Peter Boyer’s new work The Dream Lives On: A Portrait of Kennedy Brothers was premiered in Boston’s historic Symphony Hall by the Boston Pops Orchestra, the Tanglewood Festival Chorus, and Conductor Keith Lockhart, who commissioned the work as the centerpiece of the 125th anniversary season of the Boston Pops.
A stunning cast of Hollywood actors narrated the premiere of Boyer’s work: Robert De Niro read the words of John F. Kennedy; Ed Harris read the words of Robert F. Kennedy; Morgan Freeman read the words of Edward M. Kennedy; and Cherry Jones read the words written by Lynn Ahrens for the new work. The performance included a video created especially for the work by producer Susan Dangel and editor Dick Bartlett, drawn from archival materials provided by the John F. Kennedy Library.
Many members of the Kennedy family were in attendance, including former Ambassador Jean Kennedy Smith (sister of the three Kennedy brothers); Vicki Kennedy, wife of the late Senator Ted Kennedy; Ted Kennedy, Jr. and family; Ethel Kennedy, wife of the late Robert Kennedy; and Joseph Kennedy III, grandson of Robert Kennedy. The Kennedy family members were warmly enthusiastic about Boyer’s new work.
The event drew a level of national and international media attention that was extremely rare for the premiere of a work of classical music. Earlier in the day, Boyer and Ahrens participated in a press conference alongside De Niro, Freeman, Harris, Jones, and Lockhart, attended by dozens of journalists. All of Boston’s major television, radio, and newspaper outlets covered the event. An Associated Press story about the Kennedy tribute ran in over 100 media outlets, including the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, ABC News, NPR.org, Huffington Post, Musical America, the BBC and the CBC. Boyer was included in CNN.com’s Intriguing People column. For news stories links, click here.
For additional photos, see the story and photo gallery on BMI.com.