Leonard Bernstein
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1918-08-25
https://musicbrainz.org/artist/fa39bc82-9b27-4bbb-9425-d719a72e09ac
Leonard Bernstein

Leonard Bernstein Biography (BBC)

Leonard Bernstein has been described as a 20th-century Renaissance man and it is true that he dared to be versatile in an age of specialisation. The first indigenous American to really challenge the global domination of musical life by Europeans, or quasi- Europeans, he came to symbolise the optimism and can-do attitude of the American way, while representing also the flip-side of the Dream, incurably restless and variously unfulfilled. At the time of his death, his own music, especially his concert music, was generally reckoned a disappointment: its rampant eclecticism did not chime well with what Western art music was supposed to be about. Today, however, even his supposed failures are coming in from the cold. Those generously inflected Bernstein realisations, so effective in promulgating the music of his American contemporaries and that of Gustav Mahler, no longer represent a barrier to the rediscovery of his own music by a new generation of performers.

There was much that was conventional in Bernstein’s upbringing and education. Born in 1918, he studied at both Harvard and the Curtis Institute and was at various times the protégé of Dimitri Mitropoulos, Fritz Reiner and Serge Koussevitzky. Self-evidently gifted, he also had luck on his side. In 1943 he made his reputation as a conductor at a stroke when he replaced an indisposed Bruno Walter. Thereafter he was associated with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra (from 1947), the Boston Symphony Orchestra and especially the New York Philharmonic (of which he was Music Director, 1958–69). Increasingly drawn to Europe, he forged a special relationship with the Vienna Philharmonic. A celebrated educator, writer, broadcaster and, in earlier years, a formidable pianist, he pursued an on-off career as a composer, like his idol Gustav Mahler, blurring the boundaries between high and popular culture in a personal mix of that composer with Copland, Stravinsky and elements drawn from Broadway and specifically Jewish traditions.

His works for commercial theatre, most notably the musicals Candide (1956) and West Side Story (1957), are currently more highly prized than his ballet Dybbuk (1974) or his most personal operatic statement, A Quiet Place (1983). His other magnum opus, the unclassifiable evening-length piece for singers, players and dancers entitled Mass (1971), continues to divide opinion. There are three symphonies but casual listeners often find most to admire in more modest concert works such as Prelude, Fugue and Riffs (1949), the Serenade (1954), a violin concerto in all but name, and the defiantly melodic Chichester Psalms (1965).

What distinguished Bernstein’s work as a composer is actually what distinguishes it from so many of the contemporary trends he latched on to, the better to throw his own meanings into relief. Whether pop, pap or post-Schoenbergian, it is the very contemporaneity of so much 20th century music that can make it seem anonymous. Trying everything as it does, reaching out for some ‘ebullient renewed will to survive the Apocalyptic’, Bernstein’s music is always cathartic and unmistakably his own.

Profile © David Gutman

Leonard Bernstein Biography (Wikipedia)

Leonard Bernstein ( BURN-styne; August 25, 1918 – October 14, 1990) was an American composer, conductor, author, music lecturer, and pianist. He was among the first conductors born and educated in the US to receive worldwide acclaim. According to music critic Donal Henahan, he was "one of the most prodigiously talented and successful musicians in American history."

His fame derived from his long tenure as the music director of the New York Philharmonic, from his conducting of concerts with most of the world's leading orchestras, and from his music for West Side Story, Peter Pan, Candide, Wonderful Town, On the Town, On the Waterfront, his Mass, and a range of other compositions, including three symphonies and many shorter chamber and solo works.

Bernstein was the first conductor to give a series of television lectures on classical music, starting in 1954 and continuing until his death. He was a skilled pianist, often conducting piano concertos from the keyboard. He was also a critical figure in the modern revival of the music of Gustav Mahler, the composer he was most passionately interested in.

This entry is from Wikipedia, the user-contributed encyclopedia. It may not have been reviewed by professional editors and is licensed under an Attribution-ShareAlike Creative Commons License. If you find the biography content factually incorrect or highly offensive you can edit this article at Wikipedia. Find out more about our use of this data.

Leonard Bernstein Performances & Interviews


Leonard Bernstein Tracks

Leonard Bernstein
Gee, Officer Krupke (West Side Story)
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Gee, Officer Krupke (West Side Story)

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Leonard Bernstein
Candide (Overture)
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Candide (Overture)
Leonard Bernstein
Overture 'Candide'
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Overture 'Candide'
BBC Symphony Orchestra
Variations On An Original Theme, Op.36 "Enigma" - 9. Nimrod (Adagio)
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Variations On An Original Theme, Op.36 "Enigma" - 9. Nimrod (Adagio)
Leonard Bernstein
America (Radio Mix)
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America (Radio Mix)
Sibelius
Symphony No. 5 in E flat major, Op. 82 - 3rd Movement
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Symphony No. 5 in E flat major, Op. 82 - 3rd Movement
George Gershwin
Rhapsody In Blue
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Rhapsody In Blue
Samuel Barber
Presto In Moto Perpetuo
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Presto In Moto Perpetuo
Aaron Copland
Buckaroo Holiday (Four Dance Episodes from Rodeo)
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Buckaroo Holiday (Four Dance Episodes from Rodeo)
Leonard Bernstein
Make our garden grow (Candide)
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Make our garden grow (Candide)
Leonard Bernstein
Mambo (Symphonic Dances from West Side Story)
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Mambo (Symphonic Dances from West Side Story)
Leonard Bernstein
Symphonic dances from 'West Side story': Prologue [Allegro moderato]
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Symphonic dances from 'West Side story': Prologue [Allegro moderato]
Leonard Bernstein
Chichester Psalms: III. Psalm 131: Adonai, Adonai (Lord, Lord)
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Chichester Psalms: III. Psalm 131: Adonai, Adonai (Lord, Lord)
Leonard Bernstein
Overture to Candide
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Overture to Candide
Charles Ives
2 Contemplations K.V.23 for chamber orchestra
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2 Contemplations K.V.23 for chamber orchestra
Leonard Bernstein
Times Square 1944 (No.3 of Three Dance episodes from 'On the town')
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Times Square 1944 (No.3 of Three Dance episodes from 'On the town')
Leonard Bernstein
West Side Story Suite: Mambo
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West Side Story Suite: Mambo
Leonard Bernstein
Auto-da-fe (What a Day) - from Candide
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Auto-da-fe (What a Day) - from Candide
Béla Bartók
Music for strings, percussion and celesta - movement II
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Music for strings, percussion and celesta - movement II
Robert Schumann
Symphony No.3 in E flat, Op.97: i. Lebhaft
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Symphony No.3 in E flat, Op.97: i. Lebhaft
Leonard Bernstein
Mambo (West Side Story)
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Mambo (West Side Story)
Leonard Bernstein
Gee, Officer Krupke (West Side Story)
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Gee, Officer Krupke (West Side Story)
Aaron Copland
Fanfare for the Common Man
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Fanfare for the Common Man
Vincenzo Bellini
Sonnambula Act 2 scene 2 - 'Ah non credea mirarti'
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Sonnambula Act 2 scene 2 - 'Ah non credea mirarti'
Aaron Copland
Danzon cubano
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Danzon cubano
Leonard Bernstein
Serenade [after Plato's "The symposium"]
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Serenade [after Plato's "The symposium"]
Leonard Bernstein
I feel pretty (West Side Story)
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I feel pretty (West Side Story)
Leonard Bernstein
I can cook too - from "On the Town"
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I can cook too - from "On the Town"
Leonard Bernstein
Songfest - "To What You Said"
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Songfest - "To What You Said"
Leonard Bernstein
The President Jefferson Sunday Luncheon Party March
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The President Jefferson Sunday Luncheon Party March
Leonard Bernstein
Candide - comic operetta in 2 acts, Overture
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Candide - comic operetta in 2 acts, Overture
Leonard Bernstein
Gee Officer Krupke! (Riff And The Jets)
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Gee Officer Krupke! (Riff And The Jets)
Robert Schumann
Symphony No.3 'Rhenish' - first movement
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Symphony No.3 'Rhenish' - first movement
Los Angeles Philharmonic
Bernstein: On The Town: Three Dance Episodes - 3. Times Square: 1944 (Allegro) (
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Bernstein: On The Town: Three Dance Episodes - 3. Times Square: 1944 (Allegro) (
Leonard Bernstein
3 Dance episodes from 'On the town'
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3 Dance episodes from 'On the town'
Bedrich Smetana
The Bartered Bride (Overture)
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The Bartered Bride (Overture)
Leonard Bernstein
Candide: Overture
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Candide: Overture
Leonard Bernstein
Wonderful Town (Overture)
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Wonderful Town (Overture)
Joseph Haydn
Symphony No 88 in G major (4th mvt)
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Symphony No 88 in G major (4th mvt)
Felix Mendelssohn
Symphony no. 4 in A major Op.90 "Italian" (4th mvt)
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Symphony no. 4 in A major Op.90 "Italian" (4th mvt)
Leonard Bernstein
Mambo (excerpt West Side Story)
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Mambo (excerpt West Side Story)
Franz Schubert
Symphony No 5 in B flat major, D485
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Symphony No 5 in B flat major, D485
Leonard Bernstein
Serenade after Plato's 'The symposium'
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Serenade after Plato's 'The symposium'
Leonard Bernstein
Symphonic Dances, from 'West Side Story'
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Symphonic Dances, from 'West Side Story'
Leonard Bernstein
Prelude, Fugue and Riffs
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Prelude, Fugue and Riffs
Leonard Bernstein
West Side Story: Symphonic Dances
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West Side Story: Symphonic Dances
Leonard Bernstein
A boy like that... I have a love (West Side Story)
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A boy like that... I have a love (West Side Story)
Leonard Bernstein
Prelude, Fugue and Riffs
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Prelude, Fugue and Riffs
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Past BBC Events

Proms 2018: Prom 59: Relaxed Prom
https://www.bbc.co.uk/events/epncd4
Royal Albert Hall
2018-08-27T00:10:33
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27
Aug
2018
Proms 2018: Prom 59: Relaxed Prom

Proms 2018: Prom 59: Relaxed Prom

Royal Albert Hall
Proms 1988: Prom 04
https://www.bbc.co.uk/events/exgrzc
Royal Albert Hall
1988-07-24T00:10:33
24
Jul
1988

Proms 1988: Prom 04

Royal Albert Hall
Proms 1987: Prom 63
https://www.bbc.co.uk/events/e6hc8g
Royal Albert Hall
1987-09-10T00:10:33
10
Sep
1987

Proms 1987: Prom 63

Royal Albert Hall

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