Sarah Chang: West Side Story & Romeo + Juliet Trivia

  1. NatPhil Conductor Piotr Gajewski was a student of which composer from tonight’s concert? 
  • Piotr Tchaikovsky 
  • Leonard Bernstein 
  • Sergei Prokofiev 

***Maestro Piotr Gajewski studied with Leonard Bernstein in 1983 at the Tanglewood Music Festival in Massachusetts, where he was awarded a Leonard Bernstein Conducting Fellowship.   

2. Bernstein’s masterpiece West Side Story incorporates many styles of music. Which of the following styles of music is NOT a part of West Side Story? 

  • Latin American dances 
  • Rap music 
  • Musical theatre 
  • Jazz 

 3. Which piece on tonight’s concert almost didn’t get published and premiered because it was controversial to the performers? 

  • West Side Story 
  • Tchaikovsky’s Romeo & Juliet 
  • Prokofiev’s Romeo & Juliet 

*** 2 dance companies initially rejected Prokofiev’s piece and said the rhythms were too unpredictable and the music was too quiet on stage – so he had to change the music  

 4. Which composer said “Living people can dance, the dead cannot” and wanted to rewrite the ending of Romeo & Juliet to be a happy story? 

  • Sergei Prokofiev 
  • Piotr Tchaikovsky 
  • Leonard Bernstein 

 5. What age did tonight’s soloist; violinist Sarah Chang get accepted into Juilliard? 

  • 5 
  • 9 
  • 16 

 6. What orchestra did Sarah debut with at the age of 8? 

  • New York Philharmonic 
  • National Philharmonic 
  • Tehran Symphony  
  • Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra 

*** Sarah not only appeared as a soloist for the first time at 8 years old, but also released her debut album in 1992 when she was only 11!

 7. Other than her violin and suitcase, what did Sarah bring with her to DC? 

  • Her 2 dogs 
  • Her cat 
  • Her pet iguana 

***Fun fact, violin soloist Lara St. John travels with her pet iguana. 



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