Boston Pops Announces 2012 Season, May 9-Jun 16; Tickets Go On Sale Dec 7

The Boston Pops led by conductor Keith Lockhart, in his 18th season with “America’s Orchestra,” will kick off the 2012 “Visions of America” spring Pops season with a gala opening night performance featuring Tony Award-winning icon Bernadette Peters on May 9. Celebrating the American musical traditions that weave together the imagination and spirit of our diverse nation, the “Visions of America” season will feature the striking images of photo historian Joseph Sohm and his extraordinary photographs representing all 50 states. The season theme will culminate in the “Visions of America Photo-Symphony,” a sweeping photographic portrait of American life set to music by the acclaimed Roger Kellaway, with lyrics by the unrivaled Alan and Marilyn Bergman. This multi-media project, enhanced by the recorded narration of Clint Eastwood, will feature acclaimed vocalist Patti Austin in performances on June 14, 15, 16, bringing the 2012 season to a close.

During the 2012 spring season, the Boston Pops will usher in a series of exciting talents to pay tribute to a wide range of American musical genres. Comedian, author, musician and all-around king of artistic versatility Steve Martin will pluck the strings of his banjo for his Boston Pops debut with The Steep Canyon Rangers on May 29 and 30, and for “Presidents at Pops” on May 31. John Williams, who celebrates his 80th birthday in 2012, will lead the ever-popular Film Night on Friday, June 1, and Saturday, June 2, featuring music from many of the cinematic masterpieces that launched the Boston Pops Laureate Conductor to worldwide acclaim. Mr. Williams also shares the podium with Keith Lockhart for “Presidents at Pops” on May 31. Gospel Night at Pops celebrates a milestone as well, when conductor Charles Floyd raises the voices of the Boston Pops Gospel Choir on the 20th annual performance of this transcendent program. The Saturday, June 9 Gospel Night concert will feature American Idol’s Melinda Doolittle, gospel singer Crystal Aitkin, and additional guest artists to be announced.

Keith Lockhart’s masterful and timeless programming will capture the ears of Boston Pops fans on May 10-12, when the orchestra and its Maestro perform a lush and jazzy Gershwin Spectacular with tunes such as Rhapsody in Blue, Fascinatin’ Rhythm, Lady Be Good, and Embraceable You. People of all ages are welcome to a similarly programmed matinee Family Concert on Saturday, May 12. Additionally, a set of concerts on May 23, 24, and 26 will bring the best of Boston sports to the stage of Symphony Hall. The City of Champions series will feature sports-themed musical concerts, an entourage of surprise celebrity athletes, and the unveiling of a special tribute to the 100th anniversary of Fenway Park.

The Pops will also perform songs from Funny Girl, A Star is Born, and The Way We Were, as well as other tunes from the Barbra Streisand songbook on May 15 and 16, with special guest vocalist Ann Hampton Callaway and a cameo appearance by Alan Bergman, who is perhaps the world’s greatest living lyricist alongside his wife Marilyn. Cole Porter, one of the most prolific contributor to the Great American Songbook, will receive recognition as well, when Marin Mazzie and Jason Danieley, Broadway’s golden couple, make a New York-style splash at Symphony Hall, with songs such as I’ve Got You Under My Skin, In the Still of the Night, and Anything Goes on June 5, 6, and 8.

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