Bernstein, Leonard

Bernstein, Leonard

Bernstein, Leonard, 1918-90, American composer, conductor, and pianist, b. Lawrence, Mass., grad. Harvard, 1939, and Curtis Institute of Music, 1941. A highly versatile musician, he was the composer of symphonic works (the Jeremiah Symphony, 1944; Age of Anxiety, 1949; Kaddish Symphony, 1963), song cycles, chamber music, ballets (Fancy Free, 1944), musicals (On the Town, 1944; Wonderful Town, 1953; Candide, 1956; West Side Story, 1957), opera (Trouble in Tahiti, 1952), and choral music (Chichester Psalms, 1965). His Mass (1971), a "theater piece for dancers, singers, and players," was performed at the opening of the John F. Kennedy Cultural Center in Washington, D.C. From 1951 to 1956 he taught at Brandeis Univ. He was a soloist and conductor with many orchestras in the United States and abroad. He first conducted the New York Philharmonic in 1943, and from 1958 to 1970 was its musical director. Upon his retirement he was named laureate conductor and frequently appeared with the Vienna Philharmonic and the Israel Philharmonic.

See his The Joy of Music (1959) and The Infinite Variety of Music (1966); biographies by J. Briggs (1961), J. Gruen (1968), H. Burton (1994), and M. Secrest (1994); his brother, B. Bernstein, and B. Haws, Leonard Bernstein: American Original (2008); B. Seldes, Leonard Bernstein: The Political Life of an American Musician (2009).

Leonard Bernstein.

(born Aug. 25, 1918, Lawrence, Mass., U.S.—died Oct. 14, 1990, New York, N.Y.) U.S. conductor, composer, and writer. He resolved on a music career only after graduating from Harvard University. He studied conducting at the Curtis Institute of Music with Fritz Reiner and then at Tanglewood (in Lenox, Mass.), where he met Aaron Copland and became Serge Koussevitzky's assistant. Fame came abruptly in 1943 when he substituted on short notice for the conductor of the New York Philharmonic orchestra and was praised for his technical self-assurance and interpretive excellence. In 1944 he triumphed with his music for Jerome Robbins's ballet Fancy Free and the Broadway show On the Town. As a composer he made use of diverse elements ranging from biblical themes to jazz rhythms. His best-known composition was the score for the hit musical West Side Story (1957); other works include the musicals Wonderful Town (1952) and Candide (1956), three symphonies, the Chichester Psalms (1965), and the theatrical Mass (1971). Well known as a television lecturer, he was also a prominent political activist.

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is a German and Jewish surname meaning "amber". The proper German pronunciation is [ˈbɛʁn.ʃtaɪn], but many non-Germans pronounce it [ˈbɝn.stiːn]. It may refer to:


Fictional people

  • Rugal Bernstein, a major villain in the King of Fighters video game series.
  • Adelheid Bernstein, the son of Rugal, making a debut appearance in King of Fighters 2003.
  • Mr Bernstein, the business partner of Charles Foster Kane in the 1941 film Citizen Kane


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