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Leonard Bernstein

Conductor and Composer

Leonard Bernstein—“Lenny”—famously made his Carnegie Hall debut on November 14, 1943, substituting on a few hours’ notice for the ailing Bruno Walter, who was scheduled to conduct the New York Philharmonic. Between 1943 and 1990, Bernstein appeared at the Hall nearly 450 times as conductor, pianist, composer, and educator—including the famous televised Young People’s Concerts. His Opening Prayer was the first-ever Carnegie Hall commission and his work has been performed at the Hall more than 700 times. The maestro’s final appearance was on March 3, 1990, conducting the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra.

I can’t live one day without hearing music, playing it, studying it, or thinking about it.


From the Archives

Leonard Bernstein at Carnegie Hall

Carnegie Hall’s performance history database covers more than 50,000 concerts and events that occurred at Carnegie Hall from its opening in 1891 to the present. Explore events related to Leonard Bernstein (these links will open in a new tab with the performance history search tools):

Listen to Leonard Bernstein

Celebrate composer-conductor Leonard Bernstein’s career and long association with Carnegie Hall in this playlist. Reacquaint yourself with jazz-infused dances and show-stopping songs. Bernstein’s music and vast range as a conductor make him a Carnegie Hall icon—listen to hear why. Listen on Apple Music and Spotify.

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