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Dudamel, Bernstein, and Marches for Our Time

Sat / Nov 14, 2020 - 8:00PM

Modern takes on Sousa and dances from West Side Story


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About this Performance

Leonard Bernstein’s iconic West Side Story has been celebrated not only for its unforgettable songs and symphonic score but also for its willingness to take on social ills of the day: namely, racial prejudice and urban violence. Musically, Bernstein, ever the polymath, shows his ability to work in any genre and form he set his mind to. Dudamel pairs West Side Story’s Symphonic Dances with the composer’s Divertimento, which offers a series of short dances ranging from samba to blues to turkey trot to a lilting 7/8 waltz.

John Philip Sousa earned the title “The March King” for his prolific work that in many ways defined the sound of American patriotism at the end of the 19th and dawn of the 20th centuries. While at home in military parades, marches are a rarity in the concert hall. Alongside four Sousa marches, Dudamel will conduct four three brand new musical responses to Sousa written by leading American composers: Saad Haddad, Viet Cuong, Jonathan Bailey Holland, and Clarice Assad. Opening the concert is a world premiere by Puerto Rican-born composer and multi-instrumentalist Angélica Negrón, whose music has been described as “wistfully idiosyncratic and contemplative” (WQXR).

Part of the Pan-American Music Initiative

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