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The Best of Boston Pops
The Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra


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Keith Lockhart conducts the Boston Pops – “The Best of Boston Pops!” for one performance only on Tuesday, November 19, at 8:00pm. Experience the majesty of Dvorak and Copland, swing with Ellington and Gershwin, get a little crazy with Queen, and soar with the film music of John Williams. It’s music for the ages – and for all ages – that the entire family will enjoy.

The Boston Pops, affectionately known as “America's Orchestra,” is the most recorded and arguably the most beloved orchestra in the country, beginning with the establishment of the modern-era Pops by Arthur Fiedler and continuing through the innovations introduced by John Williams and the new-millennium Pops spearheaded by Keith Lockhart.

With the 125th anniversary season in 2010, the Boston Pops reached a landmark moment in a remarkable history that began with its founding in 1885. Four years earlier, in 1881, Civil War veteran Henry Lee Higginson founded the Boston Symphony Orchestra, calling its establishment “the dream of my life.” From the start he intended to present, in the warmer months, concerts of light classics and the popular music of the day. From a practical perspective, Higginson realized that these “lighter” performances would provide year-round employment for his musicians.The “Promenade Concerts,” as they were originally called, were soon informally known as “Popular Concerts,” which eventually became shortened to “Pops,” the name officially adopted in 1900.

Some people may not realize that there were seventeen Pops conductors, beginning with the German Adolf Neuendorff, who preceded Arthur Fiedler, the first American-born musician to lead the orchestra. In his nearly 50-year tenure as Pops Conductor (1930-1979), he established the Boston Pops as a national icon. When John Williams (1980-1993) succeeded Arthur Fiedler in 1980, he was the most highly acclaimed composer in Hollywood, and today, with 48 Academy Award nominations, he is the most-nominated living person in Academy history. With the Pops, Mr. Williams continued the orchestra’s prolific recording tradition with a series of best-selling recordings for the Philips and Sony Classical labels, broadened and updated the Pops repertoire, and entertained audiences with live orchestral accompaniment to film clips of memorable movie scenes, many of which featured iconic music from his own film scores. In response to the ever-diversifying trends in music, Keith Lockhart has taken the Pops in new directions, creating programs that reach out to a broader and younger audience by presenting artists, both established performers and rising stars, from virtually every corner of the entertainment world, while maintaining the Pops’ appeal to its core audience.

Keith Lockhart became the twentieth conductor of the Boston Pops in 1995. Mr. Lockhart holds the Julian and Eunice Cohen Boston Pops Conductor chair. He has worked with a wide array of established artists from virtually every corner of the entertainment world, while also promoting programs that focus on talented young musicians from the Tanglewood Music Center, Boston Conservatory, and Berklee College of Music. During his nineteen-year tenure, he has conducted more than 1,500 Boston Pops concerts and introduced the innovative JazzFest and EdgeFest series, featuring prominent jazz and indie artists performing with the Pops. Mr. Lockhart also introduced concert performances of full-length Broadway shows, including Carousel and A Little Night Music, and the PopSearch and High School Sing-Off competitions. Under his leadership, the Boston Pops has commissioned several new works—including The Dream Lives On, a tribute to the Kennedy brothers and dozens of new arrangements.

Audiences worldwide love Keith Lockhart’s inimitable style, expressed not only through his consummate music-making, but also by his ability to speak directly to the audience about the music to which he feels so passionately committed. He and the Boston Pops have released four self-produced recordings—Sleigh Ride; America; Oscar & Tony; and The Red Sox Album—and also recorded eight albums with RCA Victor—Runnin’ Wild: The Boston Pops Play Glenn Miller, American Visions, the Grammy-nominated The Celtic Album, Holiday Pops, A Splash of Pops, Encore!, the Latin Grammy-nominated The Latin Album, and My Favorite Things: A Richard Rodgers Celebration.

Keith Lockhart has made 74 television shows with the Boston Pops, including a 2009 concert featuring jazz trumpeter Chris Botti, and special guests Sting, John Mayer, and Steven Tyler, and the annual Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular, broadcast nationally on CBS Television. He has led many Holiday Pops telecasts, as well as 38 programs for PBS’s “Evening at Pops.” He has led the Boston Pops on 37 national tours, as well as performances at Carnegie Hall and Radio City Music Hall, and brought the music of “America’s Orchestra” overseas in tours of Japan and Korea. Mr. Lockhart has led the Boston Pops in the national anthem for numerous major sports events.

Keith Lockhart currently serves as principal conductor of the BBC Concert Orchestra in London, which he led in the June 2012 Diamond Jubilee Concert for Queen Elizabeth II, and as artistic director of the Brevard Music Center summer institute and festival in North Carolina. He has appeared as a guest conductor with virtually every major symphonic ensemble in North America, as well as several in Asia and Europe. He was music director of the Utah Symphony from 1998 to 2009, and led that orchestra in performances at the 2002 Olympic Games, as well as on its first European tour in two decades. Prior to coming to Boston, he was the associate conductor of both the Cincinnati Symphony and Cincinnati Pops orchestras, as well as music director of the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra.

Born in Poughkeepsie, NY, Keith Lockhart began his musical studies with piano lessons at the age of seven. He holds degrees from Furman University and Carnegie Mellon University, and honorary doctorates from several American universities.

Presented through the generosity of JoAnn McGrath, Keith Lockhart conducts the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra in “The Best of Boston Pops!” at the McCallum Theatre for one night only on Tuesday, November 19, at 8:00pm. Tickets are priced at $150, $95, $85 and $75 and are available online at the McCallum Theatre website, www.mccallumtheatre.com or by calling the McCallum Theatre Box Office at (760) 340-2787. The McCallum Theatre, located at 73000 Fred Waring Drive, Palm Desert CA 92260, accepts payment by cash, personal check, VISA, MasterCard, Discover and American Express.

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