Penn State College of Arts and Architecture
Center for the Performing Arts at Penn State

Czech National Symphony and Isabel Leonard to perform Leonard Bernstein program Feb. 27 at Eisenhower

The Czech National Symphony Orchestra, conducted by John Mauceri and joined by multiple Grammy Award-winning singer Isabel Leonard, will celebrate the centennial of Leonard Bernstein’s birth in a concert at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 27, in Eisenhower Auditorium.

The all-Bernstein-compositions program includes meditations from “Mass,” symphonic dances from “West Side Story,” vocal selections from the cycle of American poems “Songfest” and the opera “A Quiet Place,” the overture from the operetta “Candide” and more.

Purchase tickets, which are $59 for an adult, $15 for a University Park student, and $49 for a person 18 and younger. A grant from the University Park Student Fee Board makes Penn State student prices possible.

Bernstein was not only one of the first American-born-and-educated conductors to become internationally famous, he was also a composer, a pianist and an educator who transcended the classical music field to achieve iconic status in the 20th century.

Mauceri was a mentee of and conducting fellow with Bernstein, and mezzo-soprano Leonard has been applauded for her interpretations of Bernstein repertoire.

The distinguished and varied career of Mauceri has taken him not only to the world’s greatest opera companies and symphony orchestras, but also to the musical stages of Broadway and Hollywood. He has won Grammy, Tony, Olivier, Drama Desk, Emmy, Billboard and other noteworthy awards.

Mauceri was, in turn, the music director of Pittsburgh Opera, Teatro Regio (Turin, Italy), Scottish Opera (Glasgow) and Washington (D.C.) Opera. He was the founding director of the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, where he conducted more than 300 concerts attended by a total of four million people. Mauceri conducted the world premiere of Bernstein’s “A Quiet Place.” From 2006–2013, he was the chancellor of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts.

Leonard thrills listeners in both opera houses and on concert stages. She has performed with many of the finest opera companies, including the Metropolitan Opera, Vienna State Opera, Paris Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago and San Francisco Opera. She has worked with famous conductors in appearances with the Cleveland, Chicago Symphony and Boston Symphony orchestras plus the New York, Los Angeles and Vienna philharmonics. She’s also in demand as a recitalist and is on the board of trustees at Carnegie Hall.

Watch a preview about Leonard.

“Leonard is a true treasure,” wrote a critic for New York Classical Review, “… immensely talented and charismatic … already one of the world’s leading artists though still relatively early in her career.”

The orchestra, based in Prague, is marking its 26th birthday this year. Known for its versatility, the ensemble presents a broad program ranging from classical to contemporary music. The orchestra also performs film scores, jazz and songs from musical theater

Learn more about the artists and the program.

Artistic Viewpoints, an informal moderated discussion featuring a visiting artist or artists, is offered one hour before the performance and is free for ticket holders. Artistic Viewpoints regularly fills to capacity, so seating is available on a first-arrival basis.

Shirley J. Coploff, Nancy Gamble, and Lam and Lina Hood sponsor the presentation. The John L. Brown Jr. and Marlynn Steele Sidehamer Endowment provides support.