Kennedys honored in Pops’ 125th season

Among the performers joining the Pops will be Arlo Guthrie (left), Idina Menzel, and the band Ozomatli. Among the performers joining the Pops will be Arlo Guthrie (left), Idina Menzel, and the band Ozomatli.
By Jeremy Eichler
Globe Staff / February 19, 2010

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The 125th anniversary season of the Boston Pops will include a new work, “The Dream Lives on: A Portrait of the Kennedy Brothers’’ by composer Peter Boyer and lyricist Lynn Ahrens. A television documentary on the history of the Pops will also air nationally on PBS stations. This and other details of the Pops’ new season were announced today.

Keith Lockhart opens the season on May 4 with a program looking back at Pops classics from the eras of Arthur Fiedler and John Williams and from his own. Bandleader Doc Severinsen and vocalist Idina Menzel are featured guests and Michael Chertock will be the pianist in Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue.’’

The Los Angeles-based band Ozomatli makes an appearance on the May 7 and 8 programs, and Williams returns to conduct film scores both new and classic on May 11-15.

The new work honoring John, Robert, and Edward Kennedy is introduced at concerts on May 18-22. Vocalist Maureen McGovern joins Lockhart and the orchestra May 25-27, and the career of Ray Charles is honored at a program, May 28-29, led by Robert Bernhardt and featuring Charles’s protege Ellis Hall. Jazz icon Dave Brubeck and his quartet are the special guests at two Lockhart programs June 1-2. The music of Duke Ellington is the focus for the June 3-5 concerts under Jeff Tyzik’s baton, with vocalist Dee Daniels.

The Pops will help the popular public radio show “From the Top’’ celebrate its 10th anniversary with a live taping on June 8, and Broadway star Kelli O’Hara will sing Cole Porter hits June 9-11. Charles Floyd conducts Gospel Night on June 12.

Arlo Guthrie and his music get the Pops treatment on a June 17-18 program that also spotlights the genre-bending string trio Time for Three playing a work by Chris Brubeck. The same week, television anchor Robert Osborne hosts two evenings devoted to classic movie musicals. The season-closing June 20 concert features the premiere of a new work for six-string violin and orchestra by the versatile composer and violinist Daniel Bernard Roumain.

Tickets go on sale Feb. 22,888-266-1200 or