Host Rob Kapilow "is a winning combination of Leonard Bernstein and Bill Nye the Science Guy, an infectiously enthusiastic explainer of the inner mechanical workings of music, that most abstract of all arts." - New York Times (read the review)
Celebrating the Great American Songbook
Dive into the Great American Songbook this winter with What Makes It Great? host Rob Kapilow, the NPR & PBS music commentator, conductor, composer, author and pianist. The new series combines performances filmed in Kaufman Music Center’s Merkin Hall exploring the music of Cole Porter and Stephen Sondheim with online classes created and taught by Kapilow focused on five giants of the Great American Songbook: George Gershwin, Irving Berlin, Harold Arlen, Richard Rodgers and Leonard Bernstein. Hosted by Kapilow, the performances feature Broadway stars Nikki Renée Daniels, Sally Wilfert and Michael Winther.
Presented by Kaufman Music Center in collaboration with the JCC Thurnauer School of Music and filmed at the JCC’s Eric Brown Theater, the course draws on Kapilow’s critically acclaimed 2019 book Listening for America: Inside the Great American Songbook from Gershwin to Sondheim. Each class ends with a live Q&A with Kapilow.
All 2020-21 Kaufman Music Center performances are online, filmed in safe, socially distanced locations observing health and safety protocols, and streamed to the safety of your home.