Today's Memory

Today’s Memory – Leonard Bernstein

This will be our reply to violence: to make music more intensely, more beautifully, more devotedly than ever before

Leonard Bernstein

August 25, 1918, Lawrence, Massachusetts – October 14, 1990, New York City


Leonard Bernstein was an American composer, conductor, author, music lecturer, and pianist, noted for his accomplishments in both classical and popular music, for his flamboyant conducting style, and for his pedagogic flair, especially in concerts for young people.

Bernstein played piano from age 10. In 1943 was appointed assistant conductor of the New York Philharmonic. His technical self-assurance under difficult circumstances and his interpretive excellence made an immediate impression and marked the beginning of a brilliant career.

George Gershwin – Rhapsody in Blue Leonard Bernstein conducts the New York Philharmonic and plays piano at the Royal Albert Hall (1976)

He subsequently conducted the New York City Center orchestra (1945–47) and appeared as guest conductor in the United States, Europe, and Israel. In 1953 he became the first American to conduct at La Scala in Milan. From 1958 to 1969 Bernstein was conductor and musical director of the New York Philharmonic, becoming the first American-born holder of those posts. With this orchestra he made several international tours in Latin America, Europe, the Soviet Union, and Japan.

Peter Tchaikowsky – Symphony No 6 in B minor „Pathetique”, op 74 New York Philharmonic Conductor: Leonard Bernstein

His popularity increased through his appearances not only as conductor and pianist but also as a commentator and entertainer. Bernstein explained classical music to young listeners on such television shows as Omnibus and Young People’s Concerts.

Mahler – Symphony No. 1 „The Titan” Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra

After 1969 he continued to write music and to perform as a guest conductor with several symphonies throughout the world…

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The Berlin Celebration Concert marking the fall of the Berlin Wall Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra Conductor: Leonard Bernstein (Christmas Day, 1989)


That was the Bernstein mood:

Leonard Bernstein, Carnegie Hall, New York City by Henri Cartier-Bresson, 1960 goes on view at the National Portrait Gallery on Bernstein’s 100th birthday


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