Friday Night Classics: A Gershwin and Bernstein Gala


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Friday 4 July 2014 at 7.30pm

Symphony Hall, Birmingham +44 (0)121 345 0600

City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra

Michael England  conductor
Leila Benn Harris  vocalist
Caroline Sheen  vocalist
Norman Bowman  vocalist
Victor Sangiorgio  piano

We are sorry to announce that Martin Yates has had to withdraw from this concert. We are grateful to Michael England for taking his place.

Girl Crazy – Overture
Gershwin Medley • Summertime
I’ll Build a Stairway to Paradise
I’ve Got a Crush on You
Promenade (Walking the Dog)
Swanee • The Man I Love
Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off
Fascinatin’ Rhythm • Rhapsody in Blue

West Side Story: Mambo | Balcony Scene
Something’s Coming | Somewhere |
A Boy Like That

Candide: Overture

On the Town: Lonely Town |
Times Square 1944 |
I Can Cook Too |
Some Other Time |
Wonderful Town: A Little Bit in Love |
New York, New York


New York, New York! George Gershwin wrote the soundtrack to the Jazz Age Big Apple. Lennie Bernstein turned its mean streets into thrilling song and dance. Together, they add up to one fabulous night out on the Fourth of July in the greatest city on earth… Birmingham, of course! We’re talking songs like Summertime and Fascinatin’ Rhythm, and shows like West Side Story and On the Town, not forgetting the theme tune of Manhattan itself, Rhapsody in Blue. So let’s go – it’s a helluva town!

Produced in association with West End International Ltd.



Review by Paul Marston, BehindtheArras:

Click here for full review

…     “Why? Because the three soloists, Leila Benn Harris, Caroline Sheen and Norman Bowman, made a much bigger impression in the second half of the programme when they were singing to Bernstein’s music . . . particularly the selection from West Side Story, including Tonight, Somewhere and A Boy Like That.

But, had there been an individual prize, it would surely have gone to the superb pianist, Victor Sangiorgio. Born in Sicily, he moved to Western Australia when he was four and gave his first public performance a year later.

At the end of the first act, he played Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue with a quality that earned rapturous applause from a large audience.

The CBSO played with their usual admirable skill throughout, and earned a special tribute from conductor England who praised ‘the versatility of this extraordinary orchestra’.”      …