Lenny’s 100th (Bernstein)


Staff Reports



The Columbus Symphony Holds a Leonard Bernstein Centennial Celebration October 12 & 13

CSO Music Director Rossen Milanov leads the Columbus Symphony, guest violinist Daniel Rowland, guest soprano Jennifer Lynn Cherest, and the Columbus Symphony Chorus in a unique concert celebrating legendary composer, conductor, and educator Leonard Bernstein. This kaleidoscope of Bernstein’s most popular Broadway works includes On the Town: Three Dance Episodes, West Side Story: Suite for Violin and Orchestra, and Candide: Overture, “Glitter and Be Gay,” and Suite.

The Columbus Symphony presents the Leonard Bernstein Centennial Celebration at the Ohio Theatre (39 E. State St.) on Friday and Saturday, October 12 and 13, at 8pm. Tickets start at $10 and can be purchased at the CAPA Ticket Center (39 E. State St.), all Ticketmaster outlets, and www.ticketmaster.com. To purchase tickets by phone, please call (614) 469-0939 or (800) 745-3000. The CAPA Ticket Center will also be open two hours prior to each performance.

Prelude – Patrons are invited to join Christopher Purdy in the theatre at 7pm for a 30-minute, pre-concert discussion about the works to be performed.

Postlude – Directly following the performance, patrons are invited to stay in the auditorium and enjoy a talk back with Maestro Milanov and guest violinist Daniel Rowland.

About CSO Music Director Rossen Milanov

Respected and admired by audiences and musicians alike, Rossen Milanov is currently the music director of the Columbus Symphony Orchestra (CSO), Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra, Princeton Symphony Orchestra, and the Orquesta Sinfónica del Principado de Asturias (OSPA) in Spain.

In 2017, Milanov received an Arts Prize from The Columbus Foundation for presenting Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony as part of CSO’s 2017 Picnic with the Pops summer series. Under his leadership, the organization has expanded its reach by connecting original programming with community-wide initiatives, such as focusing on women composers and nature conservancy, presenting original festivals, and supporting and commissioning new music.

Milanov has established himself as a conductor with considerable national and international presence, appearing with the Colorado, Detroit, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Baltimore, Seattle, and Fort Worth symphonies, as well as the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center and Link Up education projects with Carnegie Hall featuring the Orchestra of St. Luke’s and Civic Orchestra in Chicago.

Internationally, he has collaborated with BBC Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra de la Suisse Romand, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Aalborg, Latvian, and Hungarian National Symphony Orchestras, Slovenain Radio Symphony Orchestra, and the orchestras in Toronto, Vancouver, KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic (South Africa), Mexico, Colombia, Sao Paolo, Belo Horizonte, and New Zealand. In the Far East, he has appeared with NHK, Sapporo, Tokyo, and Singapore Symphonies, and the Malaysian and Hong Kong Philharmonics.

Milanov has collaborated with some of the world’s preeminent artists, including Yo-Yo Ma, Itzhak Perlman, Joshua Bell, Midori, Christian Tetzlaff, and André Watts. During his 11-year tenure with The Philadelphia Orchestra, he conducted more than 200 performances. In 2015, he completed a 15-year tenure as music director of nationally recognized training orchestra Symphony in C in New Jersey. In 2013, he wrapped up a 17-year tenure with the New Symphony Orchestra in his native city of Sofia, Bulgaria. His passion for new music has resulted in numerous world premieres of works by composers such as Derek Bermel, Mason Bates, Caroline Shaw, Phillip Glass, Richard Danielpour, Nicolas Maw, and Gabriel Prokofiev, among others.

Noted for his versatility, Milanov is also a welcomed presence in the worlds of opera and ballet. He has collaborated with Komische Oper Berlin for Shostakovich’s Lady Macbeth of Mtzensk), Opera Oviedo for the Spanish premiere of Tchaikovsky’s Mazzepa and Bartok’s Bluebeard’s Castle (awarded best Spanish production for 2015), and Opera Columbus for Verdi’s La Traviata.

An experienced ballet conductor, he has been seen at New York City Ballet and collaborated with some of the best-known choreographers of our time, such Mats Ek, Benjamin Millepied, and most recently, Alexei Ratmansky in the critically acclaimed revival of Swan Lake in Zurich with the Zurich Ballet, and in Paris with La Scala Ballet.

Milanov studied conducting at the Curtis Institute of Music and the Juilliard School, where he received the Bruno Walter Memorial Scholarship.

A passionate chef, he often dedicates his culinary talents to various charities.

About guest violinist Daniel Rowland

Daniel Rowland has established himself on the international scene as a highly versatile, charismatic, and adventurous performer, with a broad repertoire from Vivaldi to Ferneyhough. In recent seasons, he has performed concertos such as those of Mozart, Elgar, Korngold, Berg, Prokoffief, Schnittke, Glass, Saariaho, and Ferneyhough with orchestras from Tromso to Cape Town. Recent solo performances include the Korngold Concerto with HET Symfonieorkest (Enschede), The Vivaldi/Piazzolla Eight Seasons with both the Ulster Orchestra and the Arcos Orchestra (New York), and the Philip Glass Concerto with the Joensuu Symphony Orchestra (Finland).

About guest soprano Jennifer Lynn Cherest

Soprano Jennifer Cherest has been praised as “beautifully expressive and technically polished” by the San Francisco Chronicle in the title role of Mozart’s La Finta Giardiniera with the Merola Opera Program and has begun to quickly make her mark in the opera world. Since finishing her prestigious Adler fellowship with the San Francisco Opera in 2013, Cherest has debuted with such companies as the Washington National Opera, Cincinnati Opera, North Carolina Opera, Opera Columbus, Opera Delaware, and the Aspen Music Festival. Additionally, she is very honored to have sung on the Metropolitan Opera Stage in the national semifinals of the Metropolitan Opera National Council (MONC) auditions. Being a native Washingtonian, Cherest was thrilled to make her company debut with Washington National Opera in The Dialogues of the Carmelites in 2015, and since then, has returned for five different shows including her role debut as Gretel in Hansel & Gretel.

About Leonard Bernstein (1918–90)

American composer, conductor, author, music lecturer, and pianist Leonard Bernstein was among the first conductors born and educated in the US to receive worldwide acclaim. His fame can be attributed to his long tenure as music director of the New York Philharmonic, conducting concerts with most of the world’s leading orchestras, and his compositions for West Side Story, Peter Pan, Candide, Wonderful Town, On the Town, On the Waterfront, his Mass, and a range of other works, including three symphonies and many shorter chamber and solo works.

About On the Town

Set in wartime 1944, On the Town is a musical that tells the story of three American sailors in New York City on 24-hour shore leave and the three women they connect with. The first episode of Bernstein’s Three Dance Episodes is Dance of the Great Lover, in which the romantic sailor Gabey falls asleep on the subway and dreams of sweeping Miss Turnstiles off her feet. In the second episode, Pas de Deux, Gabey watches a scene in Central Park in which a sensitive high school girl is lured and then cast off by a worldly sailor. The finale, Times Square Ballet, is a sequence in which all the sailors congregate in Times Square for a night of fun.

About West Side Story

Inspired by Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, West Side Story is a musical set in a blue-collar, Upper West Side neighborhood in New York City in the mid-1950s and chronicles the rivalry between the Jets and the Sharks, two teenage street gangs of different ethnic backgrounds. Tony, a former member of the Jets and best friend of the gang’s leader, falls in love with Maria, the sister of the leader of the Sharks. The dark theme, sophisticated music, extended dance scenes, and focus on social problems marked a turning point in American musical theatre. Published in 2000, West Side Story: Suite for Violin and Orchestra is an arrangement by William David Brohn that demonstrates the tremendous vitality of this remarkable production, and that even nearly 50 years later, it still offers plenty to be discovered.

About Candide

Based on the Voltaire’s 1759 novella of the same name, Candide is a witty and wacky satire of an operetta that takes the audience on a round-the-world romp of idealistic optimism as it clashes with a series of absurdly unfortunate events. The young and naïve Candide and his betrothed Cunegonde, firmly subscribe to the doctrine that everything that occurs is for the best, no matter what. However, throughout the course of the show, this is constantly called into question.

The Overture to Candide has become one of the most frequently performed orchestral compositions by a 20th century American composer, and in 1987, became the most often performed piece of concert music by Bernstein. The Overture incorporates tunes from “The Best of All Possible Worlds,” “Battle Music,” “Oh, Happy We,” “Glitter and Be Gay,” and melodies composed specifically for the overture.

“Glitter and Be Gay” is a show-stopping coloratura solo in which the character describes how she has been “forced to bend my soul to a sordid role” of being the caged slave of the Grand Inquisitor and Don Issachar. The character switches back and forth between her disgust at her situation and her temptation at the jewelry, furs, and champagne that come with her new status.

Charlie Harmon’s Candide: Suite enables audiences to discover some of the production’s lesser-known music in a program-friendly instrumental. Selections include “You Were Dead You Know,” “Paris Waltz,” “Bon Voyage,” Drowning Music/The King’s Barcarolle, Ballad of Eldorado, I Am Easily Assimilated, The Best of All Possible Worlds, and the touching finale, Make Our Garden Grow.

www.columbussymphony.com

CALENDAR LISTING

The Columbus Symphony presents the LEONARD BERNSTEIN CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION

Friday & Saturday, October 12 & 13, 8 pm

Ohio Theatre (39 E. State St.)

CSO Music Director Rossen Milanov leads the Columbus Symphony, guest violinist Daniel Rowland, guest soprano Jennifer Lynn Cherest, and the Columbus Symphony Chorus in a unique concert celebrating legendary composer, conductor, and educator Leonard Bernstein. This kaleidoscope of Bernstein’s most popular Broadway works includes On the Town: Three Dance Episodes, West Side Story: Suite for Violin and Orchestra, and Candide: Overture, “Glitter and Be Gay,” and Suite. Tickets start at $10 and can be purchased at the CAPA Ticket Center (39 E. State St.), all Ticketmaster outlets, and www.ticketmaster.com. To purchase tickets by phone, please call (614) 228-8600 or (800) 745-3000. www.columbussymphony.com

The 2018-19 season is made possible in part by state tax dollars allocated by the Ohio Legislature to the Ohio Arts Council (OAC). The OAC is a state agency that funds and supports quality arts experiences to strengthen Ohio communities culturally, educationally, and economically. The CSO also appreciates the support of the Greater Columbus Arts Council, supporting the city’s artists and arts organizations since 1973, and the Kenneth L. Coe and Jack Barrow, and Mr. and Mrs. Derrol R. Johnson funds of The Columbus Foundation, assisting donors and others in strengthening our community for the benefit of all its citizens.

About the Columbus Symphony Orchestra

Founded in 1951, the Columbus Symphony is the only full-time, professional symphony in central Ohio. Through an array of innovative artistic, educational, and community outreach programming, the Columbus Symphony is reaching an expanding, more diverse audience each year. This season, the Columbus Symphony will share classical music with more than 200,000 people in central Ohio through concerts, radio broadcasts, and special programming. For more information, visit www.columbussymphony.com.

The Conversation

Should we scoff at the idea of love at first sight?

August 30, 2018

Author

James Kuzner

Associate Professor of English, Brown University

Disclosure statement

James Kuzner does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.

For a lecture course I teach at Brown University called “Love Stories,” we begin at the beginning, with love at first sight.

To its detractors, love at first sight must be an illusion – the wrong term for what is simply infatuation, or a way to sugarcoat lust.

Buy into it, they say, and you’re a fool.

In my class, I point to an episode of “The Office,” in which Michael Scott, regional manager for Dunder Mifflin, is such a fool: He’s blown away by a model in an office furniture catalog. Michael vows to find her in the flesh, only to discover that the love of his life is no longer living. Despairing (but still determined), he visits her grave and sings to her a stirring requiem, set to the tune of “American Pie”:

Bye, bye Ms. Chair Model Lady

I dreamt we were married and you treated me nice

We had lots of kids, drinking whiskey and rye

Why’d you have to go off and die?

This might as well be a funeral for love at first sight, since all of this comes at delusional Michael’s expense.

If you find yourself smitten with someone you’ve only just met, you’ll question whether you should give the feeling so much weight – and risk ending up like Michael.

Psychologists and neuroscientists have tried to find some answers. But I would argue that for the best guidance, don’t look there – look to Shakespeare.

Sifting through the science

Even in a class tailored to romantics, when I poll my students about whether they believe in love at first sight, around 90 percent of the 250 students indicate they don’t.

At least one study suggests that the rest of us agree with my students. Like them, participants in this study believe that love takes time. Two people meet and may or may not be infatuated upon first meeting. They gradually develop an intimate understanding of each other. And then, and only then, do they fall in love. That’s just how love works.

Then again, maybe we’re more like Michael Scott than we think. Other surveys suggest that most of us indeed do believe in love at first sight. Many of us say we’ve experienced it.

What does brain science say? Some studies claim that we can clearly distinguish what happens in our brains at the moment of initial attraction – when chemicals related to pleasure, excitement and anxiety predominate – from what happens in true romantic attachment, when attachment hormones like oxytocin take over.

But other studies don’t accept such a clean break between the chemistry of love at first sight and of “true” love, instead suggesting that what happens in the brain at first blush may resemble what happens later on.

Regardless of whether chemical reactions in love at first sight and longer-term romantic love are alike, the deeper question persists.

Does love at first sight deserve the name of love?

Shakespeare weighs in

While science and surveys can’t seem to settle on a definitive answer, Shakespeare can. Cited as an authority in nearly every recent book-length study of love, Shakespeare shows how love at first sight can be as true a love as there is.

Let’s look at how his lovers meet in “Romeo and Juliet.”

Romeo, besotted with Juliet at the Capulet ball, musters the courage to speak with her, even though he doesn’t know her name. When he does, she doesn’t just respond. Together, they speak a sonnet:

Romeo: If I profane with my unworthiest hand

This holy shrine, the gentle sin is this:

My lips, two blushing pilgrims, ready stand

To smooth that rough touch with a tender kiss.

Juliet: Good pilgrim, you do wrong your hand too much,

Which mannerly devotion shows in this;

For saints have hands that pilgrims’ hands do touch,

And palm to palm is holy palmers’ kiss.

Romeo: Have not saints lips, and holy palmers too?

Juliet: Ay, pilgrim, lips that they must use in prayer.

Romeo: O, then, dear saint, let lips do what hands do!

They pray; grant thou, lest faith turn to despair.

Juliet: Saints do not move, though grant for prayers’ sake.

Romeo: Then move not, while my prayer’s effect I take.

Even though it’s their first encounter, the two converse dynamically and inventively – an intense back-and-forth that equates love with religion. Love poems typically are spoken by a lover to a beloved, as in many of Shakespeare’s own sonnets or Michael’s requiem. Generally, there’s one voice. Not in the case of Romeo and Juliet – and the energy between the two is as stunning as it is silly.

In the first four lines, Romeo privileges lips over hands, in a bid for a kiss. In the next four lines, Juliet disagrees with Romeo. She asserts that, actually, hands are better. Holding hands is its own kind of kiss.

Romeo keeps going, noting that saints and pilgrims have lips. Since they do, lips mustn’t be so bad. They should be used.

But again, Juliet answers Romeo readily: Lips are to be used, yes – but to pray, not to kiss. Romeo tries a third time to resolve the tension by saying that kissing, far from being opposed to prayer, is in fact a way of praying. And maybe kissing is like praying, like asking for a better world. Juliet at last agrees, and the two do kiss, after a couplet which suggests that they are in harmony.

Romeo and Juliet obviously have unrealistic ideas. But they connect in such a powerful way – right away – that it’s ungenerous to say that their religion of love is only silly. We can’t dismiss it in the same way we can mock Michael Scott. This is not a man with an office furniture catalog, or two revelers grinding at a club.

That two strangers can share a sonnet in speech means that they already share a deep connection – that they are incredibly responsive to each other.

What are we so afraid of?

Why would we want to dismiss Romeo and Juliet or those who claim to be like them?

We talk excitedly about meeting someone and how we “click” or “really hit it off” – how we feel intimately acquainted even though we’ve only just met. This is our way of believing in low-grade love at first sight, while still scorning its full-blown form.

Imagine if we did what Romeo and Juliet do. They show the signs that we tend to regard as hallmarks of “mature” love – profound passion, intimacy and commitment – right away. For Shakespeare, if you have this, you have love, whether it takes six months or six minutes.

It’s easy to say that people don’t love each other when they first meet because they don’t know each other and haven’t had a chance to form a true attachment. Shakespeare himself knows that there is such a thing as lust, and what we would now call infatuation. He’s no fool.

Still, he reminds us – as forcefully as we ever will be reminded – that some people, right away, do know each other deeply. Love gives them insight into each other. Love makes them pledge themselves to each other. Love makes them inventive. Yes, it also makes them ridiculous.

But that’s just another of love’s glories. It makes being ridiculous permissible.

Comment: This topic of love is perhaps the most complex, powerful, confounding and humbling realm I’ve explored… especially when reaching beyond attraction between two humans… to higher aspects of commitment and co-creation with all that is. Only by surrendering to a higher power, purpose and perspective (e.g. soul) for guidance do I find sanity, serenity or synergy in navigating such complex realms… treating every person and situation uniquely in discerning what is needed and what my role is… including how to respond to the feelings and forces this article describes.

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Staff Reports