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This project is funded by the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, through the generous support of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.

+ About the Performance
This program was recorded 02/02/2006 at Symphony Space.

Hosted by renowned conductor Eric Stern and featuring performances by Rob Fisher and Rebecca Luker, this concert explores the versatility of Broadway composers, including George Gershwin, Vernon Duke and Stephen Schwartz, presenting their most famous theatre songs alongside their compelling classical works.




Introductions by Isaiah Sheffer and Rob Fisher


Vernon Duke

“Words Without Music”

“I Like the Likes of You”

Tema con Variazioni

“Island in the West Indies”


Stephen Schwartz

Brief Encounter



Conversation with Stephen Schwartz and Rob Fisher


Stephen Schwartz



George Gershwin

Of Thee I Sing Overture

“The Man I Love”

Three Preludes for Piano

“Promenade” from Shall We Dance


Jason Robert Brown

“King of the World”

“I Can Do Better Than That”

Mr. Broadway
I. Express Train
II. Mister Broadway Rolls In
III. They've Been At It All Night
IV. Hymn

“Someone To Fall Back On”

+ About the Artists

Rob Fisher is an internationally-distinguished artistic director, conductor and pianist, as well as a leading national figure in American music and classic musical theatre. Mr. Fisher has garnered wide recognition for a myriad of accomplishments. Most recently in 2009, he acted as Producer/Music Director of the highly acclaimed program celebrating the music of Cole Porter, featuring David Hyde Pierce and Victoria Clark, for Lincoln Center's American Songbook Series (a follow-up to his 2008 appearance on that same series with a tribute to Leonard Bernstein). The Cole Porter program was reprised over the summer at Ravinia. Mr. Fisher served as Music Director for Kristin Chenoweth in the gala finale concert of the OK Mozart Festival, for the New York City Center's Encores! presentation of No, No, Nanette and for Patti LuPone's appearances with the Pacific and Phoenix symphonies. His 2008 conducting highlights include the Los Angeles Philharmonic in a July 4th Spectacular celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Los Angeles Dodgers at the famed Hollywood Bowl, the Boston Pops featuring Brian Stokes Mitchell and two programs of holiday classics with the King's Singers in Ottawa and New York. In 2007, Mr. Fisher conducted the critically acclaimed revival of Lerner and Loewe's My Fair Lady with the New York Philharmonic at Lincoln Center and was hailed by The New York Times for "delivering the score with a plush sound that drew attention to the intricacy and wit of the orchestrations." Within the same year, he served as Music Director of the 40th anniversary production of Hair at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park (for which he served as Music Supervisor for its encore presentation in summer 2008 and its Broadway revival in 2009) and conducted the New York debut of Morphoses, Christopher Wheeldon's new ballet company.

As founding music director and conductor of the Tony honored Encores! series at New York City Center from its inception in 1994, Mr. Fisher was also bestowed the Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Special Achievement in 1997 for his work on the series (which spawned the Broadway hits Chicago, Wonderful Town and The Apple Tree). Through the series, Mr. Fisher made numerous recordings for which he served as the conductor and associate producer, including the Grammy-winning Chicago cast recording. He continues to act as the supervising music director of Chicago productions around the globe. Within the past 10 years, Mr. Fisher has performed with virtually every major orchestra in the United States. Highlights include guest appearances with the Los Angeles, San Francisco, Pittsburgh, Seattle, Atlanta, Virginia, Colorado, Baltimore and National Symphonies, as well as with the Orchestra of St. Luke's. In 2005, Mr. Fisher debuted with the Philadelphia and Cleveland Orchestras. Rob Fisher continues to enjoy an ongoing relationship with the New York Pops and was pleased to share concerts with the late Skitch Henderson on a regular basis. Mr. Fisher's performances have been televised on many occasions. Mr. Fisher was the artistic advisor for Carnegie Hall's two-year Gershwin Centennial Celebration and was the music director and conductor for Ira at 100, the gala concert held on December 6, 1996 and subsequently broadcast on PBS's "Great Performances." Twice in 1998, Mr. Fisher was featured on the PBS series called "In Performance at the White House for President and Mrs. Clinton" and their guests in the East Room. In addition, Mr. Fisher was the music director for the New York premiere of Stephen Sondheim's Saturday Night in February of 2000. For four seasons, he was music director for Garrison Keillor's American Radio Company and, with the Coffee Club Orchestra from the radio show, recorded Shaking the Blues Away, a collection of Depression era popular music which was released on Angel/EMI. In 2001, he conducted Sweeney Todd with Patti LuPone, George Hearn and the San Francisco Symphony, broadcast on PBS and available on DVD. As a pianist, Mr. Fisher has performed Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue and Concerto in F numerous times for live television and with orchestras across the United States. He has also performed Gershwin's duo piano music with well-known jazz pianist and composer Dick Hyman on numerous occasions. In addition, Mr. Fisher can be seen as a frequent guest on A Prairie Home Companion and regularly creates evenings for the Lyrics and Lyricists series at the 92nd Street Y, including the upcoming evening of musical satire featuring the songs of Tom Lehrer.

Rebecca Luker was most recently found on Broadway in Disney's Mary Poppins as Mrs. Banks. Rebecca received a Tony Award nomination and Outer Critics Circle Award nomination for Best Featured Actress .She was last seen on Broadway in the revival of Nine playing the role of Claudia opposite Antonio Banderas. For her portrayal of Marian Paroo in the revival of The Music Man Rebecca received a Tony Award nomination, Outer Critics Circle Award nomination, and a Drama Desk Award nomination. Rebecca has also starred as Maria Rainer in the revival of The Sound of Music (Outer Critics Circle Award nomination). She performed the roles of Magnolia in Show Boat (Tony Award nomination), Lily in The Secret Garden (Drama Desk Award nomination), and Christine in The Phantom of the Opera. She has also performed in X (The Life and Times of Malcolm X) and Brigadoon for New York City Opera. She was in the last rotating cast of Eve Ensler's The Vagina Monologues and the Off Broadway play of Can't Let Go a new Keith Reddin play presented by the Keen Company. She has also appeared with Musicals in Mufti in Darling of the Day. In addition she has been seen in Primary Stages Off-Broadway world premiere of A.R. Gurney's Indian Blood.Ms. Luker has performed leading roles at regional theatres throughout the country including a featured performance in the 2002 Kennedy Center Sondheim Celebration where she played the role of Clara in Passion, Lucille in No, No, Nanette at the Cape Playhouse, She Loves Me at UCLA's Freud Playhouse Reprise! in the role of Amalia Balash, Mary in Harmony (La Jolla Playhouse, Drama-Logue Award) and Julia in Time and Again (Old Globe Theatre). Concerts include: No, No, Nanette, and with the Encores! Series at City Center,The Boys From Syracuse.Her New York solo concert debut was at Lincoln Center for The American Songbook Series singing selections from The New Voices Collective and she made her cabaret debut at the prestigious Feinstein's at the Regency for which she received a 2007 Bistro Award.She was invited to be part of the Barbara Cook's Spotlight Series at the Kennedy Center in 2008 and presented "Songs for the Theater: The Next Generation", a review of new composer's works.She has appeared with many orchestras in concert including the Alabama, American, Baltimore, New Jersey and St. Louis Symphonies and the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra. She has performed as a featured soloist of the Boston Pops - The Boston Pops Spring Gala, a tribute to Meredith Willson and a Salute to Broadway Originals.She has also been a guest performer at Carnegie Hall - Broadway Artists Sing the Songs of Billie Holiday and My Favorite Broadway: The Leading Ladies and at City Center - My Favorite Broadway: The Love Songs.TV credits include a Hallmark Hall of Fame movie Cupid and Cate, Law and Order SVU - Poison. Several PBS broadcasts including The Boston Pops Concerts, My Favorite Broadway - The Leading Ladies and The Love Songs, The Rogers and Hart Story, Some Enchanted Evening. Also Kennedy Center Honors, Backstage at the Sound of Music, Larry King Live and Matlock.

Ms. Luker's recordings include solo recordings "Greenwich Time", "Leaving Home" (, "Anything Goes: Rebecca Luker Sings Cole Porter, "Aria", "Aria 2" and "Aria 3", "The Boys From Syracuse", "Wonderful Town", "Annie Get Your Gun", "Broadway Showstoppers", "Jerome Kern Treasury" and "Brigadoon". Other recordings include "Strike Up the Band", original cast recordings of "The Sound of Music", "The Secret Garden". "Showboat" & "The Music Man", "Placido Domingo: The Broadway I Love", "Unsung Sondheim", "Unsung Musicals II" and "Lost in Boston III".Born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama, Ms. Luker received a Bachelor's of Music degree from the University of Montevallo. Rebecca has been entered into the Alabama Hall of Fame.

Eric Stern is a Broadway conductor, arranger, and music supervisor with 19 Broadway musicals to his credit, including SHREK, XANADU, FOLLIES, PARADE, CANDIDE, THE WILL ROGERS FOLLIES, RAGS and many others. He has recorded well over 30 albums and performed in concert with such artists as Barbara Cook, Dawn Upshaw, Audra McDonald, Mandy Patinkin, Elaine Stritch, Betty Buckley, Deborah Voigt, Jessye Norman, Dianne Reeves, Thomas Hampson, Jerry Hadley and Fred Hersch, and has conducted many of the world’s top orchestras including The London Symphony, The Cleveland Orchestra, The Chicago Symphony, and locally the Orchestra of St. Lukes, The New York Pops and the New Jersey Pops. Eric has been a frequent guest conductor of the National Orchestra of Wales, noted for his interpretations of Copland, Bernstein and Gershwin, and was awarded an Emmy for his work with PBS, a Grammy, and 2 Gramophone Awards.

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