Perspectives

Andris Nelson conducts the Boston Symphon y Orchestra, 8/25/18. Photo by Chris Lee

Great Performances: The Bernstein Centennial Celebration at Tanglewood Premieres Friday, December 28 at 9


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Great Performances: The Bernstein Centennial Celebration at Tanglewood Premieres Friday, December 28 on PBS to Honor the 100th Birthday of Music Legend Leonard Bernstein

Boston Symphony Orchestra gala concert hosted by Audra McDonald features Andris Nelsons, John Williams, Keith Lockhart, Michael Tilson Thomas, Isabel Leonard, Yo-Yo Ma, Susan Graham, Jessica Vosk, Tony Yazbeck and more

Boston Symphony Orchestra
Photo by Chris Lee

In honor of Leonard Bernstein’s 100th birthday, Tanglewood—the famed summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra—dedicated its entire 2018 season to the iconic composer, conductor, performer, educator and humanitarian. The festivities culminated on Bernstein’s centennial birthday on August 25, 2018, in a special celebrity-studded gala concert, with every memorable moment captured for a worldwide audience by Great Performances. Great Performances: The Bernstein Centennial Celebration at Tanglewood features some of the world’s leading performers and musicians from the classical stage, opera and musical theater in a tribute to the music legend. The program premieres nationwide Friday, December 28 at 9 p.m. on WOUB and will be available to stream the following day via pbs.org/gperf and PBS apps.

Hosted by film, television and theater star Audra McDonald, Great Performances: The Bernstein Centennial Celebration at Tanglewood features appearances by prominent conductors Andris Nelsons, Christoph Eschenbach, Keith Lockhart, John Williams and Michael Tilson Thomas leading an incredible orchestra made up of musicians from some of the organizations most important to Bernstein. Joining the Boston Symphony Orchestra (BSO) are performers from the New York Philharmonic, Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra, Pacific Music Festival, and Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival. World-renowned classical music artists Midori, Thomas Hampson, Isabel Leonard, Yo-Yo Ma, Kian Soltani, Nadine Sierra and Susan Graham perform during the centennial celebration, along with leading Broadway talent Jessica Vosk and Tony Yazbeck, and the Tanglewood Festival Chorus.

Directed for the stage by James Darrah, Great Performances: The Bernstein Centennial Celebration at Tanglewood illuminates the breadth of Bernstein’s incredible life and career, which inspired generations of music lovers around the globe – from his talent as a composer to his generosity in mentoring other composers and musicians, his inimitable role as a driving musical force at Tanglewood for over 50 years and more.

Song List

Boston Symphony Orchestra

Overture to “Candide,” Leonard Bernstein
Andris Nelsons conducting

First movement “Phaedrus; Pausanias (Lento¬–Allegro)” from “Serenade (after Plato’s Symposium),” Leonard Bernstein
Christoph Eschenbach conducting
Midori, violin

Meditation No. 3 from “Mass,” Leonard Bernstein
Christoph Eschenbach conducting
Kian Soltani, cello

“Kaddish 2” from Symphony No. 3, “Kaddish,” Leonard Bernstein
Keith Lockhart conducting
Nadine Sierra, soprano
Women of the Tanglewood Festival Chorus

Selections from “West Side Story”: “Prologue,” “Jet Song,” “Maria,” “A boy like that – I have a love,” “Tonight (Quintet),” Leonard Bernstein
Michael Tilson Thomas conductoing; Joshua Bergasse, choreographer
Performed by Isabel Leonard, Jessica Vosk, Tony Yazbeck and other Broadway artists

“Der Schildwache Nachtlied” from “Des Knaben Wunderhorn,” Gustav Mahler
Andris Nelsons conducting
Thomas Hampson, baritone

Finale of “Appalachian Spring,” Aaron Copland
Michael Tilson Thomas conducting

“Highwood’s Ghost,” An Encounter, John Williams
John Williams conducting
Yo-Yo Ma, cello; Jessica Zhou, harp

Finale from Symphony No. 2, “Resurrection,” Gustav Mahler
Andris Nelsons conducting
Nadine Sierra, soprano; Susan Graham, mezzo-soprano
Tanglewood Festival Chorus

“Somewhere” from “West Side Story” (Grand Finale), Leonard Bernstein
Andris Nelsons conducting
Performed by entire lineup of guest artists

Christoph Eschenbach conducts the Boston Symphony Orchestra with Midori as soloist at Tanglewood Music Festival, 8/25/18. Photo by Chris Lee

Throughout its more than 40-year history on public television, Great Performances has provided viewers across the country with an unparalleled showcase of the best in all genres of the performing arts, serving as America’s most prestigious and enduring broadcaster of cultural programming. In addition to The Bernstein Centennial Celebration at Tanglewood, music icon Leonard Bernstein and his works have been featured in numerous other Great Performances specials over the years, including Leonard Bernstein: The Gift of Music (1993), Leonard Bernstein’s Candide (2005), Carnegie Hall Opening Night 2008: A Celebration of Leonard Bernstein (2008), a Boston Pops performance of “Times Square: 1944” in Tanglewood 75th Anniversary Celebration (2012) and many more.

Great Performances: The Bernstein Centennial Celebration at Tanglewood is a production of THIRTEEN Productions LLC for WNET, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Inc, C Major Entertainment, NHK and WDR. Directed for television by David Horn. For Great Performances: John Walker and Richard R. Schilling are producers; Bill O’Donnell is series producer; David Horn is executive producer.

Major support for this Great Performances program is provided by The Joseph and Robert Cornell Memorial Foundation, the Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Arts Fund, the Irene Diamond Fund, Rosalind P. Walter, the LuEsther T. Mertz Charitable Trust, The Agnes Varis Trust, The Starr Foundation, the Kate W. Cassidy Foundation, The Philip and Janice Levin Foundation, Ellen and James S. Marcus, The Abra Prentice Foundation, the Lillian Goldman Programming Endowment, Jody and John Arnhold and PBS.