Leonard Bernstein


Composer, Conductor

About

Birth Place
Lawrence, Massachusetts, USA
Born
August 25, 1918
Died
October 14, 1990
Cause of Death
Heart Attack And Progressive Lung Failure

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)....

Family & Companions

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

Bibliography

"Leonard Bernstein: The Last Ten Years"
Thomas R Seiler, Abbeville Press (2000)
"Bernstein: A Biography"
Joan Peyser (1987)
"The Private World of Leonard Bernstein"
John Gruen (1968)
"The Joy of Music"
Leonard Bernstein (1959)

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.

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).

Filmography

 

Cast (Feature Film)

A Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy (1982)
Performer
A Journey to Jerusalem (1968)
Conductor
Satchmo the Great (1957)

Music (Feature Film)

West Side Story (Remake) (2020)
Music
The Goldfinch (2019)
Song Performer
I Feel Pretty (2018)
Song
Vice (2018)
Song
The Favourite (2018)
Song Performer
The Rules Don't Apply (2016)
Song Performer
The Bronze (2015)
Song
Bad Words (2014)
Song Performer
Silver Linings Playbook (2012)
Song
Moonrise Kingdom (2012)
Song Performer
Precious (2009)
Song Performer
Last Holiday (2006)
Song
Anger Management (2003)
Song
Analyze That (2002)
Song
Death to Smoochy (2002)
Song
Bringing Out the Dead (1999)
Music Conductor
Man on the Moon (1999)
Music Conductor
He Got Game (1998)
Music Conductor
Afterglow (1997)
Song
The Devil's Own (1997)
Music Conductor
The Sunchaser (1996)
Song Performer
My Life (1993)
Music Conductor
The Age Of Innocence (1993)
Song Performer
Trouble in Tahiti (1992)
Music Composer And Conductor
Malcolm X (1992)
Song
Lorenzo's Oil (1992)
Music Conductor
Defending Your Life (1991)
Music
Hollywood Mavericks (1990)
Music Conductor
Another Woman (1988)
Music Conductor
Terms Of Endearment (1983)
Song
Heaven's Gate (1980)
Music Conductor
West Side Story (1961)
Music
West Side Story (1961)
Composer
On the Waterfront (1954)
Music
Rear Window (1954)
Composer
On the Town (1949)
Composer

Cast (Special)

The Love of Three Orchestras (1993)
Carnegie Hall at 100: A Place of Dreams (1991)
West Side Story: The Making of An Album (1990)
An Evening With Alan Jay Lerner (1989)
Bernstein at 70 (1989)
Bernstein in East Berlin (1989)
Irving Berlin's 100th Birthday Celebration (1988)
Bernstein on Brahms: Symphony No. 3 (1988)
JFK -- That Day in November (1988)
Solti at 75: A Celebration! (1987)
Carnegie Hall: The Grand Reopening (1987)
Celebrating Gershwin (1987)
George Gershwin Remembered (1987)
Bernstein Conducts Haydn's Mass in Time of War (1986)
Bernstein on Brahms: Reflections and Performance (1986)
Aaron Copland: A Self-Portrait (1985)
Met Centennial Gala Telecast (1983)
Leonard Bernstein Conducts Mahler's Symphony No. 2, "Resurrection" (1981)
Bernstein Conducts the Boston Symphony (1977)
Bernstein Conducts Mahler (1977)
Music From America: Rhapsody in Blue (1976)
Bernstein and the New York Philharmonic (1975)
Bernstein and the Vienna Philharmonic (1975)
Bernstein at Tanglewood (1974)
Art Is... (1974)
Bernstein's Mass (1974)
Christmas Startime With Leonard Bernstein (1959)
Host

Music (Special)

Joshua Bell: West Side Story Suite From Central Park (2001)
Music
Cincinnati May Festival: Carmina Burana and Chichester Psalms (2001)
Music
Piano Grand! A Smithsonian Celebration (2000)
Music ("America")
American Dream: Andrea Bocelli's Statue of Liberty Concert (2000)
Music
Blast! (2000)
Music ("Officer Krupke")
Brush Up Your Shakespeare (1999)
Music
Cincinnati Pops Holiday: A Family Thanksgiving (1999)
Music
Cincinnati Pops Holiday: Love Is in the Air (1999)
Song
Star Crossed Lovers (1999)
Music
Leonard Bernstein: Reaching For the Note (1998)
Music
Michael Crawford in Concert (1998)
Music ("Tonight")
Thomas Hampson: I Hear America Singing (1997)
Music
Leonard Bernstein's New York (1997)
Music
A CAPITOL FOURTH -- 1997 (1997)
Music
The Kennedy Center 25th Anniversary Celebration (1996)
Music
Halleluyah: A Celebration of Psalms (1996)
Music
Brass Theater With the Canadian Brass & Star of Indiana (1996)
Music ("West Side Story")
Dallas Symphony Orchestra: Music of Bernstein, Barber & Beethoven (1996)
Music
CARRERAS, DOMINGO, PAVAROTTI WITH LEVINE: THE THREE TENORS IN CONCERT (1996)
Music
Berlin Philharmonic Concert at Waldbuhne: American Night (1995)
Music
The Papal Concert to Commemorate the Holocaust (1994)
Music
TIBOR RUDAS PRESENTS CARRERAS, DOMINGO, PAVAROTTI WITH MEHTA: THE THREE TENORS IN CONCERT (1994)
Music
The Love of Three Orchestras (1993)
Music Conductor
Leonard Bernstein's 75th (1993)
Music
On the Town in Concert (1993)
Music
Richard Tucker Gala: A Salute to American Music (1992)
Music
The Metropolitan Opera Silver Anniversary (1992)
Song
Placido Domingo: The Concert For Planet Earth (1992)
Music
Johnny Mathis -- Chances Are (1991)
Music
The 1991 Miss America Pageant (1991)
Music
Time Warner Presents the Earth Day Special (1990)
Music
A Capitol Fourth 1989 (1989)
Music
An Evening With Alan Jay Lerner (1989)
Song Performer
The Prince's Trust Gala (1989)
Music
Bernstein at 70 (1989)
Music
Bernstein in East Berlin (1989)
Music Conductor
Bernstein on Brahms: Symphony No. 3 (1988)
Music Conductor
Irving Berlin's 100th Birthday Celebration (1988)
Song Performer
Happy New Year, U.S.A.! (1987)
Music
Carnegie Hall: The Grand Reopening (1987)
Music Conductor
Carnegie Hall: The Grand Reopening (1987)
Music
A Capitol Fourth -- 1987 (1987)
Music
Choreography By Jerome Robbins With the New York City Ballet (1986)
Music
Bernstein Conducts Haydn's Mass in Time of War (1986)
Music Conductor
Putting It Together: The Making of the Broadway Album (1986)
Music
Candide (1986)
Music
Candide (1986)
Original Music
Bernstein on Brahms: Reflections and Performance (1986)
Music Conductor
Met Centennial Gala Telecast (1983)
Music Conductor
Leonard Bernstein Conducts Mahler's Symphony No. 2, "Resurrection" (1981)
Music Conductor
Bernstein Conducts Mahler (1977)
Music Conductor
Bernstein Conducts the Boston Symphony (1977)
Music Conductor
Music From America: Rhapsody in Blue (1976)
Music Conductor
Bernstein and the Vienna Philharmonic (1975)
Music Conductor
Bernstein and the New York Philharmonic (1975)
Music Conductor
Bernstein's Mass (1974)
Music
Bernstein's Mass (1974)
Music Conductor
Bernstein at Tanglewood (1974)
Music Conductor
Wonderful Town (1958)
Music

Misc. Crew (Special)

Music From America: Rhapsody in Blue (1976)
Other

Life Events

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

Videos

Movie Clip

West Side Story (1961) - America The show-stopping number for Rita Morena in her Academy Award-winning role as Puerto Rican Anita, George Chakiris similarly honored as her boyfriend Bernardo, the song by Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim, in West Side Story, 1961.
West Side Story (1961) - Tonight Enraptured on the night of their meeting, Tony (Richard Beymer) and Maria (Natalie Wood) on the fire escapes, director Robert Wise mingling the Leonard Bernstein/Stephen Sondheim song with Ernest Lehman's script, singing voices by Marni Nixon and Jimmy Bryant, in West Side Story, 1961.
On the Town (1949) - New York, New York (Open) Gabey (Gene Kelly), Chip (Frank Sinatra) and Ozzie (Jules Munshin) launch their shore leave with Comden & Green's "New York, New York" in the first musical shot on location, directed by Kelly and Stanley Donen, On the Town, 1949.
On the Town (1949) - My Place! Cabbie Hildy (Betty Garrett) has advice for tourist Chip (Frank Sinatra) delivered through the song "Come Up to My Place" by Leonard Bernstein, Beddy Comden and Adolph Green, in On the Town, 1949.
Humor In Music (1959) -- (TV Clip) What Makes Music Funny? Opening New York Philharmonic conductor Leonard Bernstein’s sixth episode, broadcast on CBS on February 28, 1959, from Carnegie Hall, from the “Young People’s Concerts” series, with Bernstein’s primarily ad-libbed oration, in Humor In Music, 1959.
What Does Music Mean? (1958) -- (TV Clip) Lone Ranger Song Opening the first broadcast in the famous CBS “Young People’s Concerts” series, from January 18, 1958, featuring Leonard Bernstein, the new conductor of the New York Philharmonic, with his own extemporaneous commentary and a performance of Rossini’s William Tell Overture, from What Does Music Mean?, 1958.
West Side Story (1961) - Gee, Officer Krupke! Russ Tamblyn as Riff, leader of the Polish-American "Jets," entertains his buddies with the popular novelty number by Stephen Sondheim and Leonard Bernstein, William Bramley his subject, Jerome Robbins choregoraphy in West Side Story, 1961.
West Side Story (1961) - I Feel Pretty Immediately following the intermission, Marni Nixon's voice for Natalie Wood as "Maria," the hit song by Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim, from West Side Story, 1961.

Trailer

Family

Samuel Bernstein
Father
Beauty supply salesman.
Jennie Bernstein
Mother
Shirley Bernstein
Sister
Agent. Died on May 20, 1998 at age 74.
Burton Bernstein
Brother
Author.
Alexander Bernstein
Son
Teacher.
Jamie Thomas
Daughter
Rock musician.
Nina Bernstein
Daughter
Actor, caterer.

Companions

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

Bibliography

"Leonard Bernstein: The Last Ten Years"
Thomas R Seiler, Abbeville Press (2000)
"Bernstein: A Biography"
Joan Peyser (1987)
"The Private World of Leonard Bernstein"
John Gruen (1968)
"The Joy of Music"
Leonard Bernstein (1959)
"Family Matters"
Burton Bernstein

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.