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Leonard Bernstein

Leonard Bernstein

Composer + Conductor + Pedagogue + Pianist + Writer
Born Aug 25, 1918

Leonard Bernstein was an American composer, conductor, author, music lecturer and pianist. He was among the first conductors born and educated in the United States of America to receive worldwide acclaim. According to The New York Times, he was "one of the most prodigiously talented and successful musicians in American history. " He is quite possibly the conductor whose name is best known to the public in general, especially the American public.… Read More

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News + Updates

Browse recent news and stories about Leonard Bernstein.

  • Classic Score By Bernstein Is Remade
    NYTimes - Sep 07, 2011
  • Sunday In The Park Filled With Spirited Music Daily Breeze
    Google News - Aug 31, 2011
  • 'open To The New' Cincinnati City Beat
    Google News - Aug 30, 2011
  • North Carolina Symphony Pops Series Begins With Tour Of Bernstein's Greatest ... Nc Symphony.Org
    Google News - Aug 29, 2011


Learn about the memorable moments in the evolution of Leonard Bernstein.


1918 Birth Born in 1918.


1935 17 Years Old After graduation from Boston Latin School in 1935, Bernstein attended Harvard University, where he studied music with, among others, Edward Burlingame Hill and Walter Piston. … Read More


1938 - 1943 4 More Events
1944 26 Years Old 1 More Event
In addition to becoming known as a conductor, Bernstein also emerged as a composer in the same period. In January 1944 he conducted the premiere of his Jeremiah Symphony in Pittsburgh.
1946 28 Years Old 1 More Event
After World War II, Bernstein's career on the international stage began to flourish. In 1946 he made his first trip to Europe conducting various orchestras and recorded Ravel's Piano Concerto in G as soloist and conductor with the Philharmonia Orchestra.
1947 29 Years Old In 1947, Bernstein conducted in Tel Aviv for the first time, beginning a lifelong association with Israel. … Read More


1949 31 Years Old In 1949, he conducted the world première of the Turangalîla-Symphonie by Olivier Messiaen, with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. … Read More
After much personal struggle and a turbulent on-off engagement, he married the Costa Rican-born American actress Felicia Cohn Montealegre on September 10, 1951. … Read More
1953 35 Years Old In 1953 he was the first American conductor to appear at La Scala in Milan, conducting Maria Callas in Cherubini's Medea. … Read More
1954 36 Years Old 1 More Event
Throughout his career, Bernstein often talked about the music of Ives, who died in 1954. … Read More
1956 38 Years Old In late 1956, Bernstein conducted the New York Philharmonic in concerts that were to have been conducted by Guido Cantelli, who had died in an air crash in Paris. … Read More
1957 39 Years Old Partly due to these appearances, Bernstein was named the music director of the New York Philharmonic in 1957, replacing Dimitri Mitropoulos.


1958 40 Years Old 1 More Event
He began his tenure in that position in 1958, having held the post jointly with Mitropoulos from 1957 to 1958.
1959 41 Years Old In 1959, he took the New York Philharmonic on a tour of Europe and the Soviet Union, portions of which were filmed by CBS Television. … Read More
1960 42 Years Old 1 More Event
In 1960 Bernstein and the New York Philharmonic held a Mahler Festival to mark the centenary of the composer's birth. … Read More
1961 - 1966 4 More Events
1967 49 Years Old 1 More Event
He also strengthened his relationship with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra – he conducted all nine completed Mahler symphonies with them (plus the adagio from the 10th) in the period from 1967 to 1976.


1968 50 Years Old He also conducted at the funeral mass in 1968 for the late President Kennedy's brother Robert Kennedy.
In 1970 Bernstein wrote and narrated a ninety-minute program filmed on location in and around Vienna as a celebration of Beethoven's 200th birthday. … Read More
1971 - 1972 2 More Events
1973 55 Years Old Bernstein was appointed in 1973 to the Charles Eliot Norton Chair as Professor of Poetry at his alma mater, Harvard University, and delivered a series of six televised lectures on music with musical examples played by the Boston Symphony Orchestra. … Read More
1976 58 Years Old A major period of upheaval in Bernstein's personal life began in 1976 when he decided that he could no longer conceal his bisexuality and he left his wife Felicia for a period to live with the writer Tom Cothran.


In 1978, Bernstein returned to the Vienna State Opera to conduct a revival of the Otto Schenk production of Fidelio, now featuring Gundula Janowitz and Rene Kollo in the lead roles. … Read More
1979 - 1980 2 More Events
1982 64 Years Old 1 More Event
In 1982 in the U.S., PBS aired an 11-part series of Bernstein's late 1970s films for Unitel of the Vienna Philharmonic playing all nine Beethoven symphonies and various other Beethoven works. … Read More
1984 66 Years Old Bernstein served as artistic director and taught conducting there until 1984. … Read More
In 1985 he took the European Community Youth Orchestra in a "Journey for Peace" tour around Europe and to Japan.
1986 68 Years Old In 1986 the London Symphony Orchestra mounted a Bernstein Festival in London with one concert that Bernstein himself conducted attended by the Queen.
1988 70 Years Old 1 More Event
In 1988 Bernstein's 70th birthday was celebrated by a lavish televised gala at Tanglewood featuring many performers who had worked with him over the years. … Read More
1989 71 Years Old On December 25, 1989, Bernstein conducted Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 in East Berlin's Schauspielhaus as part of a celebration of the fall of the Berlin Wall. … Read More
In the summer of 1990, Bernstein and Michael Tilson Thomas founded the Pacific Music Festival in Sapporo, Japan. … Read More
Original Authors of this text are noted on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leonard_Bernstein.
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