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Bernstein/Bolcom Celebration, NYC, Sep 25, 2008

Tuesday and Thursday, SEPTEMBER 23 & 25, 2008
Merkin Concert Hall

A Bernstein / Bolcom Celebration

A tribute to two of New York Festival of Song s guiding lights, Leonard Bernstein and William Bolcom, quintessential American composers and great spirits who have long provided wisdom, guidance, and music to NYFOS. Songs from Bernstein's Peter Pan, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Songfest, Wonderful Town, On the Town, Arias and Barcarolles; Bolcom's Cabaret Songs, I Will Breathe a Mountain, Briefly It Enters, McTeague; and a special appearance by Joan Morris and William Bolcom, who will share signature songs from their repertoire.

Artists: Sari Gruber, soprano; Rebecca Jo Loeb, mezzo-soprano; Joan Morris, mezzo-soprano; Renée Tatum, mezzo-soprano; Alex Mansoori, tenor; William Sharp, baritone; Marc Webster, bass; William Bolcom, Steven Blier and Michael Barrett, piano

New York Festival Of Song (NYFOS, www.nyfos.org), co-founded and directed by pianists Steven Blier and Michael Barrett, who reinvented the song recital during the 1990 s with daring and dramatic programming (The New Yorker), announces its 21st season (2008-2009).

The company's New York City concerts begin on September 23 at the newly renovated Merkin Concert Hall at Kaufman Center, with A Bernstein / Bolcom Celebration. The concert pays tribute to two of NYFOS s guiding lights, Leonard Bernstein and William Bolcom; Bolcom and his wife, mezzo-soprano Joan Morris, will cap the evening with a selection of songs from their vast repertoire. The program also celebrates the ninetieth birthday of NYFOS s Founding Advisor, Leonard Bernstein, who bestowed the American premiere of his last work, Arias and Barcarolles, to the newly-formed company. Their subsequent recording of the work in 1989, with Judy Kaye and William Sharp, earned the composer a posthumous Grammy Award for Best New Composition.

Other concert programs this year include Fugitives (Nov. 18 and 20), works by composers who fled Europe during Hitler s rise to power; and Voices of the Jewish Diaspora (Feb. 10 and 12), songs in many languages from the worldwide Jewish community.

In December, 2008, Bridge Records will release an original cast recording of John Musto s Bastianello and William Bolcom s Lucrezia, the critically acclaimed one-act comic operas commissioned and premiered by NYFOS last season.

Merkin Concert Hall at Kaufman Center is at 129 West 67th Street, New York, NY 10023. Subscriptions are available by writing to the box office at Merkin Concert Hall at Kaufman Center, or by calling (212) 501-3330, or online at www.kaufman-center.org. Free tickets for the January 14 concert at Juilliard will be available at The Juilliard School s box office beginning January 5.

Guest artists at NYFOS for 2008-2009 include mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke, the Lucrezia in Bastianello / Lucrezia last spring, and soon to sing Kitty Oppenheimer in the Metropolitan Opera s New York Premiere of Doctor Atomic; mezzo-soprano Kate Lindsey, who will be seen as Cherubino and in many other roles at the Metropolitan this season; tenor Joseph Kaiser, the Tamino of the Kenneth Branagh film version of The Magic Flute, and Narraboth in the Met s Salome this year as well as at Covent Garden; soprano Dina Kuznetsova, featured in NYFOS s Obsession à la Russe, who will star as Alice Ford in a new production of Falstaff at Glyndebourne, and will appear with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center; and mezzo-soprano Rinat Shaham, who will be featured in opera and concert at Paris Theatre de la Champs-Élysées and the Lucerne Festival.

On its touring schedule, NYFOS brings Bastianello / Lucrezia, the acclaimed double-bill of one-act comic operas by William Bolcom and John Musto with librettos by Mark Campbell, to the Moab Music Festival in Utah on September 5; The Last Time I Saw Paris, French song from The Jazz Age to post-World War II, to the Robbie Colomore Concert Series in Chester, Connecticut (October 26) and the Andover Chamber Music Series in Massachusetts (November 9); Fugitives to the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., presented by the Vocal Arts Society (November 14); Voices of the Jewish Diaspora to the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center at the University of Maryland at College Park (February 15); and Songs of the Irish Poets to the Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts in Katonah, NY (March 14).

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