Leonard Bernstein

Creatively Speaking
6:00 am
Mon July 7, 2014

The Musical Treasure Trove At The Library Of Congress

Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990) at work in his apartment in NYC in 1947.
Photographic proof by Victor Kraft Library of Congress

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.

Case in point: in a series of letters written in 1957 to his wife Felicia, while she was visiting her family in Santiago, Chile, Leonard Bernstein faithfully chronicles the progress of West Side Story during the final weeks of rehearsal through the show’s out-of-town opening in Washington, D.C.  The letters reveal Bernstein’s changing emotions about the show from frustration and agony to his final state of euphoria.  In addition to comments about West Side Story, Bernstein writes about signing his contract as conductor with the New York Philharmonic, his upcoming thirty-ninth birthday, and how much he misses Felicia and their children, Jamie and Alexander. Read the letters here.

The Special Collections of the Music Division are truly fascinating and constitute a resource for musical scholarship that is unmatched anywhere in the world. These unique bodies of materials are extraordinarily vast and diverse, yet very much interrelated. They include some of the greatest treasures of the Music Division and the Library of Congress.

WRTI Picks from NPR Music
5:48 am
Sun October 27, 2013

Energetic, Intimate 'Letters' Reveal Private Leonard Bernstein

Composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein, shown here conducting the New York Philharmonic orchestra in 1963, was a legend in American music. Letters to and from Bernstein have been compiled into The Leonard Bernstein Letters, a new book edited by Nigel Simeone.
Express Newspapers Getty Images

Originally published on Sun October 27, 2013 2:10 pm

Leonard Bernstein was a singular American genius. One of the great orchestra conductors of the 20th Century, he was also a composer of hit musicals like West Side Story, as well as symphonies and ballets. He was a teacher and television personality — his Young People's Concerts introduced generations of children to classical music.

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ENCORE!
5:00 pm
Fri November 30, 2012

Bernstein Conducts Bernstein: New York Philharmonic on ENCORE!

Leonard Bernstein

Tune in on Sunday, December 2nd, 3 to 5 pm as Leonard Bernstein conducts his own music on this week's New York Philharmonic broadcast, from the ensemble's vast recorded archive. It's Jewish-themed music in honor of the upcoming Hanukkah holiday that begins on December 8th.

PROGRAM:

BERNSTEIN: Chichester Psalms (World-premiere performance in 1965)

Columbus Boychoir

BERNSTEIN: Kaddish, Symphony No.3

Camerata Singers

WRTI Spotlight
10:55 am
Sat October 20, 2012

All-French Program From the New York Philharmonic Archives: Oct. 21 at 3 pm on ENCORE!

Leonard Bernstein

It's all all-French program on this week's New York Philharmonic broadcast - performances drawn from the Philharmonic's vast recorded archive.  Music by Massenet that includes an historic performance by the Philharmonic conducted by Josef Stransky (who became the orchestra's music director in 1911, following the death of Gustav Mahler), and appearances by Luciano Pavarotti and mezzo-soprano Nancy Maultsby.  Also on the program, works by Clause Debussy that include the Image pour Orchestra, and Le Martyre de Saint Sebastian.

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Creatively Speaking
3:44 pm
Sat October 6, 2012

West Side Story: Fifty Years On

Those funky, menacing chords can only belong to one piece of music: West Side Story, the Leonard Bernstein Broadway musical that updated the Romeo and Juliet story into the world of gang warfare to the streets of post-war New York City. The concert suite from the musical has often been played by The Philadelphia Orchestra, though this week it's performing the music in a different incarnation - as an accompaniment to the 1961 Oscar-winning film. The Philadelphia Inquirer’s David Patrick Stearns reports that the enterprise isn’t nearly as simple as it looks.

Deceptive Cadence
6:14 am
Sat September 29, 2012

Leonard Bernstein's 'Kaddish' Symphony: A Crisis Of Faith

The traditional Jewish Kaddish prayer gets turned on its head in Leonard Bernstein's Symphony No. 3.
Fethi Belaid AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 16, 2012 3:46 pm

I can't think of anything I loved more than talking to Leonard Bernstein. Or, more accurately, listening to him talk — about music or any topic under the sun. I remember a long discourse we had about one of my favorite books, Thomas Mann's The Magic Mountain, and Bernstein's summarizing statement: "Well, of course, every author spends his whole life writing the same book."

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Creatively Speaking
2:12 pm
Sat September 13, 2008

Vanished Gardens--Bernstein's Candide revamped--America's Oldest Theatre

Jim Cotter speaks with writer Sharon White. The Temple University professor's latest book Vanished Gardens: Finding Nature in Philadelphia, is published this month.

In the first of a two-part report, David Patrick Stearns examines the history of Leonard Bernstein's Candide. A production opens this week at the Arden Theatre Company in Philadelphia.

Jason Peifer explores the rich history of Philadelphia's Walnut Street Theatre, which is now in its 200th season.

More Information:

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Crossover
9:52 am
Sat August 16, 2008

Keith Lockhart: Boston Pops music director

Leonard Bernstein

Jill Pasternak speaks with the Maestro about his upcoming appearance with the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra at the Kimmel Center on August 20.

The concert will honor the memory of Leonard Bernstein, who would have turned 90 on August 25.

The three-part program, Make Mine Bernstein, reflects on one of the 20th century's most influential composers of American classical music and Broadway hit musicals.

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Creatively Speaking
10:04 am
Sat April 19, 2008

Arts Education in Philly--Bernstein's "Kaddish" Symphony--Animal Farm at Mum Puppettheater

Leonard Bernstein

Jim Cotter leads a conversation about arts education in Philadelphia's public school system.

David Patrick Stearns on Leonard Bernstein's third, "Kaddish", symphony.

Jason Peifer previews Mum Puppettheater's interpretation of George Orwell's classic novel Animal Farm.

Resources:

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Creatively Speaking
12:18 pm
Sat January 12, 2008

The Philadelphia Orchestra: Leonard Bernstein Festival

Leonard Berstein

Jim Cotter speaks with Jennifer Higdon.  The Philadelphia Orchestra and Time for Three premier her Concerto 4-3 this week. It's part of the orchestra's Leonard Bernstein Festival.

Also, Susan Lewis looks at the life and legend of the great American composer, conductor, and educator.

Jason Peifer talks to the organizers of the annual One Book, One Philadelphia program.

More Information:

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