Innovative online classical music entertainment experience will celebrate the Leonard Bernstein Centennial throughout its first year
BOSTON, MA – On January 25, 2018, WGBH debuts Classical.org, its new digital classical music entertainment experience.
A media partner and official digital partner of the Leonard Bernstein Centennial, WGBH will devote the first year of Classical.org to The Bernstein Experience — celebrating the life, music and legacy of legendary American composer and conductor, Leonard Bernstein.
Bernstein was the iconic composer behind such classics as West Side Story and Candide, numerous symphonic works, the score for the film On the Waterfront, and other compositions. He was also a famed conductor whose recordings became cornerstones of the twentieth century, an effortless educator and performer who brought classical music into the homes of millions with his televised Young People’s Concerts, and a humanitarian who advocated for the advancement of human and civil rights, funding for AIDS research, and nuclear disarmament, among other causes.
“The opportunity to launch a site with the potential of Classical.org by paying tribute to Leonard Bernstein is a once-in-a-century thing,” said Anthony Rudel, Executive Director of Classical.org and Station Manager of 99.5 WCRB, Classical Radio Boston. “Working with the Bernstein family, we have built a site that captures the incredible creative power of Maestro Bernstein. That energy and creativity will transfer beautifully when we relaunch Classical.org later this year as a national site that will grow the audience for classical music, something Bernstein himself did so well.”
The Bernstein Experience on Classical.org will be centered around “The Bernstein Channel,” a 24/7 digital stream of curated music that will blend Bernstein compositions conducted by the composer and by others, with recordings of music by other composers that Bernstein conducted or played at the piano. The stream will feature introductions by guest hosts and regular contributors, as well as additional information and historical context about the Bernstein Centennial.
In partnership with The Leonard Bernstein Office and the Bernstein family, and contributions from artists, celebrities and fans around the globe, The Bernstein Experience on Classical.org will be the go-to digital entertainment experience for the centennial celebration of this American icon.
“My brother, sister and I are thrilled that the launch of Classical.org is devoting its inaugural year to celebrating our dad’s centennial,” says Jamie Bernstein, eldest daughter of Leonard Bernstein, referencing siblings Alexander Bernstein and Nina Bernstein-Simmons.
“This 100th birthday celebration is a wonderful way to remind those who grew up with Leonard Bernstein about what an amazing, multifaceted person he was. Perhaps even more importantly, it also provides an ideal opportunity to introduce our father to a new generation — and Classical.org is uniquely qualified to spread the multimedia message.”
The Bernstein Experience on Classical.org will feature a combination of exclusive archival material and new content, including interviews, photos and recordings related to Bernstein, all presented in a stunning, user-friendly design, with curated thematic collections and new features published throughout the year.
Classical.org, a service of WGBH Educational Foundation (WGBH) with support from Public Radio International (PRI), is dedicated to making classical music accessible and relevant to all. After the Bernstein Centennial concludes, Classical.org will offer multiple music streams, expanded features and fresh digital experiences that entertain, educate and inspire, all geared toward increasing the audience for classical music.
Follow The Bernstein Experience on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @ClassicalOrg.
WGBH Boston is America’s preeminent public broadcaster and the largest producer of PBS content for TV and the Web, including Masterpiece, Antiques Roadshow, Frontline, Nova, American Experience, Arthur and more than a dozen other primetime, lifestyle and children’s series. WGBH’s television channels include WGBH 2, WGBX 44, and the digital channels World and Create. WGBH TV productions focusing on the region’s diverse community include Greater Boston, Basic Black and High School Quiz Show. WGBH Radio serves listeners across New England with 89.7 WGBH, Boston’s Local NPR®; 99.5 WCRB Classical Radio Boston; and WCAI, the Cape and Islands NPR® Station. WGBH also is a major source of programs for public radio (among them, PRI’s The World®), a leader in educational multimedia (including PBS LearningMedia™, providing the nation’s educators with free, curriculum-based digital content), and a pioneer in technologies and services that make media accessible to deaf, hard of hearing, blind and visually impaired audiences. WGBH has been recognized with hundreds of honors: Emmys, Peabodys, duPont-Columbia Awards and Oscars. Find more information at wgbh.org.
About The Leonard Bernstein Office
The Leonard Bernstein Office, founded by Bernstein in 1959, licenses, edits, publishes and promotes his lifework, with a view to preserving for posterity his legacy as composer, conductor, educator and activist / humanitarian. “Leonard Bernstein at 100” is a two-year global celebration which, so far, encompasses 2,500 events on six continents presented by over 750 participating organizations in 57 countries. The Leonard Bernstein Office fosters Centennial activities through arts leaders’ summits, press events, digital programming guides, and other promotional resources. Find more information at LeonardBernstein.com, Facebook/LeonardBernstein, Twitter @LennyBernstein, Instagram @LeonardBernsteinOfficial, #BernsteinAt100.