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In the News

Leonard Bernstein Scholar-In-Residence 2007–2008

The New York Philharmonic has reappointed Charles Zachary Bornstein as the Leonard
Bernstein Scholar-in-Residence for the 2007–2008 season. The position was established
in recognition of the enduring contribution to the orchestra of Leonard Bernstein, Music
Director from 1958–1969 and subsequent Laureate Conductor. Mr. Bornstein, the first Leonard Bernstein Scholar-in-Residence, assumed his position in September 2005. In this capacity, he will present many of the season’s Pre-Concert Talks and give Insights Series and Bernstein Score Series lectures.

West Side Story Honored

On September 26, West Side Story celebrated the 50th anniversary of its Broadway
premiere. To mark this historic occasion the New York Chapter of NARAS (GRAMMY) presented a Recording Academy Honor to the creators of the groundbreaking musical. The award presentation took place at Cipriani Wall Street in New York. This event was part of the official 50th GRAMMY Celebration.

A Rose by Any Other Name: Adaptations of Shakespeare

In honor of the 50th anniversary of the Broadway premiere of West Side Story, The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts is presenting “A Rose by Any Other Name: Adaptations of Shakespeare,” a series of free public programs in the Library’s Bruno Walter Auditorium. The series opened on September 20, with “West Side Story at 50: A Talk by Arthur Laurents.” Other programs related to the musical include a screening of the Jerome Robbins ballet, “West Side Story Suite” on October 11, introduced by Amanda Vaill, and “Brush Up Your Shakespeare: Songs from Musical Theater,” performed by members of the Metropolitan Opera Chorus on October 27. Other participants in the Library’s Shakespeare adaptation series include David Amram, John Guare, Dick Hyman, Lar Lubovitch, Natalia Makarova, Peter Martins, Paula Vogel, and many others. Many of the photos in this newsletter are from the Library’s Billy Rose Theatre Division.

Bernstein on CD

This fall Deutsche Grammophon (DG) celebrates Leonard Bernstein with an array of releases. To honor the 50th Anniversary of West Side Story, DG is releasing a special limited CD/DVD edition of Bernstein’s own recording made in 1984. The sound recording featuring Kiri Te Kanawa and José Carreras as Maria and Tony is paired with the DVD “The Making of West Side Story,” the acclaimed BBC television documentary of the recording session. Included is a 104 page hardcover book presenting original and new articles about the history of the show. Nina Bernstein has also contributed a reminiscence of her part in the recording session, in which she and brother Alexander performed the dialogue roles of Maria and Tony. The text is illustrated with many photos of the original production, facsimiles of the score and recording session photos.

In addition DG will offer three more sets of the Leonard Bernstein Collector’s Edition: The first six CD set consists of eight Mozart symphonies, C minor Mass and the Requiem. The second is a six CD Beethoven set featuring, for the first time on CD, The 1976 Amnesty International Concert with Claudio Arrau performing Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4. Also on this disc are performances of Beethoven Overtures, the Missa Solemnis, String Quartet in C sharp minor, op. 131, String Quartet in F major, op. 135 in versions featuring the Vienna Philharmonic Strings, the Ninth Symphony recorded in Berlin 1989 as the Berlin Wall crumbled — “The Freedom Concert” — and Bernstein’s final concert performance of Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony at the Tanglewood Music Festival. A four CD set of all-Tchaikovsky includes Symphonies 4, 5 & 6, the 1812 Overture, Romeo and Juliet and Francesca da Rimini.

Philadelphia Salutes Bernstein

The Philadelphia Orchestra led by Christoph Eschenbach will celebrate the 90th anniversary year of Leonard Bernstein’s birth beginning in January 2008, with a Leonard Bernstein Festival. In January 2008 Maestro Eschenbach will lead the orchestra in a program featuring Symphonic Dances from West Side Story and Symphony No. 1: Jeremiah. Later in January, Associate Conductor Rossen Milanov will conduct Suite for Violin and Orchestra from West Side Story with violinist Joshua Bell. In March, Jamie Bernstein will present her Family Concert, The Bernstein Beat. April will bring the first performance of Bernstein’s Symphony No. 3: Kaddish, to Philadelphia. This performance features a new narration by Bernstein’s friend, Samuel Pisar. Pisar’s narration reflects on his childhood experience in Auschwitz and on the current state of the world. The performance will be conducted by John Axelrod.

Israel Philharmonic Orchestra Salutes Leonard Bernstein

The Israel Philharmonic Orchestra will salute Leonard Bernstein is a series of concerts to benefit the orchestra. The concert Bernstein on Broadway will feature narrative written and presented by Bernstein’s daughter Jamie with musical direction by Bernstein protégé Michael Barrett. The benefit concerts will take place: February 6, 2008 at the Waldorf Astoria in New York; February 9 at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music; February 11 at the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles; and on February 13 at the Kravis Center/Cohen Pavilion in Palm Beach, Florida. A non-benefit concert will be presented at the Bergen Performing Arts Center in New Jersey on February 7.

Remembering Slava!

Slava Rostropovich was so beloved in my family that my parents missed the moment I received my college diploma, they were so busy hugging and kissing Slava who had just been released from the Soviet Union and was receiving an honorary degree from Harvard. But, no regrets. We all adored him. His hugs, his stories, his deeply Slavic relationship with vodka — and did I mention his musicianship? He was what people mean when they say someone is larger than life.

One evening at Tanglewood many years ago, I arrived at a party and found myself surrounded by my father, Seiji Ozawa and Slava. They all crowded around for hugs and kisses. When it was Slava’s turn, he lunged at me with such force that we both fell backward onto a sofa, which itself tipped over backwards, flipping Slava and me over and landing us in a merry pile on the floor. That was certainly the best greeting I ever received. It was on that occasion that I invented the collective noun for conductors: an osculation of maestros.

We miss Slava with all our hearts.

Remembering Susan Hanson

Susan Hanson died on August 2nd after a long, valiant, often glorious fight with cancer. Susan was a teacher of unmatched quality. She was a loving wife to Larry and mother to Krista and Nicole (Nicole, an accomplished dancer and choreographer, has herself become a terrific LBC Trainer). We at the Leonard Bernstein Center mourn her passing — and are trying to grapple with the idea of the Artful Learning Model without Susan. She was our Program Manager and our Lead Trainer — our treasure and inspiration in many ways. Susan worked so brilliantly with thousands of teachers, administrators and School Board members — who in turn passed along her knowledge, passion and wisdom to countless numbers of children. She was a joy to be with, curious, creative, funny, sharp and energetic beyond description. We can only hope to carry on with her spirit alive in our hearts.

Susan’s family has established The Susan Hanson Young Writers Guild. Tax deductible contributions can be made payable to Gettysburg College, noting The Susan Hanson Memorial Fund on the memo line and sent to:

The Susan Hanson Memorial Fund
c/o The Leonard Bernstein
Center at Gettysburg College
300 N. Washington Street
Campus Box 2990
Gettysburg, PA 17325

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