The New York Philharmonic’s 2023-2024 season will include four performances this fall of Leonard Bernstein’s score from West Side Story. As part of its “The Art of the Score” program, the orchestra will provide a live accompaniment for screenings of Steven Spielberg’s 2021 remake.
This is the first time the orchestra will play the score since the ensemble recorded it during recording sessions for the Academy Award-winning musical, which was conducted by Gustav Dudamel, who will become the New York Philharmonic’s Music and Artistic Director in 2026. The newest concerts will be conducted by the film’s music arranger David Newman.
Spielberg’s version of West Side Story was nominated for seven Oscars and took home one for Best Supporting Actress (Ariana DeBose) for her portrayal of Anita. DeBose’s win came nearly 60 years after Rita Moreno won the same award for the same role in the original 1961 film.
Inspired by William Shakespeare’s play Romeo and Juliet, West Side Story debuted as a Broadway production in 1957. It was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Musical but lost to The Music Man. Over the last 66 years, West Side Story has seen several revivals, including one in 2020, which was cut short by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Last year, a tribute to West Side Story’s 65th stage anniversary was held at the U.S. Capitol for the Fourth of July and included an appearance by Broadway star Chita Rivera, who played the original Anita.
The concerts, which are described as “the ultimate ‘surround-sound’ movie event,” will take place on September 12, 13, and 14 at 7:30 p.m. ET and on September 17 at 2 p.m. ET.
For more on the New York Philharmonic season, visit NYPhil.org.