Event—Public Programming

Faces of Love: Leonard Bernstein Centennial Concert


Autographed portrait of Leonard Bernstein

Faces of Love: Leonard Bernstein Centennial Concert, is a tribute to the musical legacy of Norman Pellegrini, co-founder of Chicago Classical Radio WFMT, voice of the Chicago Symphony and the Lyric Opera. Pellegrini conducted research at the Newberry for the book, 150 Years of Opera in Chicago, co-authored with Robert C. Marsh (2006).


The concert will highlight the centenary year of Leonard Bernstein with compositions of Bernstein and also music of composers that he performed and championed, including songs of Johannes Brahms, Frédéric Chopin, Noël Coward, Jerome Kern, Gustav Mahler, Felix Mendelssohn, Francis Poulenc, Richard Rodgers, and Giuseppi Verdi.

Featured Artists

Erich Buchholz, tenor, is well known to Chicago audiences and beyond in a wide variety of musical and theatrical styles. He has performed with Chicago Folks Operetta, Chicago Shakespeare TheatreLyric Opera Chorus, and the Chicago Symphony Chorus. Mr. Buchholz has toured extensively in the United States and Japan.

Alex Honzen, baritone, performed most recently as Tevye in Chicago Light Opera Works’ production of Fiddler on the Roof, Theatre Chicago declared, “Honzen gives [Tevye] an operatic sweep without sacrificing peasant humor.” Showbiz called Mr. Honzen’s performance a tour de force. Mr. Honzen also has performed with DuPage Opera Theatre, Chamber Opera Chicago, and da Corneto Opera, among others, and has appeared as a soloist with orchestras in the United States and abroad.

Donald Knight, music director and pianist, has been heard on WFMT radio as a tenor and as a pianist. He has been soloist with the Metropolitan Opera Studio, New York Community Opera, the New York Philharmonic, and the American Symphony Orchestra. He has frequently collaborated with singers in Chicago, New York, and elsewhere.

Kimberly McCord, soprano, was most recently presented in Haydn’s L’isola disabitata as Costanza. She earned critical acclaim in Chicago with Chicago Folks Operetta, Haymarket Opera, the Handel Week Festival, and Music of the Baroque. She recently appeared in the Lyric Opera of Chicago’s Bel Canto, as the German diplomat. Ms. McCord has recorded Bach’s Magnificat and Easter Oratorio with the Gabrieli Consort and Paul McCreesh conducting.

Marcie Tilkin, soprano, was a dear friend and an admired artist of Norman Pellegrini. Just five weeks after his diagnosis with stage four pancreatic cancer, Mr. Pellegrini heard Ms. Tilkin sing, "I Know My Redeemer Liveth." The combination of Handel’s music and Tilkin’s beautiful singing moved him greatly. She sang at Mr. Pellegrini’s memorial service on July 18, 2009. Earlier, Pellegrini had been transported by Tilkin’s soprano in the solo quartet in Rossini’s Stabat Mater. He described her singing that day as both majestic and galvanic.

Nancie King Mertz, artwork, is proficient in the mediums oil, watercolor, and pastel. She works closely with young artists in painting and drawing and was a cherished friend of Norman Pellegrini.

Download a PDF flyer for this event to post and distribute, and explore related Newberry materials with our Collection Quick Guide on Leonard Bernstein and Friends.

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