Boston Pops Spring Celebration features classic Ella Fitzgerald concert

Ella Fitzgerald and Arthur Fiedler © Michael Peirce

The Boston Pops Orchestra is well into its Spring Celebration series of streamed concerts on BSO NOW!. Four of these programs have been newly recorded, but the series also features two concerts, conducted by the legendary Arthur Fiedler, from the Orchestra’s archives – and one of these is the fabulous Pops Classic, Exquisite Ella – a performance by “The First Lady of Song”, Ella Fitzgerald, filmed at a live performance in June 1976, and not seen for decades.

This treasure for Fitzgerald enthusiasts was recorded as part of the WGBH Evening at Pops series – one of the longest-running programs on PBS, showcasing the music of the Boston Pops from 1970 to 2004. Following a rousing Boston Pops selection from the Broadway musical Guys and Dolls, the Orchestra was joined by the Tommy Flanagan Trio – and Ella Fitzgerald stepped onto the stage at Symphony Hall to a standing ovation. From that moment on, the audience was hers, completely captivated by her honeyed tones as she mesmerized them with songs by luminaries such as Rogers and Hart, George and Ira Gershwin, Cole Porter, Duke Ellington and Antônio Carlos Jobim.

Ella Fitzgerald with Arthur Fiedler applauding © Michael Peirce

During her reign as the most popular female jazz singer in the United States for more than half a century, Ella Fitzgerald won 13 Grammy awards, selling over 40 million albums, with her extraordinary ability to make every song her own – whether sultry ballads or both sweet and feisty jazz numbers. With her amazing vocal range, her name became synonymous with the greatest in jazz – Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra, Dizzy Gillespie, Benny Goodman. Ella Fitzgerald appeared in the top venues world-wide, drawing audiences from every nationality in all walks of life. She was widely adored.

Exquisite Ella is available to view online from 12.00 pm (ET) on Thursday, May 27th, until June 26th, on the Boston Symphony Orchestra website, where you can also find details on ticketing and packages.

The other five concerts in the series are:

The Boston Pops Celebrates Mother’s Day: Honoring Women
Newly Recorded for Spring 2021
Available until June 5th

Pops in Love
Pops Classic from the Archives
Available until June 12th

A Tribute to John Williams
Newly Recorded for Spring 2021
Available until June 19th

An Evening with Chris Thile and the Stars of Tomorrow
Newly Recorded for Spring 2021
Available June 3 – July 3

The Roots of Jazz: American Voices
Newly Recorded for Spring 2021
Available June 10th – July 10th

Details of all these concerts, and ticketing, are also available on the Boston Symphony Orchestra website.

Information sourced from:

Boston Symphony Orchestra program notes

Ella Fitzgerald website

ArtsPreview home page

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