The Maestro Takes Tea, Crumpets and the Baton August 14 at Royal Albert Hall, London
Elmer Bernstein has been invited as guest composer-conductor to lead the BBC Orchestra on August 14, 2001 at the venerable BBC Promenade (“the Proms”) Concert Series. In addition to conducting his own acclaimed scores (click here for program), he has been invited to conduct the works of several composers whose work had an influential effect on his career as a film composer, including mentor Aaron Copeland. “Exiled Composers” is the theme of the series. Many of the composers honored that evening fled Europe as a result of the escalation of anti-Semitism and subsequent pogrom of Jewish intellectuals.
“As I was the first generation of my family to be born and raised in America, my first earliest cultural influences were quite naturally European and I am very proud to have been selected for this particular program,” said Bernstein.
The Henry Mancini Institute has announced this schedule for its annual series of three concerts—this year at the Wadsworth Theatre in West Los Angeles—featuring various guest artists with the HMI Orchestra. Charlie Haden’s Quartet West will perform on July 26 followed by Bob Brookmeyer, Elmer Bernstein and John Dankworth on August 4 and Regina Carter, John Clayton and Jerry Goldsmith on August 11. —Don Heckman, Los Angeles Times, Friday, May 18, 2001
Subjects as diverse as Bernstein’s early years and graylisting, work with directors from Cecil B. deMille to Martin Scorsese, collaboration with avant-garde designers Charles and Ray Eames and seeing the Beatles at the Hollywood Bowl are interpersed with the sounds of many of the classic Bernstein scores.
Composer Receives Founders Award at Beverly Hills Black Tie Gala
Elmer Bernstein received the highest honor bestowed by the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) at a gala dinner held April 24, 2001 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. Hosted by Academy Award-winning lyricist, President and Chairman of ASCAP, Marilyn Bergman, The Maestro was personally saluted by composer David (“Laura”) Raksin, lyricist Johnny Mandel, directors Edward Norton and Bill Duke. Composer James Newton Howard gave the moving keynote address. Upon accepting the award, Bernstein noted, “While recently in Spain following conducting a concert in Barcelona, I was quietly contemplating the true meaning of my work at a quaint, outdoor country cafe. At that moment, a little girl put a coin in a mechanical horse that began to play my theme from ‘The Magnificent Seven.’ It was an epiphany.”
On March 23 and 24, 2001, Elmer Bernstein conducted two concerts of his music in L’Auditori, Barcelona, Spain. L’Auditori, a concert hall inaugurated during the Olympic Games in 1992, had not one single vacant for these concerts: the response was massive and people came from all corners of Spain, as well as from abroad.
Mr. Bernstein arrived a few days before for rehearsals. On Friday 23, he cancelled the last rehearsal, saying that he was fully satisfied with the OBC (The National Orchestra of Catalonia and of the City of Barcelona). His consideration was justified: both concerts gained the best acceptance of the public.
The program included the main themes from The Great Escape, The Magnificient Seven, The Sons of Katie Elder, The Man with the Golden Arm, Walk on the Wild Side, Heavy Metal, as well as extensive suites from Hawaii, To Kill a Mockinbird, The Ten Commandments and The Age of Innocence. Also, he played Hollywood and the Stars (from the TV-documentary series) and the less known The View from Pompey’s Head.
It was, in all senses, two successful evenings. Mr. Bernstein gave full explanations of his music, even trying to speak in Spanish, and demonstrated that he has an enviable energy.
I had the opportunity to have supper with Mr. Bernstein and his wife on Thursday 22. We took them to a restaurant in the old district of Barcelona (the most visited by tourists), and through three hours we enjoyed a delightful company, talking about film music, Hollywood in the Golden Years, his perception of music nowadays… and a long etcetera.
I must say that Mr. Bernstein is a real gentleman. A kind man with a golden heart. Fortunately for us, he’ll be back next year in Barcelona. We’re waiting for him with our arms open. L’Auditori, a concert hall inaugurated during the Olympic Games in 1992, had not one single vacant for these concerts: the response was massive and people came from all corners of Spain, as well as from abroad. –Concert report by Conrado Xalabarder
Legendary Composer Surprises S.R.O. Audience by Taking Up the Baton
Composer Elmer Bernstein thrilled the Dallas Symphony Orchestra audience with a surprise appearance as conductor for a suite from his score to The Magnificent Seven.
“The audience was clearly wowed, however, when Mr. Bernstein himself—regarded by insiders as the greatest film composer of the second half of the century just past—hustled onstage to conduct a rousing suite from this score to “The Magnificent Seven.” –The Dallas Morning News, January 8, 2001
The audience exploded into a spontaneous standing ovation at the conclusion of the suite.
The Dallas appearance was the first of many such appearances and honors scheduled for 2001, marking his Fiftieth Anniversary of composing music for feature films, a first in the motion picture industry.
Elmer Bernstein has extended his European appearance schedule to conduct an al fresco concert on August 24 with the Sinfonia de Galicia in La Coruna, Spain.
In addition to attracting many of Europe’s most accomplished musicians, Sinfonia de Galicia also includes many expatriate American performers. In addition to a program of his original film compositions, Elmer will also conduct works by Rozsa, Korngold and Steiner. Viva la musica, viva los musicos y viva El Maestro!
Mr. Bernstein has been commissioned by private citizen Dr. David Fulton, philanthropist and music lover, to create an original composition for string quartet. The date of the first performance has not yet been announced.
Warsaw, Poland. On May 25, 2000, Mr. Bernstein was guest conductor with the Warsaw Sinfonia Varsovia in a concert of his own film compositions. He was joined in two of the jazz-oriented pieces, The Man with the Golden Arm and Walk on the Wild Side, by world-renown trumpeter Chuck Mangione.
Mr. Bernstein is in the process of reviewing the first five releases of his widely acclaimed Film Music Collection for release on Amber Records. The first release, the Bernstein-Eames CD featuring music for the avant-garde films of Charles and Ray Eames, is among a series of Limited Edition compact discs highlighting previously unreleased original scores from these films. Each recording has been meticulously transferred from the finest available sources.