Leonard Bernstein Essay, Research Paper

Leonard Bernstein

Leonard Bernstein was born in Lawrenceville, Massachusettes on

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August 25, 1918. He was the first born kid of Samuel and Jennie Bernstein,

who lived in Boston, but had gone to Lawrenceville to see some relations.

Bernstein & # 8217 ; s parents had small cognition of, or involvement in

classical music. The lone records Leonard remembers hearing on his household

record player when he was a kid were the popular hit vocals of the twenty-four hours, such as?

Barney Google? and? Oh by Jingo. ?

For the most portion, Leonard Bernstein was an unhappy kid. He said, ?

I was a suffering, panicky small kid? ( Musicians p.64 ) . His household moved

from town to town, during Bernstein & # 8217 ; s school yearss, non giving him a opportunity to

do close friends or feel at place. Sadly, Bernstein & # 8217 ; s equals would do merriment of

and annoyer Bernstein. He was a really sallow kid as he suffered from chronic

asthma, rose febrility, and hay febrility. This hapless kid grew to be a really diffident


Leonard ever had a bosom for music, even as a immature male child. As

an eight twelvemonth old, one forenoon, when he was sitting in the temple, the

spiritual music of the choir and organ overwhelmed him by it & # 8217 ; s beauty and caused

him to split into cryings. When Leonard and his household would see their friends,

Leonard would mouse over to the piano and experiment. When he was eleven, his

aunt sent her piano to his house for his household to maintain for storage. ? I made

love to it right off? he recalled ( Musicians p. 65 ) . He could get away from all

his defeats and unhappiness by playing the piano. His parents didn & # 8217 ; t like the

fact that he was ever at the piano, they wanted him to concentrate on his

school work. They thought of piano playing as a waste of clip because it stood

in the manner of Leonard & # 8217 ; s larning his male parent & # 8217 ; s concern, which they planned for

him to finally take over.

At the age of 10, Leonard found a piano instructor who would give

him lessons for a dollar a lesson. But that teacher shortly moved off and Leonard

found himself paying another piano teacher three dollars a lesson out of his

allowance. After more than a twelvemonth of piano lessons that merely weren & # 8217 ; t learning

him much, Leonard found a new, and this clip first-class piano instructor named Helen

Coates. She was sensitive to Leonard & # 8217 ; s shyness and knew what it took to learn

him. She had him analyze symphonic musics and operas from the printed page and

encouraged him to compose. She besides encouraged him to travel to concerts. After

watching Stravinsky & # 8217 ; s The Rite of Spring and Prokofiev & # 8217 ; s Classical Symphony, he

became cognizant non merely of symphonic music, but specifically of 20th century

music. Until so, he ne’er realized that music had a hereafter. He had ever

idea of it as something that had already been written. Bernsteins desire for

music became greater and greater. He began go toing the public concerts of the

Boston Symphony.

& # 8216 ; He was scarily gifted, & # 8217 ; Miss Coates recalled in ulterior old ages. ? He could

read, sing and memorise anything. He absorbed in one lesson an agreement that

took most of my students five or six lessons to learn. & # 8217 ; 1

As an 11 twelvemonth old, he entered The Boston Latin School and

graduated with awards in 1935. He was an outstanding student- in the top 10

per centum of his category, but didn & # 8217 ; t seem to be without music. It was, by now, a

portion of him.

Soon, after he turned 13, he and his pa went on a sail

through the Panama Canal. He entertained everyone on the sail with his piano

playing. Everyone loved him so much that the ship & # 8217 ; s manager offered him a

lasting occupation with the ships staff.

Music truly changed Leonard & # 8217 ; s diffident personality for the better,

along with his hapless wellness.

From Boston Latin School Bernstein went on to Harvard College.

He wrote for and performed in college productions, played the piano for the hilarity

nine and provided the background music for soundless gesture images.

In 1939 Bernstein graduated from Harvard with the grade of

Bachelor of Humanistic disciplines and a cum laude in music. By this clip Dimitri Mitropoulos,

the manager, had become interested in him. He encouraged Bernstein to fall in


at the Boston Symphony & # 8217 ; s dry runs. He besides encouraged him to see

going a music director. Bernstein felt he must acquire away from his male parents

relentless pecking to fall in his concern, so he left place and found a topographic point for

himself in music in New York City.

Bernstein attended the Curtis Institute for two old ages, where his

chief involvement was in conducting. For the summers of 1940 and 1941 he studied at

Tanglewood with Koussevitzky. It merely took those two summers for Koussevitzky

to go impressed plenty to desire to hold Bernstein as his helper. In 1942

he was invited by Rodzinski to move as adjunct music director of the New York PO.

November 13, 1944 was the twenty-four hours that Bernsteins calling skyrocketed. The Sunday

afternoon concert of the New York Philharmonic, which was broadcast on a

national hookup of the Columbia Broadcasting System, was to be conducted by

Bruno Walter, guest music director. The eventide before that concert Walter became

excessively sick to execute, and Bernstein was chosen for a last minute replacement. He

had no chance to practise the orchestra and merely a few hours to fix

himself for a long and complicated plan that included the universe premiere of

Miklo`s Ro`zsa & # 8217 ; s Variations on a Magyar Peasant Song. Bernstein appeared

have oning a grey concern suit, which was the first clip a music director had worn

mundane apparels at a Philharmonic concert.

Soon after, he appeared with the Pittsburg and Boston orchestras

and became music director of the New York City Orchestra ( 1945-1948 ) . The first

concert he conducted with his new orchestra was the Israel PO in 1947. ? He

served as its music adviser in 1948-1949, and was co-conductor with Koussevitzky

for the orchestra & # 8217 ; s American circuit in 1951? ( Grove p. 631 ) .

On September 9, 1951, he married Felicia Montealegre in Boston.

She was a immature actress, born in Costa Rica, who had come to the United States

seeking to do visual aspects on the phase and on Television. They lived in a nine

room semidetached house on Fifty-seventh Street, diagonally across to Carnegie Hall. There

they raised their first two kids. Their family included Helen Coates,

who had been Bernstein & # 8217 ; s piano instructor from long ago.

In 1957 Dimitri Mitropoulos, music manager of the New York

Philharmonic, appointed Bernstein co-director for the 1957-1958 season. When

that season ended, Mitropoulos withdrew to go forth Bernstein as full music

manager. He was both the youngest adult male and the lone American-born instrumentalist to

be in that place. He held it for 11 old ages, longer than any manager in

the history of the organisation.

Leonard Bernstein became a instructor and a observer on music

with categories at the Berkshire Music Center, Brandeis University, Harvard

University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

In October 1976, the Bernsteins announced that they had

decided upon a legal separation. Although their matrimony lasted 25

old ages, Bernstein said that his matrimony was keeping him back from being the best

creative person he could be. When Mrs. Bernstein became earnestly sick, though, they

were reconciled.

Bernstein has received such awards as the Albert Einstein

Commemorative Award in the Humanistic disciplines from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine ;

the John H. Finley Medal for service to New York City ; the Aureate European

trophy, an one-year award given to an outstanding figure in popular music ; the

Datsun Award for? outstanding service to American music? ; the Institute of

International Education Award presented by President Nixon ; and the George

Foster Peabody Awards for his telecasting plans.

Bernstein provided the music for four celebrated Broadway musicals

with a superior sum of edification and technique. Often times, he would

green goods music with great temper and sentiment. Bernstein & # 8217 ; s great endowments led

him to author a few books in the 1960 & # 8217 ; s. One of his most recent, celebrated

aggregations of his music is used in the of all time popular movie West Side Story.

Leonard Bernstein was the? Renaissance adult male of 20th century

music. ? Over the decennaries, Bernstein has been called one of the most magnetic

and talented personalities in the music of our times.


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