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America’s Orchestra: Celebrating 125 Years Of The Boston Pops

Airs Wednesday, June 23, 2010 at 10:30 p.m. on KPBS TV

Above: Keith Lockhart, conductor of the Boston Pops, assumed leadership of the orchestra in 1995.

A star-studded celebration of the Boston Pops — past, present, and future — this special anniversary tribute features some of the greatest moments from the Boston Pops’ 125-year history, telling the orchestra’s story — its transformation from summertime entertainment for Bostonians to the national icon and beloved institution of today.

Composer and conductor John Williams, shown here at Film Fest 2007, conducted the Boston Pops from 1980-1993.
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Above: Composer and conductor John Williams, shown here at Film Fest 2007, conducted the Boston Pops from 1980-1993.

Showcasing the extraordinary variety of artists and programming of the leadership eras of Arthur Fiedler (1930-79), John Williams (1980-1993) and Keith Lockhart (1995 to present), the program features interviews with and/or performances by Audra McDonald, Kristin Chenoweth, Josh Groban, James Taylor, Vanessa Williams, Yo-Yo Ma, Wynton Marsalis and Roberta Flack.

Rare footage of favorite artists past and present, including Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Johnny Cash, Benny Goodman, Tony Bennett, Sammy Davis Jr., John Raitt, k.d. lang, the Carpenters and Patti LaBelle, as well as Broadway stars Ethel Merman, Bernadette Peters, Nathan Lane and Jerry Herman, are also featured. Craig Ferguson hosts. Check out the Boston Pops 125th anniversary season with an interactive timeline of the Pops and its history! Listen to the first Boston Pops recording to sell a million copies, "Jalousie."

Video

Preview: America's Orchestra: Celebrating 125 Years Of The Boston Pops

Above: Craig Ferguson hosts this star-studded 125th anniversary celebration of the Boston Pops, telling the story of the orchestra's transformation from summertime entertainment for Bostonians to the national icon it is today. In the past eight decades the Pops has been under the leadership of just three conductors, Arthur Fiedler, John Williams and Keith Lockhart. This special features their work and interviews and/or performances by Audra McDonald, Kristin Chenoweth, Josh Groban, James Taylor, Vanessa Williams, Yo-Yo Ma, Wynton Marsalis, and Roberta Flack.

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