100 Years of Bernstein

Reno Phil Chorus
Vocalists Elena Perroni, Olga Perez Flora, and James Flora

BERNSTEIN West Side Story–Concert Suite No. 1

BERNSTEIN Chichester Psalms

BERNSTEIN Make Our Garden Grow from Candide

SHOSTAKOVICH Symphony No. 5 in D minor, op. 47

Maestro Laura Jackson closes out the Reno Phil’s 49th season with a concert that matches the beauty of a Nevada spring in full bloom. The orchestra and chorus will delight with the music of American composer Leonard Bernstein, including a West Side Story concert suite that captures the hope, elation, and tragedy that befalls star-crossed lovers Maria and Tony. The choral program highlights some of our city’s most beautiful and angelic voices.

Music Director Laura Jackson conducts the Reno Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus and offers a pre-concert talk one hour before the concert on Sunday and one half-hour before the concert on Tuesday. In this preview, she discusses the works and composers on the evening’s concert, giving attendees a background and historical context for the music they will hear. Preview talk is at 3:00 PM Sunday in the concert hall and at 7:00 PM Tuesday in the exhibition hall. Seating for the preview is general admission, first-come first served.


  • In addition to being considered one of Bernstein’s quintessential works, West Side Story also marked the Broadway debut of lyricist Stephen Sondheim, whose later works included GypsyA Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the ForumSweeney Todd, and Into the Woods.
  • Bernstein’s West Side Story and Candide were both based upon classic literature. West Side Story was a modern adaptation of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet while Candide was inspired by Voltaire’s novel of the same name.
  • Shostakovich wrote Symphony No. 5 at a time when he lived in fear of Stalin and the Russian government. He slept in the stairwell outside his apartment to spare his family the experience of what he believed was his imminent arrest.
  • Stalin and the government were pleased with the symphony and everything it included, although many fans and critics have come to hear a subtext critical of the Russian government.