CSO at Ravinia: West Side Story

Jul 12

8:00 PM

Friday, July 12, 2019

This event takes place at the Ravinia Festival.

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Bernstein West Side Story

Leonard Bernstein’s Broadway shows such as West Side Story and Candide have never fallen fully out of fashion. These works broke the boundaries of the form, particularly in terms of how elaborate and through-composed much of the music was and the extraordinary demands they made on the artists performing them. Given that West Side Story is often considered the greatest musical ever written, it’s curious that its 1944 predecessor On the Town, the first show to unite choreographer Jerome Robbins and composer Leonard Bernstein, is performed so infrequently. Read more at CSO Sounds & Stories

During his lifetime, Leonard Bernstein fiercely opposed the attempts of others to pigeonhole him or his music. “I would say that every one of his popular pieces is very serious, and every one of his serious pieces is also popular,” said conductor Marin Alsop, artistic curator of the Ravinia Festival's centennial celebration of the American composer, conductor, advocate and activist. If the first half of Ravinia’s centennial tribute in 2018 emphasized Bernstein’s works for the concert hall, the second edition this summer pays extended homage to him as a composer for the theater. Practically everything he composed, conducted, performed or authored carried the smell of greasepaint — even if the music itself had nothing to do with the theater. Read more at CSO Sounds & Stories