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Czech National Symphony Orchestra celebrates famed composer, musician Leonard Bernstein

newspaperCelebrate the legacy of the world-renowned composer, conductor, and pianist Leonard Bernstein with the Czech National Symphony Orchestra and multiple Grammy-winning mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard when they bring the performance “100 Years of Leonard Bernstein” to the Moss Arts Center on Friday, Feb. 22, at 7:30 p.m.

The performance will be held in the center’s Anne and Ellen Fife Theatre, located within the Street and Davis Performance Hall at 190 Alumni Mall.

The Czech National Symphony Orchestra is renowned for its versatility and range, from classical through contemporary genre, film scores, jazz, and musicals. This program commemorates what would be the famed musician’s 100th birthday with some of his most treasured works, including selections from “Songfest,” “Trouble in Tahiti,” “1600 Pennsylvania Avenue,” “Candide,” “Peter Pan,” and “West Side Story.”

The orchestra will be conducted by John Mauceri, a mentee and conducting fellow with Bernstein himself, while singer Isabel Leonard, critically acclaimed for her performances of Bernstein repertoire, will join the orchestra for several songs.

In demand for both opera and recital performances, Leonard has received multiple Grammy Awards, most recently for Ravel’s “L’enfant et les sortilèges” with Seiji Ozawa and “The Tempest” from the Metropolitan Opera. In repertoire that spans from Vivaldi to Mozart to Thomas Ades, Leonard has graced the stages of the world’s most respected opera houses and appeared with famed conductors and orchestras. During her visit to Blacksburg, Leonard will conduct a master class with Virginia Tech vocal students.

Mauceri, world-renowned conductor, educator, and writer, has appeared with the world’s greatest opera companies and symphony orchestras and on the musical stages of Broadway and Hollywood. For 18 years, Mauceri worked closely with Bernstein and conducted many of the composer’s premieres at Bernstein’s request. He is the founding director of the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, which was created for him in 1991 by the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association. Breaking all records at the bowl, he conducted over 300 concerts at the 18,000-seat amphitheater with a total audience of four million people.

Known as one of Europe’s top symphonic ensembles, the Czech National Symphony Orchestra presents a broad musical program annually. The orchestra has collaborated with Andrea Bocelli, as well as pop artists, including Sting, George Michael, and Natalie Cole. Successful tours have taken the orchestra to Canada, France, Spain, Dubai, Japan, Mexico, China, Korea, Oman, Australia, New Zealand, and the United States.

Directly before the performance, the center will offer a free talk, “Lenny at 100: Leonard Bernstein and the Shape of American Music,” led by Richard Masters, assistant professor of piano in the School of Performing Arts at Virginia Tech. Starting at 6 p.m. in the Moss Arts Center Cube, the event is free, but admission is first-come, first-served. To guarantee a seat, register online.


Tickets are $40-75 for general public and $10 for students and youth 18 and under. Tickets can be purchased online; at the Moss Arts Center’s box office, 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday; or by calling 540-231-5300 during box office hours.

While Virginia Tech students can always attend any Moss Arts Center performance for only $10, the center also offers free last minute rush tickets for students who sign up for text notifications. To receive these notifications, text “arts” to 31996. Availability of rush tickets varies by performance and tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis while supplies last in the box office. Virginia Tech ID will be required for admission.

Parking is available in the North End Parking Garage on Turner Street. Virginia Tech faculty and staff possessing a valid Virginia Tech parking permit can enter and exit the garage free of charge. Limited street parking is also available. Parking on Alumni Mall is free on weekdays after 5 p.m. and on weekends.

If you are an individual with a disability and desire an accommodation, please contact Kacy McAllister at 540-231-5300 or email during regular business hours at least 10 business days prior to an event.

augusta free press
augusta free press