Tickets & Events

Rick Steves' Europe: A Symphonic Journey

Boston Pops

Symphony Hall - Boston, MA View Map

Journey with Rick Steves, America’s leading authority on European travel, as he and the Boston Pops transport you on a musical voyage. Mr. Steves’ extensive knowledge of European history and culture set the context for each piece as the orchestra performs a selection of stirring 19th-century anthems by Romantic-era composers, including Grieg, Smetana, Strauss, Berlioz, Elgar, Wagner, and Verdi, conducted by Portuguese-American Jacomo Bairos. Each selection honors a particular nation, while the finale, Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” (Europe’s official anthem) pays homage to the continent’s motto of “United in Diversity.” The concert is enhanced by a montage of evocative video images curated by Rick Steves. 

Featured Performers

Jacomo Bairos, conductor
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Portuguese-American conductor Jacomo Bairos continues to redefine what a conductor can be and do in the 21st Century, challenging the preconceptions of orchestral repertoire, blurring the lines of genre, and integrating the orchestra into the broader community in holistic and organic new ways. Bairos is the 17th Music Director for the Amarillo Symphony, Co-Founder and Artistic Director for Miami’s Nu Deco Ensemble, and performs regularly as a guest conductor with some of the world’s finest orchestras.

Bairos’ performances have been described as “thrilling" (Providence Journal), “inspirational and highly communicative” (Singapore Straits Times) and having a “splendid sense of musicality” (Knoxville Mercury). The New York Times hailed Nu Deco Ensemble as “chamber orchestra for the 21st century,” while Billboard called them “a sonically spellbinding experience.”

In the 2018-2019 season, Bairos appears with the San Francisco Symphony, makes subscription debuts with the Boston Pops, the Singapore Symphony Orchestra, the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra and conducts the Wichita and Winston-Salem Symphony’s. Bairos also continues his longstanding relationship with the Atlanta and Grand Rapids Symphony Orchestras, where he conducts and curates new music performances and mentors emerging composers in collaboration with the American Composers Orchestra’s Earshot program. His relationship with the National Symphony Orchestra continued through 2018, directing their critically-acclaimed DeClassified Series, the In Your Neighborhood Initiative, and multiple Pops programs.

Bairos has appeared with the Detroit, Houston, North Carolina, Knoxville, and Alabama Symphony Orchestras, the Louisiana and Rhode Island Philharmonic’s and the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra. In addition, he has made numerous returns to the Atlanta, St. Louis, San Diego, Florida, Sarasota, Jacksonville, Charlotte and Charleston Symphony Orchestras. International engagements include the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, Singapore, Leipzig and Oaxaca Symphony Orchestra’s, as well as the Orquesta Sinfónica’s do Porto Casa da Música (Poturgal), de Provincial de Santa Fe (Argentina), and de la Universidad de Guanajuato (Mexico).

The diverse range of Bairos’ artist collaborators include famed pianists Jeremy Denk, Garrick Ohlsson, Conrad Tao, Anne-Marie McDermott and Mezzo-Soprano J’Nai Bridges to name a few. Bairos closely collaborates with some of today’s most groundbreaking artists such as, Academy Award-winning composer/guitarist Bryce Dessner, Grammy winning artists’ Jacob Collier, Angeliqu Kidjo, Gregor Porter, as well as Kishi Bashi, Danay Suarez, Seu Jorge, Bilal, Aaron Deihl, Cory Henry, and Jon Batiste. Since 2014, Bairos has worked on numerous projects and collaborations with multi-platinum singer-songwriter Ben Folds. A graduate of The Juilliard School, Bairos is an accomplished and award-winning tubist, having given master classes and concerts with major festivals and orchestras around the world. Bairos has performed, toured, and recorded with the New York Philharmonic as well as with the symphony orchestras of Chicago, Cincinnati, and Seattle. He has held principal positions with orchestras in America and Spain, and from 2004-2007 Bairos was principal Tuba for the Singapore Symphony Orchestra.

Born in Lisbon Portugal, Bairos is also a Yoga teacher, practitioner of Vipassana Meditation, and works and mentors with underserved children throughout the South Florida and Panhandle-Texas region. He makes his home in Miami, FL.


Jacomo Bairos, conductor Rick Steves
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Guidebook author and travel TV host Rick Steves is America's most respected authority on European travel. Rick took his first trip to Europe in 1969, visiting piano factories with his father, a piano importer. As an 18-year-old, Rick began traveling on his own, funding his trips by teaching piano lessons. In 1976, he started his business, Rick Steves' Europe, which has grown from a one-man operation to a company with a staff of 100 full-time, well-travelled employees at its headquarters in Edmonds, Washington, near Seattle. There he produces a best-selling guidebook series on European travel, America's most popular travel series on public television, a weekly hour-long national public radio show, a weekly syndicated column, and free travel information available through his travel center and Rick Steves' Europe also runs a successful European tour program organizing small-group tours that take more than 30,000 travelers to Europe annually. His mission: to empower Americans to have European trips that are fun, affordable, and culturally broadening.  When not on the road, Rick is active in his church and with advocacy groups focused on economic and social justice, drug policy reform, and ending hunger. He lives and works in his hometown of Edmonds, Washington, where his office window overlooks his old junior high school.

Rick Steves