February 24, 2016
Jamie Bernstein: Narrator/Host Extraordinaire
This weekend’s Encounters concerts “The Lure of the Latin: Northern Composers Lean South” feature the welcome return of classical music go-to person Jamie Bernstein. She brings her expert contextualization back to New World Symphony for her twelfth visit as concert narrator.
Ms. Bernstein’s NWS debut was in the Family concerts of March 2004 where she led her own presentation of “The Bernstein Beat” featuring the music of her father Leonard Bernstein. Since the introduction of our Encounters series during the 2010-11 season (then called “Symphony With A Splash”), Ms. Bernstein has served as the de facto ‘queen of the Encounters concerts’ at NWS. She has hosted them biannually every season (but one) since. She has explained the works of such composers as Beethoven, Copland, Ives, Ravel, de Falla, Stravinsky, R. Strauss, Tchaikovsky, and Shostakovich.
The February 26/27 concerts feature excerpts from works of French composer Georges Bizet, German composer Felix Mendelssohn, Italian composer Ottorino Respighi, and Russian composer Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, and show how they followed the sun to musically portray Spain, Italy, and Brazil.
Works from Bizet’s opera Carmen are popular in the New World Symphony repertoire, first performed in 1990 and 1991. Even Gloria Estefan did Bizet’s Carmen when she sang the Gypsy Song at the March 1992 NWS gala benefit. Carmen next featured on the NWS Florida tour with Mitch Miller in 1993. Rimsky-Korsakov’s Capriccio espagnol similarly had its NWS debut on that same tour. Mendelssohn’s 4th Symphony has been performed by NWS since 1994. But Respighi’s Brazilian Impressions has its premier performance by New World this weekend.
Spoiler alert: come for the concert, stay for the encore.