Friday, 23 March 2018 21:00

Happy Birthday! Celebrating the lives of musicians

Written by  Dana Casadei
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Leonard Bernstein Leonard Bernstein Photo courtesy of the Leonard Bernstein Office

During the festival, music isn’t the only cause for celebration. The performers, composers and conductors who make music possible matter just as much, which is why the Gilmore is celebrating their birthdays. Check out the list below to see which composers and pianists will have their big day commemorated.

Late Night with Leonard Bernstein

Dalton Center Recital Hall
Van De Giessen Rd. #3001
May 3, 8 p.m., $15-$35

Leonard Bernstein was well-known for many things, including his night owl tendencies, hence the title for his 100th birthday celebration. The program follows Bernstein’s journey from a prodigiously gifted undergraduate to his early efforts as an aspiring composer and music arranger, all woven together by a video slideshow and narration by his eldest daughter, Jamie. Considered an affectionate, multimedia portrait of the maestro’s personal side, Late Night will feature pianists John Musto and Michael Boriskin, along with acclaimed soprano Amy Burton.

Michael Brown

Wellspring Theater
359 S. Kalamazoo Mall #204
May 4, 2 p.m., $15

Winner of a 2015 Avery Fisher Career Grant, the talented pianist-composer Michael Brown will continue the celebration of Bernstein’s 100th birthday celebration. The New York Times described Brown as “darkly alluring … a confident young composer with a talent for precision.” He will celebrate the life of Leonard Bernstein with works from the legendary composer and two of his own works.

Leon Fleisher’s Birthday Celebration

Chenery Auditorium
714 S. Westnedge Ave.
May 9, 8 p.m., $18-$28

One of the world’s greatest pianists, Leon Fleisher, is celebrating his 90th birthday doing what he does best: playing the piano. The all-Mozart evening will include performances by Fleisher; two of his prominent students, Alon Goldstein and Yury Shadrin; and the Gilmore Festival Chamber Orchestra. Having made his debut with the New York Philharmonic in 1944, Fleisher isn’t showing signs of slowing down.

Lori Sims

Wellspring Theater
359 S. Kalamazoo Mall #204
May 11, 2 p.m., $15

Celebrating composer William Bolcom’s 80th birthday will be renowned pianist Lori Sims, currently the John T. Bernard Professor of Music at Western Michigan University.. Works by Bolcom, as well as Bolcom’s teachers Milhaud and Messiaen, will be included in her performance, adding to her long list of appearances at the festival. Bolcom’s first symphony will be played by the Kalamazoo Symphony the following evening.

Read 201 times Last modified on Friday, 23 March 2018 21:08
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