, who conducted the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra some 300 times, finally got his due. The orchestra dedicated its 2008 U.S. tour to the composer’s theater music.
After a passionate relationship of more than 40 years with the IPO, Bernstein was named its Laureate Conductor in 1988. He died at age 72 in 1990 at his home in The Dakota on Central Park West in New York.
The maestro’s one-time protégé, Michael Barrett, conducted the orchestra and four vocalists in a program that included selections from such memorable musicals as Candide, Wonderful Town, West Side Story and On the Town, with special narration by the composer’s daughter, Jamie Bernstein.
"My father’s music," Jamie said, "makes a bridge between concert and Broadway."
Tony Bennett, who credits Frank Sinatra for turning him into a saloon singer, added a dollop of celebrity to an electric evening.
The IPO performed not in the fabled Carnegie Hall as in years past, but in the Grand Ballroom of the Waldorf-Astoria.
At least the audience didn’t have far to go to feast on grilled rack of Colorado lamb which was enjoyed by Elaine Wolfensohn, president of the American Friends of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, and her husband James, benefit co-chairmen Judith and Burton Resnick and Stacey and Matthew Bronfman, Ingeborg and Ira Leon Rennert, Jo Carole and Ronald Lauder, Sandy Batkin and Rosalind Devon, Marilyn and Larry Friedland, Richard Hirsch, and Dr. Ruth Westheimer among 700 other boldface types.