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Barbara Cook, Marilyn Horne, Hal Prince and More Set for NYFOS Gala, Celebrating Leonard Bernstein, 4/28

Related: Barbara Cook, Marilyn Horne, Hal Prince, NYFOS, Leonard Bernstein
Barbara Cook, Marilyn Horne, Hal Prince and More Set for NYFOS Gala, Celebrating Leonard Bernstein, 4/28

NEW YORK FESTIVAL OF SONG announces its star-studded 2014 spring gala, Remembering Lenny, celebrating the life of Leonard Bernstein with a performance on Monday, April 28 at 6:30PM at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, followed by supper at the '21' Club.

NYFOS founders, artistic directors and pianists Steven Blier and Michael Barrett play host to a stunning line-up of the maestro's collaborators, friends, and family, who will share reminiscences of their time with him amid performances of some of his classic songs.

Gracing the stage with stories are Bernstein's three children, Alexander, Jamie and Nina Bernstein, as well as Barbara Cook, Matthew Epstein, Marilyn Horne, Phyllis Newman, Harold Prince, Frederica Von Stade, and Jessye Norman.

The evening will feature performances by the two artists who sang in Bernstein's final concert at Tanglewood: Judy Kaye, who also took roles in On the Town (as Hildy) and Trouble in Tahiti, and who performed with NYFOS in the New York premiere of Bernstein's final work, Arias and Barcarolles; and Kurt Ollmann, who sang in Bernstein's Deutsche Grammophon recordings of West Side Story and Haydn's Creation.

The pair will be joined on the program by two young rising star sopranos: Julia Bullock, who is featured on the soon to be released concert version of West Side Story with the San Francisco Symphony and Michael Tilson Thomas; and Lauren Worsham, who played Cunegonde in New York City Opera's 2008 production of Bernstein's Candide and is currently appearing on Broadway in A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder.

Bernstein has had a significant impact on NYFOS since its inception. Michael Barrett served as his assistant conductor for almost a decade, and Bernstein's passionate commitment to all genres of music served as a beacon for both Barrett and Blier. In its second season, NYFOS' recording of Arias and Barcarolles earned both Bernstein and NYFOS a Grammy award. Bernstein is still listed as the Founding Advisor of NYFOS and has served as its honorary President.

NYFOS has since been hailed throughout the world for its artistic contributions. "New York Festival of Song reinvented the song recital," wrote The New Yorker. "One of the longstanding delights of the New York music scene," offered The New York Times, while New York Magazine lauded NYFOS for the "best classical programming in New York."

Marking the end of another successful season, and paying tribute to its rich history, this year's spring gala serves as the major fundraising event for the season, and contributions to the event help keep the music playing at NYFOS events for years to come. From NYFOS Associate Artistic Director Michael Barrett: "I had the great fortune of being Leonard Bernstein's student, and then his assistant conductor from 1982-1990. During this time, NYFOS was born and we developed a new relationship with the Maestro. He was our honorary President, having signed our articles of incorporation. He gave us his brand new piece Arias and Barcarolles for its first public performance in New York City. He looked on with delight as we celebrated his 70th birthday at Alice Tully Hall. And of course, there were special times at his home. Steven and I played our first Brahms Liebeslieder Waltzes there for my own wedding party, and there was the afternoon photo shoot when Lenny appeared in his bathrobe and posed for the camera with us at the piano.

His music, his spirit, and his music-making continue to inspire us. I'm pretty sure our motto 'No song is safe from us' and our programmatic courage came from Lenny's own path-breaking musical voraciousness. He made it not only okay, but necessary for us to take risks, and find new and forgotten musical treasures. We miss him, and we are happy to remember his mentorship, his gifts to us and the world, and his great friendship."

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