Leonard Bernstein

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:


Does everything happen for the best? Not according to Voltaire’s satirical novella, which offers a dizzying display of human depravity, with a couple of natural disasters thrown in for good measure. Funny, fast-moving and philosophical, Candide includes such classic tunes as “The Best of All Possible Worlds,” “Glitter and Be Gay” and “Make Our Garden Grow.”

The votes are in...the WRTI audience has decided who should portray Lenny Bernstein in Martin Scorsese's  upcoming film. Thanks so much to everyone who voted! We had over 35 nominations, with some surprising opinions. What do you think of the results?

Leonard Bernstein often said: "Every author spends his entire life writing the same book." The same could apply to composers.

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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