westchester-philharmonic.gifGuest Conductor Constantine Kitsopoulos to lead orchestra at Kensico Dam for expected crowd of 10,000 (Valhalla, New York) - On Friday, July 3 the Westchester Philharmonic will participate in its sixth consecutive Music Fest celebration at the Kensico Dam Plaza in Valhalla in celebration of Independence Day. Sponsored by Westchester County, the event consistently attracts over 10,000 adults and children. Guest conductor Constantine Kitsopoulos will lead the Philharmonic in a program that will include pops and patriotic favorites, including Sousa's Stars & Stripes Forever and the Star Spangled Banner, to be followed by a spectacular fireworks display.  The Music Fest concert will be Kitsopoulos' second appearance with the orchestra; he led the Winter Pops event with Broadway icon Brian Stokes Mitchell at the Performing Arts Center as part of the orchestra's 2008-09 main stage season in December. Constantine Kitsopoulos has made a name for himself as a conductor whose musical experiences comfortably span the worlds of opera and symphony, where he conducts in such venues as Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall and Royal Albert Hall, and musical theater, where he can be found leading orchestras on Broadway for shows such as Les Misérables, Dracula, and La Bohème. Entertainment begins at 6 p.m. and the Philharmonic takes the stage at 8 p.m.; fireworks will follow the concert at approximately 9:15 p.m. Admission and parking are free. The park opens at 5 p.m. for picnicking. Carpooling is suggested. Concert-goers should bring lawn chairs or blankets for seating. The Music Fest is presented by Westchester County Parks and sponsored by 100.7 WHUD and 107.1 the Peak Radio, the ArtsWestchester and the Friends of Westchester County Parks Inc. For more information call (914) 864-PARK or log on to www.westchestergov.com/parks. About Guest Conductor Constantine Kitsopoulos Constantine Kitsopoulos is in his third season as music director of the Queens Symphony Orchestra and continues as general director of Chatham Opera, which he founded in 2005. In the 2007-2008 season, Mr. Kitsopoulos returned to the Baltimore, Detroit, Hartford and Milwaukee symphonies, in addition to making his debuts with the San Francisco, Mobile, Princeton and Virginia symphonies. Orchestral highlights of previous seasons include conducting appearances with the Annapolis Symphony, Blossom Festival Orchestra, Calgary Philharmonic, Lubbock Symphony, Madison Symphony, National Arts Centre Orchestra, New Jersey Symphony, New York Virtuosi Chamber Symphony, Santa Barbara Symphony, Hong Kong Philharmonic, Brooklyn Philharmonic, and a complete performance of Stravinsky's L'Histoire du Soldat with members of the Philadelphia Orchestra. Mr. Kitsopoulos has also continued to show his ability and interest in performing new works and conducting a wide variety of genres. In 2005 he conducted the Red Bull Artsehcro, an orchestra consisting of students from the top conservatories and university music programs in the country, in a concert at Carnegie Hall featuring a program of world premieres by Raul Yanez and Laura Karpman. In recent seasons, Mr. Kitsopoulos conducted Dicapo Opera Theatre's production of The Merry Widow and the Chatham Opera's debut production of Menotti's Amahl and the Night Visitors. In the 2008-2009 season, he will conduct the Indiana University Opera Theater's production of The Most Happy Fella. Previous seasons' operatic highlights include the Dicapo Opera Theatre's production of Gounod's Faust and all three versions of Puccini's Madame Butterfly, the Hong Kong Municipal Opera production of Carmen in both Hong Kong and Beijing, and Gluck's Orfeo ed Euridice at Alice Tully Hall. Mr. Kitsopoulos also served as Music Director of the world premiere production of Ed Dixon's Fanny Hill at the Goodspeed Opera House in Connecticut, where he created the production's orchestrations as well. In addition to his orchestral and classical commitments, Mr. Kitsopoulos is much in demand as a theatre conductor, both on Broadway and nationwide. This past season, Mr. Kitsopoulos was Conductor and Musical Director of the Tony-nominated musical A Catered Affair. In 2007, he conducted the Tony-nominated musical Coram Boy and the American Conservatory Theatre's production of Kurt Weill's Happy End, for which he recorded the cast album at Skywalker Ranch. Other musical theater highlights include serving as Music Director and Principal Conductor of Baz Luhrmann's highly acclaimed production of Puccini's La Bohème, conducting the new musical Mambo Kings in San Francisco in 2005, serving as Music Director of Frank Wildhorn's Dracula and Les Misérables in 2001-2002 and conducting Matthew Bourne's Broadway production of Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake. Constantine Kitsopoulos studied conducting with Vincent La Selva, as well as Gustav Meier, Sergiu Commissiona, and Semyon Bychkov. He studied piano with Marienka Michna, Chandler Gregg, Ed Edson, and Sophia Rosoff. His first recording - Baz Luhrmann's production of La Bohème - was released by Dreamworks in 2002. His recording of Happy End, the only English language recording of the work, was released in 2007 by Ghostlight. His recording of A Catered Affair was released in 2008 by P.S. Classics About the Westchester Philharmonic The Westchester Philharmonic orchestra, which is led by world-renowned Artistic Director Itzhak Perlman, is the only fully-professional symphony orchestra devoted to serving the people of Westchester County. Founded in 1983 by Paul Lustig Dunkel, who was recently named Music Director Emeritus, the Philharmonic fulfills its mission in the concert hall, in the community, and in the classroom. The Philharmonic performs a main stage Concert Series at the Performing Arts Center Purchase College and partners with local agencies to present free and low-cost concerts for all County residents. Its award-winning education program serves over 2,000 elementary school students. The orchestra is comprised of the finest musicians from the greater New York area and has worked with the world's finest soloists, including Midori, Joshua Bell, and the late Isaac Stern. With a focus on presenting the best music of the past and present, the orchestra places particular emphasis on providing young musicians with an opportunity to perform with, or compose for, a professional symphony orchestra early in their careers. The Philharmonic has become a home for living American composers and has proudly commissioned many orchestral works such as Melinda Wagner's Concerto for Flute, Strings and Percussion, which was awarded the Pulitzer Prize. The orchestra is dedicated to inviting and attracting people of diverse backgrounds to its concerts and continues to explore new partnerships with local schools, libraries, and community centers, so that all in the community have the opportunity to experience the joy of a live, classical music concert. Entergy Nuclear is a major sponsor of the Westchester Philharmonic. Westchester Magazine is a media sponsor of Westchester Philharmonic. The Philharmonic's season is made possible, in part, by the Basic Program Support Grant of ArtsWestchester with funds from Westchester County Government and with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency. Contact: Lenore Eggleston (914) 682-3707 ext. 15 leggleston@westchesterphil.org