Toledo Symphony celebrates Bernstein by playing ‘West Side Story’ soundtrack live with film

11/25/11 9:58:21 PM -- Chicago Symphony Orchestra. West Side Story Live! .. © Todd Rosenberg Photography 2011


On Saturday, September 29, 2018 at 8 P.M. at the Stranahan Theater, the Toledo Symphony Orchestra (TSO) opens its 2018-2019 KeyBank Pops series with West Side Story: Film with Live Orchestra. The TSO joins the worldwide celebration of Leonard Bernstein’s 100th birthday to perform his electrifying score to West Side Story while the Oscar®-winning film is shown in high definition on the big screen above the stage.

The film will be projected on a large screen above the orchestra, taking the audience through a captivating journey of musical storytelling. Music Director Alain Trudel will not only lead the orchestra, but he will follow a series of synchronized cues from a click track to stay in coordination with the film on stage.

“It’s a classic movie with a fun and entertaining story,” said Alain Trudel, Music Director of the Toledo Symphony. “The score is challenging, and so is coordinating the music to the film, which only adds to the fun.”

Toledo Symphony President & CEO, Zak Vassar, is a particular admirer of West Side Story and its creator, Leonard Bernstein. “West Side Story is about as iconic as Broadway gets,” said Vassar. “With music by Leonard Bernstein, lyrics from Stephen Sondheim, and choreography by Jerome Robbins, this show was bound to succeed. Its melodies are so catchy, its words so sincere, and the dancing so vivid. Now, as the music world celebrates Bernstein’s centennial, I’m excited for the TSO to bring this great music back to life and provide us a space to reconsider this fantastic film.”

Orchestras around the world are joining together for the two year global celebration of the life and career of legendary composer and conductor, Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990). Bernstein transformed the way Americans and people everywhere hear and appreciate music. His successes as a composer ranged from the Broadway stage—West Side Story, On the Town, Wonderful Town, and Candide—to concert halls all over the world, where his orchestral and choral music continues to thrive.