Bernstein Today

Two Leonard Bernstein Exhibits, One Many-Faceted Man

In this year of all things Leonard Bernstein, two traveling exhibits aim to bring you closer to the maestro by bringing the maestro to you.

The two exhibits (one by way of Philadelphia; the other through Washington D.C., New York, and Los Angeles) currently reside in Bernstein’s home state of Massachusetts — and could be coming to a town near you.

Bernstein at 100 GRAMMY Museum Exhibit

Walk through the GRAMMY Museum’s “Bernstein at 100” gallery with WGBH’s Jared Bowen, who interviewed New England Conservatory’s Director of Orchestras Hugh Wolff, and Bernstein’s son Alexander Bernstein for his program Open Studio with Jared Bowen.

Leonard Bernstein at 100 was curated by the GRAMMY Museum in collaboration with The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts and the Bernstein Family and includes items provided by the Bernstein Family, The Leonard Bernstein Office, Inc., Brandeis University, and the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music.

Photos (from top left): Bernstein’s desk (Credit: Li Wei); Samuel Bernstein’s beauty business paraphernalia (“In Boston, It’s Bernstein”); Bernstein’s baton; Bernstein’s tuxedo and personal items; Selected awards; “The art of conducting” interactive. (Credit: Andrew Hurlbut/New England Conservatory)

The GRAMMY Museum has installed the traveling exhibit celebrating the American icon with co-curators around the country: from the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., to the New York Public Library, to the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles.

Visit New England Conservatory in Boston this week to experience the exhibit in person and one of several Bernstein-themed concerts; the last day for the exhibit at NEC is November 11th.

Interested in bringing the exhibit to your community?

“The Power of Music” Punctuates Bernstein’s Faith, Legacy of Education and Activism

“People are really engaging with the FBI dossier — some 700+ pages of trivia collected by the FBI during LB’s lifetime, which we have printed out in a binder. People are actually sitting down and reading it!” says Ingrid Schorr, director of the Brandeis University Office of the Arts.

“This dossier, juxtaposed with evidence of his activism — the Concert for Life that raised $1.7 million for AIDS research, the Concert for Peace, the piece of the Berlin wall — is really stunning.”

(Credit: Mike Lovett/Brandeis University)
(Credit: Mike Lovett/Brandeis University)

Curated by the National Museum of American Jewish History and now on view at Brandeis University, the “Power of Music” offers insights into Bernstein’s life, particularly in regards to his faith and his FBI file, and into his legacies as an educator and an musician.

Schorr continues:

Some visitors have their own meaningful connections to Bernstein and his family: through Brandeis, Boston Latin School, Sam Bernstein’s beauty business, or the Jewish community.

Others have said they are surprised to learn of his deep connection to Judaism, particularly his family’s involvement with Congregation Mishkan Tefila in Boston, and the many ways he expresses Jewish tradition in his music, whether it’s in the symphonies or in the music for the stage.

The multimedia displays offer insight into the longevity of West Side Story in popular culture, from the Muppets to MTV; as well as interviews with Mandy Patinkin, Alec Baldwin, and others.

The exhibition’s ‘coda,’ organized by Brandeis staff and faculty, reveals his long and meaningful connection to Brandeis. As one of the founders of the music department, he established a legacy of innovation in the arts. As a faculty member, he developed his love of teaching, from which you can draw a direct line to the Young People’s Concerts that educated a generation.

Photos: Visitors experiencing “Leonard Bernstein: The Power of Music” at Brandeis. (Credit, left and center: Mike Lovett/Brandeis University; credit, right: Brandeis University Office of the Arts)

Leonard Bernstein: The Power of Music was first on view at the National Museum of American Jewish History in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, from March 16 – September 2, 2018.

Located just west of Boston in Waltham, Massachusetts, Brandeis hosts “The Power of Music” through November 18th.

Learn where the exhibit is going or how to bring “The Power of Music” to your community.

Post updated: November 8, 2018

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