'Sondheim: The Birthday Concert' To Air On PBS, 11/24

NY Philharmonic's "Sondheim: The Birthday Concert" will air as part of PBS' "Great Performances" series at 9:30pm on November 24. The concert took place March 15-16 at Avery Fisher Hall.

This celebration of the 80th birthday of the great Broadway and film composer/lyricist included Stephen Sondheim's most enduring orchestral music and songs, in addition to rarely-heard material, performed by a cast of Broadway stars. Paul Gemignani, Mr. Sondheim's longtime collaborator, conducted the New York Philharmonic; Lonny Price was the director; and Mr. Price and Matt Cowart were the producers. Tony Award winner David Hyde Pierce (CURTAINS, SPAMALOT) hosted the event.  The evening included songs and orchestral pieces from Sondheim musical theater favorites such as COMPANY, FOLLIES, A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC, SWEENEY TODD, MERRILY WE ROLL ALONG, SUNDAY IN THE PARK WITH GEORGE, INTO THE WOODS, PACIFIC OVERTURES, A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM, and ANYONE CAN WHISTLE, along with a suite from music he wrote for the film 'Reds', which had never before been performed live.

The concert featured Laura Benanti, Matt Cavenaugh, Michael Cerveris, Victoria Clark, Jenn Colella, Jason Danieley, Joanna Gleason, Nathan Gunn, George Hearn, Patti LuPone, Marin Mazzie, Audra McDonald, John McMartin, Donna Murphy, Gillian Murphy, Laura Osnes, Mandy Patinkin, Bernadette Peters, Bobby Steggert, Ethan Stiefel, Elaine Stritch, Jim Walton and Chip Zien.

With 2009-10 marking its 37th season on PBS, GREAT PERFORMANCES (along with its sub-series GREAT PERFORMANCES@The Met and DANCE IN AMERICA) brings the best in the performing arts from across America and around the world to a US television audience.

The only continuing primetime performance showcase on American television, GREAT PERFORMANCES presents a diverse programming portfolio of classical music, opera, popular song, musical theater, dance, drama, and performance documentaries. With its programs garnering 64 Emmy Awards and four George Foster Peabody Awards, the series has received every major television honor.

Regardless of geographic or economic limitations, GREAT PERFORMANCES insures its audiences "the best seats in the house" with a roster of artists and performing arts companies that represent a "Who's Who" of excellence and virtuosity in the international performing arts.

For more information, visit www.pbs.org.

Photo Credit: Walter McBride/Retna Ltd.

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