It seems perfect that The Boston Pops chose the first day of the new baseball season to announce its 2012 Symphony Hall schedule. And from a new Fenway Park Fanfare to help honor that ball park’s centenary, to a stunning array of special guest artists, this looks like a Pops season for the record books before Keith Lockhart has even started his stride to the podium. Just look at these names!
Red Sox Night
Ann Hampton Calloway
Jason Danieley and Marin Mazzie
The Boston Pops 2012 season under the direction of Keith Lockhart, opens in style on May 9 with Broadway sensation Bernadette Peters performing many of the signature songs that have made her one of this country’s legendary stars of the stage and screen. The Boston Pops 2012 unifying theme, Visions of America, inspires a season dedicated to celebrating many of this country’s greatest musical traditions, culminating in a multimedia “Visions of America Photo Symphony” program to end the season on June 14, 15, and 16. These special concerts will feature R&B sensation Patti Austin, jazz vocalist Steve Tyrell, photographs by Joseph Sohm, music by Roger Kellaway, and lyrics by the unrivaled team of Alan and Marilyn Bergman, with a recorded narration provided by Clint Eastwood.
The Pops and Our Vision of America
The Boston Pops “Visions of America” season will feature a “What’s your Vision of America?” photo contest, which asks contestants to submit an original photograph that captures an aspect of the spirit of America. Five winning photos will be featured as part of Boston Pops concerts this season. To enter the contest, simply email a photo to firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, age, location, and a brief caption by June 1st. Photos will be on display on Facebook and http://www.bostonpops.org. You can follow the “What’s your Vision of America?” photo contest on twitter using the hashtag #visionsofamerica. The winning photograph will be selected by a panel including Boston Pops Conductor Keith Lockhart and photo-historian Joseph Sohm.
Talents of America
During the 2012 spring season, the Boston Pops will usher in a series of exciting talents to pay tribute to a wide range of American musical genres. Comedian, author, musician and all-around king of artistic versatility Steve Martin will pluck the strings of his banjo for his Boston Pops debut with The Steep Canyon Rangers on May 29 and 30, and for “Presidents at Pops” on May 31.
John Williams, who celebrates his 80th birthday in 2012, will lead the ever-popular Film Night on Friday, June 1 and Saturday, June 2, featuring music from many of the cinematic masterpieces that launched the Boston Pops Laureate Conductor to worldwide acclaim. Mr. Williams also shares the podium with Keith Lockhart for “Presidents at Pops” on May 31.
Gospel Night at Pops celebrates a milestone as well, when conductor Charles Floyd raises the voices of the Boston Pops Gospel Choir on the 20th annual performance of this transcendent program. The Saturday, June 9 Gospel Night concert will feature Fox Network’s American Idol finalist Melinda Doolittle, winner of BET Network’s Sunday’s Best Crystal Aikin, and Boston Pops cellist Owen Young.
The Pops pay tribute to Barbra Streisand on May 15 and 16 with captivating vocals from Ann Hampton Callaway, a great interpreter of the American Songbook. Cole Porter, one of the most prolific contributors to the American Songbook, will also receive a Boston Pops salute with the dynamic husband-and-wife Broadway showstoppers Jason Danieley and Marin Mazzie on June 5, 6, and 8. This season also features a Wild West Night on June 12 and 13 with the three young members of the genre-trailblazing string trio Time For Three.
HIGHLIGHTS OF 2012 BOSTON POPS PROGRAMS
“VISIONS OF AMERICA”
Celebrating the American musical traditions that weave together the imagination and spirit of our diverse nation, the “Visions of America” season will feature the striking images of photo-historian Joseph Sohm and his extraordinary photographs representing all 50 states. Five winners of the “What’s your Vision of America?” photo contest will also be featured alongside Sohm’s works this spring.
The season theme culminates in the “Visions of America Photo-Symphony,” a sweeping photographic portrait of American life set to music by the acclaimed Roger Kellaway, with lyrics by the unrivaled Alan and Marilyn Bergman. The images come from Joseph Sohms’s book Visions of America-Photographing Democracy, a vast compilation of 1,300 images taken across the nation. Joseph Sohm, an American history teacher turned photographer, producer, author, and public speaker, is prolific photographer, with images from his remarkable library published approximately 8-10,000 times a year worldwide in prestigious outlets such as National Geographic, Newsweek, TIME, and CNN. A selection of Mr. Sohm’s works will be on public display for free in the Prudential Center Huntington Plaza for the entire month of May.
The original “Visions of America Photo Symphony” (premiered in January 2009) featured two songs by Alan and Marilyn Bergman. The Boston Pops is proud to announce that their upcoming performances of the work will premiere three new songs from the iconic song writing team, in addition to the two original Bergman songs. The Bergmans were recently honored by Barbra Streisand, whose 2011 album What Matters Most was recorded in tribute to them. The multimedia “Visions of America Photo Symphony,” enhanced by the recorded narration of Clint Eastwood, will feature acclaimed vocalists Patti Austin and Steve Tyrell in performances on June 14, 15, 16, bringing the 2012 season to a close.
OPENING NIGHT, MAY 9
Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops kick off the 2012 Spring Pops Season on Wednesday, May 9, with a gala Opening Night concert featuring Broadway star Bernadette Peters. Ms. Peters’ divine voice was recently featured on a new cast recording of Follies released in November 2011, and she is a recurring guest this season on the NBC hit TV show Smash. The multifaceted musical theater actress, whose career has spanned five decades, will be heard in full force on Opening Night at Pops, sharing favorites such as Some Enchanted Evening, There Is Nothing like a Dame, and Not a Day Goes By.
The season kicks off with an all-Gershwin first half to include the beloved Rhapsody in Blue featuring pianist Michael Chertock, the photographs of Joseph Sohm set to Love Is Sweeping the Country, and A Gershwin Medley performed by local jazz vocalist and teacher Maggie Scott. The grand opening night festivities include a complimentary pre-concert reception and a post-concert CD and book signing with Ms. Peters.
GERSHWIN SPECTACULAR, MAY 10-12
FAMILY CONCERT, MAY 12
Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops will celebrate the music of one of the great innovators of the American Songbook, George Gershwin. The Gershwin Spectacular program will include a performance of Rhapsody in Blue featuring pianist Michael Chertock and Promenade: Walking the Dog featuring Pops principal clarinetist Thomas Martin. The second installment of the three-part Pops program will feature music from the classic Gene Kelly/Leslie Caron film An American in Paris. This “Symphonic Night at the Movies” will feature footage from the film alongside George Gershwin’s unforgettable orchestral score. After a short intermission, the third set will feature members of the Boston Conservatory Theater Division in such Gershwin classics as I Got Rhythm, Somebody Loves Me, and Embraceable You. People of all ages are welcome to a George Gershwin matinee Family Concert at 3 p.m. on Saturday, May 12. The Family Concert will feature a performance by the winner of the BSO Youth Concerto Competition, and children 18 and under receive a 50% ticket discount.
A BARBRA STREISAND SONGBOOK, MAY 15 & 16
Ann Hampton Callaway, one of this country’s great interpreters of the American Songbook, brings her captivating sound to Symphony Hall to pay tribute to the adored Barbra Streisand on May 15 and 16. The evening fires off with a “Bright Lights Big City” set including Boston Pops renditions of Harlem by Duke Ellington, music from On the Town byLeonard Bernstein, as well as a rendition of Bernard Herrmann’s score to Taxi Driver with Michael Monaghan on alto sax. These bustling urban pieces set the stage for Ms. Callaway, who brings her jazzy style to Massachusetts Avenue for a full second half of Streisand hits including “Don’t Rain on My Parade,” “Cry Me a River,” and “I’ve Dreamed of You,” which Callaway wrote for Streisand to sing at her wedding to James Brolin. The lyrics of the acclaimed Alan and Marilyn Bergman take center stage, especially when Alan Bergman makes a special cameo performance on these dates to share stories about the years of collaboration he and his wife have shared with Ms. Streisand, as well as to sing some cherished tunes.
CITY OF CHAMPIONS, MAY 23-25
Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops celebrate Boston’s favorite hometown heroes during the third week of Pops concerts with tunes such as Take Me out to the Ballgame, Sweet Caroline, and John Williams’s Fanfare for Fenway, recently recorded by the Boston Pops as a special tribute to the 100th Anniversary of Fenway Park. Fans will hear the music of baseball, football, basketball, hockey, and more in these Olympic- and Boston sports-themed concerts. From the energetic Opening Fanfare of Also Sprach Zarathustra to the more modern Heavy Action (better known as the theme song to Monday Night Football), the Boston Pops and Tanglewood Festival Chorus will share the popular hits of competitive sports with the audiences who know best. Keep your head up for surprise cameos by local sports celebrities from the Boston Red Sox, Boston Bruins, Boston Celtics, New England Patriots. A special Red Sox Night held in celebration of Fenway’s 100th Anniversary will take place on May 24th, with additional guests to be announced.
STEVE MARTIN AND THE STEEP CANYON RANGERS, AN EVENING OF COMEDY & BLUEGRASS, MAY 29 & 30
Multi-talented cultural icon Steve Martin will make his long-overdue Boston Pops debut on May 29 and 30 with the roving bluegrass troupe The Steep Canyon Rangers. After a Keith Lockhart-led performance of Ferde Grofé’s sweeping Grand Canyon Suite in the first half of the performance, Steve Martin will then take the reins to present an Evening of Comedy and Bluegrass with Maestro Lockhart, the Boston Pops, and help from his trusty banjo. These concerts mark the first time Steve Martin and The Steep Canyon Rangers have performed with an orchestra. The May 29th concert will also feature up to four instrumental and vocal grand prize-winners of the annual Young Artists Competition at the Boston Pops presented by Fidelity Investments®.
“PRESIDENTS AT POPS,” MAY 31
The Boston Symphony Orchestra and Boston’s corporate community celebrate the 31st annual “Presidents at Pops” on Thursday, May 31, at Symphony Hall. Joining conductors Keith Lockhart and John Williams will be special guest artists Steve Martin and The Steep Canyon Rangers in an Evening of Comedy & Bluegrass. This concert will feature a performance of music from Mr. Williams’s score of The Reivers, with narration by former longtime Wyoming Senator Alan K. Simpson. Peter Palandjian, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Intercontinental Real Estate Corporation, is event chairman for the third consecutive year. The BSO’s largest fundraising event, “Presidents at Pops” is designed for Boston business leaders and their guests, and celebrates the unique partnership between the BSO and the corporate community. Combined with its sister event, “A Company Christmas at Pops,” “Presidents at Pops” has helped to raise more than $44 million since its inception in 1982. “Presidents at Pops” raised $1 million last year, which was $100,000 over target. Funds raised through this event help support the BSO’s Youth and Community Outreach programs throughout the year. Ticket packages are available starting at $5,500. For more information, please contact Mary Thomson, Director of Corporate Initiatives, at 617-638-9278. Additional details about this gala fundraiser will be announced at a later date.
FILM NIGHT WITH JOHN WILLIAMS, JUNE 1 & 2
The orchestra welcomes Boston Pops Laureate Conductor John Williams to the podium, June 1 and 2, for Film Night, a favorite program for Symphony Hall audiences each year. Mr. Williams, the highly acclaimed composer and conductor behind blockbuster films such as Jaws, Star Wars, and Harry Potter, celebrates his 80th birthday in 2012. Including a performance of music from Mr. Williams’s score of The Reivers, with narration by former Senator Alan K. Simpson, these programs will showcase some of the most memorable music of all time, and film footage will be featured alongside many of the Hollywood scores. Mr. Williams will lead a salute to the Hollywood westerns including music from How the West Was Won, Dances with Wolves, and The Cowboys. The performance will feature music from the composer’s new Academy Award-nominated scores to the films War Horse and The Adventures of Tintin. Mr. Williams will also lead his recently composed Fanfare for Fenway, a tribute to Fenway Park’s 100th Anniversary, and a special video tribute to women Olympians will be set to the maestro’s Olympic Spirit.
A TRIBUTE TO COLE PORTER, JUNE 5, 6, & 8
Husband-and-wife team and Broadway stars Jason Danieley and Marin Mazzie join the Boston Pops on June 5, 6, and 8 for a tribute to American songwriter Cole Porter. This two-part program will feature the Pops performing music from Porter and his contemporaries, including Richard Rodger’s Overture to Babes in Arms and Carousel Waltz, Jerome Kern’s Pick Yourself Up from Swing Time, and a selection of Gershwin love songs, such as Love Walked In, Someone to Watch Over Me, and The Man I Love. Ms. Mazzie and Mr. Danieley join the Orchestra after intermission for a selection of tunes from Porter himself, including Another Opening, Another Show, It’s De-Lovely, Anything Goes, and So In Love. Celebrated young clarinetist Narek Arutyunian will be featured with the Pops on the 61st annual Armenian Night on June 8.
GOSPEL NIGHT CELEBRATES 20 YEARS, JUNE 9
Charles Floyd and the Boston Pops Gospel Choir, his all-volunteer chorus, celebrate the 20th annual Gospel Night on June 9, an evening of spirit-raising traditional and contemporary American gospel music. To celebrate this milestone of one of the most popular programs every season, the Boston Pops Gospel Choir will also be joined by American Idol’s Melinda Doolittle and gospel singer Crystal Aikin, the first-season winner of BET’s Sunday’s Best. Boston Pops cellist Owen Young will also perform a new Concerto for Cello and Orchestra written by the multi-talented Maestro Floyd.
THE WILD WEST, JUNE 12 & 13
Americans have always looked west, so this year at Symphony Hall, the genre-trailblazing Time For Three will help the Pops pay tribute to the Wild West on June 12 and 13. On this program the Boston Pops present a round-up of the rowdy and unforgettable frontier music from such films as The Magnificent Seven and Silverado. Violinists Zachary De Pue and Nicolas Kendall and double bassist Ranaan Meyer of Time for Three will take the stage during the second set to perform tunes in their classical, country western, gypsy, and jazz-infused style. The young, dynamic threesome, often described as a ‘classically-trained garage band,’ are as at home and virtuosic with Bach’s music as they are improvising on Kanye West.
VISIONS OF AMERICA MAY 22 & 26, JUNE 14-16
This spring, “America’s Orchestra” celebrates what unites us, the United States-the heart, imagination, and spirit of American musical traditions. Many of this season’s spring Pops concerts will feature the “Visions of America Photo-Symphony,” a stirring, multimedia work inspired by the striking images of photo-historian Joseph Sohm. Sohm’s sweeping photographic portrait of American life is set to compelling music by the acclaimed Roger Kellaway and lyrics by world-renowned Alan and Marilyn Bergman. A former American history teacher, Joseph Sohm has traveled more than one million miles over the last thirty years to capture the spirit of America in photographs. The compelling “Visions of America Photo Symphony” is a realized expression of his dream to create a portrait of our great country.The groundbreaking multimedia project will feature acclaimed vocalists Patti Austin and Steve Tyrell on June 14, 15, and 16, recorded narration by Clint Eastwood, a youth chorus, and the winning images from Joseph Sohm’s book Visions of America-Photographing Democracy.
Performances on May 22 and 26 will begin with a tribute to the heart of New England, featuring The Alcotts movement of Charles Ives’s Concord Symphony, selections from Fall River Legend by Morton Gould, and John Williams’s Hymn to New England accompanying a video celebration of the 30th Anniversary of Channel 5′s Chronicle. This video was created by award-winning WCVB and Chronicle producer, editor, and cinematographer Art Donahue. Beloved vocalist Maureen McGovern will join the Boston Pops on May 26 to sing music from the Broadway musical Little Women. This section, as well as Ives’s Concord Symphony, pay tribute to Little Women author Louisa May Alcott who lived in Concord, MA at the Orchard House.
Opening Night at Pops and the entire 2012 Boston Pops season are sponsored by Fidelity Investments®. The June 5th Cole Porter Tribute concert is sponsored by The Fairmont Copley Plaza Hotel, celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2012. The Fairmont Copley Plaza Hotel is the official Hotel of the Boston Pops. The City of Champions Series (May 23-25) is sponsored by Arbella Insurance Group Charitable Foundation. Commonwealth Worldwide is the Official Chauffeured Transportation Provider of the Boston Pops. American Airlines is the Airline Partner of the Boston Pops.
Tickets for the 2012 Boston Pops season at Symphony Hall are priced from $22-$92. All performances start at 8 PM, except for the Family Matinee on May 12 at 3PM. Tickets for “Opening Night at Pops” on May 9 are priced from $41 to $125.
Tickets may be purchased online at www.bostonpops.org or by phone through SymphonyCharge at 617-266-1200 or 888-266-1200, Monday through Saturday from 10 AM to 6 PM (with a $6.25 handling fee for each ticket ordered online or by phone). Tickets may also be purchased in person at the Symphony Hall box office, open 10 AM to 6 PM, Monday through Friday, and noon to 6 PM on Saturday. On concert days during the Pops season, the box office remains open until 8:30 PM. Most major credit cards and cash are accepted at the box office. For Group Sales of 25 or more, please call 617-638-9345 or 800-933-4255.
Ticket packages to “Presidents at Pops,” the BSO’s exclusive spring corporate gala, start at $5,500 and include floor and balcony tickets with a sponsor page in the evening’s commemorative program book. Lead Sponsorships are available from $25,000 to $75,000, and include premium seating, full-color sponsor pages, sponsorship of children at DARTS (Days in the Arts at Tanglewood), the BSO’s summer arts immersion camp in the Berkshires, membership in the BSO Business Partners, as well as recognition at the event and throughout the Pops season.
The Boston Symphony has a dedicated line for disabled patrons who would like to purchase tickets to BSO, Boston Pops, or Tanglewood concerts, or who need information about disability services at Symphony Hall or Tanglewood. This line can be reached by dialing 617-638-9431. For access via TDD/TTY, please call 617-638-9289. Patrons with disabilities can access Symphony Hall through the Cohen Wing on Huntington Avenue or through the Massachusetts Avenue entrance.