Last fall, composer and lyricist Marvin Hamlisch performed at York’s Strand-Capitol Performing Arts Center. It could have been just another concert for a musician who compares to George Gershwin, Cole Porter and Richard Rogers of Rogers and Hammerstein fame – the only other man on the planet beside Hamlisch who earned Emmys, Grammys, Oscars, a Tony and a Pulitzer Prize.
But York – the Strand, its staff and the audience – impressed Hamlisch. The York Symphony Orchestra announced Tuesday that he’ll help conduct the organization’s 80th season, which kicks off this fall. It is one of several changes slated for the 2012-13 season and beyond.
Robert Hart Baker, music director for the YSO, said he wanted to invite Hamlisch back to York to conduct the symphony. Strand CEO and YSO Executive Director Ken Wesler made the request.
During the 2012-13 season, Hamlisch will conduct two pops concerts. Baker, who celebrates his 30th year with YSO next year, will conduct four classical concerts. After the season, Baker will transition to music director laureate as the orchestra searches for a new music director. Read more.
More YSO announcements
Strategic plan: The orchestra will work on a new strategic plan this summer. The consulting firm Tweed-Weber, which has worked on strategic plans with the Strand-Capitol Performing Arts Center and other York organizations, will help oversee the process. As arts dollars disappear and entertainment competitors increase, the goal is to make sure the orchestra is viable in the future. “Our product and how it’s selling is a concern,” YSO music director Robert Hart Baker said. “We have to identify a new base of patrons and ticketholders.”
New Year’s Eve Viennese Celebration concert: In addition to four classical concerts, Baker will conduct the event Dec. 31, 2012. Baker said it will be incorporated into the city’s New Year’s Revolution festivities. The concert will be modeled after the traditional Vienna Philharmonic New Year’s concert. Details about YSO’s 2012-13 season will be released soon.
Bid for Blood Sweat & Tears signed guitar: All nine members of Blood Sweat & Tears signed the Dreadknought acoustic guitar after their Jan. 28 performance with YSO. The orchestra will auction the guitar and proceeds will benefit YSO educational programming. For details, visit www.yorksymphony.org.