Overture to a Busy Summer

RI Philharmonic celebrates the work of Leonard Bernstein and brings the Pops outside


The Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra and Music School is known for its variety, from pops concerts in local parks to performing well-known pieces – such as Rhapsody in Blue and Beethoven’s Fourth Symphony – at hallowed venues like the Providence Performing Arts Center. This summer, the company has a lot in store, including surprise selections, guest soloists, and special concerts.

On June 3, the RI Philharmonic will host a special concert, Bernstein on Broadway: Glitter and Be Gala, celebrating music legend Leonard Bernstein’s 100th birthday at the VETS. The event features conductor Teddy Abram and Broadway’s Morgan James, and the program will include selections from such classics as West Side Story, On the Town, Candide, and Wonderful Town. Directly after the concert, a dinner will be hosted to honor Lynn Singleton, president of the PPAC. Tickets can be purchased online, in person, or at the VETS box office the day of the event.

Meanwhile, RI Philharmonic’s signature Pops concerts will make a return later in the summer, with outdoor performances in Providence, Narragansett, Bristol, and Pawtucket. “We will feature selections from the music of Leonard Bernstein, as we continue to celebrate his centenary, and will recognize the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King 50 years after his death,” says David Beauchesne, executive director of the Philharmonic, who invites guests to pack blankets and picnic baskets for music under the open sky.

While the summer lineup is confirmed, the Philharmonic is still on a hunt for a new music director for the 2018-19 season. Recent concerts have each been led by a different conductor, and patrons are encouraged to fill out surveys, assessing their performances. “We are excited to have some outstanding individuals, who are interested in the position,” says Beauchesne. “We are confident we will find the right person.”