West Side Story

25.8., 19:00, Slovak National Theatre (New Building), Bratislava


In 2018 a hundred years will have gone by since the birth of one of the most important music figures of the 20th century: the American conductor, composer, pianist, teacher, visionary and great populariser of classical music, Leonard Bernstein. A ceremonial gala concert with a selection of the best of his work will symbolically close the 14th annual Viva Musica! festival, simultaneously paying homage to this outstanding and extraordinarily inspiring individual. Rendered by the elite performers Adriana Kučerová and Pavol Breslik, the best-known numbers from West Side Story and Candide will be featured, complementing other musical numbers performed by the Viva Musica! Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Robert Jindra.  The gala concert will be held on August 25, 2018, the precise day of Bernstein’s birth, in the new building of the Slovak National Theatre in Bratislava. It will form part of the international project Bernstein at 100, under whose auspices events are being held all over the world in celebration of Leonard Bernstein’s personality and musical legacy.

Leonard Bernstein was born on August 25, 1918 in Lawrence, in the state of Massachusetts. He graduated from Harvard University, subsequently from the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia. In 1942 he moved to New York. At the age of 25 he made his debut as conductor with the New York Philharmonic at Carnegie Hall, filling in for a sick colleague. On Broadway he achieved his first success with the musical On the Town; later, in the late 1940s and early 50s, he wrote his most famous works, including Candide, Wonderful Town, the legendary West Side Story, music for Elia Kazan’s film On the Waterfront, and the ballet Age of Anxiety. He held the position of Music Director of the New York Philharmonic for 11 seasons. Bernstein was an enthusiastic promoter of the works of Gustav Mahler and Carl Nielsen, and he also established much contemporary music in the repertoire. He achieved world popularity by performing in the TV programmes Young People's Concerts, which were aimed at popularising classical music and making it accessible to a broad public. He died at the age of 72 in New York.

Adriana Kučerová, soprano
Pavol Breslik, tenor
Viva Musica! Symphony Orchestra
Robert Jindra, conductor


Leonard Bernstein (1918–1990)

Candide: Overture
„Candide’s Lament“ (Candide)
„Glitter and be Gay“ (Candide)
Suite from Candide (arr. Charlie Harmon)

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Symphonic Dances from West Side Story
West Side Story, Concert Suite 1