Carnegie Hall to Host Free Skitch Henderson Tribute February 6

Classic Arts News   Carnegie Hall to Host Free Skitch Henderson Tribute February 6
 
The New York Pops will perform a concert at Carnegie Hall on February 6 in tribute to its late founder and music director, Skitch Henderson.

The 4 p.m. concert is free and open to the public. Tickets will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis at the Carnegie Hall box office on February 6 at 2 p.m.

Rob Fisher, who stepped in on short notice to conduct the Pops on November 11, 2005, after Henderson's death, will again lead the orchestra. Fisher, the former music director of New York City Center's Encores! series, is a specialist in American music and the Broadway musical.

Mezzo-soprano Marilyn Horne, columnist Liz Smith, and television journalist Mike Wallace will offer spoken tributes to Henderson, as will officials from the Pops and Carnegie Hall.

Born Lyle Russell Cedric Henderson in Birmingham, England, in 1918, Henderson began his career as a pianist in American saloons. He worked in the MGM music department and played piano for Bob Hope's Pepsodent Show before becoming music director for NBC Radio and NBC Television and leading the Tonight Show band.

In 1983, he founded the Pops, the city's first permanent symphonic pops orchestra. The ensemble plays an annual season at Carnegie Hall as well as performing on tour and on television.

Henderson died on November 1. At his request, there was no funeral, and the Pops' season continued as planned.

Another tribute to Henderson was held on January 17 in New Milford, Connecticut, where he and his wife Ruth lived for the last three decades of his life, and where they ran a store, art gallery, and cooking school.


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