"Call Me Adam" once again chats with The New York Pops' Musical Director Steven Reineke. This time around we discuss the second concert of their 32nd Season, By Special Request: An Evening With The Orchestra, which will take place on Friday, November 14 at 7:30pm at Carnegie Hall in NYC (57th Street and 7th Avenue). By Special Request: An Evening With The Orchestra will feature popular symphonic pieces by European masters; selections from great American composers such as Copland, Gershwin, Bernstein with Essential Voices USA; and the New York premiere of "Festival Te Deum" written by The New York Pops very own Steven Reineke. Click here for tickets!
1. On Friday, November 14, The New York Pops continues their 32nd Season with By Special Request: An Evening With The Orchestra. What do you like most about doing these special request concerts? I love that we've begun a tradition of featuring the orchestra and its wonderful musicians each season. We collaborate throughout the year with so many incredible guests artists and soloists but at the heart of it all, it's the orchestra that makes each concert so special with their amazing musicianship and versatility.
Doing a program like this really allows the orchestra to shine. The repertoire I've chosen is very demanding, giving us a chance to push ourselves and challenge the orchestra to reach even greater heights artistically.
2. During this show, you will perform your composition "Festival Te Deum," which will be making its New York debut. What excites you most about premiering this song during By Special Request? What, if anything, makes you nervous about having an audience hear one of your compositions for the first time? I'm very excited to conduct this piece in New York for the first time. I don't often program a lot of my own music here but I thought this was a great opportunity to show our audience another side of me. I'm not sure many of them realize that I'm also a composer. It's always a little scary to perform your own music for an audience because it's very personal. I just take a deep breath and hope that it connects with the listener and has an impact on them.
3. How did you decide which songs you were going to perform for this concert? The second half of the program is dedicated to iconic New York composers - Aaron Copland, Leonard Bernstein, and George Gershwin. It all started when I realized the date of the performance, November 14th, fell on Aaron Copland's birthday. He would've been 114 years old this year. That's when I decided to feature his music and pair it with Bernstein and Gershwin. The first half of the concert features some great music from the European symphonic repertoire.
4. Since the evening is called By Special Request, what is the one special request you get asked the most in regards to The New York Pops? Patrons and fans are constantly giving me their ideas and opinions regarding what they would like to see and hear. I really like that and take it all to heart. Honestly though, the number one thing I've heard from patrons over the years is that they sometimes just want to hear the orchestra featured without guest artists. I think this is a huge compliment to the musicians of The New York Pops. That's why I decided to create a concert each year called By Special Request: An Evening With the Orchestra.
5. If you could request anything of the New York Pops' audience, what would you ask them? Please tell all of their friends to buy subscription packages or single tickets to our concerts! Also, feel free to use social media to spread the word about this great orchestra. If you enjoyed a concert, then tweet about us or post on Facebook. We want everyone to know how special our concerts are and to continue to sell out our performances.
6. Once again, you are teaming up Judith Clurman's Essential Voices USA for this evening's concert. How did you first come to work with them and what makes you want to continue to team up with them for your concerts? Judith Clurman and the chorus were recommended to me the first season I was with the orchestra. We brought them in for a concert and I was blown away by their sound and professionalism. Judith is an extraordinary conductor and prepares the chorus beautifully. We know each other so well at this point that she knows exactly what I'll like or not.
7. What makes this By Special Request concert different from previous ones? For these concerts, it seems as though I've alternated programming film music one year and classical repertoire the next. This year we are back to classical pieces. I'm excited that this one also includes music from opera, ballet, and theater.
8. If you could be any original flavor Life Saver, which one would you be? Pineapple. It's the most interesting of the five original flavors.
9. If you could have a song written about your life, what are some key elements you would want to make sure the lyricist wrote into the song? For example, I've had two theme songs written for me...one for my past radio show and one for a live interview series I used to conduct. The key elements I wanted to make sure got written into each theme song was that I did entertainment interviews and then the lyricists wrote my theme songs around that idea. That I was born to be an entertainer and that I think love is the most powerful force in the universe.
10. How do you want to be remembered? Um, I sure hope that I'm not going anywhere very soon!!! I would like to be remembered as a kind, thoughtful, and generous person that gave everything to my work and lived life to the fullest. Hopefully, I also touched some people through music along the way.
Steven Reineke is the Music Director of The New York Pops at Carnegie Hall, Principal Pops Conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and Principal Pops Conductor of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Reineke is a frequent guest conductor with The Philadelphia Orchestra and has been on the podium with the Boston Pops, The Cleveland Orchestra and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at Ravinia. His extensive North American conducting appearances include San Francisco, Houston, Seattle, Edmonton and Pittsburgh. As the creator of more than one hundred orchestral arrangements for the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, Mr. Reineke's work has been performed worldwide, and can be heard on numerous Cincinnati Pops Orchestra recordings on the Telarc label. His symphonic works Celebration Fanfare, Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Casey at the Bat are performed frequently in North America. His numerous wind ensemble compositions are published by the C.L. Barnhouse Company and are performed by concert bands around the world. A native of Ohio, Mr. Reineke is a graduate of Miami University of Ohio, where he earned bachelor of music degrees with honors in both trumpet performance and music composition. He currently resides in New York City with his husband Eric Gabbard.
The New York Pops is the largest independent pops orchestra in the United States, and the only professional symphonic orchestra in New York City specializing in popular music. Led by Music Director Steven Reineke, the orchestra performs an annual subscription series and birthday gala at Carnegie Hall. The New York Pops was founded by Skitch Henderson in 1983 with a mission to create greater public awareness and appreciation of America’s rich musical heritage. The New York Pops is dedicated to lifelong learning, and collaborates with public schools, community organizations, children’s hospitals and senior centers throughout the five boroughs of New York City. PopsEd allows thousands of New Yorkers of all ages and backgrounds to participate in fully customizable music programs that blend traditional education with pure fun.