Remembering Bernstein

“Lenny changed my life”

“From the very first moment he stepped on the podium, Lenny changed my life.”

Erica M. of Edmonds, Washington, remembers:

It was 1970, Tanglewood. As a Fellowship student in violin, I was blessed to be playing in the orchestra for a phenomenal Bruckner 9th Symphony. From the very first moment he stepped on the podium, Lenny changed my life.

I was so fortunate to be sitting in the 3rd chair of the first violin section, where I could watch his every move, every raise of the eyebrow. The opening notes were ‘too loud, too loud.’ We tried mightily to capture what he was asking for. Then he moved — barely — his little finger on his left hand. We crept in.

‘That’s it!’ he cried. And we were off and running.

Every note of that piece, everything Lenny taught us — not only about Bruckner, but about music and love and feeling and more — is ingrained in my memory and in my soul. He really believed in us, our youth, our talent.

Thank you, Lenny, for these gifts you bestowed on us. We miss you and will never, ever forget your blessings!

About this content

This content is part of the #Bernsteinat100 Memory Project. See more memories at

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