Fairfield University Orchestra invites community members to play under new conductor Charles Z. Bornstein


Image: Charles Z. BornsteinThe Fairfield University Orchestra will reconvene for the 2004-05 season under a new conductor, Charles Z. Bornstein, a scholar of Leonard Bernstein and an educator with the New York Philharmonic. Participation in the Orchestra is open to any and all community members and students interested in playing.

Bornstein, a Fairfield resident, has been involved in music and conducting for more than three decades. He has served as the musical director/principal conductor for half a dozen musical organizations including the Rubin Academy of Music Jerusalem (2002-03); the Rockford Symphony Orchestra (1986-1992); the London, Canada Mozart Festival (1985-1987); and the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra (1982-1984).

As a member of the education department of the New York Philharmonic, Bornstein has unusual access to the complete archives of Leonard Bernstein, and plans to utilize them to enhance the experience of the Fairfield University Orchestra.

"We will be using Mr. Bernstein's own materials that he used in his own concerts and recordings," Bornstein said.

Bornstein has been a guest or assistant conductor for various orchestras and symphonies in more than a dozen different countries including the United States, Austria, Germany, England, Yugoslavia, Portugal and France. He debuted as a guest conductor in 1985 with the Royal Conservatory of Toronto. Since then he has worked with dozens of different professional orchestras and symphonies including the BBC Philharmonic and Chorus in Huddersfield, England; the Krakow Philharmonic and Chorus; the Hochschule, Vienna Musikverein; and the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and Chorus.

In 1974 he received his B.M. from the Julliard School and then earned a diploma from the Mozarteum. He went on to study at the University of Vienna where he received his M.M. in 1975. He graduated in 1975 as a part of the Vienna Master-class. He has been a guest lecturer internationally and has written several articles and publications. Bornstein is currently writing a book on the works of Gustav Mahler, the Austrian conductor and composer from the late romantic epoch.

The Fairfield University Orchestra has been in place for nearly 15 years and has always been made up of both community members and Fairfield University students. There are no auditions and participation is free. The Orchestra begins rehearsals this year on Monday, Sept. 13. Community members interested in joining the Orchestra are welcome to attend the rehearsal, which will take place in the Gonzaga Auditorium at Fairfield University at 7:30 p.m.

"Charles' expertise is in translating Bernstein's interpretive genius, making it accessible to both players and the audience," said Laura Nash Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Visual and Performing Arts at Fairfield University. "Given his expertise and extraordinary access to Leonard Bernstein's materials, the Fairfield University Orchestra will be performing at least one Leonard Bernstein interpretation of a piece in each concert."

The Orchestra will perform its semi-annual concerts in December and May at the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts at Fairfield University. This year the Orchestra will be playing Schubert's "Symphony 5" from Bernstein's materials, Elgar's "Sea Pictures" an evocative song cycle, as well as Sviridov's "The Snowstorm," a piece based on a Pushkin short story.

"I'm actually trying to duplicate as an art form, or as an experience, the Bernstein interpretive essence," Bornstein said. "Participants will get a unique experience in the town in which Bernstein lived, to understand first-hand one of the world's greatest interpreters of music."

Members of the Orchestra and of the Fairfield University faculty and staff, are also welcome to attend Bornstein's events at the New York Philharmonic, free of charge. For information on the Fairfield University Orchestra, please contact Dr. Nash at (203) 254-4000, ext. 2638 or via e-mail at lnash@mail.fairfield.edu.

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Media Contact: Nancy Habetz, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2647, nhabetz@fairfield.edu

Posted on August 25, 2004

Vol. 37, No. 43