New York Pops Opens Season With World Premiere

Classic Arts News   New York Pops Opens Season With World Premiere
Skitch Henderson and the New York Pops open their 2004-05 season tonight with a concert at Carnegie Hall featuring the world premiere of Melinda Wagner's 57/7 Dash.

The orchestra is joined by Hayley Westenra, the 17-year-old pop-classical crossover star from New Zealand whose debut album, Pure, sold more than one million copies. Brazil's Choro Ensemble also appears, performing several works in the polyrhythmic choro style.

57/7 Dash is the second work to be debuted by the Pops as part of the group's Skitch Henderson Commissions program (the first was Dave Brubeck's City Visions, which premiered in May). In requesting the piece, Henderson asked for a work that paid tribute to Carnegie Hall's location at 57th Street and 7th Avenue; Wagner added the "Dash" because, she said, "I've dashed to Carnegie so many times to catch the first piece."

The program also includes an excerpt from Orff's Carmina Burna, a symphonic arrangement of songs from The Music Man, and the overture to Offenbach's Orpheus in the Underworld.

Henderson, the former music director at NBC, founded the New York Pops in 1983; the group is now the largest independent pops orchestra in the U.S. Its season at Carnegie Hall includes a program of Gershwin and Ravel and an evening of music by Frank Loesser.

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