Leonard Bernstein

Gift of Henny Durmashkin Gurko, Museum of Jewish Heritage, NY

Al Ravenna, courtesy of The Library of Congress

What did “faith” mean to Leonard Bernstein? Although to many his name is synonymous with music, he described his life’s work as a search for a solution to the 20th-century crisis of faith. 

Week of February 26, 2018. Pianist Lara Downes has put together a fascinating tribute to Leonard Bernstein, celebrating the 100th birthday of the conductor/composer/pianist.

This Sunday at 1 pm, listen to Joshua Bell play Bernstein in a 2013 broadcast of The Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert on WRTI. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, it was part of a celebration of the Renaissance man who influenced so many, including Philadelphia Orchestra Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin.

There’s that video that’s made the rounds on YouTube for years—Leonard Bernstein not conducting the Vienna Philharmonic in the Finale of the Haydn Symphony No. 88. Right, not conducting: It’s an encore, and as the applause dies away, he starts the music, then drops his hands to his side.

Henry Grossman; Courtesy of Bernice Horowitz

When Leonard Bernstein’s baton broke during a rehearsal of Candide in the early 1970s, who was summoned to repair it? Richard Horowitz, who at the time was principal timpanist of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra.

It's a coincidence that Philadelphia Orchestra performances of Leonard Bernstein's West Side Story In Concert are scheduled for this week, while the world is watching millions of people suffering in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria.

Paul de Hueck, courtesy the Leonard Bernstein Office, Inc.

The centennial anniversary of Leonard Bernstein is coming up on August 25, 2018, and for the next two years there will be tributes galore—in Philadelphia and throughout the world. WRTI will remember this American icon with special programming, features, and more. Orchestras and museums will commemorate Bernstein with over 1000 events on six continents.

A manuscript of a J.S. Bach cantata casts a new light on how Bach intended the piece to be played. A singer gains insight from a line in a Porgy and Bess manuscript that differs from the final lyrics. The Music Division of the massive Library of Congress in Washington, DC,  is a place where performers, composers, scholars and the general public make discoveries of the musical kind.

A thriving classical music world involves not only composers and performers, but those who listen, and those who manage, connect, and promote the artists and the art form. WRTI’s Susan Lewis has more on Musical America, a publication that has been celebrating and connecting classical musicians since 1898:


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