New Zealand Symphony Orchestra concerts celebrate Leonard Bernstein and 'The Four Seasons'

 Brett Mitchell will lead the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra in four performances in Wellington (May 11-12) and Auckland (May 18-19). (Photo by Jeff Nelson)

Brett Mitchell will lead the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra in four performances in Wellington (May 11-12) and Auckland (May 18-19). (Photo by Jeff Nelson)

Scoop (New Zealand) has published a preview of Brett Mitchell's upcoming performances with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra.

The New Zealand Symphony Orchestra celebrates a giant of 20th-century music and one of the most popular works ever written for violin in two back-to-back concerts in Wellington and Auckland in May.

Bernstein at 100 marks the centenary of legendary American composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein, best known for the musical West Side StoryThe Four Seasons will feature Vivaldi’s intoxicating concerti for violin, performed by acclaimed violinist Angelo Xiang Yu.

Both concerts will be conducted by American Brett Mitchell, Music Director of the Colorado Symphony, who has been hailed for his compelling performances of innovative and eclectic programmes.

Bernstein at 100 features American singer Morgan James, a talented Broadway star who is at home across genres. The concert will include the Symphonic Suite from On the Waterfront, dances from the musicals On the Town and West Side Story, alongside "Dream with Me" from Peter Pan and "Glitter and Be Gay" from Candide.

“When you think about American music in the 20th century, it’s impossible not to think of Leonard Bernstein,” Mitchell has said.

“It’s amazing to me to think Bernstein was music director of the New York Philharmonic from 1958 to 1969. It was literally the year before he started that they released West Side Story, which is one of the great Broadway hits of all time. You’ve got somebody that really was every bit as comfortable in the Broadway world as he was in the classical, orchestral world.”

Bernstein at 100 is performed on 11 May and The Four Seasons on 12 May in Wellington. The following week Bernstein at 100 is performed on 18 May and The Four Seasons on 19 May in Auckland.

To read the complete preview, please click here.