“It is impossible for me to make an exclusive choice among the various activities of conducting, symphonic composition, writing for the theater, and playing the piano … For the ends are music itself.”
His innate ability to join music and drama forever changed the landscape of American musical theater.
As a serious composer, his creative output is nearly impossible to categorize, except for its distinct “Bernstein” sound.
A last minute substitution at Carnegie Hall launched a larger-than-life international conducting career.
Perhaps his greatest gift was the ability to translate the language of music to generations of viewers, listeners, and performers.
From civil rights to nuclear disarmament to the end of the Vietnam War, Bernstein lived a life of effecting change.
New York’s artistic vitality served as a catalyst and a backdrop for a number of memorable moments.
As inseparable as his relationship to music was an unwavering and ecumenical devotion to faith and his Jewish roots.
An interactive overview of Bernstein’s life and career.
Did you know that between 1943 and 1990 Bernstein appeared at Carnegie Hall more than 430 times?
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For nearly five decades Leonard Bernstein referred to the New York Philharmonic as his second family, leading the Orchestra in 1,246 performances …
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By Burton Bernstein— former New Yorker writer and Leonard’s brother—and the New York Philharmonic’s historian, Barbara Haws.