30 Sep 2016

PBS News Hour's Jeffrey Brown sits down with composer and musician Rob Kapilow to discuss what it is about Leonard Bernstein's hit musical style that has allowed the love story to live on for decades.

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30 Aug 2016

Matt Weinstock at WNYC writes:

"It was the afternoon of October 8, 1945, and Leonard Bernstein had a cold. This wasn't unusual for the 27-year-old maestro; he was a competitive chain-smoker who sometimes taunted friends for buying filtered cigarettes. Still, his cold couldn't have come at a worse time. Bernstein was about to make his debut as conductor of the New York City Symphony, a shoestring orchestra created by Mayor Fiorello La Guardia to bring symphonic music to the masses. Tickets were 75 cents, and the balcony at New York City Center was packed with bohemians, bobby soxers, and working stiffs. It was Bernstein's ideal audience, according to the critic Virgil Thomson: 'real New Yorkers, many of them young, most of them working people, and all of them twentieth-century minded.'"

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5 Jul 2016

Terry Gross interviews "Broadway Chanteuse" Barbara Cook on NPR's Fresh Air:

"After starring in Broadway shows like The Music Man and Candide, Barbara Cook struggled with addiction, then staged a successful second career as a cabaret singer. Her new memoir is Then and Now."

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16 Jun 2016

The Goodman Theatre in Chicago will open its 2016/17 season with "Wonderful Town" on September 10!

15 Jun 2016

From Carol J. Oja's article "Hamilton and the theatrical legacy of Leonard Bernstein":

"Lin-Manuel Miranda's Hamilton: An American Musical is a runaway success on Broadway—enough so that just about everyone reading this post, regardless of personal demographics or geographic location, will likely have heard about it. They might also be listening obsessively to the original-cast CD. Perhaps they've even memorized it. Hamilton has already won a Pulitzer Prize for Drama, and it earned a record 16 Tony Award nominations, with high expectations for a sweep at the awards ceremony on Sunday, June 12th. The show explores the legacy of Alexander Hamilton, a Revolutionary War hero and first Secretary of the Treasury, through the language of hip hop, highlighting Hamilton's roots in the West Indies and hailing him as an immigrant who made good. Brilliantly conceived, with exceptional virtuosity in singing, rapping, and dancing, the show also makes a political statement by casting actors of color. Doing so challenges traditional all-white narratives about the founding of the United States."

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3 Jun 2016

Leonard Bernstein was featured in "Annotations: The NEH Preservation Project"

"In a typical breathless whistle-stop visit, Leonard Bernstein drops by the studios of New York classical music station WQXR to promote his 1948 recording of Gershwin's An American in Paris, celebrating that quintessentially American composer on the 50th anniversary of his birth and discussing his own future plans. The interviewer, taking the subject of Gershwin's piece literally, asks Bernstein if the last time he was in Paris he found the same things Gershwin did. Bernstein deftly turns the subject to music rather than autobiography, suggesting An American in Paris has to do "not with the city of Paris so much as the decade of the Twenties." The interviewer stubbornly persists, pointing out the orchestral imitations of French taxi horns, etc. Bernstein allows that there is a "champagne bubble atmosphere" to the music." (Philip Quarles, WNYC)

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20 May 2016

Artist in Residence Alexei Ratmansky choreographed a World Premiere set to Leonard Bernstein's Serenade after Plato's Symposium. This triple bill includes his delicate Seven Sonatas with music by Domenico Scarlatti and the enchanting Firebird, performed to Stravinsky's famous score.

21 Apr 2016

"On The Town" with the Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony

In this classic American musical comedy, follow three wartime soldiers on 24-hour shore leave around the Big Apple, with music by Leonard Bernstein, and book and lyrics by the famous Betty Comden and Adolph Green. A talented musical theater cast will join the Symphony for this semi-staged event, with unforgettable show tunes like "New York, New York (it's a helluva town!)."

May 25-29, 2016 at Davies Symphony Hall

8 Apr 2016

Estelle Parsons to front Hudson Valley Philharmonic for Bernstein's Kaddish by John Burdick

Kaddish, the Jewish prayer for the dead, has lent its complex themes and functions, as well as its title, to at least two monumental achievements of 20th-century Western art: Allen Ginsberg's best poem and Leonard Bernstein's ambitious, tense and dramatic third symphony with spoken-word narration and a vast choral component. As to the former, read Ginsberg's devastating lament for his mother, Naomi, if you haven't. As to the latter, the Bardavon continues the Hudson Valley Philharmonic's 56th season with a performance of Bernstein's Kaddish on Saturday, April 16 at 8 p.m.

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8 Mar 2016

Charles Isherwood reviewed Carnegie Hall's 'West Side Story' at the Knockdown Center in The New York Times. "The sound of so many voices added a layer of emotional plushness to the songs that was goose-pimple-inducing, and utterly irresistible. So, really, was the entire production, which may have been conceived in part as a public-spirited educational project, but ultimately became a simple yet transporting production of a great musical."

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4 Feb 2016

Leonard Bernstein has been inducted into Carnegie Hall's Digital Hall of Fame 2015! The Carnegie Hall Digital Hall of Fame 2015 represents the inaugural year of an annual celebration in which we recognize individuals intrinsic to the founding and continued existence of the Hall and whose lives or careers are inextricably woven into the fabric of the Hall's 125-year history.

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28 Jan 2016

"What Makes It Great?" From "On the Town" to "West Side Story" - Theater Songs of Leonard Bernstein at the Kaufman Music Center in New York City on Monday, February 8th.

Hosted by NPR Commentator/Conductor/Pianist Rob Kapilow
Featuring Broadway stars Sally Wilfert (Assassins) & Michael Winther (Mamma Mia!)

Today it seems incomprehensible that Leonard Bernstein endured brutal criticism for throwing away his talent on Broadway musicals like On the Town and West Side Story. His attempts to bring a classical compositional technique into the world of the popular theater ruffled more than a few feathers, and though Bernstein expected other classical composers to follow his lead, his extraordinary blend of the serious and the popular remains unique in Broadway history. Host Rob Kapilow explores Bernstein's attempts to reimagine the possibilities of musical theater in a program that will forever change the way you see Tony and Maria!

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17 Dec 2015

Arlington, Virginia's Signature Theatre has released production photos from its ongoing production of the classic Leonard Bernstein, Stephen Sondheim, and Arthur Laurents musical West Side Story. The cast of 30 is joined by a 17-piece orchestra in a run that concludes January 24, 2016.

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19 Nov 2015

Carol J. Oja's Bernstein Meets Broadway: Collaborative Art in a Time of War won the American Musicological Music in American Culture Award. This award was first presented in 2009 and each year honors a book of exceptional merit that both illuminates some important aspect of the music of the United States and places that music in a rich cultural context.

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19 Nov 2015

Tune in at 1pm on Saturday, November 21st for Leonard Bernstein's Candide, the final broadcast from the 2015 Glimmerglass Festival. This glittering production stars Andrew Stenson as Candide, Kathryn Lewek as Cunegonde, and veteran actor David Garrison as Voltaire & Pangloss. Host Naomi Lewin talks to the cast during the intermission, including conversations with Andrew Stenson, David Garrison, Joseph Colaneri, Marietta Simpson, Kathryn Lewek, and Glimmerglass Artistic & General Director Francesca Zambello.

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2 Nov 2015

Scorsese and Paramount are developing a biopic of composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein that Scorsese will direct and produce, along with Fred Berner and Amy Durning for Fred Berner Films, from a screenplay by Josh Singer (“Spotlight”).

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28 Oct 2015

In celebration of Carnegie Hall’s 125th anniversary season, the Weill Music Institute (WMI) launches The Somewhere Project, a citywide exploration of West Side Story. This unique creative learning project will engage people through events in all five boroughs of New York City, anchored by a large-scale production of West Side Story. In March 2016, three performances of this iconic work with music by Leonard Bernstein will take place at the Knockdown Center, a restored factory in Queens, and feature professional artists in lead roles, with students and community members from around the city on stage. Marin Alsop, a former protégée of Bernstein’s and a visionary leader of education projects, will conduct and Amanda Dehnert, a nationally renowned theater director, will lead the production. Experiencing West Side Story as a celebration of community and music will encourage artists and audiences to consider the work’s timeless themes, inviting them to embrace the vision of New York City as a “place for us.”

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23 Sep 2015

The New York Philharmonic presented the world premiere of a live performance of Leonard Bernstein’s Academy Award-nominated score for the iconic 1954 film, On the Waterfront. David Newman, the conductor and composer of over 100 film scores, conducted the performance, at which the complete film will be screened.  This was preceded by remarks by actor Alec Baldwin, the orchestra’s radio host, who introduced Turner Classic Movies host Robert Osborne, who spoke on the film and its music. Mr. Newman and the Philharmonic will offer the same program at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor on October 11, while the Chicago Symphony Orchestra will perform the same program, conducted by Richard Kaufman, in Chicago on October 23.

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8 Sep 2015

Andrew McGregor of BBC Radio 3 is joined by Jamie Bernstein, and Nigel Simeone, editor of The Leonard Bernstein Letters, to talk about Bernstein's music for stage and screen.  One subject is how Bernstein rarely discarded music, but incorporated unused musical materials in future compositions – songs from Candide into West Side Story, and West Side Story into Chichester Psalms.

Recorded at the Royal College of Music in London and broadcast on September 5th.

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24 Aug 2015

The Metropolitan Opera’s annual Summer HD Festival will open on Friday, August 28 at 8 p.m. with a special presentation of the classic 1961 movie musical West Side Story. The film, which won 10 Academy Awards and features a score by Leonard Bernstein, is largely set in the neighborhood where Lincoln Center now stands. This screening is co-presented with the Film Society of Lincoln Center, which also co-presented the Met’s screening of Moonstruck last summer.

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