Act Four

On July 1, 2013 John Mauceri returned to New York City to begin “Act Four.” His first year after leaving the post of chancellor at the University of North Carolina’s School of the Arts brought him to a number of “new” orchestras: Orquestra Sinfônica Brasileira (Rio de Janeiro), the Hollywood Symphony Orchestra, Orquesta Sinfónica de Navarra, Czech National Orchestra, Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional (Mexico), the Vancouver Symphony, the Seattle Symphony, the San Diego Symphony, and the Tokyo Philharmonic. In addition, he returned to Cologne Germany’s Rundfunk Orchester, the London Philharmonic at Royal Festival Hall, the BBC Concert Orchestra at Royal Albert Hall, and the opera in Bilbao, Spain (ABAO) for a series of performances of Puccini’s Turandot with Martina Serafin and Marcello Giordani.

During the subsequent years, Mr. Mauceri appeared at New York University for its symposium celebrating the 200th birthday of Giuseppe Verdi; Cal State Northridge’s Distinguished Lecturer Series, “The Commerce of Creativity,” speaking about Stravinsky’s “The Rite of Spring”; Portland, Oregon’s 20th anniversary gala for its classical music station “All Classical Portland” on the future of classical music; and recorded five radio programs for the syndicated series, The Score. He has lectured at Columbia University, London’s Royal College of Music, Washington’s National Gallery, the opening of Lincoln Center’s “The History of the World in 100 Performances” with Adam Gopnik and Jake Gyllenhaal, and New York’s Neue Galerie on the music banned by Hitler and the influence of refugee composers on American music, Los Angeles’ Skirball Center on Leonard Bernstein, and Yale University on the significance of the Broadway musical Hamilton. He appeared on NPR’s “All Thing Considered” with Robert Siegel, discussing the 200th anniversary of the birth of Giuseppe Verdi, and the BBC, to discuss the publication of The Leonard Bernstein Letters. He became a founding member of NYU’s Center for Ballet and the Arts Advisory Council in 2014.

In August of 2014, Mr. Mauceri’s concert with the Danish National Orchestra, “Music for Alfred Hitchcock,” was released on Toccata Classics and available through Naxos USA. Included in the album are first recordings of Mr. Mauceri’s editions of music from Psycho, Rebecca, Dial M for Murder, Strangers on a Train, and Rear Window. His concerts in Cologne – music of Schoenberg, Hindemith, Weill, and Korngold, four refugee composers who became American citizens – as well as the London Philharmonic, were streamed worldwide, and the LPO program, “The Genius of Film Music,” containing over an hour of Mr. Mauceri’s editions and restorations heard for the first time in London, was released commercially in 2015. He subsequently returned to the LPO for a concert of spiritual music by Schoenberg, Bach, Wagner, Hindemith and Strauss, and followed that with a Proms at Royal Albert Hall, celebrating the 100th birthdays of Ella Fitzgerald and Dizzy Gillespie.

In addition, he has continued writing a series of blogs for The Huffington Post on music and politics (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-mauceri/), and completed the manuscript for, “Music in a Century of War,” which examines classical music in the 20th century with the goal of finding a universal model that can be used to evaluate and embrace the vast stylistic complexities of the period. It will be published by Yale University Press. Following the publication of “Maestros and Their Music—the Art and Alchemy of Conducting” by Alfred A. Knopf, he was commissioned by the publishing house for a book on the central repertory of classical music.

Mr. Mauceri’s passionate support for legitimizing music written for the cinema found a major outlet in a concert program created with Danny Elfman and Tim Burton that contains over two hours of newly arranged orchestral music from 15 of his scores for Burton’s films. Since the program’s world premiere at London’s Royal Albert Hall, Mauceri and Elfman have appeared together before hundreds of thousands of grateful and enthusiastic fans in Paris, Brussels, Tokyo, Prague, Adelaide, Mexico City, Barcelona, New York, and Seoul. In July, 2016, the Lincoln Center Festival presented six performances of the concert program (26,000 in attendance), one of which was subsequently televised on “Live from Lincoln Center,” and viewed by over one million people, garnering two national Emmy awards–one for sound and one for musical direction. As a “spin-off” to these concerts, Mr. Mauceri conducted two live-to-film complete Elfman scores to “Alice in Wonderland,” and “The Nightmare Before Christmas”— the latter making a bit of history in that members of the original singing cast performed live, synchronizing their performances to the picture 22 years after having recorded it for the sound track.

Mr. Mauceri received his third Emmy, as producer and artistic director of UNCSA’s “Much Ado About Nothing,” featuring the 1920 score by Erich Wolfgang Korngold in its American premiere. He also received—alongside Barbara Cook—a lifetime achievement award from the Music Academy of Westchester (New York)—an organization that provides musical instruments, music therapy, and instruction to children in need.

Celebrating his 70th birthday and the 50th anniversary of his first concert as a conductor (Yale University, December 4, 1966), Mr. Mauceri began the season attending a concert by the Berlin Philharmonic, conducted by Sir Simon Rattle, which began with his edition of Herrmann’s “Psycho—A Narrative for String Orchestra.” He returned to Yale where he conducted a program of Bach-Schoenberg, Wagner and Strauss in Woolsey Hall, as part of the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Yale Symphony and later led the orchestra in Carnegie Hall for a program that included New York premieres of music by Adam Guettel and Leonard Bernstein. At that concert, Mr. Mauceri was given a special citation by Yale president Peter Salovey for his visionary work in creating the Yale Symphony, and also received the Ditson Conductor’s Award from Columbia University—the oldest conducting award in the United States—for his “splendid record of dedication and accomplishments,” which have included a half century of “world premieres, first recordings, and overseas performances of an amazing variety of music by emerging and established American composers, both native and naturalized.”