Cherry Jones Joins De Niro, Freeman, Harris & Boston Pops for Kennedy Tribute, 5/18
Tony- and Emmy award-winning actress Cherry Jones joins Keith Lockhart, the Boston Pops, and the Tanglewood Festival Chorus, and special guests-actors Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman, and Ed Harris-for the world premiere performance of The Dream Lives On: A Portrait of the Kennedy Brothers-the centerpiece of the Boston Pops' 125th anniversary season celebration-on May 18, at 8 p.m. (repeated on May 19), at Symphony Hall in Boston, MA. Cherry Jones, who can currently be seen in the hit TV show 24 as President Allison Taylor, has appeared in Oceans Twelve, The Village, Signs, and Cradle Will Rock, and in guest appearances on television shows including "The West Wing" and "Frasier." Ms. Jones won Tony awards in 1995 for her leading role in The Heiress and in 2005 for her leading role in Doubt, and won an Emmy award in 2009 for her role in 24. The world premiere performances of The Dream Lives On are the centerpiece of the Boston Pops 125th anniversary season, May 4-June 20.
PRESENTATION OF THE NATIONAL 9/11 FLAG
These concerts also feature a very special Star-Spangled Banner, The National 9/11 Flag - the flag that was hanging before, during, and after the attacks across from the South Tower - accompanied by members of the New York and Boston Fire Departments, as well as volunteers who travel to disaster areas to help rebuild. The presence of the 9/11 Flag is an especially appropriate accompaniment to these Boston Pops concerts premiering The Dream Lives On, as President Obama signed the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act, which for the first time officially recognized September 11 as a National Day of Service and Remembrance. Also, in the aftermath of 9/11 Senator Kennedy personally called the 177 Massachusetts families who had lost loved ones in the attack. The flag presentation includes a new film by Scott Rettberg and Megan Sleeper and edited by Bryan Norfolk.
WEEK THREE "AMERICAN HEROES" PROGRAMS, MAY 18-22, TO ALSO FEATURE
ARLO GUTHRIE, Brian Stokes Mitchell, AND Patti Austin
The May 18 and 19 program, part of a series entitled "American Heroes," will also feature Arlo Guthrie singing "This Land is Your Land" and Brian Stokes Mitchell singing a new arrangement of one of his signature songs, "The Impossible Dream," with chorus and orchestra (May 18 & 19). Patti Austin joins the orchestra on May 19 & 20 for a song set that includes the world premiere of a powerful new song called "We the People," written by Alan and Marilyn Bergman and Roger Kellaway. "We the People" is the theme song for"Visions of America - a Photo Symphony." Acclaimed local actor Will LeBow will narrate The Dream Lives On for performances on May 20, 21, and 22.
Commissioning of The Dream Lives On: A Portrait of the Kennedy Brothers was made possible by generous support provided by Paul and Catherine Braverman and Robert and Evelyn Doran.
PETER BOYER, COMPOSER, The Dream Lives on: A Portrait of the Kennedy Brothers
Peter Boyer is active in both the field of concert hall music and the film and television music industry where he recently orchestrated music for Michael Giacchino's Oscar-winning score to Up. In addition to writing orchestral arrangements for more than a dozen feature films, Mr. Boyer has twice arranged and orchestrated music for the Academy Awards, including the 2009 telecast. His orchestral works have received well over 200 public performances by more than 80 orchestras worldwide including the London Symphony Orchestra, the Brooklyn Philharmonic, and the Dallas Symphony. With more than 100 performances since its 2002 debut, Mr. Boyer's Ellis Island: The Dream of America is one of the most-performed large-scale American orchestral works of the last decade. The Grammy-nominated Ellis Island was recorded with actors including Barry Bostwick, Blair Brown, Olympia Dukakis, and Eli Wallach. Further information about Peter Boyer can be found at www.propulsivemusic.com.
Lynn Ahrens, LYRICIST, The Dream Lives on: A Portrait of the Kennedy Brothers
Writer and lyricist Lynn Ahrens began her career writing songs for "Schoolhouse Rock." In her longtime partnership with composer Stephen Flaherty, she's enjoyed tremendous Broadway success with shows including Once on this Island, Dessa Rose, Seussical the Musical, and Ragtime (for which Ahrens won the Tony, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics Circle awards). The pair also collaborated on the animated movie Anastasia. Her songs have been recorded and/or performed by Aretha Franklin, Aaliyah, Johnny Mathis, Richard Marx and Donna Lewis, Renée Fleming and Bryn Terfel, Donny Osmond, Deana Carter, Audra McDonald, and many others. Further information about Lynn Ahrens can be found at www.ahrensandflaherty.com and http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Lynn-Ahrens-Stephen-Flaherty/312664849923?ref=ts
TICKET INFORMATION FOR 125TH SEASON, MAY 4-JUNE 20
Tickets for the 2010 Boston Pops season at Symphony Hall are priced from $20-$99. All performances start at 8 p.m. with the exception of the Sunday Family Concert at 3 p.m. on June 20.
Tickets to the gala fund raiser, Presidents at Pops, on May 19, start at $500, with some options including tickets to an exclusive Boat Cruise and Esplanade Concert on July 3, as well an additional Pops 125 event to be announced soon. For further information, call 617-638-9466. Performance-only tickets for May 19 are priced from $75-$250 and can be purchased by calling 888-266-1200 or at www.bostonpops.org
Tickets may be purchased online at www.bostonpops.org or by phone through SymphonyCharge at 617-266-1200 or 888-266-1200, Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (with a $5.50 handling fee for each ticket ordered online or by phone). Tickets may also be purchased in person at the Symphony Hall box office, open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and on Sunday from 1 p.m. through the first concert intermission on concert dates. Most major credit cards and cash are accepted at the box office. For Group Sales of 25 or more, please call 617-638-9345 or 800-933-4255.
The Boston Symphony has a dedicated line for disabled patrons who would like to purchase tickets to BSO, Boston Pops, or Tanglewood concerts, or who need information about disability services at Symphony Hall or Tanglewood. This line can be reached by dialing 617-638-9431. For access via TDD/TTY, please call 617-638-9289. Patrons with disabilities can access Symphony Hall through the Cohen Wing on Huntington Avenue or through the Massachusetts Avenue entrance.
Opening Night at Pops and the entire 2010 Boston Pops season is sponsored by Fidelity Investments. The Fairmont Copley Plaza Hotel is the Official Hotel of the Boston Pops. New England Coffee is the Official Coffee of the Boston Pops. Commonwealth Worldwide is the Official Chauffeured Transportation Provider of the Boston Pops. American Airlines is the Airline Partner of the Boston Pops.
All programs are subject to change.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF BOSTON POPS 125TH SEASON, MAY 4-JUNE 20
The 125th season opened on May 4 with a gala concert featuring multiple Tony Award-winner Idina Menzel and the inimitable Doc Severinsen, who holds the distinction of having performed under the batons of Arthur Fiedler, John Williams, and Keith Lockhart-a perfect addition to a program honoring the artistic vision of the three most famous Boston Pops conductors. During the season the Pops will mark the 10th anniversary of the popular radio and TV show "From the Top," focus on esteemed artists from the fields of jazz, musical theater, and pop, including Dave Brubeck, Kelli O'Hara, and Maureen McGovern, and honor the legacies of such musical titans as Ray Charles, Duke Ellington, Cole Porter, and Rodgers and Hammerstein. Daniel Bernard Roumain, who in concert melds his classical music roots with his own Haitian-American cultural references and vibrant musical imagination, and Ozomatli, the multi-Grammy award-winning, genre-defying sensation, join the orchestra for programs that continue the Pops tradition of focusing on the best and brightest new talent on the musical scene today. Returning to the Pops schedule is the legendary film music series under the direction of John Williams, this year marking his 30th anniversary with the Pops, and one of the newest Pops traditions, Gospel Night with Charles Floyd. To bring the 125th season to a close in June, the Boston Pops will present one of this country's greatest living legends-the incomparable Arlo Guthrie. Other highlights include A Boston Pops 125th documentary, entitled America's Orchestra: Celebrating 125 Years of the Boston Pops to air on PBS in the spring, and a national contest through Twitter, Facebook, and mobile phone text messages for a family of four to win a trip to Boston's famous Fourth-of-July celebration, details of which are available at bostonpops.org/125.
BACKGROUND ON THE BOSTON POPS
Celebrating its 125th anniversary this spring, May 4-June 19, the Boston Pops Orchestra has distinguished itself as the founder of and leader in its genre, presenting the best of a wide variety of music from jazz to pop, indie rock to big band, film music to the great American songbook, and Broadway to classical. Affectionately know as "America's Orchestra," the Boston Pops is the most recorded and arguably the most beloved orchestra in the country, beginning with the establishment of the modern-era Pops by Arthur Fiedler and continuing through the innovations introduced by John Williams and the new-millennium Pops spearheaded by Keith Lockhart.
With the 125th anniversary season, the Boston Pops reaches a landmark moment in a remarkable history that began with its founding in 1885. Civil War veteran Henry Lee Higginson, the founder of the Boston Symphony (1881) and Boston Pops, intended from the very start to present concerts of light classics and the popular music of the day.
It was Arthur Fiedler's nearly 50-year tenure as Pops Conductor (1930-1979) that established the Boston Pops as a national icon by moving the Pops beyond its origins in light-classical music into the world of pop culture showcasing the popular artists of the day as well as the work of young American composers and arrangers. Mr. Fiedler organized the first free outdoor orchestral concerts on the Charles River Esplanade that led to the Boston's now-famous Fourth of July concert, established the Pops as the most recorded orchestra in history-including the first orchestral recording to sell more than a million copies-and introduced the "Evening at Pops" television series, bringing the orchestra into the living rooms of countless Americans.
When John Williams (1980-1993) succeeded Arthur Fiedler in 1980, he was the most highly acclaimed composer in Hollywood, and today, with 45 Academy Award nominations, he is the most-nominated living person in Academy history. With the Pops, Mr. Williams continued the orchestra's prolific recording tradition with a series of best-selling recordings for the Philips and Sony Classical labels, broadened and updated the Pops repertoire-commissioning new compositions and introducing new arrangements of Boston Pops classics-and entertained audiences with live orchestral accompaniment to film clips of memorable movie scenes, many of which featured iconic music from his own film scores. He traveled extensively with the Pops both nationally and internationally, leading the Pops on its first tours to Japan. Mr. Williams also brought a bit of Hollywood to the Pops stage, with special appearances by Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, and Frank Langella, not to mention Darth Vader, R2D2, and C3PO.
Having led more than 1,200 Boston Pops concerts, Keith Lockhart (1995 - present) is now in his sixteenth season as Boston Pops Conductor. In response to the ever-diversifying trends in music, Keith Lockhart has taken the Pops in new directions, creating programs that reach out to a broader and younger audience by presenting artists-both established performers and rising stars-from virtually every corner of the entertainment world, all the while maintaining the Pops' appeal to its core audience. He has made 67 television shows, led 33 national and four overseas tours with the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra, and recorded eleven albums. Mr. Lockhart's tenure has been marked by a dramatic increase in touring, the orchestra's first Grammy nominations, the first major network national broadcast (on CBS Television) of the Fourth-of-July spectacular from the Esplanade, and the release of the Boston Pops' first self-produced and self-distributed recordings, now numbering four: Sleigh Ride, America, Oscar & Tony, and The Red Sox Album. He led the Pops for Chris Botti's "In Boston" CD and DVD, featuring special guests Sting, John Mayer, Josh Groban, Yo-Yo Ma, and Steven Tyler, recorded live from two performances at Symphony Hall. The recording received multiple Grammy nominations earlier this year and the show was aired on PBS stations nationally. Mr. Lockhart has also led the Boston Pops at several high profile sports events, including the pre-game show of Super Bowl XXXVI and the opening game of the 2007 World Series, at Fenway Park with the Boston Red Sox. Further information about the Boston Pops is available at bostonpops.org.
For more information, visit www.bostonpops.org.
Photo Credit: Monica Simoes