuts with orchestras including: the Boston Pops with Keith Lockhart; The National Symphony Orchestra with Marvin Hamlisch; the Cincinnati Pops with Erich Kunzel; and the Los Angeles Philharmonic with Paul Gemignani at the Hollywood Bowl. His performance as part of the Stephen Sondheim 80th Birthday Celebration marks Mr. Lazar's second appearance with The New York Pops.

Christiane Noll starred on Broadway in the Kennedy Center Revival of Ragtime, receiving Tony and Drama Desk award nominations and winning a Helen Hayes award for her portrayal of Mother. Her Broadway and national tour appearances include Urinetown (Ovation Award), The Mambo Kings (pre-Broadway), It Ain't Nothin' But the Blues, Jekyll & Hyde, Grease, Miss Saigon, City of Angels, and South Pacific in Australia and Thailand. As part of Bravo Broadway, she is a frequent guest soloist with symphony orchestras around the world, including: the National Symphony with Marvin Hamlisch, the Cincinnati Pops with Erich Kunzel, the Jerusalem Symphony with Don Pippin, Peter Nero and the Philly Pops, the Boston Pops with Keith Lockhart, as well as appearances with the Sinfonica Brasileira in Rio and the China Philharmonic with concert pianist, Lang Lang. Ms. Noll made her Hollywood Bowl debut singing with Julie Andrews; her opera debut with Placido Domingo in The Merry Widow at the Kennedy Center; and her Carnegie Hall debut with Skitch Henderson, in his last pops performance, as one of the Three Broadway Divas with The New York Pops. Ms. Noll performed the voice of Anna in the Warner Brother's animated feature The King & I, and has made appearances with Town Hall's Broadway By the Year and Lincoln Center American Songbook series. Ms. Noll's solo recordings include A Broadway Love Story, Live at the West Bank Café, The Ira Gershwin Album, and My Personal Property.

Steven Reineke's boundless enthusiasm and exceptional artistry have made him one of the nation's most sought-after pops conductors, composers, and arrangers. In 2010-2011, Reineke begins his second season as Music Director of The New York Pops. In addition to conducting the orchestra's annual Carnegie Hall concert series, Reineke leads concert tours, recordings, and nationwide telecasts, including the Macy's 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular on NBC Television. Mr. Reineke also serves as Principal Pops Conductor of the Long Beach and Modesto Symphony Orchestras and he retains the title of Associate Conductor of the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, where for fifteen years he served as a composer, arranger, and conducting protégé of the late celebrated pops conductor Erich Kunzel. Steven Reineke's notable guest conducting appearances include the National Symphony Orchestra, Boston Pops, Philadelphia Orchestra and his debut at the Hollywood Bowl in 2007. Mr. Reineke is also an established symphonic composer, with his works most recently performed by the New York Philharmonic and Los Angeles Philharmonic.

The New York Pops is the largest independent pops orchestra in the United States and the only professional symphonic orchestra in New York City specializing in popular music. Led by Music Director Steven Reineke, the orchestra performs an annual subscription series and birthday gala at Carnegie Hall, enjoying one of the venue's highest subscription renewal rates of any series. The New York Pops was founded by former NBC Music Director Skitch Henderson in 1983 with a mission to create greater public awareness and appreciation of America's rich musical heritage. Along with performing at Carnegie Hall, The New York Pops tours throughout the world and gives free concerts in New York City parks. The orchestra's media projects include performing for the Macy's 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular on NBC, nationwide radio broadcasts, and numerous recordings. The New York Pops' extensive education programs allow thousands of public schoolchildren to participate in concert and music-making experiences at Carnegie Hall and in schools throughout New York City's five boroughs.

Tickets priced $33, $37, $46, $74, $96, and $106 are available at the Carnegie Hall Box Office, 154 West 57th Street, or can be charged to major credit cards by calling CarnegieCharge at 212-247-7800 or by visiting the Carnegie Hall website, carnegiehall.org.

For Carnegie Hall Corporation presentations taking place in Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage, a limited number of seats, priced at $10, will be available day-of-concert beginning at 11:00 a.m. Monday through Saturday and 12:00 noon on Sunday until one hour before the performance or until supply lasts. The exceptions are Carnegie Hall Family Concerts and gala events. These $10 tickets are available to the general public on a first-come, first-served basis at the Carnegie Hall Box Office only. There is a two-ticket limit per customer.

In addition, for all Carnegie Hall presentations in Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage a limited number of partial view (seats with obstructed or limited sight lines or restricted leg room) will be sold for 50% of the full price. For more information on this and other discount ticket programs, including those for students, Notables members, and Bank of America customers, visit carnegiehall.org/discounts.

 

Photo Credit: Walter McBride/WM Photos

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