The Malloy Lecture in the Arts Presents "Bernstein on Broadway"

Monday, Oct 22, 2018 7:30 PM - 9:00 PM

This event is currently sold out. Please contact the Quick Center box office at 203-254-4010 or by email at boxoffice [at] quickcenter [dot] com to be added to a waiting list.

This special evening focuses on the life and contributions of the legendary composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein and, specifically, on his influence on modern American musical theater. The evening is part of the worldwide celebration of his 100th birthday and includes a panel discussion with two of Bernstein’s children, Nina Bernstein Simmons and Alexander Bernstein, moderated by conductor, composer and producer George Steel. The discussion will be enhanced with extraordinary archival Bernstein family footage showing scenes of their life in Fairfield, summers in Martha’s Vineyard, and elsewhere.

 

The second half of the evening will feature live musical performances of some of Bernstein’s most iconic pieces including selections from West Side Story, On the Town and Wonderful Town. The selections will be performed by Broadway soloists, including Tony Award nominee Tony Yazbeck, Amy Owens and Bryonha Marie Parham. The evening will also include a special performance by the Staples High School Orphenians. The evening’s Musical Director Michael Barrett will perform a four-hand piano arrangement of the Candide Overture with celebrated pianist Frederic Chiu. The Executive Producer of “Live From Lincoln Center” and member of the Westport Library Board of Trustees, Andrew C. Wilk, is the Executive Producer of this program.

Register online for tickets to this free event; registration will be available beginning 10 am on Monday, September 24. The Malloy Lecture in the Arts is made possible by a generous contribution from the late Westport artist Susan Malloy. 

For updates please check the Westport Library website: westportlibrary.org.

Note location: Quick Center for the Arts at Fairfield University, 200 Barlow Road, Fairfield, CT

The Malloy Lecture in the Arts is made possible by a generous contribution from Westport artist Susan Malloy. The Westport Library created the lecture series in 2002 as a free, public annual discussion by an individual who has had a significant cultural influence and whose work has enhanced the understanding and appreciation of the arts.

Past programs have included Philippe de Montebello, Director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art; distinguished playwright Arthur Miller; artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude; musicians Joshua Bell and Frederic Chiu; poet-laureate Billy Collins; Vartan Gregorian, President of the Carnegie Corporation; author Joyce Carol Oates; cartoonist Roz Chast; actor Christopher Plummer; stage, film and theater star John Lithgow; preeminent classical dancer Jacques d'Amboise; music legend Clive Davis, author Salman Rushdie, and Falsettos: In Conversation.

Leonard Bernstein (August 25, 1918-October 14, 1990) was a world-renowned conductor and composer, and one of classical music's icons of the 20th century. He was Music Director of the New York Philharmonic and conducted the world's major orchestras, leaving behind an enormous legacy of audio and video recordings. His books, as well as the much-beloved televised Young People's Concerts with the New York Philharmonic, established him as a leading educator. His orchestral and choral works include three symphonies (No. 1 "Jeremiah", No. 2 "Age of Anxiety", and No. 3 "Kaddish"), Serenade, Mass, Chichester Psalms, Songfest, Divertimento for Orchestra, Arias and Barcarolles, and Concerto for Orchestra. Bernstein's works for the Broadway stage include On the Town, Wonderful Town, Candide and the immensely popular West Side Story. In addition to the West Side Story collaboration, Mr. Bernstein worked with choreographer Jerome Robbins on three major ballets, Fancy Free, Facsimile and Dybbuk. Mr. Bernstein was the recipient of many honors, including eleven Emmy Awards, one Tony Award, the Lifetime Achievement Grammy Award, and the Kennedy Center Honors. 
Leonard Bernstein Photo by Paul de Hueck, Courtesy of the Leonard Bernstein Office
 

Nina Bernstein Simmons is Leonard Bernstein's youngest daughter. After several years working as an actress, initially at the American Repertory Theatre in Cambridge, she turned her attention to tending her late father's legacy. In the earliest days of the internet, she worked with the Library of Congress on making the Bernstein Archives digitally available to the public. The fruits of that collaboration can be seen at the Library's American Memory website. From 2000 until 2005, Nina worked on a film about her sister, Jamie, and her remarkable journeys around the world bringing Bernstein's music and teaching legacy to new audiences. Leonard Bernstein: A Total Embrace premiered in Germany in December of 2005. Since 2008, Nina has been working as a food educator in underserved communities.

Alexander Bernstein is Leonard Bernstein's second child. He is president of Artful Learning, Inc., and founding chairman of The Leonard Bernstein Center For Learning. Prior to his full-time participation in the center, Bernstein taught for five years at the Packer-Collegiate Institute in Brooklyn, New York, first as a second grade teacher, then as a teacher of drama for the middle school. He has studied acting, performed professionally, and worked as a production associate at the ABC News Documentary Unit. Bernstein holds a Master's degree in English education from New York University and a Bachelor's degree from Harvard University.
Nina & Alex Bernstein Photos by Steve Sherman, 2017

George Steel is the founder and conductor of two acclaimed ensembles, the Vox Vocal Ensemble (founded in 1990) and the Gotham City Orchestra (in 1998), and he has worked around the world as a producer, conductor, composer, singer, pianist, teacher, musicologist, and impresario. In the words of the New York Times, he is “a spokesman of national stature about ways to make classical music matter to new generations of listeners.”

As a conductor, Steel is equally at home in the music of six centuries, being a “specialist” in several distinct kinds of music. He has conducted dozens of world premieres for orchestra, chorus, or both. An advocate for early music, he has conducted hundreds of acclaimed performances with his group Vox Vocal Ensemble, and has created or commissioned dozens of editions of early music, including publishing the complete works of composer Robert Parsons (d. 1572) online, which has led to a wave of performances and recordings.

As an impresario, Steel has produced ballet, opera, theater, films, recordings, art installations, and concerts.  For his work, Steel has twice received the Chamber Music America Award for Adventurous Programming, as well as the inaugural Trailblazer Award from the American Music Center and the ASCAP Concert Music Award. New York magazine named him as one of the most influential people in New York.

Tony Yazbeck was most recently seen on Broadway in the Susan Stroman/Harold Prince helmed Prince of Broadway after appearing in the original Japan production (Chita Rivera Award, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Award nominations). Tony was recently seen in Manhattan Concert Productions 25th Anniversary concert of Crazy For You, directed and choreographed by Susan Stroman. Prior to that, he starred in the Broadway production of Finding Neverland. For the 2014 Broadway revival of On the Town, he won the coveted Astaire Award and was nominated for Tony, Drama League, and Outer Critics Circle Awards for his virtuosic performance. His other Broadway credits include Chicago (Billy Flynn), Irving Berlin’s White Christmas (Phil Davis), Gypsy opposite Patti LuPone (Tulsa; Outer Critics Circle nomination), A Chorus Line (Al), Oklahoma!, Never Gonna Dance and Gypsy with Tyne Daly. Off-Broadway credits include Beast in the Jungle (Vineyard Theatre), Fanny Hill (at the York) and for City Center Encores!, he has appeared in Little Me, On the Town, Gypsy, The Apple Tree, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn and Pardon My English. Regional credits include Alliance, Barrington, Williamstown, Hartford Stage, Goodman, St. Louis MUNY, Goodspeed (Connecticut Critics Circle Award), Signature (Helen Hayes Award), Trinity Rep, Paper Mill, and Old Globe. Yazbeck was seen internationally in Kiss Me, Kate at the Royal Albert Hall in London. TV/Film credits include “Billions,” “Smash” and the feature documentary Every Little Step. Concert appearances include the San Francisco Symphony with Michael Tilson Thomas, Carnegie Hall with the New York Pops and Steven Reineke, and Bernstein at 100 concert with Michael Barrett and The National Symphony Orchestra at Wolf Trap. Tony also stars in his own song and dance show. His debut album "The Floor Above Me" has been released digitally and on CD by P. S. Classics.
 

Amy Owens enjoys a diverse career in concert work, opera, new music, and alternative pop. She has appeared in concert in venues ranging from Wolf Trap to Carnegie Hall with renowned orchestras across the United States, including the National Symphony Orchestra, Utah Symphony, Reno Philharmonic, Omaha Symphony, Virginia Symphony, Buffalo Philharmonic, and New Mexico Philharmonic. Her operatic engagements have taken her to Santa Fe Opera, Wolf Trap Opera, Dallas Opera, Utah Opera, Central City Opera, On Site Opera, and others. She appears regularly with the New York Festival of Song, and she has collaborated with many composers including William Bolcom, Matthew Aucoin, Bright Sheng, and Paola Prestini. Her debut album of original music, HAETHOR, was released Spring 2018 to acclaim in the electronica world. This year, she was selected to participate in the Hart Institute for Women Conductors at Dallas Opera. She has received awards from several organizations, including the Sullivan Foundation, the George London Foundation, the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, and the Santa Fe Opera. Amy holds degrees in vocal performance from Rice University and Brigham Young University. 
 

Bryonha Marie Parham most recently made her mark in the Hal Prince-Susan Stroman directed Broadway retrospective Prince Of Broadway, in which she created not just three distinct roles, but three different worlds. From the winsome shop girl Amalia of She Loves Me; to the British chanteuse of Cabaret; to an indelible Queenie from Show Boat, Bryonha proved herself an actress-singer-dancer of astonishing range and versatility. Bryonha is equally comfortable on Broadway (Prince of Broadway representing her 5th Broadway show) or the Opera House (Bernstein’s Mass with the Philadelphia Orchestra, Ricky Ian Gordon’s upcoming adaptation of Lynn Nottage’s Intimate Apparel, Metropolitan Opera, spring of 2018).

Bryonha first made Broadway take notice in the acclaimed Kennedy Center revival of Ragtime, where she tore off the roof with the scorching Act 1 finale; then for director Diane Paulus’ Tony-winning revival of Porgy & Bess, she broke audience’s hearts with her searing rendition of the mournful, show-stopping aria “My Man’s Gone Now.” Other appearances on the great stem include featured roles in After Midnight and Book Of Mormon.

In addition to her career on Broadway, Bryonha has graced major regional theatre stages, having twice essayed the role of Effie in Dreamgirls in critically acclaimed, award-nominated turns; a groundbreaking voice of the Plant in Little Shop Of Horrors; and the Beggar Woman in Sweeney Todd for “Live At Lincoln Center.”

Hailing from Kansas City, Missouri, Bryonha is a graduate of the Music Theatre Department at Illinois Wesleyan University. She currently resides in Manhattan.
 

Michael Barrett Michael Barrett has had an impressive career as an impresario, creating new festivals and programs, and providing executive leadership at crucial periods for the Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts (2003-2012) and 92Y (1994-97). As assistant conductor to Leonard Bernstein from 1985-1990, Mr. Barrett inherited the legendary maestro’s passion for the teaching of people of all ages, as well as a wide-ranging knowledge and interest in a variety of music. Known for his exciting and unusual programming, Barrett has founded and built two successful music festivals- the New York Festival of Song (NYFOS) in New York City (1987), and the Moab Music Festival (MMF) in Moab, Utah (1992). He currently serves as Co-Artistic Director and Music Director respectively.

As a conductor and pianist Mr. Barrett has appeared with leading orchestras, dance, and opera companies in over a dozen countries. His interest in music education has led to the development of successful programs with NYFOS, the Moab Music Festival, and the creation of BarBer Adventures, a company which develops and presents concerts and materials for young audiences and families. He is dedicated to the performance of new music and has participated in and commissioned over 90 new works. He was Chief Executive and General Director of Caramoor from 2003-2012, producing over 80 events per season; Director of the Tisch Center for the Arts at New York's’ 92nd Street Y from 1994-1997, overseeing the production and presentation of 100 concerts per season, and 40 events at the Unterberg Poetry Center, presiding over the Center’s first balanced budget in over a decade.
 

Frederic Chiu Frederic Chiu performs in major venues on five continents: Lincoln Center in New York, Kennedy Center in Washington, The Chatelet in Paris, the Mozarteum in Buenos Aires, as well as touring extensively in smaller and unusual venues. He collaborates with Classical music friends Joshua Bell, Pierre Amoyal, Gary Hoffman and the St Lawrence String Quartet, as well as non-Classical friends like jazz pianist Bob James or storyteller David Gonzalez, to bring the vivid live concert experience to all audiences. 

He is known for his innovative programming, including “Classical Smackdown”, where composers face off in head-to-head comparisons, with listeners voting for their favorite composer: Debussy vs. Prokofiev, Bach vs. Glass, etc. Results tracked at ClassicalSmackdown.com. He created the arts non-profit, Beechwood Arts & Innovation, to further the collaboration across art genres and the use of the arts to create community. He is preparing for Romeo & Juliet: The Choice, an innovative and provocative production of the Prokofiev ballet.

Frederic Chiu has over 27 recordings, including the most extensive complete piano works of Prokofiev, and works of Chopin, Liszt, Ravel, Mendelssohn, Brahms, Rossini and Grieg, as well as the Beethoven/Liszt Symphony V and the solo piano version of Carnival of the Animals. His latest projects include “Hymns and Dervishes,” music of Gurdjieff/de Hartmann, and Distant Voices: Music of Claude Debussy & Gao Ping. A regular on St. Paul Sunday and Performance Today, he is a favorite of public radios across the country.
Frederic Chiu photo credit Chris Craymer
 

Andrew C. Wilk is a multiple Emmy Award-winning producer and director whose career has encompassed leading roles in many areas of commercial and educational content. Since his arrival at Lincoln Center in 2011, he has served as Executive Producer of “Live From Lincoln
Center” for 40 national broadcasts on PBS. Program highlights during Andrew’s tenure include Lincoln Center Theater’s production of Falsettos on Broadway which was nominated for 5 Tony Awards, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street starring Emma Thompson (Primetime Emmy Award), Kern & Hammerstein’s Show Boat (also as Director), Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Carousel (Emmy Award nominated), Audra McDonald’s Go Back Home (also as Director), Danny Elfman’s Music From The Films of Tim Burton (also as Director), The Nance starring Nathan Lane, Lang Lang’s New York Rhapsody (also as Director), and Joshua Bell: Seasons of Cuba (also as Director). His productions also include the New York Philharmonic’s opening night gala concerts as well as the New York Philharmonic’s New Year’s Eve specials, all on PBS. Andrew’s most recent mini-series on PBS, STARS IN CONCERT featured solo one-hour specials by Leslie Odom, Jr., Sutton Foster, Andrew Rannells, and Stephanie J. Block.

Andrew also launched and was Executive Producer for Lincoln Center’s foray into in-cinema entertainment. Lincoln Center at the Movies productions include films with four prominent dance companies: New York City Ballet, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, San Francisco Ballet and Ballet Hispanico.

Prior to his work at Lincoln Center, Andrew served as Chief Creative Officer of Sony Music Entertainment where he oversaw all visual content for Sony’s label groups and spearheaded Sony’s digital expansion. Andrew also served as Executive Vice President of Programming and Production for the National Geographic Channel, where he launched the channel in 2001 and developed all of its initial programming. Andrew also helmed the famed National Geographic Specials as seen on both NBC and PBS. Andrew has won five personal Emmy Awards and has received 15 nominations. Over the course of his career, he has produced and/or directed more than 1,000 television shows. Andrew continues his work as a conductor of live symphonic concerts when time permits. During his career, he has directed a vast array of eclectic artists from Beverly Sills, Michael Tilson Thomas and Zubin Mehta, to Peter Ustinov, Tom Brokaw and Jim Henson’s Muppets. Andrew received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from New York University.
 

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