Boston Pops’ 125th anniversary season honors Kennedys, 9/11 Flag

Summer approaching means looking forward to the sound of the Boston Pops.

Tony- and Emmy award-winning actress Cherry Jones joins Keith Lockhart, the Boston Pops, and the Tanglewood Festival Chorus, and special guests - actors Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman, and Ed Harris—for the world premiere performance of The Dream Lives On: A Portrait of the Kennedy Brothers—the centerpiece of the Boston Pops’ 125th anniversary season celebration on May 18, at 8 p.m. (repeated on May 19), at Symphony Hall in Boston, MA.

Emmy award winner Cherry Jones, (President Allison Taylor on 24), has appeared in Oceans Twelve, The Village, Signs, and Cradle Will Rock, and in guest appearances on television shows including “The West Wing” and “Frasier.”

The world premiere performances of The Dream Lives On are the centerpiece of the Boston Pops 125th anniversary season, May 4-June 20.

These concerts also feature a very special Star-Spangled Banner, The National 9/11 Flag – the flag that was hanging before, during, and after the attacks across from the South Tower – accompanied by members of the New York and Boston Fire Departments, as well as volunteers who travel to disaster areas to help rebuild.

The presence of the 9/11 Flag is an especially appropriate accompaniment to these Boston Pops concerts premiering The Dream Lives On, as President Obama signed the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act, which for the first time officially recognized September 11 as a National Day of Service and Remembrance.

Also, in the aftermath of 9/11 Senator Kennedy personally called the 177 Massachusetts families who had lost loved ones in the attack.

The flag presentation includes a new film by Scott Rettberg and Megan Sleeper and edited by Bryan Norfolk.


The May 18 and 19 program, part of a series entitled “American Heroes,” will also feature Arlo Guthrie singing “This Land is Your Land” and Brian Stokes Mitchell singing a new arrangement of one of his signature songs, “The Impossible Dream,” with chorus and orchestra (May 18 & 19).

Patti Austin joins the orchestra on May 19 & 20 for a song set that includes the world premiere of a powerful new song called “We the People,” written by Alan and Marilyn Bergman and Roger Kellaway.

"We the People" is the theme song for"Visions of America - a Photo Symphony." Acclaimed local actor Will LeBow will narrate The Dream Lives On for performances on May 20, 21, and 22.

The Dream Lives on: A Portrait of the Kennedy Brothers composer Peter Boyer is active in both the field of concert hall music and the film and television music industry where he recently orchestrated music for Michael Giacchino’s Oscar-winning score to "Up".

In addition to writing orchestral arrangements for more than a dozen feature films, Mr. Boyer has twice arranged and orchestrated music for the Academy Awards, including the 2009 telecast. His orchestral works have received well over 200 public performances by more than 80 orchestras worldwide including the London Symphony Orchestra, the Brooklyn Philharmonic, and the Dallas Symphony.

The Dream Lives on: A Portrait of the Kennedy Brothers Writer and lyricist Lynn Ahrens began her career writing songs for "Schoolhouse Rock." In her longtime partnership with composer Stephen Flaherty, she's enjoyed tremendous Broadway success with shows including Once on this Island, Dessa Rose, Seussical the Musical, and Ragtime (for which Ahrens won the Tony, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics Circle awards).

Tickets for the 2010 Boston Pops season at Symphony Hall are priced from $20-$99. All performances start at 8 p.m. with the exception of the Sunday Family Concert at 3 p.m. on June 20.

Tickets to the gala fund raiser, Presidents at Pops, on May 19, start at $500, with some options including tickets to an exclusive Boat Cruise and Esplanade Concert on July 3, as well an additional Pops 125 event to be announced soon. For further information, call 617-638-9466. Performance-only tickets for May 19 are priced from $75-$250 and can be purchased by calling 888-266-1200 or at

Tickets may be purchased online at or by phone through SymphonyCharge at 617-266-1200 or 888-266-1200, Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (with a $5.50 handling fee for each ticket ordered online or by phone). Tickets may also be purchased in person at the Symphony Hall box office, open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and on Sunday from 1 p.m. through the first concert intermission on concert dates. Most major credit cards and cash are accepted at the box office. For Group Sales of 25 or more, please call 617-638-9345 or 800-933-4255.

The Boston Symphony has a dedicated line for disabled patrons who would like to purchase tickets to BSO, Boston Pops, or Tanglewood concerts, or who need information about disability services at Symphony Hall or Tanglewood. This line can be reached by dialing 617-638-9431. For access via TDD/TTY, please call 617-638-9289. Patrons with disabilities can access Symphony Hall through the Cohen Wing on Huntington Avenue or through the Massachusetts Avenue entrance.


The 125th season opened on May 4 with a gala concert featuring multiple Tony Award-winner Idina Menzel and the inimitable Doc Severinsen, who holds the distinction of having performed under the batons of Arthur Fiedler, John Williams, and Keith Lockhart—a perfect addition to a program honoring the artistic vision of the three most famous Boston Pops conductors.

During the season the Pops will mark the 10th anniversary of the popular radio and TV show “From the Top,” focus on esteemed artists from the fields of jazz, musical theater, and pop, including Dave Brubeck, Kelli O’Hara, and Maureen McGovern, and honor the legacies of such musical titans as Ray Charles, Duke Ellington, Cole Porter, and Rodgers and Hammerstein.

To bring the 125th season to a close in June, the Boston Pops will present one of this country’s greatest living legends—the incomparable Arlo Guthrie. Other highlights include A Boston Pops 125th documentary, entitled America’s Orchestra: Celebrating 125 Years of the Boston Pops to air on PBS in the spring, and a national contest through Twitter, Facebook, and mobile phone text messages for a family of four to win a trip to Boston’s famous Fourth-of-July celebration, details of which are available at


Celebrating its 125th anniversary this spring, May 4-June 19, the Boston Pops Orchestra has distinguished itself as the founder of and leader in its genre, presenting the best of a wide variety of music from jazz to pop, indie rock to big band, film music to the great American songbook, and Broadway to classical. Affectionately know as "America's Orchestra," the Boston Pops is the most recorded and arguably the most beloved orchestra in the country, beginning with the establishment of the modern-era Pops by Arthur Fiedler and continuing through the innovations introduced by John Williams and the new-millennium Pops spearheaded by Keith Lockhart.

With the 125th anniversary season, the Boston Pops reaches a landmark moment in a remarkable history that began with its founding in 1885. Civil War veteran Henry Lee Higginson, the founder of the Boston Symphony (1881) and Boston Pops, intended from the very start to present concerts of light classics and the popular music of the day.

It was Arthur Fiedler’s nearly 50-year tenure as Pops Conductor (1930-1979) that established the Boston Pops as a national icon by moving the Pops beyond its origins in light-classical music into the world of pop culture showcasing the popular artists of the day as well as the work of young American composers and arrangers.

Mr. Fiedler organized the first free outdoor orchestral concerts on the Charles River Esplanade that led to the Boston’s now-famous Fourth of July concert, established the Pops as the most recorded orchestra in history—including the first orchestral recording to sell more than a million copies—and introduced the “Evening at Pops” television series, bringing the orchestra into the living rooms of countless Americans.

When John Williams (1980-1993) succeeded Arthur Fiedler in 1980, he was the most highly acclaimed composer in Hollywood, and today, with 45 Academy Award nominations, he is the most-nominated living person in Academy history.

Having led more than 1,200 Boston Pops concerts, Keith Lockhart (1995 - present) is now in his sixteenth season as Boston Pops Conductor.

WEEK THREE, May 18-22
Tuesday, May 18, 2010, 8:00 PM
Wednesday, May 19, 2010, 8:00 PM (“Presidents at Pops”)
Thursday, May 20, 2010, 8:00 PM (SOLD OUT)
Friday, May 21, 2010, 8:00 PM
Saturday, May 22, 2010, 8:00 PM

“American Heroes”
Keith Lockhart, conductor
Patti Austin (May 19 & 20)
Arlo Guthrie (May 18 & 19)
Brian Stokes Mitchell (May 18 & 19)

The Dream Lives On: A Portrait of the Kennedy Brothers
Robert De Niro (May 18 & 19)
Morgan Freeman (May 18 & 19)
Ed Harris (May 18 & 19)
Cherry Jones (May 18 & 19)
Will LeBow (May 20-22)

All programs and artists are subject to change. The Boston Pops is on the internet at

Further Reading on M&C

Cherry Jones Biography - - Cherry Jones Movies -
Ed Harris Biography - - Ed Harris Movies -
Morgan Freeman Biography - - Morgan Freeman Movies -
Robert De Niro Biography - - Robert De Niro Movies -