Tickets & Events

Once Upon a Time...Stories at the Symphony

Boston Pops

Symphony Hall - Boston, MA View Map

Music can tell all kinds of stories: true or fantastic, adventure, romance or comedy...the only limits are the boundaries of your imagination! Come along with Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops as they take you on musicals journeys including Jim Beckel’s new multimedia work From the Earth to the Moon and Beyond, and some selections by musical storytellers John Williams and Aaron Copland. The concert concludes with The Composer is Dead by Nathaniel Stookey with text by Lemony Snicket, a madcap whodunnit where someone has killed the Composer. An Inspector must sift through an entire orchestra of extremely guilty-looking suspects. This concert promises to be fun for the whole family!

Please click here for the Sensory Friendly performance on June 1, 11am.

Featured Performers

Keith Lockhart, conductor
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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 James Beckel, composer
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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
Dr. Mike Massimino, Former NASA Astronaut
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An astronaut, the first person to tweet from space, a recurring character on The Big Bang Theory, and now a New York Times bestselling author, Dr. Mike Massimino grew up a working class kid whose seemingly unreachable dream of becoming an astronaut and flying in space was realized through determination, commitment, and hard work—and with humor. After two missions to the Hubble Telescope and four spacewalks to make critical repairs to the telescope, Dr. Massimino is now a Columbia University professor; the Senior Space Advisor to the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum; an author; a television host; a frequent guest on morning shows, news programs, talk shows, and late-night television; and an in-demand speaker for audiences seeking a unique perspective on teamwork, innovation, and leadership from a down-to-earth spaceman.

Dr. Mike Massimino, Former NASA Astronaut Jeremiah Kissel
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Jeremiah Kissel is delighted as always to appear with Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops, with whom he has narrated The Polar Express, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, The Dream Lives On: A Portrait of the Kennedy Brothers, Casey at the Bat, and A Christmas Carol. With other orchestras he has performed The Carnival of the Animals, Ellis Island: The Dream of America, Peter and the Wolf, The Wizard of Menlo Park, A Kennedy Portrait, L’Histoire du Soldat, and The Defiant Requiem. A forty-year veteran of Boston’s professional stages, Mr. Kissel has played leading roles for the Huntington, American Repertory, New Repertory, and Merrimack Repertory theaters, as well as the Commonwealth Shakespeare Company, the Lyric Stage, Shear Madness, and various out-of-town companies passing through Boston. Recent appearances include Imagining Madoff at 59E59 in New York, The Trumpiad for Robert Brustein at the Boston Theater Marathon, and Cyrano (earning a 2019 Norton Award nomination) at Gloucester Stage. This fall, he will appear as Richard Nixon in Nixon’s Nixon at the New Rep Theatre, followed by a reprise of Imagining Madoff at the Lion Theatre in New York. Screen credits include The Town, The Fighter, Joy, Stronger, Castle Rock, Body of Proof, and The Wrong Car. Mr. Kissel is the winner of several Norton Awards, several IRNE’s, an Arts Impulse Award, and a Helen Hayes Award, and in 2003 he received Boston’s highest onstage recognition, the Norton Prize for Sustained Excellence.

Jeremiah Kissel