Tue, Jan 22, 2019 — 7:40 pm
Events and Activities
Jeff Tyzik Conducts the Rochester Philharmonic at The College at Brockport
Two spectacular musical forces converge when Jeff Tyzik, Principal Pops Conductor of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, conducts a program celebrating the Leonard Bernstein Centennial at the Tower Fine Arts Center on Friday, November 2, 2018, at 7:30 pm. Tickets are $17/General, $12/Senior Citizens, Brockport Alumni, Faculty and Staff, and $9/Students.
Featured in the concert are some of Bernstein’s most acclaimed musical theatre compositions, including the Overture from Candide. This 1956 adaptation of Voltaire’s satire was a 76-performance flop at the time, but—mercifully—recorded. Once people heard the marvelous score, revisions and revivals abounded through the years, culminating in a 1974 Broadway run of nearly two years. This staging, by Harold Prince (a producer of Bernstein’s next Broadway work, West Side Story), was then adapted for opera houses across the globe in the years that followed. A flop turned into a hit.
West Side Story will be represented by a medley of songs from the landmark 1957 musical. As big a hit as this show was, it was not without fits and starts while in production. Its original producer abandoned the production because of the violence and hatred it depicted. Greeted with rave reviews, the show settled in for a nearly two year-run on Broadway. It then toured, and returned to Broadway for another six months. This was a substantial run back in the day, but the show did not attain legendary status until its Academy Award-winning motion picture was released. (Johnny Mathis’ recordings of several songs from the show didn’t hurt, either.)
On the Town is the show that made Bernstein (as well as his collaborators, Betty Comden and Adolph Green) Broadway mainstays. A tale of three sailors on 24-hour leave in New York City (based on the ballet Fancy Free, for which Bernstein also supplied the score), the show opened in the fall of 1944. America was winning the war, but it wasn’t over yet. We needed a fanciful tale of three servicemen and the three women who win their hearts (for the day, at least) to lift our own hearts. And New York needed a song like “New York, New York” to tout its geography and transportation: “The Bronx is up and the Battery’s down… the people ride in a hole in the ground...”
Rounding out the program is Tyzik’s own composition, “Concerto for Jazz Violin and Orchestra,” which was composed with the RPO’s concertmaster/violinist, Juliana Athayde, in mind. Crossing over jazz with classical music is something that always interested Tyzik. “Juliana is a gifted violinist who is an extraordinary classical musician. She is also a true jazz musician who understands the unique performance styles associated with this genre.” But, he recalls, “I had to decide if this would be a classical piece that had jazz influences or a jazz piece with classical influences. Improvisation had to be part of the musical tapestry as well… In this concerto, most of what Juliana plays is composed, although it may often sound improvised to the listener.”
Please note: Parking Lot G, adjacent to the Tower Fine Arts Center, will be closed to the public. Please allow a few extra minutes to find parking in Lots D-1, F or H.