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If It Sounds Good, It Is Good! March 2016


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An unusual profession, such as conducting, prompts folks you meet to ask you A LOT of questions—which I am always happy to answer. I figure the more people know about what I do, the more they will get out of the orchestral experience and the extraordinary things our musicians create on stage. Early in my career it was often: “You actually DO this...for a LIVING?” or “Your arms must get REALLY tired!” Nowadays, the most frequent question I get is: “Did you ever see that Seinfeld episode...you know, ‘The Maestro’!?” For those of you who are not familiar with hit TV series Seinfeld, “The Maestro” (played by Mark Metcalf) was a quirky, egocentric conductor of the “New York Police Orchestra” who was insulted if not addressed reverently as “Maestro.” Among other things, he conducted in the air while driving his convertible, spent summers in Tuscany, and lounged in his underwear prior to the concert so as not to wrinkle his pants (and, NO, I don’t). Although the character appeared on only two HILARIOUS episodes, he forever sullied the reputation of those who carry a baton. So, to relay a personal message of thanks to Jerry Seinfeld, we have invited co-star Jason Alexander to join the Pops this month.

Nominated for multiple Emmy and Golden Globe Awards for his role as George Costanza on Seinfeld, Jason Alexander is bringing his professional comedy chops to the Music Hall stage. As prolific and popular as his TV and film roles have been, it’s his Tony Award-winning theatre career that has proven his song and dance abilities. I’m excited to perform selections from The Music Man, Merrily We Roll Along and other Broadway favorites alongside Jason, as well as some tunes from Billy Joel and a few other surprises.

We kick off the concert with a celebration of the 50th Academy Award Nomination for John Williams. As many of you did, I saw The Force Awakens over the holidays—the score was extraordinary! We’ll be performing selections from it for the first time in Cincinnati (the ink will still be wet) along with favorites that the Pops has recorded over the past three decades, including Hook, Raiders of the Lost Ark and Close Encounters of the Third Kind. It’s truly a joy to pay tribute to one of the greatest composers of our time and great friend of the Pops.

Cheers!

JMR