Performance Friday, April 12, 2013 | 8 PM

The New York Pops

The Wizard and I: The Musical Journey of Stephen Schwartz

Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
Celebrate Stephen Schwartz’s 65th birthday and the 10th anniversary of his hit musical Wicked, with a program that highlights his compositions for movies, opera, television, and the Great White Way.


  • The New York Pops
    Steven Reineke, Music Director and Conductor
  • Jeremy Jordan, Guest Artist
  • Norm Lewis, Guest Artist
  • Julia Murney, Guest Artist
  • Jennifer Laura Thompson, Guest Artist
  • Essential Voices USA
    Judith Clurman, Music Director and Conductor


  • 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 at Carnegie Hall, enjoying one of its highest subscription renewal rates. The New York Pops' annual birthday gala is celebrated each spring, raising funds for the orchestra and its education programs. Now in its 30th season, The New York Pops celebrates the diversity of popular music's evolving songbook. Every concert is a unique experience, with influences ranging from Broadway melodies to film scores, jazz, rock, pop, and everything in between. Under the leadership of Steven Reineke, the orchestra continues to re-imagine orchestral pops music.

    The New York Pops is committed to creating access for all members of the community. An annual collaboration with Central Park SummerStage pairs the orchestra with contemporary artists for free outdoor concerts. Thousands of children and their parents have the opportunity to see the orchestra during interactive and educational family concerts in partnership with Carnegie Hall's Weill Music Institute. The New York Pops' extensive education programs allow thousands of New Yorkers of all ages and backgrounds to participate in concert and music-making experiences. The orchestra is dedicated to lifelong learning, and collaborates with public schools, community organizations, children's hospitals and senior centers throughout the five boroughs of New York City.

    A recipient of grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, The New York Pops is a non-profit organization supported solely through the generosity of individual donations, institutional grants, corporate sponsorships, and concert income.

    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. Mr. Reineke is music director and conductor of The New York Pops at Carnegie Hall, the newly appointed principal pops conductor of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, and principal pops conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC.

    Mr. Reineke is a frequent guest conductor with The Philadelphia Orchestra, and in the past year he has conducted the Boston Pops, The Cleveland Orchestra, and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at the Ravinia Festival. His extensive North American conducting engagements include appearances with the orchestras of Los Angeles, Houston, Seattle, Edmonton, Vancouver, Ottawa, Detroit, Fort Worth, Jacksonville, Tampa, Calgary, Memphis, and Oklahoma City.

    As the creator of more than 100 orchestral arrangements for the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, Mr. Reineke's work has been performed worldwide, and can be heard on numerous Cincinnati Pops Orchestra recordings on the Telarc label. His symphonic works Celebration Fanfare, Legend of Sleepy Hollow, and Casey at the Bat are performed frequently in North America, including performances by the New York Philharmonic and Los Angeles Philharmonic. His Sun Valley Festival Fanfare was used to commemorate the Sun Valley Summer Symphony's pavilion, and his Festival Te Deum and Swan's Island Sojourn were debuted by the Cincinnati Symphony and Cincinnati Pops orchestras. 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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  • Jeremy Jordan

    Tony Award nominee Jeremy Jordan currently stars in NBC's musical drama Smash as a Brooklyn-based composer creating a groundbreaking rock musical. Originally from Corpus Christi, Texas, Jeremy studied at Ithaca College, where he earned a BFA with honors in performance theater. In 2009, he got his Broadway start understudying the lead in the hit musical Rock of Ages. He went on to star as Tony in the revival of West Side Story and as Clyde Barrow in the Frank Wildhorn musical Bonnie & Clyde. Last year, Jeremy starred opposite Queen Latifah and Dolly Parton in the Warner Bros. film Joyful Noise, directed by Todd Graff, and he originated the role of Jack Kelly in Disney's hit musical Newsies, for which he received a Tony nomination for Best Leading Actor in a Musical.


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  • Norm Lewis

    Norm Lewis can currently be seen as Senator Edison Davis on the hit ABC drama Scandal. He recently received Tony, Drama Desk, Drama League, and Outer Critics Circle nominations for his performance as Porgy in the 2012 Broadway production of The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess. Additional Broadway credits include Sondheim on Sondheim, The Little Mermaid, Les Misérables, Chicago, Amour, The Wild Party, Side Show, Miss Saigon, and The Who's Tommy. He has also appeared in London's West End in Les Misérables and Les Misérables in Concert: The 25th Anniversary (London's O2 Arena, PBS). Off-Broadway credits include Dessa Rose (Drama Desk nomination, AUDELCO Award), The Two Gentlemen of Verona (Drama League nomination), Captains Courageous, and A New Brain. Regional appearances include Porgy in The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess (American Repertory Theater), Ragtime, Dreamgirls (with Jennifer Holliday), First You Dream, Sweeney Todd, and The Fantasticks. Film and television credits include Sex and the City 2, Confidences, Preaching to the Choir, Mystery Woman, All My Children, As the World Turns, Cosby, and Strong Medicine. His CD is titled This Is the Life! Visit for more information.


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  • Julia Murney

    Julia Murney last appeared on Broadway as Elphaba in Wicked after playing the role on the national tour, for which she received an Acclaim Award. Other New York credits include Lennon, Andrew Lippa's The Wild Party (Drama Desk nomination), Falling, The Vagina Monologues, A Class Act, Saved, Crimes of the Heart, Queen of the Mist, Closer Than Ever, and Time and Again (Lucille Lortel nomination). She has been seen regionally throughout the US, including at the Signature Theatre (Arlington, Virginia), Williamstown Theatre Festival, Reprise Theatre Company (Los Angeles), Music Circus (Sacramento), North Carolina Theatre, Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma, Rubicon Theatre Company (Ventura, California), and Goodspeed on the Hudson, among others. In concert, Julia has performed at Joe's Pub, 54 Below, Feinstein's at Loews Regency, Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts, New York's Town Hall, and Birdland, as well as with the Philly Pops, Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, and Boston Pops. Among her television credits are 30 Rock, Sex and the City, Brothers and Sisters, Ed, NYPD Blue, and three editions of Law and Order. A Syracuse University graduate, her recordings include the original cast albums of The Wild Party and A Class Act, the Grammy-nominated recording of The Actors Fund benefit performance of Hair, and her first solo album, I'm Not Waiting, which is available on Sh-K-Boom Records and at


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  • Jennifer Laura Thompson

    Jennifer Laura Thompson is perhaps best known for her portrayal of Glinda in the Broadway production of Wicked. She is currently starring in the Tony Award-winning musical Nice Work if You Can Get It with Matthew Broderick. Her other Broadway credits include Hope Cladwell in Urinetown (Tony nomination for Best Leading Actress in a Musical), Ariel Moore in Footloose, and Diana Desdemona in Lend Me a Tenor. She has performed in productions of Pardon My English, On the Town, and Of Thee I Sing as part of New York City Center's Encores! series, and she sang the role of Jenny in the concert version of Company with the New York Philharmonic. Off-Broadway, she originated the role of Charlotte in Little Fish and the role of Hope Cladwell in Urinetown. She has performed The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber with symphonies in Norway and Sweden. Recent orchestral appearances include performances with the Atlanta, Toronto, Milwaukee, and Modesto symphony orchestras and the Grand Rapids Symphony, among others. Jennifer received her BFA in musical theater from the University of Michigan.


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  • Essential Voices USA

    Judith Clurman's Essential Voices USA (EVUSA), one of New York's preeminent choral ensembles, brings together a roster of seasoned professionals and auditioned volunteers. With this unique choral model, created by Ms. Clurman, the size of the ensemble is constantly changing, dictated by the specific musical needs of each project. Currently in residence with The New York Pops on the orchestra's subscription series at Carnegie Hall, EVUSA is no stranger to New York's iconic performance venues; the group produces its own classical concerts, workshops, and recordings at The DiMenna Center for Classical Music, and participated in the Leonard Bernstein Celebration at Symphony Space in 2010. EVUSA also regularly participates in The Composer Speaks, a series of concerts in workshop format, created and moderated by Ms. Clurman, which has included the music of Larry Hochman, Bruce Ruben, Paul Schoenfield, Shulamit Ran, and Joshua Schmidt. Increasing its reach beyond New York, EVUSA was featured on NBC's national broadcasts of the Rockefeller Center Tree Lighting in 2011 and 2012. The chorus's collaboration on Ms. Clurman's critically acclaimed CD Celebrating the American Spirit (Sono Luminus), which includes the voices of Kelli O'Hara and Ron Raines, was featured on NPR on Inauguration Day 2013. The group also recorded the song "The Music in My Mind" for Marvin Hamlisch's children's book, Marvin Makes Music. EVUSA recently performed a "Sing Out Mr. President" sing-along at St. John's Episcopal Church (the "Church of the Presidents") in Washington, DC. Ms. Clurman also conducted student members of EVUSA at the Washington National Cathedral in a recording of "Peace" by Howard Shore, with words by Eleanor Roosevelt. Still to come for EVUSA is a performance and recording of Mozart's "Raunchy Canons."


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Dear Old Shiz
Wicked Original Broadway Cast
Decca Broadway

The Program

I'm incredibly excited to present tonight's program honoring one of Broadway's most beloved and prolific songwriters, Stephen Schwartz. In a career that has spanned more than four decades, Stephen has won three Academy Awards, four Grammy Awards, and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, to name just a few of his many accolades.

I couldn't be prouder to add tonight's tribute to that impressive list. The first Schwartz musical I ever saw was a regional production of Godspell when I was about 14 years old. I was mesmerized by the music and lyrics, and I remember singing those songs for weeks afterward. I later played trumpet in the pit orchestra for my college's production of Pippin. Once again, I was hooked. Little did I know that some 20 years later, I would collaborate with Stephen Schwartz himself to create this concert!

This evening, we're also celebrating Stephen's 65th birthday (it was March 6), as well as the 10-year anniversary of the Broadway opening of his masterpiece, Wicked. You'll hear music from Stephen's vast catalog of stage musicals, animated films, and concert work, as well as his opera, Séance on a Wet Afternoon, all performed by four of theater's brightest stars: Jeremy Jordan, Norm Lewis, Julia Murney, and Jennifer Laura Thompson. The New York Pops is also joined by Essential Voices USA, under the impeccable direction of Judith Clurman.

I hope you enjoy this evening's musical journey through Stephen's career. We also look forward to seeing you at our 30th Birthday Gala right here at Carnegie Hall on April 29.

Happy birthday, Stephen Schwartz!

Steven Reineke



Steven Reineke Introduces The New York Pops' 2012-2013 Season at Carnegie Hall

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