Mayor Bloomberg Will Conduct Orchestra at City Center Reopening

Tuesday, August 02, 2011 - 05:54 PM

Following in the footsteps of Fiorello LaGuardia, Rudolph Giuliani and David Dinkins, Mayor Michael Bloomberg will conduct the Encores! Orchestra at the re-opening of New York City Center on October 25.

The neo-Moorish theater in midtown, built as a meeting hall for the Shriners in 1923, has been undergoing a $75 million renovation since April 2010. It will include expanded seating in its 2,251-seat auditorium, a new marquee, and a repainted and redecorated box office lobby. The city is funding half of the renovation costs.

Event organizers said that Bloomberg’s conducting stint harkens back to the center's 1943 dedication gala, when then-Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia conducted the New York Philharmonic.

Bloomberg will conduct the Encores! Orchestra, an ensemble founded in 1994 to present the works of American Songbook composers like Harold Arlen, Irving Berlin, and George and Ira Gershwin. The mayor's repertoire details have yet to be announced.

"City Center occupies a special place in the lives of New Yorkers as the diverse and accessible ‘People’s Theater’ founded by Mayor La Guardia,” Bloomberg said in a statement Tuesday. “Generations of New Yorkers flocked to City Center to see performances by many of the world’s greatest artists and companies. The city of New York is proud to help City Center remain a vibrant cultural attraction for generations to come.”

Bloomberg follows in a long tradition of mayors as maestros. In 2001, Rudolph Giuliani led the Amor Artis Chorus and Orchestra in a performance of Verdi’s "Anvil Chorus" on Staten Island. In 1990, David Dinkins was a surprise performer at the New York Pops' seventh birthday gala, conducting "The Stars and Stripes Forever" at Carnegie Hall.

Bloomberg's musical credits are more limited. In 2009, he played the congas at a restaurant event in Spanish Harlem. Last year, at the Mayor’s Awards for Arts and Culture, Bloomberg was photographed at the piano in a duet with the actress Meryl Streep, although he never actually touched the keys.

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Comments [8]

concetta nardone from Elmont, NY

As if he isn't pompous enough.

Aug. 13 2011 10:12 AM
Barry Owen Furrer

Better yet, how about "Close Encounters Of The Third Term?"

Aug. 12 2011 07:47 PM
Theodore Fishman from Rye Brook, NY.

perhaps a more suitable composition for the mayor would be Sousa's "Solid Men to the Front"

Aug. 04 2011 01:43 PM

(SCARY)

Aug. 03 2011 10:25 PM
dem

Same old, old same old.

Aug. 03 2011 12:37 AM
Barry Owen Furrer

Perhaps a fitting piece for Mayor Bloomberg is the great march, "His Honor" by Henry Fillmore.

Aug. 02 2011 09:29 PM
Frank Feldman

Kind of like that stockbroker who paid the NY Phil to conduct Mahler 2, and had a show on WQXR for a while, which has thankfully, hopefully, disappeared.

Aug. 02 2011 07:26 PM
Michael Meltzer

It might work. Running a major American city is almost as complicated as cueing a symphony orchestra or reading a score.

Aug. 02 2011 06:46 PM

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