Tickets & Events

Summer of '69 with special guest Arlo Guthrie

Summer of '69 with special guest Arlo Guthrie

Boston Pops

Symphony Hall - Boston, MA View Map

The summer of 1969 was a year of unprecedented scientific exploration, social upheaval, and musical excitement. Living legend, songwriter, storyteller and singer, Arlo Guthrie joins us as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of Woodstock, one the most iconic and influential festivals in the history of music. Adding to this mix will be a Pops tribute to the year’s two most groundbreaking albums: The Beatles’ Abbey Road and The Who’s rock opera masterpiece, Tommy! Also on the program will be a tribute to the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, From the Earth to the Moon and Beyond by composer James Beckel featuring special guest narrator Physician, Engineer, Social Scientist, Former Astronaut & Principal of 100 Year Starship Dr. Mae Jemison. A celebration a half-century in the making!

Featured Performers

Keith Lockhart, conductor
Keith Lockhart, conductor View biography in full page >

Having celebrated his twentieth anniversary as Boston Pops Conductor in 2015, Keith Lockhart is the second longest-tenured conductor of the Boston Pops Orchestra since its founding in 1885. He took over as conductor in 1995, following John Williams's thirteen-year tenure from 1980 to 1993; Mr. Williams succeeded the legendary Arthur Fiedler, who as at the helm of the orchestra for nearly fifty years. During his tenure, Keith Lockhart has significantly expanded Pops programming, focused on national annual touring, and participated in major media events. He has solidified the orchestra's place in the fabric of the New England community and has led the Boston Pops in countless performance situations. The list of more than 250 guest artists with whom he has collaborated is a virtual "who's who" of performers and pop culture icons.

Keith Lockhart, who occupies the Julian and Eunice Cohen Boston Pops Conductor chair, has conducted more than 1,900 Boston Pops concerts, most of which have taken place during the orchestra's spring and holiday seasons in Boston's historic Symphony Hall. Mr. Lockhart has also led annual Boston Pops appearances at Tanglewood, 43 national tours to more than 150 cities in 38 states, and four international tours to Japan and Korea. He and the Pops have made 79 television shows and participated in such high-profile sporting events as Super Bowl XXXVI, the 2008 NBA finals, the 2013 Boston Red Sox Ring Ceremony, and the Red Sox Opening Day game at Fenway Park in 2009. The annual July 4 Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular draws a live audience of over half a million to the Charles River Esplanade and millions more who view it on television or live webcast. Last year, with Eaton Vance as presenting sponsor and Bloomberg exclusive media partner, the Pops organization presented its first self-produced Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular, which was broadcast on Bloomberg Television and all its media outlets. Both companies made initial three-year commitments to the event in 2017.

Mr. Lockhart has led eight albums on the RCA Victor/BMG Classics label, including two-The Celtic Album and The Latin Album-that earned Grammy nominations. Recent releases on Boston Pops Recordings include The Red Sox Album, A Boston Pops Christmas-Live from Symphony Hall, and The Dream Lives On: A Portrait of the Kennedy Brothers, which was a Boston Pops commission premiered in 2010 during the orchestra's 125th season. Released at the beginning of the 2017 Pops season, Lights, Camera…Music! Six Decades of John Williams features Keith Lockhart leading the Boston Pops in a collection of Williams compositions from the 1960s onward, some of which can be considered rarities.

Programming-wise, Keith Lockhart has put an increased focus on musical theater, attracting such leading Broadway artists as Kristen Chenoweth, Idina Menzel, Kelli O'Hara, Bernadette Peters, and Billy Porter to the Pops stage. He has worked closely with hundreds of talented young musicians, including Fellows of the Tanglewood Music Center, college students from the Boston Conservatory and Berklee College of Music, and area high school students. He introduced the PopSearch talent competition and the innovative JazzFest and EdgeFest series, featuring prominent jazz and indie artists performing with the Pops. He is dedicated to building and updating the Boston Pops library of music, which contains over five thousand arrangements.

With a renewed commitment to bring the Boston Pops into the Boston community and to important civic events, Keith Lockhart and the Pops have appeared at gubernatorial and mayoral inauguration ceremonies; the annual tree lighting in Boston's Public Garden; sporting events including Red Sox, Patriots, Bruins, and Celtics games; and the memorial service for the Boston Marathon bombing victims. He has led free concerts in such major public spaces as Boston Common and Franklin Park, and each holiday season brings members of the Pops to play for patients at Children's Hospital.

Perhaps the most significant key to Keith Lockhart's success is his ability to connect passionately with audiences through his engaging programs, his commitment to speaking directly from the stage with fascinating insights into the music, and his inherent understanding of the importance of what sets the Pops experience apart from a traditional orchestra concert-an atmosphere of music-making that is both fun and entertaining for music lovers of all ages.

Having just completed an eight-year tenure as principal conductor, Keith Lockhart is now chief guest conductor of the BBC Concert Orchestra in London, which he led in the June 2012 Diamond Jubilee Concert for Queen Elizabeth II; he is also artistic director of the Brevard Music Center summer institute and festival in North Carolina. Prior to his BBC appointment, he spent eleven years as music director of the Utah Symphony, which he led at the 2002 Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City. He has appeared as a guest conductor with virtually every major symphonic ensemble in North America, as well as many prestigious orchestras in Asia and Europe. Prior to coming to Boston, he was the associate conductor of both the Cincinnati Symphony and Cincinnati Pops orchestras, as well as music director of the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra. Born in Poughkeepsie, NY, Keith Lockhart began his musical studies with piano lessons at the age of seven. He holds degrees from Furman University and Carnegie Mellon University, and honorary doctorates from several American universities. Visit keithlockhart.com for further information.

Keith Lockhart, conductor Arlo Guthrie
Arlo Guthrie View biography in full page >

Arlo Guthrie has been known to generations as a prolific songwriter, social commentator, master storyteller, actor, and activist. Born in Coney Island, New York, in 1947, Arlo is the eldest son of Marjorie Mazia Guthrie, a professional dancer with the Martha Graham Company, and Woody Guthrie, America’s most beloved singer/writer/philosopher/artist. Arlo has become an iconic figure in folk music in his own right with a distinguished and varied career spanning over 50 years. Arlo’s 1967 “The Alice’s Restaurant Massacree,” an 18-minute-20-second partially sung comic monologue opposing the Vietnam War and the backward reasoning of authority, has become an anti-establishment anthem and an essential part of Thanksgiving on rock stations. The song achieved platinum status and was made into a movie, in which Arlo stars as himself, by Arthur Penn in 1969. That year also brought Arlo to the rock festival of the ages—Woodstock. His appearance showcased his chart-topping “Coming Into Los Angeles,” which was included on the multi-platinum Woodstock soundtrack and movie. Beginning the seventies with a number of albums for Warner Bros., Mr. Guthrie helped set the standard for the singer-songwriter genre burgeoning at the time; perhaps the best known of these albums is Hobo’s Lullaby (1972). The critically acclaimed Amigo (1976) includes “Massachusetts,” honored in 1981 as the official State Folk Song. In 1983, Mr. Guthrie left the major record label system to establish the independent label Rising Son, which is still in active operation, serving as his record and production company. In addition to his musical career, Mr. Guthrie is an accomplished actor with numerous appearances on television—including his recurring roles in two major network television series (The Byrds of Paradise and Relativity)—and in feature films, the aforementioned Alice’s Restaurant and Roadside Prophets (1992). He is the author of four children’s books and is a distinguished photographer, showing his works in selected galleries. Inspired by his parents’ activism, Arlo bought the old Trinity Church that is now home to the Guthrie Center and the Guthrie Foundation. Named for his parents, The Guthrie Center is a not-for-profit interfaith church foundation dedicated to providing a wide range of local and international services. The Guthrie Foundation is a separate not-for-profit educational organization that addresses issues such as the environment, health care, cultural preservation, and educational exchange. In 2009 Arlo was awarded the ASCAP Foundation Champion Award for making a difference through social action on behalf of worthwhile causes and demonstrating exceptional efforts in humanitarianism. Mr. Guthrie debuted at Tanglewood in 1989 with Pete Seeger and with the Pops at Symphony Hall in 1998.

Arlo Guthrie
Dr. Mae Jemison
Dr. Mae Jemison View biography in full page >

Physician, Engineer, Social Scientist, Former Astronaut & Principal of 100 Year Starship Dr. Mae Jemison

Physician, engineer, social scientist, former astronaut, and principal of 100 Year Starship®, Dr. Mae Jemison integrates the physical and social sciences with art and culture to solve problems and foster innovation. Her global initiative 100 Year Starship®, seed-funded through a competitive grant from DARPA, works to ensure the capabilities for human travel to another star within the next 100 years—while transforming life on Earth. Dr. Jemison served six years as a NASA astronaut and was the first woman of color in the world to go into space, which she did aboard a joint space shuttle mission with the Japanese space agency. Trained as an engineer, social scientist, dancer, and medical doctor, Mae Jemison was the Area Peace Corps Medical Officer for Sierra Leone and Liberia. As a professor at Dartmouth College, she focused on sustainable development and technology design for both industrialized and developing nations. She founded two technology companies and the non-profit Dorothy Jemison Foundation for Excellence, which designs and implements STEM education experiences impacting thousands of students and hundreds of teachers worldwide. She is a member the U.S. National Academy of Medicine, Fortune 500 companies’ boards, and the National Women’s Hall of Fame, and is Chair of the National Academies’ Study on Promising Practices for Addressing the Underrepresentation of Women in Science, Engineering, and Medicine. In October 2018 she spearheaded Look Upä to connect people to space, Earth, and each other. Dr. Jemison was the first actual astronaut to appear on the Star Trek TV series and is a LEGO figurine in the LEGO Women of NASA kit.

Dr. Mae Jemison James Beckel, composer
James Beckel, composer View biography in full page >

James Beckel, composer of From the Earth to the Moon and Beyond, was born in Marion, Ohio. A very active composer and arranger, Mr. Beckel has had his original works performed by professional orchestras across the country and recorded by ensembles such as the Indianapolis Brass Ensemble, the Houston Symphony, and the Indianapolis Symphony, as well as Greg Hustis and members of the Dallas Symphony, who recorded Mr. Beckel’s Pulitzer Prize-nominated The Glass Bead Game: Concerto for Horn and Orchestra. Mr. Beckel has written a number of successful patriotic works that have been performed by the United States Coast Guard Band and the Air Force Band of Flight. A member of the music faculty at DePauw University, Mr. Beckel was the principal trombonist with the Indiana Symphony from 1969 to his retirement in 2018.

James Beckel, composer