Santa Barbara Symphony’s New Year’s Eve Pops Concert — From Broadway to Hollywood
By Kelly Kapuan, Publicist
Ring in 2015 with the Santa Barbara Symphony’s New Year’s Eve Pops Concert!
On Wednesday, Dec. 31 from 8:30 to 10:30 p.m. at the Granada Theatre, the symphony presents special guest conductor Robert Bernhardt. Back by popular demand, Bernhardt will conduct an array of favorites from Broadway, Hollywood and much more.
Bernhardt is in his 33rd season as the principal pops director of the Louisville Orchestra, music director emeritus of the Chattanooga Symphony and a favorite at the Boston Pops — America’s premier Pops orchestra. Party hats and noisemakers will be available for all.
This concert also features Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue with guest pianist Michael Chertock.
“We’re thrilled to be featuring Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, perhaps one of the most loved and recognizable pieces of music you could ask for on New Year’s Eve,” said Kevin Flint, director of marketing and audience development for the Santa Barbara Symphony. “This family-friendly concert is the perfect after-dinner take-in, leaving you plenty of time to ring in the new year however you choose.”
The Santa Barbara Symphony has presented a New Year’s Eve Pops Concert for over 20 years.
The music will include Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, Sousa’s Semper Fi, John Williams' Far and Away Suite, selections from Fiddler on the Roof, and more.
Bernhardt brings a unique combination of infectious enthusiasm, a style of ease and a depth of musicianship to the podium. Equally at home with symphonic masterworks, opera and popular music in a variety of genres, Bernhardt’s conducting activity reflects his versatility and broad musical taste. He is music director emeritus of the Chattanooga Symphony and Opera.
Bernhardt also holds the title of principal pops conductor of the Louisville Orchestra, and he has been associated with that orchestra for over 30 years. He has previously served as artistic director and principal conductor of the Rochester Philharmonic (1995-98), music director and conductor of the Tucson Symphony (1987-95) and principal guest conductor of the Kentucky Opera (1991-96).
Bernhardt began his professional career with the Louisville Orchestra in 1981 as assistant conductor, and has worked with the orchestra every year since. In addition to conducting the Pops series, Bernhardt also hosts and conducts a three-concert series he founded in the late 1980s titled “NightLites,” which presents themed programs of a variety of musical genres in a creative, informative and engaging format. Bernhardt’s recordings of the standard symphonic canon and works of contemporary composers are available on the Vanguard, First Edition, RPO and Carlton Classics labels.
Born in Rochester, N.Y., Bernhardt holds a master's degree with honors from the USC School of Music where he studied with Daniel Lewis. He was a Phi Beta Kappa, summa cum laude graduate of Union (NY) College, where he was an Academic All-American baseball player.
Chertock made his debut at age 17, performing the Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 3 with conductor Andrew Litton. He has collaborated with noted conductors such as Bernhardt, James Conlon, Jaime Laredo, Keith Lockhart, Erich Kunzel.
Chertock has performed as soloist with the orchestras of Philadelphia, Montreal, Toronto, Baltimore, Dallas, Detroit, Chattanooga, Cincinnati, Naples and Indianapolis, among others. His 2003 performance on the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra’s recording of Petrouchka with Paavo Järvi turned in rave reviews in Gramophone and American Record Guide. Chertock made his Carnegie Hall debut in 1999 with the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, performing Duke Ellington’s New World A’Comin’.
In 1994, Chertock released his first CD on the Telarc label, a collection of his original arrangements of music from movies entitled Cinematic Piano. Since then, he has recorded three more discs one the Telarc label.
Chertock has garnered numerous awards at major competitions, among them top prizes in the 1989 Joanna Hodges International Piano Competition (Brahms Division,) the 1993 St. Charles International Piano Competition, and 1991 World Piano Competition of the American Music Scholarship Association. Chertock currently serves as chair of the piano department at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.
The principal concert sponsor for the Santa Barbara Symphony’s New Year’s Eve 2014 concert is the Santa Barbara Center for the Performing Arts.
Tickets to the Santa Barbara Symphony’s New Year’s Eve Pops Concert are $38, $63, $83 and $113 and are available for purchase by clicking here.
For the rest of the 2014-15 season, subscription series for are now available as a Flex 4-series subscription. Individual concert tickets range from $28 to $133, with special rates for seniors, students and groups. All concerts are presented at the Granada Theatre. Discounted student tickets are available for $10 with valid student ID. To purchase subscriptions, call the symphony office at 805.898.9386 or order online by clicking here.