Performance Friday, November 19, 2010 | 8 PM

The New York Pops


Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
Described by The New York Times as “the greatest and perhaps best-known artist in the American musical theatre,” Stephen Sondheim is celebrated for his incomparable contribution to American music.


  • Aaron Lazar, Guest Artist
  • Alexander Gemignani, Guest Artist
  • Christiane Noll, Guest Artist
  • Essential Voices USA
    Judith Clurman, Music Director and Conductor
  • Kate Baldwin, Guest Artist
  • Marilyn Maye, Guest Artist
  • The New York Pops
    Steven Reineke, Music Director and Conductor


    Program is approximately 2 hours, including one intermission


  • Aaron Lazar

    Originally from Cherry Hill, New Jersey, Aaron Lazar recently starred in Stephen Sondheim's Broadway revival of A Little Night Music. Other Broadway appearances include roles in Impressionism, A Tale of Two Cities, The Light in the Piazza, the revival of Les Misérables (for which he earned a Drama Desk nomination), Oklahoma!, and Phantom of the Opera. He also starred opposite Reba McEntire and Brian Stokes Mitchell as Lt. Cable in South Pacific at the Hollywood Bowl.

    Mr. Lazar's television and film work includes appearances on White Collar (USA), Ugly Betty (ABC), The Notorious Bettie Paige (HBO), New Amsterdam (FOX), and The Light in the Piazza (PBS). He has performed with conductors and orchestras including Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops, Marvin Hamlisch and the National Symphony Orchestra, Erich Kunzel and the Cincinnati Pops, and Paul Gemignani and the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl. Tonight's performance marks Mr. Lazar's second appearance with The New York Pops.
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  • Alexander Gemignani

    Alexander Gemignani is a critically acclaimed Broadway actor and singer. He received a Theatre World Award for outstanding Broadway debut in the role of John Hinckley in Stephen Sondheim's Assassins, and Drama League Award nominations for his roles as Jean Valjean in the revival of Les Misérables and The Beadle in the revival of Sweeney Todd. In addition, he performed the role of Brian in Avenue Q. Most recently, Alexander appeared on Broadway in the 2008 revival of Sunday in the Park with George as the Boatman and Dennis. He was also nominated for a Drama League Award for his role as Addison Mizner in the Public Theatre's production of Sondheim and Weidman's Road Show. In 2007, he performed the title role in the national tour of Sweeney Todd, and in 2009 was Andrei in Sarah Ruhl's world-premiere adaptation of Chekhov's The Three Sisters at the Cincinnati Playhouse. Other appearances include Sondheim: The Birthday Concert with the New York Philharmonic at Avery Fisher Hall, which will air on PBS on November 24; City Center's Sondheim Gala Celebration; Wall to Wall Broadway and Wall to Wall Sondheim at Symphony Space; Sondheim's 75th at the Hollywood Bowl; and multiple appearances as director and performer at Town Hall in Broadway by the Year. On television, Alexander has appeared in Empire State, a pilot for ABC; as Lieutenant Torasso in the Emmy Award-winning Live From Lincoln Center broadcast of Passion; as Stewpot in PBS's Great Performances production of South Pacific at Carnegie Hall; and in the film version of The Producers. His solo show, Getting Gone, directed by his wife, Erin Ortman, played at New York's legendary nightclub Feinstein's, the Laurie Beechman Theatre, and Birdland. This April, Alexander will be featured in Barbara Cook's Spotlight Series at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. He is a graduate of the University of Michigan and a member of the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre writing workshop.
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  • Christiane Noll

    Christiane Noll recently starred in the Kennedy Center and Broadway revivals of Ragtime, receiving Tony and Drama Desk Award nominations and winning a Helen Hayes Award for her portrayal of Mother. Ms. Noll's Broadway and national tour appearances include Urinetown (Ovation Award), The Mambo Kings (pre-Broadway), It Ain't Nothin' But the Blues, Jekyll & Hyde, Grease, Miss Saigon, City of Angels, and South Pacific in Australia and Thailand. She is a frequent guest soloist as part of Bravo Broadway with symphony orchestras around the world, including the National Symphony Orchestra and Marvin Hamlisch, the Cincinnati Pops and Erich Kunzel, the Jerusalem Symphony and Don Pippin, Peter Nero and the Philly Pops, and the Boston Pops and Keith Lockhart; in addition, she has appeared with the Sinfonica Brasileira in Rio and the China Philharmonic with pianist Lang Lang, and in the City Center Encores! presentation of The New Moon. She made her Carnegie Hall debut with Skitch Henderson (in his last pops performance) and The New York Pops, as one of the Three Broadway Divas. She made her Hollywood Bowl debut with Julie Andrews, and made her opera debut in The Merry Widow with Plácido Domingo at the Kennedy Center. Her premieres include The Witches of Eastwick, Frankenstein, Call the Chlidren Home, A Fine and Private Place, Little by Little, Lizzie Borden, and Ace, for which she received a Helen Hayes Award nomination. Ms. Noll performed the voice of Anna in the Warner Brothers animated feature The King and I. She has made appearances with Town Hall's Broadway By the Year and Lincoln Center's American Songbook series. Ms. Noll's solo recordings include A Broadway Love Story, Live at the West Bank Café, The Ira Gershwin Album, and My Personal Property.
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  • Essential Voices USA

    Essential Voices USA (EVUSA), formerly The Clurman Singers, is a vibrant organization with a mission to promote the love of music and further the art of ensemble singing. Led by conductor and Music Director Judith Clurman, the group is a flexible roster of between eight and 80 professional (vocal fellows), volunteer, and school-age singers who perform a wide range of musical genres. EVUSA's hallmark is musical excellence, innovative programming, and emphasis on education and inclusion. In October 2010, it was featured in Leonard Bernstein: A Celebration at Symphony Space. The group eagerly anticipates the release of its CD recording of a performance of Howard Shore's Peace, based on the words of Eleanor Roosevelt. Recorded at the Washington National Cathedral, the CD features EVUSA's signature vocal blend of high school students, volunteer, and professional singers. The ensemble's future plans include recordings and concert performances. The high school students singing in tonight's concert are from The Celia Cruz Bronx High School of Music (Lisa Gwasda, Chorus Director) and Middletown High School in Middletown, New York (Lucas Rau, Chorus Director).

    Judith Clurman

    Judith Clurman has conducted and collaborated with world-renowned orchestras and dance companies and at international music festivals. She has commissioned and premiered the music of nearly 50 of America's most prominent composers, including works by Milton Babbitt, William Bolcom, Marvin Hamlisch, Jake Heggie, Nico Muhly, Stephen Paulus, Howard Shore, and Stephen Schwartz. Ms. Clurman served as founding conductor for the New York Concert Singers and Project Youth Chorus, and music director for Prism Concerts and the 92nd Street Y's Music of the Spirit program, broadcast nationally on NBC and PBS. Her work ranges from the classics to contemporary: She conducted the world premiere of a newly discovered Mozart work at Lincoln Center, and earned a 2009 Emmy nomination for Outstanding Achievement in Music Direction and Composition for season 39 of Sesame Street. Long committed to the value of music education, Judith served as Director of Choral Activities from 1989 to 2007 at The Juilliard School, and taught and led master classes and festivals at Harvard University, the Janáček Academy, Cambridge University, and Eton College. Currently Music Director and Conductor of Essential Voices USA, she is working with Kelli O'Hara on a Christmas recording project. She edits a choral series for G. Schirmer, sits on ASCAP's Special Classifications Committee and Awards Panel, and is a member of the faculty for an annual seminar for music critics as part of the National Endowment for the Arts's Classical Music Workshop.
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  • Kate Baldwin

    A veteran of Broadway and national stages, Kate Baldwin received Tony, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics Circle award nominations in 2010 for her portrayal of Sharon McLonergan in the recent revival of Yip Harburg and Burton Lane's classic musical Finian's Rainbow. Ms. Baldwin has appeared in the Broadway casts of The Full Monty, Thoroughly Modern Millie, and Wonderful Town. She starred in the national tour of Irving Berlin's White Christmas, Henry V at the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, The Women at San Diego's Old Globe, She Loves Me at the Willliamstown Theatre Festival, and South Pacific at Arena Stage, earning a Helen Hayes Award nomination. Most recently, she made her London debut in Paradise Found, directed by Harold Prince and Susan Stroman.

    Her concert work includes several appearances with Stephen Sondheim as a featured performer in his critically acclaimed evening A Conversation with Stephen Sondheim. She has appeared at the Chicago Humanities Festival; has sung with the Portland Symphony Orchestra, the Chesapeake Orchestra, and the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, DC; and has performed with Broadway conductor Rob Fisher as part of Lincoln Center's American Songbook series. In addition, she has performed at Feinstein's at Loews Regency with music director Rob Berman and has sold out at Birdland, New York City's legendary jazz club. This season, she returns to Lincoln Center in a solo concert and appears with the Detroit Symphony.

    Ms. Baldwin's television appearances include a guest starring role on NBC's Law & Order: SVU and a featured role in the PBS film of Stephen Sondheim's Passion. Ms. Baldwin's debut album on PS Classics, entitled Let's See What Happens, features Lane and Harburg songs from both stage and feature films.
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  • Marilyn Maye

    Marilyn Maye is a musical treasure who has committed her entire life to the art of song and performance. She appeared on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson a record 76 times. After one of her show-stopping appearances, Carson remarked, "And that, young singers, is the way it's done."

    Will Friedwald recently wrote in The Wall Street Journal of Ms. Maye: "At a Marilyn Maye performance, on one side of the room are the Broadway and cabaret people, who tend to like their singing big, theatrical, with a lot of drama and stage presence. On the other side is the jazz crowd, who want everything hip, cool, and understated. Ms. Maye is the only pop-song diva today who can satisfy both crowds at once."

    Ms. Maye's album The Lamp is Low is considered timeless by jazz reviewers, and her place in popular music history was assured when the Arts Council of the Smithsonian Institution selected a song from the album, "Too Late Now," as of the 110 Best American Compositions of the Twentieth Century. Ms. Maye's seven RCA albums and 34 singles include the first hit recordings of "Cabaret" and "Step to the Rear."
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  • The New York Pops

    The New York Pops is the largest independent pops orchestra in the United States, and the only professional symphonic orchestra in New York City specializing in popular music. Led by Music Director Steven Reineke, the orchestra performs an annual subscription series and birthday gala at Carnegie Hall, enjoying one of its highest subscription renewal rates. The New York Pops was founded by former NBC Music Director Skitch Henderson in 1983 with a mission to create greater public awareness and appreciation of America's rich musical heritage. In addition to performing at Carnegie Hall, The New York Pops tours throughout the world and gives free concerts in New York City parks. The orchestra's media projects include performing for the Macy's 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular on NBC since 2005, nationwide radio broadcasts, and numerous recordings. The New York Pops' extensive education programs allow thousands of public schoolchildren to participate in concert and music-making experiences at Carnegie Hall and in schools throughout the five boroughs of New York City.

    Steven Reineke

    Steven Reineke's boundless enthusiasm and exceptional artistry have made him one of the nation's most sought-after pops conductors, composers, and arrangers. In 2010-2011, Mr. Reineke begins his second season as Music Director of The New York Pops. In addition to conducting the orchestra's annual Carnegie Hall concert series, he leads concert tours, recordings, and nationwide telecasts, including the Macy's 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular on NBC. In addition, Mr. Reineke serves as Principal Pops Conductor of the Long Beach and Modesto symphony orchestras and as Associate Conductor of the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, where for 15 years he served as a composer, arranger, and conducting protégé of the late celebrated pops conductor Erich Kunzel.

    Mr. Reineke's recent engagements include appearances with the orchestras of Houston, Toronto, Detroit, Indianapolis, Baltimore, Vancouver, and Edmonton, as well as the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, DC. He made his Boston Pops and Philadelphia Orchestra debuts in 2009, and appeared twice with The Philadelphia Orchestra in 2010. He made his Hollywood Bowl debut in 2007 with the multi-faceted entertainer Wayne Brady, and returned to the Hollywood Bowl in 2008 to conduct the Los Angeles Philharmonic. In addition, Mr. Reineke conducted, arranged, and orchestrated the music for Mr. Brady's orchestral show, and played the same role in his collaboration with rock legend Peter Frampton.

    As the creator of more than 100 orchestral arrangements for the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, Mr. Reineke's arrangements have been performed worldwide, and can be heard on numerous Cincinnati Pops Orchestra recordings on the Telarc label. Mr. Reineke is also an established symphonic composer. His works Celebration Fanfare, Legend of Sleepy Hollow, and Casey at the Bat are performed frequently in North America, with recent performances by the New York and Los Angeles philharmonics. In August 2008, his Sun Valley Festival Fanfare debuted with the Sun Valley Summer Symphony to commemorate the opening of the orchestra's new pavilion. In 2005, his Festival Te Deum and Swan's Island Sojourn were performed, respectively, by the Cincinnati Symphony and Cincinnati Pops Orchestra. His numerous wind ensemble compositions are published by the C. L. Barnhouse Company, and are performed by concert bands around the world.

    A native of Ohio, Mr. Reineke is a graduate of Miami University of Ohio, where he earned Bachelor of Music degrees with honors in both trumpet performance and music composition. He currently resides in New York City.
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“Everybody Loves Louis” from Sunday in the Park with George
Paul Gemignani / Bernadette Peters
Reader's Digest Music

This performance is part of The New York Pops, and The New York Pops Mini.