Ernest Richardson conducts Bernstein’s Broadway and more!


April 5th, 2018


Richardson: “When you listen to the music that he writes, whether he’s writing in classical style, whatever that means, or whether he’s writing for the Broadway stage, you hear in all the music his philosophical questing. His questions about the human existence, you hear that in all of his music and it was fascinating to me. I actually had a chance to work with him at the end of his career at Tanglewood. So, I spent two summers there and actually got to work with Leonard Bernstein. So it was an amazing arrival moment where I was far enough along in my career where I was actually interacting with Leonard Bernstein. It was an intense and amazing experience.”

Principal Pops conductor, Ernest Richardson leads the Omaha Symphony, the vocal group, Resonance and Broadway singers this weekend in celebrating Bernstein’s Broadway! They’re performing a lot of his music this year in honor of his centennial, a great time to reflect on his influence.

Richardson: “What I thought I was going to do and what role music played in my culture, something that just went beyond the mechanics of conducing and he was the answer to all of that. He was a great composer, a great pianist in his early days, a wonderful performer, wonderful speaker, a wonderful writer and so all of that was something that influenced everything in the way I thought about music.”

Richardson said before he knew anything about music, West Side Story became one of his favorites, and many of it’s themes are still relevant today.

Richardson: “The cost of hate. So the cost of hatred is inherent in this story. Whether it’s Romeo and Juliet or West Side Story, hate has a cost. Love has the capacity to triumph over that but it feels like we have to go and pay the cost before we are willing to understand that there is something that is higher than that. That’s what happens in the characters but hopefully as we observe this we realize that love can triumph. It sounds a little corny maybe, but it’s really true! Our job is to see that in this world the fact that we have two story lines, it’s a good thing. And as we understand how those story lines interface, we can insist that they come together”

This show is a chance to experience the best Broadway moments from what these groups of musicians do best.

Richardson: “We have amazing singer, we have a quartet that is unbelievably capable, unbelievably accomplished, but even more than that, they connect to an audience that is rare. Then we have this resonance choir, they form the ensemble that is part of the show throughout the show, they are an incredible musical force as well. We have the sounds of our orchestra which is spectacular. It’s really an opportunity to hear the best.”

Ernest Richardson on the Omaha Symphony. You can look forward to taking moments from Bernstein’s West Side Story, Candide, and On the Town, plus selections from composers, Stephen Sondheim and Stephen Schwartz. stellar Broadway cast in Bernstein’s Broadway, Saturday, April 7, 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, April 8, 2 p.m., at the Holland Performing Arts Center. For tickets and more information visit or call Ticket Omaha at 402.345.0606.

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