On Friday, November 19 at 8:00 p.m. in Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage, Broadway stars Kate Baldwin, Aaron Lazar, and Christiane Noll join The New York Pops, under the direction of Steven Reineke to celebrate the 80th birthday of legendary Broadway composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim. Sondheim-whose actual birthday was on March 22-is widely acknowledged as the most innovative and influential composer and lyricist in modern Broadway history. The concert will feature performances of some of the most beloved songs and soliloquies from Sondheim's extensive career. Vocal ensemble Essential Voices USA-led by Judith Clurman-also joins The New York Pops for this special performance.
Stephen Sondheim has written music and lyrics for over a dozen shows including: A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum, Follies, A Little Night Music, Sweeney Todd, and Into The Woods among others, as well as lyrics for West Side Story, Gypsy, Do I Hear A Waltz?, and additional lyrics for Candide. His works have garnered more than sixty individual and collaborative Tony Awards, and among a host of other accolades, Stephen Sondheim has been awarded The Pulitzer Prize for Drama, the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Kennedy Center Honors, a National Medal of Arts, and the Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre. In September 2010, New York's Henry Miller's Theatre was renamed The Stephen Sondheim Theatre.
Stephen Sondheim's 80th Birthday Celebration is the second of seven New York Pops performances at Carnegie Hall this season. The orchestra continues their season with two holiday concerts featuring two-time Tony award winner Brian Stokes Mitchell (December 10-11); a family concert presentation of How The Grinch Stole Christmas! (December 11); Doc Severinsen's El Ritmo de la Vida (January 28); and a tribute to the great Judy Garland with Ashley Brown, Heather Headley, and Karen Olivo (March 11).
Kate Baldwin is a veteran of Broadway and national stages alike. Her starring role in the recent revival of Finian's Rainbow launched her into the same league as Broadway's finest talents and resulted in Tony, Drama Desk, and Outer Critic's Circle Award nominations. Ms. Baldwin has appeared in the Broadway casts of The Full Monty, Thoroughly Modern Millie, and Wonderful Town. She starred in the national tour of Irving Berlin's White Christmas, Henry V at the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, The Women at San Diego's Old Globe, She Loves Me at the Willliamstown Theatre Festival, and South Pacific at Arena Stage, earning a Helen Hayes Award nomination for her portrayal. Most recently, she made her London debut in Paradise Found, directed by Harold Prince and Susan Stroman. Ms. Baldwin's concert work includes several appearances with Stephen Sondheim as a featured performer in his critically acclaimed evening, A Conversation with Stephen Sondheim. She has appeared at the Chicago Humanities Festival, and sang with ensembles ranging from the National Symphony Orchestra and the Portland Symphony Orchestra to The Chesapeake Orchestra and a performance with conductor Rob Fisher as part of Lincoln Center's American Songbook series. This season, she returns to Lincoln Center in a solo concert and appears with the Detroit Symphony. Her television work includes a guest starring role on NBC's Law & Order: SVU and a featured role in the PBS filming of Stephen Sondheim's Passion. Ms. Baldwin's debut album Let's See What Happens (PS Classics) features Lane and Harburg songs from both stage and feature films.
Originally from Cherry Hill, NJ, Aaron Lazar recently starred in Stephen Sondheim's Broadway revival of A Little Night Music. Mr. Lazar's other Broadway credits roles in Impressionism, A Tale of Two Cities, The Light in the Piazza, Oklahoma!, The Phantom of the Opera, and the revival of Les Misérables, for which he earned a Drama Desk nomination. He also starred opposite Reba McEntire and Brian Stokes Mitchell as Lt. Cable in South Pacific at the Hollywood Bowl. Mr. Lazar's television and film work includes White Collar (USA), Ugly Betty (ABC), The Notorious Bettie Paige (HBO), New Amsterdam (FOX), and The Light in the Piazza (PBS). Mr. Lazar has made a series of debuts with orchestras including: the Boston Pops with Keith Lockhart; The National Symphony Orchestra with Marvin Hamlisch; the Cincinnati Pops with Erich Kunzel; and the Los Angeles Philharmonic with Paul Gemignani at the Hollywood Bowl. His performance as part of the Stephen Sondheim 80th Birthday Celebration marks Mr. Lazar's second appearance with The New York Pops.