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
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!
Award winning film composer, Elmer Bernstein, will be making a rare appearance at the Eames Office Gallery and Store in Santa Monica, CA, on Sunday, December 3rd, between 2:00 and 4:00 p.m. More…
There are plans in the making for Mr. Bernstein to conduct concerts in Germany in 2001 following the Barcelona concert and in Japan in the spring of 2002.
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.
Film Music Review has picked “Elmer Bernstein: Music from the Films of Charles & Ray Eames” as their Best CD of the Month for July.
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.