Press Room

Boston Public Library and Boston Philharmonic Orchestra: A New Overture

by rlavery

Ben Zander headshot 2 )Boston Public Library (BPL) and Boston Philharmonic Orchestra (BPO) will offer free performances across the city in a new collaborative venture beginning on Saturday, September 30, at 10 a.m. in Rabb Hall at the Central Library in Copley Square, with one of Maestro Benjamin Zander’s world-renowned interpretation classes, Interpretations of Music: Lessons for Life. The partnership program also includes additional concerts in Rabb Hall, several Concerts in the Courtyard in summer 2018, and educational concerts in up to 12 branch libraries through May 12, 2018. All classes are open to the public. The first Interpretation Class features works by J.S. Bach, Mahler, and Cassado.

“This unique collaboration with Boston Philharmonic Orchestra furthers Boston Public Library’s commitment to bringing its collections and spaces to life, with a wide range of cultural programs, and celebrates the work of talented musicians and strong partners such as the BPO,” said David Leonard, President of the Boston Public Library. “We hope this is the first of many opportunities in the music and performance space, continuing to bring the library and its collections to life.”

“I am very excited about the first class in the series at the Boston Public Library this Saturday at 10 a.m.,” adds Benjamin Zander, founder and conductor of the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra and Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra. “We will work on a movement of one of the Bach cello suites for viola, two heavenly Mahler songs, and a brilliant show piece for cello with three fabulously gifted young performers.  I guarantee that we will all walk out at 12 with our spirits lifted and our hearts opened, in the way that only great music can.  Bring a youngster, so that we can reveal the magical world of classical music.”

The Interpretation Classes feature solo performers and small chamber groups comprised of Boston Philharmonic Orchestra, Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, as well as other highly accomplished young musicians residing or studying in the Boston area. Maestro Zander draws upon his more than fifty years of teaching experience to guide these young musicians to more inspired and communicative performances that engage both musician and audience alike in this unique and dynamic setting.

BPO/BPL branch concerts, known as the Mosaic program, will focus on the following themes: Women, African American, Latin-American, Boston-based, and living composers, the history of classical music, Thoreau UnCaged (a special program featuring composer John Cage’s setting of Henry David Thoreau’s writings including Walden and “A Civil Disobedience”), and selections from Berio’s Sequenzas. With varied thematic repertoire, the BPO and BPL seek to represent the diversity that makes Boston such a strong community and to break down the barriers that stand between people and their soon to be discovered love of classical music.

The concert schedule can be viewed via  and via

Photo credit: Paul Marotta


Boston Public Library has a Central Library, twenty-four branches, map center, business library, and a website filled with digital content and services. Established in 1848, the Boston Public Library has pioneered public library service in America. It was the first large free municipal library in the United States, the first public library to lend books, the first to have a branch library, and the first to have a children’s room. Each year, the Boston Public Library hosts thousands of programs and serves millions of people. All of its programs and exhibitions are free and open to the public. At the Boston Public Library, books are just the beginning. To learn more, visit

In 1979, ninety-six enthusiastic players, professionals, students, amateurs, a dynamic, probing conductor named Benjamin Zander, and an impassion donor and amateur musician named Seymour Rothchild joined together to found the Boston Philharmonic. Today, the musicians represent the original spirited blend and account for the passion, high level of participation, and technical accomplishment for which this ensemble is celebrated. The professionals maintain the highest standard, the students keep the focus on training and education, and the gifted amateurs—including doctors, lawyers, teachers, and computer programmers—remind everybody that music-making is an expression of enthusiasm and love.  Now in its 39th season, the BPO continues to live out it’s founding vision of Passionate Music Making Without Boundaries.

In September 2012, the Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra was formed under the auspices of the BPO. Conducted by Benjamin Zander, the BPYO’s motto is “Shaping Future Leaders through Music.” The 120 enthusiastic and talented young musicians of the Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra range in age from 12 to 21. The wide range of ages affords younger members of the orchestra the chance to collaborate with older students who have already begun their professional careers. In turn, collegiate members of the group are offered the opportunity to nurture and coach the future generations.

The BPYO offers a unique opportunity for young instrumentalists who want to study great orchestral repertoire in a musically dynamic and intellectually challenging community. BPYO members are asked not only to master their parts and to gain a deep understanding of the musical score but also to engage in dialogue with Mr. Zander, through weekly “white sheets,” where they are invited to share their thoughts on all aspects of the music and the rehearsal process. These conversations often lead to stimulating discussions on personal leadership and often initiate ongoing individual conversations with Mr. Zander through email, phone calls, and conversations at rehearsal, creating a unique mentoring relationship between Mr. Zander and each musician.

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