1017 N Olive Rd
Tucson, AZ 85719
Leonard Bernstein: Arias and Barcarolles
New York Festival of Song
Steven Blier, Michael Barrett
The hundredth anniversary of the birth of American musical polymath Leonard Bernstein is upon us, and, in collaboration with the Tucson Desert Song Festival, we proudly present emissaries from the New York Festival of Song, a center of exceptional, intimate vocalism, in an all-Bernstein program. The centerpiece is Arias and Barcarolles, his serious, late song cycle for two singers and two pianists, but the program will also be packed with his rambunctious earlier fare, including selections from his Broadway shows.
In 1988, Manhattan-based pianists Michael Barrett and Steven Blier presented the very first concert season of New York Festival of Song, a series of intimate, original ensemble song programs consisting almost exclusively of rarely-heard songs of all kinds, “from Debussy to doo-wop, lieder to latin jazz, Josquin to just-written.” Each show was unified by a theme, constructed with a dramatic arc, and cast with superb vocal artists whose committed performances brought the songs to vivid life, with the directors as accompanists and animated narrators. This same dynamic model for seeking out unusual songs and sharing them audiences continues to shape NYFOS’s concerts today, in ways that continue to delight and surprise listeners. NYFOS’s motto since that first season has been “No song is safe from us!” Newsday has called NYFOS “the most reliably excellent musical organization in New York.”