A Bernstein Summer

Aug. 25, 2018, marks the 100th anniversary of Leonard Bernstein's birth, and Classical 101 is celebrating with A Bernstein Summer! We're creating special programs on air and features on our blog and social media to pay tribute to the many contributions of this important American figure.

color photo of Leonard Bernstein conducting
New York Philharmonic / youtube.com/watch?v=fHPRWEpyxfM

The year is 1941. War is raging in Europe.

Here on the home front, Leonard Bernstein is 23 years old, a student at Philadelphia's Curtis institute of Music and a mentee of two legendary conductors — Fritz Reiner and Serge Koussevitzky.

leonard bernstein in royal blue shirt holding conducting wand
Allan Warren / Wikimedia Commons

On Oct. 22, 1983, the Metropolitan Opera threw an all-day bash celebrating its 100th birthday.

Paul de Hueck / The Leonard Bernstein Office Inc.

Conducting is both art and science

black-and-white photo of Leonard Bernstein pointing with his foot to notes on an oversized score of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony
CBS / alexanderstreet.com

For more than a decade, Leonard Bernstein brought young people to classical music through his televised Young People's Concerts with the New York Philharmonic. But before that series, Bernstein was a fixture on the major network TV series Omnibus.

black-and-white photo of Leonard Bernstein standing in front of a blackboard with staff lines on it
leonardbernstein.com

There's Leonard Bernstein, the composer of all that splashy, jazzy music for West Side Story. There’s Leonard Bernstein, the showy — some might say flamboyant — conductor of the New York Philharmonic and other top-flight orchestras.

And then there’s Leonard Bernstein, the generous mentor of aspiring conductors who today occupy the prestigious podiums where Bernstein himself once stood.

HarperCollins Publishers

Leonard Bernstein and his wife, Chilean-born actress Felicia Montealegre, had three children: Jamie, Alexander and Nina. Montealegre died in 1978. Bernstein died in 1990, at the age of 72.