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Sondheim on Sondheim at Tanglewood
 Boston Pops Orchestra

Sondheim on Sondheim at Tanglewood
Boston Pops Orchestra

Tanglewood

Koussevitzky Music Shed - Lenox, MA View Map

Hailed as "a funny, affectionate, and revealing tribute to musical theater's greatest living composer and lyricist," the symphonic Sondheim on Sondheim  with the Boston Pops is not to be missed! This retrospective of the life and work of America's finest contemporary musical theater creator is told through his own words via film, live performers, and his amazing music. Experience this acclaimed sampling of Sondheim's extraordinary output, now for the first time with lush new arrangements for full orchestra. 

Featured Performers

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

On May 10, 1995, Keith Lockhart, the 20th Conductor of the Boston Pops Orchestra, opened his very first Boston Pops season, leading a concert featuring guests Sylvia McNair, Mandy Patinkin, and Doc Severinsen, and repertoire ranging from Wagner to “Charlie on the MTA.” He was only 35 years old—the same age as Arthur Fiedler was when he became Boston Pops Conductor in 1930—and was dubbed “The Kid” by longtime Pops Associate Conductor Harry Ellis Dickson. The press coverage from the time of Keith’s appointment to the position in February 1995 was extensive, commenting on not only his musical talent but also his good looks and enviable head of hair, as well as the challenge of following in the illustrious footsteps of John Williams and Arthur Fiedler. But this baby boomer, born in 1959, came to the position with musical chops, a remarkable work ethic, and a deep appreciation for both the institution of the Pops and its audience. His varied conducting experience encompassed both the symphonic and pops repertoire, as well as performances in concert halls and on recordings; he had most recently served as Associate Conductor of both the Cincinnati Symphony and Cincinnati Pops, and made his Boston Pops debut as a guest conductor in 1993, just two years before he was appointed Conductor.

Over the next 25 years, with seemingly endless energy, Keith Lockhart, who holds the Julian and Eunice Cohen Boston Pops Conductor chair, would lead the Boston Pops in more than 2,000 concerts, in every imaginable setting—from hospitals to the Super Bowl—and collaborate with nearly 300 guest artists, drawn from the worlds of classical and popular music, rock, jazz, sports, politics, Broadway, and Hollywood.

Although acclaimed around the world, the Boston Pops—sometimes called “America’s Orchestra”—remains a treasured local fixture, as beloved as the region’s sports teams and historic landmarks. Its reputation has been acknowledged in popular culture, recently in a memorable episode of the animated television series “The Simpsons.” The family decided to take a “hate-cation” to Boston—because of Homer’s resentment of the “Boston Americans” football team and its fans—and ultimately fell in love with the city that has “a Symphony AND a Pops.” Through the years, Keith Lockhart has embraced Boston and in return, Boston has embraced him.

Most of the concerts led by Keith Lockhart take place in Symphony Hall, itself a registered historic landmark, during the orchestra’s spring and holiday seasons. He has also led annual Boston Pops appearances at Tanglewood, Pops concerts at Carnegie Hall and Radio City Music Hall, 45 national tours to more than 150 cities in 38 states, and four international tours to Japan and Korea. He and the Pops have made 80 television shows, including 38 new programs for the PBS series Evening at Pops, 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 view it on television or live webcast. During Keith’s tenure, the July 4 event was televised by a major national network for the first time. In 2017, with Eaton Vance as presenting sponsor and Bloomberg as the 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 are continuing their commitments to the event.

Lockhart-led albums on the RCA Victor/BMG Classics label include Runnin’ Wild: The Boston Pops Play Glenn Miller, American Visions, The Celtic Album (Grammy-nominated, the first Boston Pops recording to be so honored), Holiday Pops, A Splash of Pops, The Latin Album (Latin Grammy-nominated), Encore!, and My Favorite Things: A Richard Rodgers Celebration. Recent releases on the in-house label, 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, including some rarities.

Keith’s personal affinity for American music has led him to program full-length Broadway musicals and invite stars of the musical theater world to perform with the Pops. 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. Well aware of the influence of technology on our lives and the concert experience, he was the driving force behind “Pops on Demand,” allowing audience members to vote on their cell phones in such categories as “Favorite Disney Song” and “Favorite John Williams Theme” and see the results in real time. The Lockhart/Pops album Oscar & Tony was the basis of a Pops internet TV broadcast, the first such program offered by a symphony orchestra. In recent seasons, he and the Pops have presented a number of films in concert, both classic (The Wizard of Oz) and contemporary (Home Alone). He is dedicated to building and updating the Boston Pops library of music, which contains over 5,000 arrangements.

With a renewed commitment to bringing 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 holiday 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 the Boston Common and Franklin Park, and each holiday season he brings musicians of the Pops to play for patients at Children’s Hospital and Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital. He is a recipient of the 2017 Commonwealth Awards for Achievement, the state’s highest honor in the arts, humanities, and sciences presented by the Massachusetts Cultural Council.

More recently Keith and the Pops initiated a conducting competition for students aged 18 to 30 during the 2018 season-long celebration of Leonard Bernstein’s centennial. As part of a 2019 Pops tour concert in Fort Lauderdale, Keith invited student survivors from the shooting at Margery Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland to perform a song, composed by two of them, honoring the resilience of their community. Back at Symphony Hall, both the spring and holiday Pops seasons in 2019 included a sensory-friendly concert designed for families with children or adults diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder or sensory sensitivities.

Keith recently completed a decade-long relationship with the BBC Concert Orchestra, first as principal conductor and then as the orchestra's chief guest conductor. During his tenure as principal conductor, he led the 2012 Diamond Jubilee Concert for Queen Elizabeth II. He continues to serve as 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. Before 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, New York, 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.

Having the gift of being able to communicate with people of all ages, Keith Lockhart readily conveys his passion for the music he loves, which covers a wide spectrum. His programming reflects this breadth of interest and he is completely at ease articulating his professional and personal perspectives. Above all, he believes in and appreciates the experience that only the Boston Pops can provide—an atmosphere of music-making that is both fun and entertaining. He has called the Pops “the great outreach arm of the classical music industry. There’s no orchestra like it in this country or in the world that plays such a wide variety of music at such a high level.”

For more on Keith Lockhart, visit keithlockhart.com or bostonpops.org.

 

Keith Lockhart, conductor Sarna Lapine, director
Sarna Lapine, director View biography in full page >

Sarna Lapine (director) Broadway revival of Sunday in the Park With George, starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Annaleigh Ashford. Select regional productions: Buyer & Cellar, Other Desert Cities (Henry Award outstanding direction), Tribes, Hope and Gravity, Sunday in the Park With George, Waiting for Lefty and The Year of Magical Thinking. National Tours: The National Theatre's War Horse (North America & Japan) and Lincoln Center Theater's South Pacific. Broadway (Associate/Assistant Director): Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, Sondheim on Sondheim, South Pacific, Awake and Sing!, and The Light in the Piazza. Concerts for Encores! at City Center, The Boston Pops, the 92Y and Bucks County Playhouse. Cabaret shows at 54 Below, Joe's Pub, The Wild Project, CafΘ Carlyle and The Oak Room. Readings: Ensemble Studio Theatre, New Dramatists, Ars Nova, The LARK, Araca Works, New York Theater Workshop, Stella Adler Studio and Dixon Place. MFA, Columbia University. Recipient of the Marcie Bloom Fellowship in Film. Has been a guest director at The Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute and Fordham University.

Sarna Lapine, director
David Loud, music director
David Loud, music director View biography in full page >

DAVID LOUD occupies a unique place in Broadway history: in addition to his distinguished body of work as a Music Director and Vocal Arranger, he also originated three roles as an actor. He recently served as Music Director for the Broadway premiere of The Visit, starring Chita Rivera and Roger Rees. Other credits include the original Broadway productions of The Scottsboro Boys, Sondheim On Sondheim, Curtains, Ragtime, A Class Act, The Look of Love, Steel Pier, and revivals of Porgy and Bess, She Loves Me, The Boys From Syracuse, Company, and Sweeney Todd. He originated the role of Manny in Terrence McNally's Master Class, (starring Zoe Caldwell), he played Sasha (the conductor) in Curtains, and he made his Broadway debut in Harold Prince's original 1981 production of Stephen Sondheim's Merrily We Roll Along. Off-Broadway, he created the vocal and dance arrangements for Kander & Ebb's And the World Goes 'Round. He conducted the incidental music for Mike Nichols' revival of Death of a Salesman, and he collaborated with Wynton Marsalis and John Doyle on A Bed and a Chair, a jazz interpretation of Sondheim's music. Other recent projects include First You Dream, a concert of Kander & Ebb songs that was broadcast on PBS, The Land Where the Good Songs Go, a concert of Jerome Kern songs at Merkin Hall, and four programs at the 92nd St. Y, as part of their Lyrics and Lyricists series: On A Clear Day: the Musical Vision of Burton Lane, Taking a Chance on Love: the music of Vernon Duke, A Good Thing Going: the Stephen Sondheim and Harold Prince collaboration, and Let's Misbehave: the Sensational Songs of Cole Porter. He is a graduate of Yale University and has been on the faculty of the Yale School of Drama and Fordham University; he is currently on the faculty of The Manhattan School of Music

David Loud, music director Phillip Boykin, vocalist
Phillip Boykin, vocalist View biography in full page >

PHILLIP BOYKIN (Bass-Baritone) is a 2012 Tony Award, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards Nominee for his work in THE GERSHWIN'S PORGY AND BESS. He is the 2012 Winner of a Theatre World Award as well as the International Reviewers of New England Awards and The Distinguished Alumni Award from The Hartt School. Phillip is a native of Greenville, SC who now resides in NJ. Other performances include; the Broadway Revivals of ON THE TOWN and SUNDAY IN THE PARK WITH GEORGE, the roles of Joe in the National Tour SHOW BOAT and at several Regional theaters including Sacramento Music Theater, The Pirate King/Samuel in PIRATES OF PENZANCE NY City Center and Barrington Stage, Ken in AIN'T MISBEHAVIN', Crown/Jake in the Opera PORGY AND BESS, Tarquinius in THE RAPE OF LUCRETIA, Caiaphas in JCS, and JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR GOSPEL, the HARLEM GOSPEL SINGERS, Fred in SMOKEY JOE'S CAFÉ, and Don Alfonso in COSI FAN TUTTI to name a few. Phillip performed as Booker T. Washington in the Anniversary Concert of RAGTIME at Lincoln Center. He also made is Carnegie Hall debut in BROADWAY CLASSICS. Mr. Boykin portrayed the role of Big Hand in the movie FREEDOM starring Cuba Gooding Jr., and Sharon Leal. Recently The Driver in TOP FIVE a movie starring, written and directed by Chris Rock, Caiaphas in John O'Boyle's EASTER MYSTERIES and was featured as the cover story of Classical Singer Magazine. He's a graduate of the University of Hartford's Hartt School of Music in CT; he also studied Jazz and Vocal Performance at SC State University, Howard University and the NC School of the Arts. Phillip has toured throughout Europe, Asia, Australia, Russia, Poland and North America. Mr. Boykin is the Founder, Director and Manager of the NYGOSPEL BROTHERS. For more information or to purchase his CD/DVD entitled "You Believed In Me" please visit www.PhillipBoykin.com.
Phillip Boykin, vocalist
Carmen Cusack, vocalist
Carmen Cusack, vocalist View biography in full page >

Carmen Cusack was critically acclaimed and Tony-nominated last year for her star turn in Steve Martin and Edie Brickell's musical, Bright Star. It was her first Broadway role. Most recently, she was seen in New York City Center's gala production of Sunday in the Park With George. Just before that, she starred in For the Record: Scorsese at The Wallis in Beverly Hills. Previously, she starred in the Chicago premiere of The First Wives Club: The Musical, and she was nominated for a Jeff Award for Sunday in the Park with George at the Chicago Shakespeare Theater. She starred in the world premiere of Bright Star at the Old Globe, followed by a Kennedy Center run for which she was nominated for a Helen Hayes Award. She starred as 'Lynn Gardner' in Carrie at MCC, 'Nellie Forbush' in Lincoln Center's national tour of South Pacific, for which she received a second Helen Hayes nomination, and Elphaba' in the first US tour of Wicked. West End credits include Over the Rainbow, Les Miserables, The Secret Garden, Personals and Phantom of the Opera.

Carmen Cusack, vocalist Gabriel Ebert, vocalist
Gabriel Ebert, vocalist View biography in full page >

Gabriel Ebert is a Tony and Obie Award winning actor. A native of Colorado, he is a graduate of the Drama Division of The Juilliard School. Mr. Ebert's Broadway credits include Harvey Fierstein's Casa Valentina, Matilda the Musical (2013 Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Musical), Noδl Coward's Brief Encounter, Therese Raquin, and John Logan's Red. Off-Broadway he has appeared in Amy Herzog's 4,000 Miles (for which he received the Obie Award for Best Actor), Peer Gynt directed by John Doyle, Martin Sherman's Gently Down the Stream, Dave Malloy's Preludes, Prometheus Bound, and a site-specific production of Anton Chekhov's The Seagull. As a vocalist, Mr. Ebert has performed at Carnegie Hall, Radio City Music Hall, London's Royal Albert Hall, and at David Geffen Hall with the New York City Philharmonic, conducted by Maestro Alan Gilbert.

Gabriel Ebert, vocalist
Ruthie Ann Miles, vocalist
Ruthie Ann Miles, vocalist View biography in full page >

RUTHIE ANN MILES is an Asian-American actress best known for her work in theatre. Her Broadway credits include the recent revival of Sunday In The Park With George and The King And I, for which she won a Tony Award and Grammy nomination. She is also known for originating the role of Imelda Marcos in David Byrne's discotheque Here Lies Love, for which she won the Lucille Lortel and Theatre World Awards.

On television, Ms. Miles has been seen as Young Hee in FX's Emmy-nominated season 4 of "The Americans," as well as in "Elementary." She reads the audiobook "The Tea Girl Of Hummingbird Lane" by Lisa See (Simon and Schuyler, 2017.) Ms. Miles has sung with the San Francisco Symphony and The New York Pops, and is ecstatic to now perform with such prestigious company with the historic and beloved Boston Pops.

Ms. Miles grew up in Kaimuki, Honolulu, is of Korean/Caucasian-mixed descent, and is an advocate for seeing equal opportunities arise on stage and screen, specifically for Asian-Americans. She holds her Masters in Music from NYU Steinhardt, and she lives in Brooklyn with her husband and daughter. She is most grateful to Sarna Lapine and David Loud for this incredible opportunity, and hopes you enjoy Sondheim On Sondheim. For more info, please visit her website and connect with @RuthieAnnMiles (.com) on the social medias.

Ruthie Ann Miles, vocalist Tanglewood Music Center Vocal Fellows
Tanglewood Music Center Vocal Fellows View biography in full page >

THE TRAINING GROUNDS FOR THE MUSICIANS OF TOMORROW


The Tanglewood Music Center Fellowship Program is the Boston Symphony Orchestra's summer academy for advanced musical study. The TMC offers an intensive schedule of study and performance for emerging professional instrumentalists, singers, conductors, and composers who have completed most of their formal training in music.
 

Serge Koussevitzky, the Boston Symphony Orchestra's music director from 1924 to 1949, founded the school with the intention of creating a premier music academy where, with the resources of a great symphony orchestra at their disposal, young musicians would sharpen their skills under the tutelage of Boston Symphony Orchestra musicians and other specially invited artists.


The Berkshire Music Center opened formally on July 8, 1940, with both speeches (Koussevitzky, alluding to the war then raging in Europe, said, "If ever there was a time to speak of music, it is now in the New World") and music, including the first performance of Randall Thompson's Alleluia for unaccompanied chorus, which was written for the ceremony and arrived less than an hour before the event was to begin, but which made such an impression that it is sung every summer at the TMC's Opening Exercises. The TMC became Koussevitzky's pride and joy for the rest of his life. He assembled an extraordinary faculty in composition, operatic and choral activities, and instrumental performance; he himself taught the most gifted conductors.
 

Koussevitzky continued to develop the Tanglewood Music Center until 1950, a year after his retirement as the BSO's music director. Charles Munch, his successor in that position, ran the TMC from 1951 through 1962, working with Leonard Bernstein and Aaron Copland to shape the school's programs. In 1963, new BSO Music Director Erich Leinsdorf took over the school's reins, returning to Koussevitzky's hands-on leadership approach while restoring a renewed emphasis on contemporary music. The TMC's annual Festival of Contemporary Music, produced in association with the Fromm Music Foundation, was begun in 1963.
 

In 1970, three years before his appointment as BSO music director, Seiji Ozawa became head of the BSO's programs at Tanglewood, with Gunther Schuller leading the TMC and Leonard Bernstein as general advisor. Leon Fleisher served as the TMC's Artistic Director from 1985 to 1997. In 1994, with the opening of Seiji Ozawa Hall, the TMC centralized its activities on the Leonard Bernstein Campus, which also includes the Aaron Copland Library, chamber music studios, administrative offices, and the Leonard Bernstein Performers Pavilion adjacent to Ozawa Hall. In 1998, Ellen Highstein was appointed to the new position of Director of the Tanglewood Music Center, operating under the artistic supervision of Seiji Ozawa. Maestro James Levine took over as Music Director of the BSO in 2005 and has continued the tradition of hands-on involvement with the TMC, conducting both orchestral concerts and staged operas, as well as participating in masterclasses for singers, conductors, and composers.
 

It would be impossible to list all the distinguished musicians who have studied at the Tanglewood Music Center. According to recent estimates, 20 percent of the members of American symphony orchestras, and 30 percent of all first-chair players, studied at the TMC.
 

Today, alumni of the Tanglewood Music Center play a vital role in the musical life of the nation. Tanglewood and the Tanglewood Music Center, have become a fitting shrine to the memory of Serge Koussevitzky, a living embodiment of the vital, humanistic tradition that was his legacy. At the same time, the Tanglewood Music Center maintains its commitment to the future as one of the world's most important training grounds for the composers, conductors, instrumentalists, and vocalists of tomorrow.

Tanglewood Music Center Vocal Fellows
Program Notes Audio
Sondheim on Sondheim - Full Program Notes