Leonard Bernstein

Leonard Bernstein

Leonard Bernstein was born on August 25, 1918 in Lawrence, Massachusetts. As a child he learned to play the piano, his youth was spent in Boston, attended the Latin School and then taught at the Harvard University of Heinrich Gebhard and Helen Coates on the instrument. After graduating in 1939 he continued, encouraged by Dimitri Mitropoulos, his musical studies at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia continued, among others, Fritz Reiner in the conducting class and Isabella Vengerova as a piano teacher. Summers spent Bernstein as a student and assistant Serge Koussevitzky at Tanglewood, the rural festival site of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. 1943 undertook Artur Rodzinski of the New York Philharmonic him to be his assistant and auxiliary conductor.

Bernstein's finest hour as a conductor struck when he had to step in at short notice for the ailing Bruno Walter suddenly on November 14, 1943 and the management of a nationwide radio broadcast over concert took over. At that time he was just 25 years old and was henceforth regarded as a great hope of the guild. Thus he became in 1945 chief conductor of the New York City Symphony Orchestra. 1951 He took over the management of the conducting class at the Berkshire Music Center at Tanglewood and a professor at Brandeis University. Bernstein appeared in these years also regularly conducting the New York Philharmonic and the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra and was engaged by many major orchestras in America and Europe as a guest conductor.

1958 appointed him the New York Philharmonic music director. Bernstein, then forty, so that was the first born and educated in the US musician who was appointed to one of the top positions of the North American musical life. Over twelve years of successful cooperation Bernstein conducted more performances of the orchestra than any of his predecessors. His Mahler interpretations about contributed significantly to the recognition of the composer in the second half of the 20th century in. Bernstein made in these years also as a guest conductor of the Metropolitan Opera, La Scala (first American) and as an opera conductor at the Vienna State Opera stir over the circles of the scene beyond.

Leonard Bernstein's work as a composer has produced a wide range of plant genera and styles. He composed three symphonies ( "Jeremiah", "The Age of Anxiety", "Kaddish"), three ballets ( "Fancy Free", "facsimile", "Dybbuk"), two operas ( "Trouble in Tahiti" and its continuation " A Quiet Place "), the" Chichester Psalms "for chorus and orchestra, the" Serenade for Violin and String Orchestra "(after Plato's Symposium) and film music like" on the Waterfront "(" on the Waterfront "). From its Broadway scores were "On the Town", "Wonderful Town" and especially the "West Side Story" important milestones in the development of the American musical theater. With "Mass" in 1971, the Kennedy Center opened in Washington, 1981, the work as a first stage composition by an American composer at the Vienna State Opera performed.

Bernstein's music written work about forms also a rich source of information for music lovers of all ages. His books "The Joy of Music" ( "Joy of Music"), "Leonard Bernstein's Young People's Concerts" ( "Concerts for Young People"), "The Infinite Variety of Music" ( "From the infinite variety of music") and "findings" ( "knowledge") will keep for a long time its value as both original and unconventional introduction to the world of music. The six lectures from 1972-73 at Harvard University as a visiting professor of the Charles Eliot Norton Chair fOr poetics were entitled "The Unanswered Question" ( "Music - the open question") published in book form and as a television recording in many LTo broadcast.

Bernstein's series of "Young People's Concerts" with the New York Philharmonic, the Emmy Award received ten times, has been sent for 14 years. Earlier had Bernstein programs of years trying to bring the viewers 1954/58 classical music close to the "Omnibus". In winter 1981/82 his eleven-part TV series "Bernstein / Beethoven" has been sent completely twice in the US alone. The film of Bernstein's New York recording West Side Story for the German Grammophon first appeared on British television and won the 1985 the price of the RAI in the Prix Italia and the best documentary of the year the Robert Flaherty Award 1986th
Leonard Bernstein's discography is more extensive than that of most musicians of the 20th century. His interpretations of the symphony cycles by Mahler, Beethoven and Brahms are among the most outstanding events of a series of recordings for German Grammophon and CBS, which covers almost all the major works of the classical and romantic orchestral repertoire. FOr this achievement Bernstein Award in February 1985 the Lifetime Achievement Grammy Award of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences of the United States. In the same year he signed an exclusive contract with Deutsche Grammophon.

As a central figure in the musical life Bernstein has received numerous honors and awards such as the Honorary President of the Accademia di Santa Cecilia in Rome and the honorary membership of the New York and Vienna Philharmonic. He was also honorary president of the London Symphony Orchestra and Honorary Conductor of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. In 1988 he received the highest Italian award (Gran Croce), was an honorary citizen of Vienna, support the Brahms Prize and awarded by its record company Golden gramophone.

Leonard Bernstein died on October 14, 1990 in New York. However, his legacy seems in many respects on. SeinVerhÄltnis music was organic and intuitive despite all analysis. He wanted to sound experience, for themselves and the audience, who followed him. This in turn required that he understood a composer and as a person whose individual struggles were reflected back into the music. Bernstein's art was therefore not only in conducting and composition, but also in imparting his ideas to a large audience. As one of the first console Stars he used consistently the possibilities especially the booming television offered him to make continually advertise the art. He was as a teacher as active as an ambassador of classical taste, looked curiously on all sides over the walls of his business and managed in this way to reach many people who would otherwise fOr the revered music he developed little interest. But that he has already set a monument.

6/2005

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