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Saturday, December 31 at 8 p.m. Live from Lincoln Center "Bernstein and Gershwin"

(Rochester, NY) – Celebrate the start of the new year with a glamorous evening featuring the music of American 20th-century composers Leonard Bernstein and George Gershwin. Live From Lincoln Center “Bernstein and Gershwin, airing Saturday, December 31 at 8 p.m. on WXXI-TV/HD (DT21.1/cable 1011 and 11), features Bernstein’s Overture to Candide and his Symphonic Dances from West Side Story, and Gershwin’s Concerto in F and Rhapsody in Blue with the New York Philharmonic Gala conducted by music director Alan Gilbert, with star pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet.

Praised for his thrilling performances, profound artistry, poetic musicality and dazzling technical prowess, Thibaudet has played around the world, and has recently been inducted into the Hollywood Bowl Hall of Fame. Indeed, Thibaudet has a special appreciation for Gershwin, arguing that he has “always been an important part of my life, since I was 14 or 15.” Thibaudet has released a recording of George Gershwin’s works for piano and orchestra with jazz band orchestrations by Ferde Grofé with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra under Marin Alsop. About this disc, Minnesota Public Radio raved that “Thibaudet’s snappy performance sounds as if he’s grown an additional set of hands to pull off the syncopated rhythm and sonic clashes.” Thibaudet first performed in public at age seven, and played his first concerto with orchestra — Ravel’s Concerto in G — when he was just 11. He has since performed with the world’s most esteemed orchestras and collaborated with Renée Fleming, Cecilia Bartoli, Joshua Bell and the Rosetti String Quartet.

New York Philharmonic Music Director Alan Gilbert, The Yoko Nagae Ceschina Chair, became the first native New Yorker to hold the post in September 2009. He has introduced the positions of The Marie-Josée Kravis Composer-in-Residence and The Mary and James G. Wallach Artist-in-Residence, an annual three-week festival, and CONTACT!, the new-music series. Gilbert’s 2011–12 Philharmonic season embraces world premieres and pillars of the repertoire to shed fresh perspectives on both the new and the established. It also includes tours to Europe and California, appearances at Carnegie Hall and a program at the Park Avenue Armory featuring Stockhausen’s Gruppen.Gilbert, who is Conductor Laureate of the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, this season became Director of Conducting and Orchestral Studies at The Juilliard School, where he also holds the William Schuman Chair in Musical Studies.

Founded in 1842, the New York Philharmonic is the oldest symphony orchestra in the United States and one of the oldest in the world. Gilbert began his tenure in September 2009, succeeding a distinguished line of musical giants going back to Mahler and Toscanini. The orchestra has always played a leading role in American musical life, commissioning and/or premiering works by each era’s leading composers, and is renowned around the globe, having appeared in 430 cities in 63 countries. Credit Suisse is the exclusive Global Sponsor of the New York Philharmonic.

LIVE FROM LINCOLN CENTER, winner of 13 Emmy Awards, is currently in its 36th broadcast season. The series has made the world’s greatest artists on Lincoln Center’s renowned stages accessible to home viewers in virtually every corner of the United States. It is the only series of live performing arts telecasts on American television today.

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WXXI is the essential, life-long educational media resource for the Greater Rochester area. WXXI puts the community first with programming that stimulates and expands thought, inspires the spirit, opens cultural horizons and promotes understanding of diverse community issues. Log on to wxxi.org for more information about our services and programs.