George Gershwin and Aaron Copland: two of 20th-century American music’s most important father figures. With their openness to popular sounds, for example the richness of jazz, they were important role models for later composers, including Bernstein. When Gershwin died in 1937, a distraught 19-year old Bernstein spontaneously played one of his preludes in a holiday camp and when, a few months later, he met the already established, 37-year old Copland, a lifelong artistic friendship was born. Copland’s dreamy Clarinet Concerto with the brilliant Sharon Kam as soloist forms the heart of this «American» concert conducted by Yutaka Sado – with extracts from Gershwin’s landmark opera «Porgy and Bess» and his sunny escape to the City of Light, «An American in Paris». The finale, however, will be the Symphonic Dances from that unique work with which Bernstein wrote himself simultaneously into the histories of Broadway, cinema and modern opera: «West Side Story».