Bernstein Today

Happy Birthday, Leonard Bernstein! The Lenny Centenary-Worthy Fun Five

The first American-born conductor of a major orchestra — the man who changed the face of classical music with his creative and magnetic genius — would turn 100 years of age on August 25, 2018.

The world loves Leonard Bernstein. Throughout the Bernstein Centenary, more than 3,000-plus events are celebrating Lenny. And, as August 25th is the day we’ve all been waiting for, our favorite publications are sharing the Bernstein love. Here are a curated handful of this week’s best long reads about our favorite classical music rock star.

1. The Musicians’-Eye View

What was Bernstein like as a conductor? We’ve seen him on the podium, sure, but what is it really like to play in an orchestra led by a genius? Musicians from Bernstein’s beloved orchestras — The New York Philharmonic, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Israel Philharmonic, and more — tell all.

2. Seven Ways to Celebrate the Centenary

“Pour one out for Leonard.” That’s the first item in this list from The Observer of the best ways to commemorate Bernstein on his 100th birthday — and yes, a recipe for Bernstein’s signature Rob Roy is included — as is grabbing bug spray and heading to Tanglewood!

3. “Once in a Century, if you’re Lucky”

Our friends at NPR Classical investigate Bernstein’s complicated life and otherworldly talent.

4. 100 Years of Brilliance

The Los Angeles Times’s Miles Hoffman reflects on Bernstein’s life — and the legacy he left behind.

We already know that Bernstein’s music will last, and by “last” I mean forever. About “West Side Story” and “Candide” there’s no question, and a number of his other works, including “Chichester Psalms,” “Fancy Free,” the Symphonies No. 1 and 2 (“Jeremiah” and “Age of Anxiety”), and the Serenade (after Plato’s Symposium) for Violin and Orchestra, just to name a few, are awfully good bets.

5. Crossing Borders

A photo speaks a 1000 words — and, this one of Leonard Bernstein leading a small orchestra of Holocaust survivors, is no exception, writes Olivia Waxman of TIME. 

Why do you love Lenny?

Support provided by:

Newsletter Signup

Get, the premiere classical music digital entertainment experience, in your inbox. Subscribe today!