In honor of Margaret Wise Brown's 100th Birthday, The InterSchool Orchestra of New York (ISO) (www.isorch.org) in association with GPR Records (Glen Roven, Peter Fitzgerald, Richard Cohen, artistic directors) held a live concert based on Brown's two best selling children's books Goodnight Moon and Runaway Bunny. The concert took place at the Naumburg Bandshell in Central Park on Mother's Day, May 9, 2010 and GPR Records will release a live recording of the concert on Margaret Wise Brown's actual 100th birthday, May 23, 2010. The CD will be available at www.GPRRecords.com, Amazon, and iTunes.
Composed by GPR Records artistic director and 4-time Emmy Award Winner Glen Roven, GOODNIGHT MOON, A Lullaby for Soprano and Orchestra will be sung by international Opera superstar and beloved New Yorker Lauren Flanigan in the new concerto. The InterSchool Orchestra of New York (ISO) (www.isorch.org), New York's most prestigious youth orchestra, will accompany Ms. Flanigan in the Bandshell and the concert will be conducted by Julliard's George Stelluto. GOODNIGHT MOON, A Lullaby for Soprano and Orchestra is based on Wise's book, in print for over 60 years.
Also on the recording is Roven's companion piece, RUNAWAY BUNNY, a Concerto for Violin, Reader and Orchestra. The piece will be read by Kate Mulgrew. RUNAWAY BUNNY has been performed all over the world and narrators have included: Brooke Shields, Glenn Close, Sandy Duncan, Donna McKechnie, and Phyllis Newman. This piece premiered at Carnegie Hall with the American Symphony Orchestra, with Glenn Close narrating. Runaway Bunny was written in 1942 and has been published continuously since that time.
Renowned flutist Carol Wincenc joined the ISO Symphony in the park as she continues to celebrate her 40th year of performing this season. In addition, the ISO's youngest two groups, The Morningside and Turtle Bay Orchestras lead by Robert Johnston, opened the Mother's Day celebration
"Goodnight Moon and Runaway Bunny are National Treasures and many of us remember them from growing up," said GPR Records Producer and composer Glen Roven. "Having Lauren Flanigan and Kate Mulgrew be part of this concert really solidifies GPR Records' goal of creating wonderfully new and sophisticated products for children. We're so pleased to be able to honor Margaret Wise Brown with this recording."
"The ISO is very honored to be part of such a momentous occasion," said Nora Gibson, Executive Director of the ISO. "We are thrilled to be able to celebrate Margaret Wise Brown's 100th Birthday with these two concert pieces."
All photos by Ahron R. Foster