Film at Lincoln Center announces Bradley Cooper’s Maestro as the Spotlight Gala of the 61st New York Film Festival at David Geffen Hall on October 2. Making its North American premiere, Maestro joins the previously announced Opening Night, Centerpiece, and Closing Night films in the NYFF slate of gala presentations.

In his directorial follow-up to A Star Is Born, Bradley Cooper dramatizes the public and private lives of legendary musician Leonard Bernstein with sensitivity, visual ingenuity, and symphonic splendor. Coasting on the boundless energy of its subject’s runaway genius, Maestro transports the viewer back to a vividly re-created postwar New York, when Bernstein (Cooper) began his stratospheric rise to international fame as both a conductor and composer, and also when he first met Felicia (Carey Mulligan), the actress whom he would marry and spend his life with. Maestro is a tender, often intensely emotional film about the different faces one wears when living in the public eye, depicting the complicated yet devoted decades-spanning relationship between Leonard and Felicia. Fueled by Cooper and Mulligan’s perfectly matched duet of towering performances, Matthew Libatique’s balletic cinematography, and, of course, Bernstein’s thrilling music, Maestro is a tour de force for its director. A Netflix release.

Maestro is a bravura achievement for its director and star, a work of conviction and imagination that does justice to the brilliance and complexity of its subject,” said Dennis Lim, Artistic Director, New York Film Festival. “We are honored to have Bradley Cooper’s enthralling film as a gala presentation at this year’s festival, and doubly so to be showing it in a venue that is synonymous with Leonard Bernstein.”

“The New York Film Festival is proud to present the North American debut of Maestro, Bradley Cooper’s tour de force film about the life of renowned conductor, composer, and musician Leonard Bernstein,” said Lesli Klainberg, President, Film at Lincoln Center. “It is particularly significant that this is the first film to premiere in the new David Geffen Hall, home of the New York Philharmonic, which Bernstein famously led for over a decade, and where NYFF began in 1963. This state-of-the-art presentation was realized with the collaboration of our colleagues at the New York Philharmonic and Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts and supported by our friends at Netflix and Dolby.”

The New York Film Festival audience will experience Maestro with the ultra-vivid colors of Dolby Vision and the immersive sound of Dolby Atmos. A Dolby Vision projection system and a Dolby Atmos sound system will be installed by Dolby and its technical partners in David Geffen Hall specifically for the Maestro premiere, transforming the venue into a state-of-the-art cinema equipped with Dolby’s cutting-edge technology for the one-night-only experience.

The complete Spotlight lineup will be announced soon. Explore NYFF61’s Main Slate lineup. Currents, Revivals, and Talks announcements are forthcoming––sign up for NYFF updates for the latest news.

Maestro tickets will go on sale to the general public on Tuesday, September 19 at noon ET, with pre-sale access for FLC Members prior to this date. Become an FLC Member by this Friday, August 18 to secure pre-sale access. NYFF61 press and industry accreditation is now open through August 28.