Czech Philharmonic & Keith Lockhart
Copland / Barber / Bernstein
Partners of the concert
Date of EventFriday, 25.5. 2018 from 20.00
Expected end of the concert 22.00
Event placeMunicipal House – Smetana Hall
Price400 - 2 200 CZK Sold out
- Aaron Copland: EI Salón México
- Samuel Barber: Essay No. 2 Op. 17
- Leonard Bernstein: On the Waterfront, symphonic suite
- Leonard Bernstein: „Bernstein on Broadway“
- Czech Philharmonic
- Keith Lockhart - conductor
- Celinda Schoenmaker - singer
- Anna Jane Casey - singer
- Damian Humbley - singer
- Adrian der Gregorian - singer
- Vojtěch Dyk - singer
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- Possibility of selecting a place
- Possibility to buy the program along with a ticket
- For young audiences up to 27 years of age. More here.
New – Mastercard Lounge
Order refreshments at intermission and avoid standing in a queue! During concert intermissions at the Municipal House, the Mastercard Lounge with a special menu will be open to Mastercard holders. You will receive a voucher entitling you the enter the salon, which is otherwise restricted.
For more information please click here.
Tribute to Leonard Bernstein
The festival will commemorate the one-hundredth anniversary of the birth of Leonard Bernstein with a concert of his Broadway music including West Side Story. The programme will also include music by Aaron Copland and Samuel Barber. Conducting the Czech Philharmonic will be Keith Lockhart, and the performers will include singers from London’s West End along with the singer and actor Vojtěch Dyk. Bernstein made his European debut at the age of twenty-eight in Prague.
Just two and a half years separated his international conducting debut at the first annual Prague Spring festival in 1946 and his performance as a stand-in with the New York Philharmonic, which had earlier catapulted him on his path to join the best and the brightest. Bernstein conducted two Czech Philharmonic concerts in the Czechoslovak capital at the invitation of Rafael Kubelík, the orchestra’s young chief conductor at the time. The concert on 15 May 1946 also inspired the programme for Prague Spring 2018 – the same works by Copland and Barber played back then will be heard again.
Leonard Bernstein soon earned fame not only as the conductor of the New York Philharmonic and other great orchestras around the world, but also as a television star popularising classical music. As a conductor and an experienced performer with Jewish roots, he had to his credit, among other things, the promotion of the music of Gustav Mahler, whose time had finally come in the mid-twentieth century, when his works became part of the standard repertoire. He also earned himself a place in cultural history as a composer. In 1956, he composed Candide, a stimulating and successful work on the border between an opera and a musical, based on Voltaire’s satiric novella. The concert will also feature Bernstein’s music to the Oscar-winning film On The Waterfront (1954) and melodies from the musical On The Town (1949).
In the musical West Side Story, based on the story of two lovers from the families of New York street gangs of different ethnic groups, he created a stirring modern parallel to the story of Romeo and Juliet, and part of that parallel is purely musical. West Side Story has become one of the milestones of twentieth-century music – especially because of the composer’s ability to make a unique combination of the world of dance and more advanced music. The premiere took place in 1957, and the production was given hundreds of repeat performances. Since its first performance on Broadway, West Side Story has been in the repertoire almost without interruption on stages around the world. The 1961 film version won ten Oscars.
Leonard Bernstein was a guest at Prague Spring in 1947. Like Kubelík, he announced following the communist putsch in 1948 that he would not return to Czechoslovakia until the fall of the totalitarian regime. And in fact, like Kubelík, Bernstein did not come back until four decades later, in 1990. He came to the first Prague Spring after the revolution and conducted Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. He was seventy-two years old. He died that autumn.
Many see the music of Aaron Copland as being nearly synonymous with American music in general. His most iconic work is the Fanfare for the Common Man, and he is the composer of the “cowboy ballet” Rodeo. He succeeded at writing music full of patriotism, celebrating the Wild West and Abraham Lincoln. His music for the ballet El Salón México, from which a suite will be played, was inspired by a visit to a country ruled by a left-wing regime.
Another leading American composer in 1946 was Samuel Barber. He composed his Essay for Orchestra in 1942 for the one-hundredth anniversary of the founding of the New York Philharmonic. At the time of Bernstein’s guest appearance, the Czech Philharmonic, which was conducted by Antonín Dvořák at its first concert, had been in existence for fifty years.
Conducting the Prague Spring concert dedicated to the one-hundredth anniversary of Leonard Bernstein’s birth will be Keith Lockhart.
“Along with his technical skill and versatility as a musician, Lockhart’s capacity for reaching a broad range of audience members across an equally broad range of circumstances — from Fourth of July extravaganzas viewed around the world to quieter events no less meaningful at Boston Children’s Hospital — have earned him the respect of his players,” wrote the Boston Globe after one of his performances. Keith Lockhart, known from television programs and ceremonies accompanied by music, has conducted many American and European orchestras in the classical repertoire. He has conducted operas in the USA, and he is the artistic director of the summer courses at the Brevard Music Center in South Carolina. For nearly a quarter century, his name has been associated with the Boston Pops Orchestra, which is the top ensemble in the interpretation of film music, musicals, and music bridging the gap between the classical and popular idioms.
The presence of the actor and singer Vojtěch Dyk for this programme also is no surprise. It is enough to recall his great success in 2016 in a series of performances in the leading role of the Celebrant in Bernstein’s Mass.