‘Bernstein at 100’ Was Worth the Wait

By John Shulson - The Virginia Gazette
April 17, 2018

While this year’s Virginia Arts Festival has been offering entertainment for months, April begins a constant flow of events, the opening of which kicked off Friday on a mighty musical note with its “Bernstein at 100.”

The program at the Ferguson Center featured the Virginia Symphony Orchestra, under JoAnn Falletta; the Virginia Chorale; Todd Rosenlieb Dance; soloist from the Virginia Children’s Chorus; internationally acclaimed guest soloists Robert McDuffie, violin, and Jon Manasse, clarinet; and as host-narrator Leonard Bernstein’s daughter, Jamie.

Bernstein was a genius, his creative output finding extensive success in crafting works for the stage and concert hall that embraced all musical styles. A solid sampling of his diversity provided the content of this program which opened with the bubbly Overture to “Candide,” which Falletta and company imbued with energy, spirit and exuberance.

Following and with equal exuberance throughout the evening was Jamie Bernstein who regaled us with stories of life with her father, along with stories behind the works heard Friday and how he came to write them. Her comments and presentation reflected her father’s larger-than-life personality and added to this celebratory concert.

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Jamie Bernstein