Estelle Parsons to Narrate Leonard Bernstein’s ‘Kaddish’ with Hudson Valley Philharmonic at Bardavon

Estelle Parsons

Estelle Parsons

(POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y.)  – Leonard Bernstein’s Symphony No. 3 “Kaddish” will get a complete rendering by large orchestra, choir, vocal soloist, and narration – by Academy Award-winning, five-time Tony Award nominee Estelle Parsons – when the Hudson Valley Philharmonic performs under the baton of music director Randall Craig Fleischer at the Bardavon on Saturday, April 16, at 8pm. The program will also include works by Ernest Bloch and contemporary composer Meira Warshauer.

Renewal is the theme of this program featuring a Hudson Valley premiere of Warschauer’s “Like Streams in the Desert” (inspired by Psalm 126, whose theme is the return of exiles to Zion), Bloch’s “Hebraic Rhapsody” for cello; and Bernstein’s “Kaddish,” featuring soprano Kelly Nassief, the Vassar Choir, Cappella Festiva, and the Treble Choir, all under the direction of Christine Howlett.

Ticket holders are invited to a pre-concert talk by Maestro Fleischer and Oscar winner Estelle Parsons one hour prior to each concert.

Actress Estelle Parsons is an Oscar-winner, five-time Tony nominee, American Theater Hall of Fame honoree and is Acting Artistic Director at the famed Actor’s Studio in New York. She has worked with the Hudson Valley Philharmonic previously, narrating Mendelssohn’s Midsummer Night’s Dream Suite in 2002. In collaboration with the Bardavon and the Actor’s Studio she has also directed Al Pacino in Salome at the Bardavon for a pre- Broadway run in 2003 and in 2015 directed Rhapsody in Black, which was also developed with the Bardavon and the Actor’s Studio and is currently touring internationally. Parsons won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in 1967 for her role as Blanche Barrow in Bonnie and Clyde. She earned a second Oscar nomination for playing a religious fanatic in the Paul Newman directed Rachel, Rachel the following year. Among her most noted television roles, she played Roseanne’s mother on the award-winning sitcom Roseanne. She played the title role in Miss Margarita’s Way on Broadway and the National tour, and Violet Weston in August: Osage County on Broadway and the national tour. Her directing credits include: a multi-cultural Anthony and Cleopatra described as “the most exciting and innovative presentation in English since Peter Brook’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Belasco Theater; Flaubert’s Madame Bovary adapted by Adrienne Kennedy at the Signature Theater, NYC; Oedipus the King (Yeats adaptation) and Salome: The Reading (Oscar Wilde) with Al Pacino at the Bardavon, on Broadway and the National tour. Parsons was most recently seen on Broadway in The Velocity of Autumn  in 2014 and will co-star with Judith Ivey in Israel Horovitz’ Out of the Mouths of Babes, a new Off Broadway comedy opening in June at the Cherry Lane Theater in New York.

Soprano Kelley Nassief’s critically acclaimed and exquisite performances on symphonic stages across the globe have established her as one of the world’s leading concert and recital artists. She has performed with such conductors as Kurt Masur, Michael Tilson Thomas, Charles Dutois, Julius Rudel, Marin Alsop, Joann Falletta, and Seiji Ozawa. Some orchestras Miss Nassief has performed with include:  The New York Philharmonic, L’Orchestre de Paris, Dresden Philharmonic, The National Symphony, The Royal Flemish Philharminic, Chicago Symphony, Philadelphia Symphony, Tanglewood, and Houston Symphony.

Christine Howlett

Christine Howlett

Dr. Christine Howlett is the Director of Choral Activities at Vassar College where she conducts the Vassar College Women’s Chorus and Vassar College Choir and teaches music theory and voice.  Her choruses have sung at Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall and have toured in Italy, Turkey, Germany, Spain, England, France, and the USA. She is Artistic Director of Cappella Festiva, an auditioned choral ensemble based in the Hudson Valley. Cappella Festiva has garnered a reputation throughout the Hudson Valley for producing creative, high-quality concerts of compelling classical music. What started as a small group of distinguished musicians who wished to perform the music of Johann Sebastian Bach has become a stunning choir performing an eclectic musical repertoire, often collaborating with the Hudson Valley Philharmonic and other fine area musicians. The Cappella Festiva Treble Choir was formed 10 years ago to pass on that love of choral music to future generations. The Treble Choir provides an exceptional artistic opportunity for young singers of the Hudson Valley through education in vocal training, musicianship skills, and the exploration of challenging, diverse repertoire for treble voices, ages 10 to 17.

Randall Craig Fleischer is the dynamic, engaging music director of the Hudson Valley Philharmonic and celebrates his 21st season with the HVP this year. He is a leading force in the classical music scene all over the United States. His charismatic personality and contagious love of music ignite orchestral brilliance in every concert he conducts.

Randall Craig Fleischer

Randall Craig Fleischer

Mr. Fleischer has an active guest conducting career with many major orchestras in the United States and internationally including repeat engagements with the Israel Philharmonic, Hong Kong Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, Boston Pops, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Seattle Symphony, Utah Symphony, San Diego Symphony, Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, Houston Symphony, and others. Additionally, Mr. Fleischer is currently music director of the Anchorage Symphony and Youngstown Symphony Orchestra.

Also a composer, Mr. Fleischer is a national leader in symphonic rock and world music fusion. Pioneering these new and growing genres for more than 20 years now, he has worked with artists such as John Densmore (The Doors), Natalie Merchant, Blondie, Ani DiFranco, John Cale (Velvet Underground) and Garth Hudson (The Band). Mr. Fleischer’s arrangements and orchestral works have been and are performed around the world.

Tickets for Bernstein’s Kaddish range in price from $34 to $56. Student Rush tickets will be available one hour prior to the concert for $20.





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