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Leonard Bernstein

Leonard Bernstein

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Also Known As: Died: October 14, 1990
Born: August 25, 1918 Cause of Death: heart attack and progressive lung failure
Birth Place: Lawrence, Massachusetts, USA Profession: composer, conductor, pianist, author, teacher

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Brilliant, protean musical composer whose ouptut ranged from symphonies and the ballet "Fancy Free" (1943) to hit Broadway musicals "On the Town" (1944) and "West Side Story" (1957). Bernstein's film work was occasional but distinguished, notably his "On the Town" (1949), "On the Waterfront" (1954) and "West Side Story" (1961).

Brilliant, protean musical composer whose ouptut ranged from symphonies and the ballet "Fancy Free" (1943) to hit Broadway musicals "On the Town" (1944) and "West Side Story" (1957). Bernstein's film work was occasional but distinguished, notably his "On the Town" (1949), "On the Waterfront" (1954) and "West Side Story" (1961).

Milestones close milestones

:
Played piano for musical group, The Revuers (Adolph Green, Betty Comden, Judy Holliday), at Village Vanguard, New York
1940:
Worked at Harms-Remick music publishing company, writing popular arrangements under pseudonym, Lenny Amber (Bernstein in English) (date approximate)
1942:
Composed first symphony, "Jeremiah" (Symphony No. 1)
1942:
Hired by Artur Rodzinski as assistant conductor of New York Philharmonic
1943:
Substituted for Bruno Walter as conductor of New York Philharmonic concert on November 14
1944:
Composed first ballet score, "Fancy Free"
1944:
Scored first Broadway musical, "On the Town
1947:
Made principal conductor of New York Philharmonic
1949:
First film credit (song composer), "On the Town"
1953:
Was first American-born conductor to be engaged by La Scala in Milan, Italy
1954:
First original film score, "On the Waterfront"
1957:
Made co-director of New York Philharmonic (with Dimitri Mitropoulos)
1958:
First American-born director of New York Philharmonic
1973:
As Charles Eliot Norton Professor of History at Harvard, lectured on linguistics as applied to musical analysis
1993:
Honored with the renaming of 65th Street between Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue as Leonard Bernstein Place
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Education

Curtis Institute of Music: Philadelphia , Pennsylvania -
Boston Latin School: Boston , Massachusetts -
Harvard University: Cambridge , Massachusetts - 1939

Notes

"I don't want to spend my life, as Toscanini did, studying and restudying the same 50 pieces of music. It would bore me to death. I want to conduct. I want to play the piano. I want to write for Hollywood. I want to write symphonic music. I want to keep on trying to be, in the full sense of that wonderful word, a musician. I also want to teach. I want to write books and poetry. And I think I can still do justice to them all." --From The New York Times

Elected to the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters in 1982.

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Felicia Bernstein. Actor. Born in Chile; married 1951; separated; died of cancer 1978.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Samuel Bernstein. Beauty supply salesman.
mother:
Jennie Bernstein.
sister:
Shirley Bernstein. Agent. Died on May 20, 1998 at age 74.
brother:
Burton Bernstein. Author.
son:
Alexander Bernstein. Teacher.
daughter:
Jamie Thomas. Rock musician.
daughter:
Nina Bernstein. Actor, caterer.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

Bibliography close complete biography

"The Joy of Music"
"The Private World of Leonard Bernstein"
"Family Matters"
"Bernstein: A Biography"
"Leonard Bernstein: The Last Ten Years" Abbeville Press
VIEW COMPLETE BIBLIOGRAPHY

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