Acknowledged as possibly the greatest conductor the U.S. has ever produced, Leonard Bernstein was dashing, brilliant and eloquent; a dazzling pianist, lecturer and cultural figure who redefined the word “charisma.” Equally at home on the concert stage and Broadway, when summer came, he headed to the Berkshires, where important friendships were forged with Aaron Copland, Marc Blitzstein, Lukas Foss, and other legendary musicians. Celebrating the 100th anniversary of his birth, we present a musical portrait of a versatile career, with his vocal and piano music and that of composers he championed—Mahler (Bernstein held a Mahler Festival to mark the centenary of that composer’s birth!) Sondheim and Ives; selections from Kurt Weill’s Threepenny Opera, Foss’s cowboy piece Capriccio, and Copland’s El Salón México. A delightful romp through the music scene circa 1950 as barriers began to come down among genres. Glitter and be gay and experience the Bernstein phenomenon!
Michael Chertock, piano; Danielle Talamantes, soprano; Kerry Wilkerson, baritone; Rachel Lee Priday, violin; Yehuda Hanani, cello