Prelude, Fugue & Riffs

Leonard Bernstein: American Original


Leonard Bernstein's brother Burton Bernstein and New York Philharmonic Archivist and Historian Barbara Haws have brought together an array of writers to share and examine Leonard Bernstein's historic relationship with New York City and its Philharmonic for the book Leonard Bernstein American Original: How a Modern Renaissance Man Transformed Music and the World During His New York Philharmonic Years, 1943–1976. Haws says, "The intent of the book is not simply to provide another telling of the Bernstein story, but to place him in a particular context and to explore the synergies that arose between the person and the context."

Composer John Adams; American historians Paul Boyer and Jonathan Rosenberg; music historians James Keller and Joseph Horowitz; conductor and radio commentator Bill McGlaughlin; musicologist Carol Oja; and music critics Tim Page and Alan Rich all contribute essays. Burton Bernstein contributes reminiscences as well.

The book incorporates nearly 150 images that include some photos never before published, excerpts from writings, marked scores, and manuscripts. The book, which coincides with Bernstein's 90th birthday as well as the 50th anniversary of his first season as Music Director of the New York Philharmonic, will be published by Harper Collins in September of 2008.


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