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realisations, so effective in promulgating the music of his American contemporaries and that of Gustav Mahler, no longer represent a barrier to the rediscovery of his own music by a new generation of performers.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.

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Leonard Bernstein Performances & Interviews


Leonard Bernstein Tracks

Leonard Bernstein
West Side Story - i Tonight
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West Side Story - i Tonight

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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
Georges Bizet
Symphony in C major - I. Allegro vivo
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Symphony in C major - I. Allegro vivo
Leonard Bernstein
Symphonic Dances from West Side Story
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Symphonic Dances from West Side Story
Jean Sibelius
Symphony no.5 in E flat major, Op.82 (3rd mvt)
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Symphony no.5 in E flat major, Op.82 (3rd mvt)
Leonard Bernstein
America
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America
Leonard Bernstein
Something's Coming
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Something's Coming
Leonard Bernstein
Slava!
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Slava!
Leonard Bernstein
Chichester Psalms, 2 mvt
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Chichester Psalms, 2 mvt
Leonard Bernstein
America
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America
Leonard Bernstein
Dance At The Gym
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Dance At The Gym
Leonard Bernstein
Prologue
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Prologue
Boston Symphony Orchestra
Four Sea Interludes: 3. Moonlight
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Four Sea Interludes: 3. Moonlight
Leonard Bernstein
Symphony No. 2 'The Age of Anxiety'
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Symphony No. 2 'The Age of Anxiety'
Leonard Bernstein
Symphonic Dances from West Side Story
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Symphonic Dances from West Side Story
Georges Bizet
Habanera (Carmen Suite No 2)
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Habanera (Carmen Suite No 2)
Leonard Bernstein
Symphonic Dances from West Side Story - Fugue
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Symphonic Dances from West Side Story - Fugue
Leonard Bernstein
Candide (Overture)
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Candide (Overture)
Leonard Bernstein
Halil nocturne for flute, string orchestra and percussion
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Halil nocturne for flute, string orchestra and percussion
Igor Stravinsky
The Firebird - suite
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The Firebird - suite
Leonard Bernstein
Candide - Glitter and be gay
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Candide - Glitter and be gay
Ludwig van Beethoven
Mass in D major Op. 123 (Missa Solemnis) i. Gloria
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Mass in D major Op. 123 (Missa Solemnis) i. Gloria
Leonard Bernstein
Sonata In A For Clarinet And Piano
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Sonata In A For Clarinet And Piano
Leonard Bernstein
Mambo from Symphonic dances from 'West Side story'
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Mambo from Symphonic dances from 'West Side story'
Roy Harris
Symphony no. 3
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Symphony no. 3
Leonard Bernstein
America (West Side Story)
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America (West Side Story)
Leonard Bernstein
Some Other Time (from On The Town)
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Some Other Time (from On The Town)

Some Other Time (from On The Town)

Performer
Bill Evans
Music Arranger
Bill Evans
Leonard Bernstein
3 Dance episodes from 'On the town'
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3 Dance episodes from 'On the town'
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
Lonely Town, pas de deux (3 Dance Episodes from 'On the Town')
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Lonely Town, pas de deux (3 Dance Episodes from 'On the Town')
Leonard Bernstein
The Great Lover (No.1 of Three Dance Episodes from 'On the Town')
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The Great Lover (No.1 of Three Dance Episodes from 'On the Town')
Gustav Mahler
Symphony No 2 in C minor (Resurrection) (4th mvt; Ulrlicht)
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Symphony No 2 in C minor (Resurrection) (4th mvt; Ulrlicht)
Leonard Bernstein
Candide - comic operetta in 2 acts i Overture
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Candide - comic operetta in 2 acts i Overture
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Past BBC Events

Proms 2018: Prom 59: Relaxed Prom
https://www.bbc.co.uk/events/epncd4
Royal Albert Hall
2018-08-27T10:52:41
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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
1988-07-24T10:52:41
24
Jul
1988

Proms 1988: Prom 04

Royal Albert Hall
Proms 1987: Prom 63
https://www.bbc.co.uk/events/e6hc8g
Royal Albert Hall
1987-09-10T10:52:41
10
Sep
1987

Proms 1987: Prom 63

Royal Albert Hall

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