The New York cultural season, though just started, seems electrically charged as a new generation of conductors is stepping up and onto the podium. In mid-September, Alan Gilbert took over as music director of the New York Philharmonic, the first native New Yorker in the orchestra's 167-year history.

And on Friday, October 9, the New York Pops orchestra will introduce its young, dynamic music director Steven Reineke.

Reineke, an omni-talent-composer, arranger, trumpeter, and conductor-takes over the Pops, a beloved NYC institution, at a pivotal moment. The orchestra, which presents five programs at Carnegie each season, parks concerts, and tours, is devoted to American popular music, including Broadway and film, and presented performers ranging from Tony Bennett to Reba McEntire, Michael Feinstein to Kelli O'Hara.

Thoroughly schooled in the classics but with interests that cut across all styles and genres, Reineke expects to go in new directions in search of new audiences. His first program explores the music made popular by Sammy Davis, Jr., and the gospel, rhythm & blues, and soul singer Sam Cooke, in a show written with Wayne Brady. Yes, that Wayne Brady, singer, comedian, and protean talent of Whose Life Is It Anyway?, who morphs from rap to soul to Broadway standards with stunning ease.