The Pops is perhaps best known for its free Independence Day concert on the Esplanade fronting the Charles River in Boston. The event, which is broadcast nationally, features headline talent and a fireworks spectacular. More than 500,000 people gather to watch it live.
music has remained so compelling through the decades is “the openness they had to outside influences.” For example, Indian sitar virtuoso Ravi Shankar had a profound impact on Beatles' lead guitarist George Harrison. “The more complicated and imaginative something is, the more you can do with it,” says Lockhart of the new arrangements. The concert’s British Invasion theme won’t be limited to the Beatles. Also on the program is music by Elgar, Handel, the Who and Led Zeppelin. And there’ll be a special version of Benjamin Britten’s 1945 children’s classic, “The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra,” featuring new narration written by comedian John Hodgman. Playing light classical and popular music with equal sophistication has always been the hallmark of the Pops, which was founded in 1885 and bills itself as the mostrecorded orchestra in the country. In the 21 years since he succeeded celebrated film-score composer John Williams as conductor, Lockhart has led the orchestra on dozens of tours in the U.S. and abroad as well as on performances at the Super Bowl and the NBA Finals. Having conducted more than 1,700 Pops concerts, Lockhart is uniquely qualified to explain the orchestra’s niche:
“The Boston Pops performs the best music of the past and present, appealing to the widest possible audience with a broad spectrum of styles — from jazz to pop, indie rock to big band, film music to the Great American Songbook, and Broadway to classical, making it the perfect orchestra for people who don’t know they like orchestras.” During its February concert, the Pops might earn yet another distinction: the perfect orchestra for people who didn’t know they liked Beatles' songs played by an orchestra.
EVENT: A British Invasion: The Boston Pops Plays the Beatles DATE/TIME: Friday, February 3, 2017, 8 p.m. VENUE: Walt Disney Theater NOTES: One of America’s most popular orchestras performs classic Beatles' songs as well as music from other British rock groups. Also on the bill: classical fare and a new version of “The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra.” TICKETS: Prices start at $49.50 844.513.2014 • drphillipscenter.org
DID YOU KNOW? Since 2004, the Boston Pops has held POPSearch, a nationwide talent competition that offers amateur singers the chance to perform with the orchestra on tour and at its annual Independence Day extravaganza along the Charles River Esplanade. POPSearch is conducted through video submissions on YouTube and voting through bostonpops.org.
artsLife | WINTER 2016