Donna Murphy to Host Little Orchestra Society's Spring Benefit Following Disney's FANTASIA Live, 4/26

By: Apr. 11, 2013
Get Access To Every Broadway Story

Unlock access to every one of the hundreds of articles published daily on BroadwayWorld by logging in with one click.

Existing user? Just click login.

The Little Orchestra Society announces its Spring Benefit, hosted by two-time Tony Award winning actress Donna Murphy, to follow the premiere of Disney Fantasia Live in Concert on Friday, April 26 at Avery Fisher Hall. The Arts and Education Honoree of the evening is the Big Apple Circus and its co-founders Paul Binder and Michael Christensen. A special benefit reception for adults will take place after the concert on the Grand Promenade of Avery Fisher Hall. Saturday's two encore performances of this Happy Concerts For Young People program are already sold-out.

Host Donna Murphy is best known for her award-winning roles in the Broadway hits The King & I and Passion, and as the Witch in the recent Shakespeare in the Park production of Into the Woods. Murphy has also lit up the children's music world this past year with her performance of Mother Gothel in the animated Disney film Tangled.

"The Little Orchestra Society is thrilled to host this magical evening that will help us continue to share classical music in bold, new ways with young audiences and will support our music education and community engagement programs," said Joanne Bernstein-Cohen, Executive Director of The Little Orchestra Society.

One of the original animators of Fantasia, 99-year old Willis Pyle, will be in attendance for this special evening. Mr. Pyle is also known for his work on original Disney features Bambi and Pinocchio, as well as the development of popular cartoon characters of the early fifties, such as Mr. Magoo.

Ilana and David Adelman; Brigid and William S. Ohlemeyer; and Carol and Chuck Schaefer are the benefit co-chairs. At this concert, The Little Orchestra Society will present the Arts and Education Award to the Big Apple Circus - a nonprofit dedicated to entertaining children and adults with the joy and wonder of the circus.

Accepting the award will be Paul Binder and the Big Apple Circus Board Chairman Richard E. Mayberry, Jr. Mr. Binder has been Artistic Director and Ringmaster for 32 years, and has earned the honor of "NYC Living Landmark," by the New York Landmarks Conservancy. He started out as a performer with the San Francisco Mime Troupe, traveled throughout Europe as a circus performer, landed on the legendary stage of the Casino de Paris and eventually brought his dream to create an American circus with a dedication to theatrical excellence and artistic intimacy to New York City.

"The Big Apple Circus, New York's hometown circus, and its founders Paul Binder and Michael Christensen, are delighted to be honored by a beloved fellow New York institution, The Little Orchestra Society. Over the years, our organizations have partnered to present wonderful, family-oriented educational events for lovers of both music and the circus arts. As we celebrate our achievements and look forward to more collaborative occasions, we salute The Little Orchestra Society and wish for it a fanfare - a 'Fantasia!' - of musical success!" said Lynn M. Stirrup, Executive Director of the Big Apple Circus.

Ms. Bernstein-Cohen added, "We share a common goal with the Big Apple Circus, and that is to create unique experiences in the arts that will resonate with children and their parents for years to come."

Guest conductor Philip Mann will lead the Orchestra in Paul Dukas' The Sorcerer's Apprentice, George Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue with piano soloist Norman Krieger, Igor Stravinsky's Firebird and other classics, as scenes from the iconic 1940 and 2000 Disney Fantasia animated films play across a giant screen in HD.

Presentation licensed by Disney Music Publishing © Disney.

Concert and Ticket Information:
Special Benefit and Evening Performance
Friday, April 26, 2013 at 7:30 pm
Philip Mann, guest conductor
Norman Krieger, piano
Donna Murphy, guest host
Arts and Education Honoree: Big Apple Circus
Paul Binder and Michael Christensen, Co-founders, Big Apple Circus
Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center
Click here for benefit reception ticket information

Regular Performances:
Saturday, April 27, 2013 at 11:00am and 1:15pm (SOLD-OUT)
Philip Mann, guest conductor
Norman Krieger, piano
Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center
1941 Broadway at 65th Street, New York City

Contact: The Little Orchestra Society at 212-971-9500 or

Philip Mann (Guest Conductor) is now in his second season as Music Director of the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra. He previously held several posts in Europe and served as San Diego Symphony's Associate Conductor, where he conducted hundreds of performances of Jacobs Masterworks, Symphony Exposed, young people's concerts, Kinder Konzerts, pops, and other special programs. Active in symphonic, operatic, and new music repertories, he has also served as music director of the Oxford City Opera and Oxford Pro Musica Chamber Orchestra.

The winner of the Vienna Philharmonic's Karajan Fellowship at the Salzburg Festival, he has collaborated with orchestras and operas worldwide, including the Cleveland Orchestra, l'Orchestre symphonique de Québec, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Georgian State Opera, and the National Symphony of Cyprus. Elected a Rhodes Scholar, Mr. Mann studied and taught at Oxford, and won the annual competition to become principal conductor of the Oxford University Philharmonia. He studied with Alan Hazeldine of London's Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Colin Metters at the Royal Academy of Music, and Marios Papadopolous of the Oxford Philomusica. He also worked with Leonard Slatkin and the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center's National Conducting Institute and Michael Tilson Thomas at the New World Symphony.

Norman Krieger (Piano) regularly appears with the major orchestras of North America, among them the New York, Los Angeles, Buffalo, Dayton and Hamilton Philharmonics, the Minnesota Orchestra, the Boston Pops Orchestra and the Baltimore, California, Chicago, Cincinnati, Florida, Hartford, Honolulu, Kansas City, Milwaukee, National, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Pittsburgh, Richmond, Saint Louis, San Antonio, San Diego and Syracuse symphony orchestras. He has also been heard as guest soloist with the Hong Kong Philharmonic, Prague's Czech National Symphony Orchestra, Turkey's Presidential Symphony Orchestra, New Zealand's Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra and Taiwan's National Symphony Orchestra. In recital, he has been heard throughout the United States, Europe, Mexico and Asia, while chamber music collaborations have included appearances with soprano Sheri Greenawald, violinist Livia Sohn, cellist Jian Wang and the Tokyo and Manhattan String Quartets. Mr. Krieger's recordings include four albums available on the Artisie 4 label: Norman Krieger Piano Recital, American Piano Concertos, Raising the Roof, and The Prince Albert Chamber Music Festival. Norman Krieger is the founding Artistic Director of The Prince Albert Music Festival in Hawaii. In the spring of 1997, he was appointed Associate Professor at the University of Southern California.

The Little Orchestra Society, now in its 65th season, performed its inaugural concert at The Town Hall on October 20, 1947, and has since been devoted to performing innovative concerts of classical music for both adults and children. The Orchestra performs dynamic repertoire using multiple art forms with a variety of artists to create meaningful musical experiences for today's audiences.

Throughout its history, the Orchestra has given many important premieres and launched the careers of major musical talents in its concert programming for adult audiences. The Little Orchestra Society is also deeply committed to music education and public service. Its music literacy and concert programs, Musical Connections, Live In Concert! and Project 65Plus, educate and entertain New York Metropolitan Area children, their families and seniors. The Orchestra's productions include the crowd-favorite Lolli-Pops series for children ages 3 to 5, the Peabody Award-winning Happy Concerts for Young People for children age 6 to 12, and past concerts for adults have included the Vivaldi's Venice and Sound Discoveries series, as well as Cathedral Concerts - Great Music Under a Byzantine Dome.

Photo Credit: Walter McBride