Best of Bernstein

This concert was played:

  1. On the Town
  2. 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
  3. Wonderful Town
  4. On the Waterfront
  5. Candide
  6. West Side Story
  7. Trouble in Tahiti
  8. Peter Pan
  1. John Wilson conductor
  2. Kim Criswell vocals
  3. Scarlett Strallen soprano
  4. Nadim Naaman vocals
  5. Damian Humbley vocals
  6. Oslo Philharmonic Choir
  7. Øystein Fevang choir conductor

A tribute to Leonard Bernstein with some of his best known music.

Stars from the musical stage, Scarlett Strallen and Kim Criswell, make an appearance in Oslo when conductor John Wilson and the Oslo Philharmonic pay tribute to Leonard Bernstein with some of his best known music. We celebrate one of the 20th century’s greatest and most versatile composer-conductors with a wonderful mixture of opera and musical, jazz and classical music in this festive concert. We'll present music from one Broadway success after another, featuring unforgettable highlights from West Side Story, On the Town, Peter Pan and many more. 

This is our answer to violence: we are going to create music more intense, beautiful and committed than ever before” (Leonard Bernstein)

The American composer, conductor, writer, music pedagogue, pianist and thinker Leonard Bernstein (1918−1990) was one of the most important music personalities of the 20th century. With a broad and uninhibited approach to all forms of musical impulses he could conduct Mahler one day, compose a musical the next, and host a TV programme about classical music on the third. As a composer, he would often combine elements from jazz, opera and the musical world in one and the same work.

Bernstein might be best known for his music to West Side Story. The musical, based on Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, was first staged on Broadway in 1957 and is one of the biggest musical successes of all time. Bernstein furnished the musical with memorable hits such as Maria, Somewhere, America, and I Feel Pretty, not to speak of the powerful rhythms and the incredibly complex music to the intense and dramatic dance scenes.

There is more of his memorable music in the popular shows On the Town (1944), Peter Pan (1950), and Wonderful Town (1953), which were all big successes on Broadway, and have been staged in many different productions since. Many of his musical hits have become “evergreens” and continue their lives off the musical stage. 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue (1976), which was about life in The White House, didn’t fare as well, however. The musical was damned by critics and is one of the greatest flops in Broadway history after being taken down after only seven shows. Nevertheless, the musical is written in true Bernstein style and is well worth a listen.

In the operetta Candide (1956) and the opera Trouble in Tahiti (1952), Bernstein explored the boundaries between musical and opera. The first has a text based on Voltaire’s classic novel of the same name. Bernstein himself was responsible for the text in Trouble in Tahiti, which is one of his darkest works. The composition reflects something of Bernstein’s breadth of style and expression, and has the ability to spellbind the listener whether they prefer opera or musicals, jazz or classical music.

This is a unique opportunity to experience Scarlett Strellen and Kim Criswell in Oslo. Both artists have long experience from Broadway and other musical stages the world over and are leaders in this genre. The same can be said of conductor John Wilson, who regularly conducts both symphony orchestras and big bands, and who has made a name for himself everywhere in precisely this repertoire.

Welcome to the Oslo Philharmonic’s tribute to Leonard Bernstein and a celebration of the world of musicals!

Here's a detailed program:

From On The Town: New York-scene; Lonely Town; I Can Cook, Too

From 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue: The President Jefferson Sunday Luncheon Party March; Take Care of this House

From Peter Pan: Dream With Me

From Wonderful Town: Pass that Football, A Little Bit In Love; One Hundred Easy Ways to Lose a Man

Suite from On The Waterfront


From Candide: Overture; I am Easily Assimilated; Nothing More Than This; Glitter and Be Gay

From West Side Story: Dance at the Gym; Maria

From Trouble in Tahiti: What a Movie

From Candide: Make Our Garden Grow

(Photo from West Side Story © Variety; Text: Thomas Erma Møller; Translation from Norwegian: Sarah Osa)


  • Adult: 170 - 470 NOK
  • Senior: 170 - 375 NOK
  • Student: 170 - 235 NOK
  • Child: 100 NOK

The concert is included in the following subscriptions:

This concert is also played: