From Film Nights celebrating Boston Pops Conductor Laureate John Williams' 90th birthday year to star-studded tributes to Broadway, jazz, and gospel, the dynamic 2022 Boston Pops spring season offers audiences the very best across a variety of genres
Broadway at Pops: The Magical Music of Alan Menken
Opening the Boston Pops' 2022 season on May 19 and 21 is The Magical Music of Alan Menken, a wide-ranging tour through many of the composer's Broadway and film scores, which include The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, Little Shop of Horrors, Newsies, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Hercules, and Tangled, among others. Lockhart is joined on the stage by Broadway stars Susan Egan (Beauty and the Beast, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Cabaret, State Fair), Telly Leung (Glee, Aladdin, Rent), and Alton Fitzgerald White (The Lion King, The Color Purple, Ragtime, Miss Saigon).
As part of this program, Keith Lockhart will also lead the Pops in an instrumental version of the breakthrough hit song "We Don't Talk About Bruno" by Lin-Manuel Miranda, featured in the 2021 Disney film Encanto.
An Evening with Christopher Jackson
Making his Pops debut, Tony nominee Christopher Jackson — best known for originating the role of George Washington in Hamilton and starring in the CBS drama Bull — joins with the Pops on June 7 and 8 in music drawing from Jackson's favorite songs in pop, R&B, and Broadway, including hits by Donny Hathaway and Frank Wildhorn, as well as his own Emmy Award-winning songs.
His performance on June 7 features winners of the Fidelity Investments Young Artists Competition: Andrew Kim (cello; Weston High School), Fei Yang-Sady (violin; Concord-Carlisle High School), Leah Steinman (vocalist; Natick High School), and Adalia Wen (guzheng; The Rivers School of Weston). These talented young musicians, chosen from entrants across Massachusetts, will receive mentoring from Lockhart and Jackson, culminating in their first performances at Symphony Hall.
A Joyful Noise: Duke Ellington Reimagined and Gospel Night
On June 9 and 10, two-time Tony Award winner Brian Stokes Mitchell (Kiss Me, Kate, Ragtime, Shuffle Along, Man of La Mancha) and trailblazing American pianist Lara Downes explore with the Pops the extraordinary musical legacies of Duke Ellington and pianist/composer Billy Strayhorn, whose nearly 30 years of creative collaboration helped to shape the sound and spirit of American music as we know it.
Lara Downes, who made her Pops debut in 2019 with the program "Rediscovering the Incredible Black Composer," will perform the world premiere of A Lovesome Thing: Billy Strayhorn Suite, based on three of Strayhorn’s most expressive songs — “A Flower Is a Lovesome Thing,” “Strange Feeling,” and “Something to Live For” — arranged by composer Chris Walden. (A Lovesome Thing: Billy Strayhorn Suite is a Boston Pops co-commission with the Philadelphia Orchestra, Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Brevard Music Center, and South Carolina Philharmonic.)
To close the season on June 11, returning conductor Charles Floyd leads the 28th annual Gospel Night performance, featuring the Boston Pops Gospel Choir and special guest Smokie Norful.
Best known for his 2002 album I Need You Now and the 2004 release Nothing Without You, for which he won a Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Soul Gospel Album, Norful has released five #1 Billboard Albums and been named Billboard’s “Gospel Artist of the Year” several times. He is the founding senior pastor of Victory Cathedral Worship Center in Illinois.
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