Prelude, Fugue & Riffs: Spring/Summer 2008

The Best of All Possible Worlds

Carnegie Hall and the New York Philharmonic will join forces in a New York City – wide festival, Bernstein: The Best of All Possible Worlds. The festival will commemorate the 90th anniversary of Bernstein's birth as well as the 50th anniversary of his appointment as Music Director of the New York Philharmonic.

Beginning on September 24 and running through December 13, 2008, the festival will feature more than 30 events at Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, New York City Center, and other venues throughout the city. The celebration will include concerts, recitals, musical theater, lectures and film screenings, as well as educational programming.

"All of us at Carnegie Hall are very proud to be presenting jointly, with his great orchestra, the New York Philharmonic, this special celebration of Leonard Bernstein," said Carnegie Hall's Executive and Artistic Director Clive Gillinson. "Lenny appeared on Carnegie Hall's stage more than 400 times in his career, with audiences experiencing his talents as performer, composer, and master educator. Well beyond our walls, he inspired an entire generation, bringing music to the center of people's lives all around the world. A celebration of Lenny is a celebration of life and a celebration of music. Lenny was music! We look forward to joining our partners in placing special focus on someone who was not only a remarkable artist and a great New Yorker, but also someone who truly belonged to the world."

"Leonard Bernstein's New York Philharmonic legacy is like no other," said the orchestra's President and Executive Director Zarin Mehta. "From the moment of his legendary conducting debut in 1943 to his final concert, from the players on stage to adoring audiences in New York and around the world, Leonard Bernstein inspired nearly everyone he encountered. Even today, Lenny's legacy – as conductor, composer, and educator – continues to resonate throughout the New York Philharmonic. We look forward to celebrating Leonard Bernstein and his music with our partner, Carnegie Hall, and hope that all New Yorkers will join us."

Bernstein: The Best of All Possible Worlds launches on September 24 with the 2008–09 season Opening Night Gala at Carnegie Hall. Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra will be joined by soloists Dawn Upshaw, Thomas Hampson, and Yo-Yo Ma in a program showcasing highlights from Bernstein's operatic and stage works, including selections from Fancy Free, A Quiet Place, On the Town, Wonderful Town, Candide and West Side Story.

Marking the 50th anniversary of Bernstein's appointment as their Music Director, the New York Philharmonic will present Avery Fisher Hall programs showcasing Bernstein's three symphonies with works by other 20th – century American composers. Music Director Lorin Maazel will lead the Philharmonic in Bernstein's Symphony No. 2: The Age of Anxiety, paired with works by Mahler, Boulez, and Maazel himself on September 25–27. David Robertson will conduct a program featuring Bernstein's Symphony No. 1: Jeremiah, as well as works by Copland, Elliott Carter and Christopher Rouse on October 30–November 1. On November 24, New York Philharmonic Music Director Designate Alan Gilbert will lead The Juilliard Orchestra in Bernstein's Symphony No. 3: Kaddish, paired with Beethoven's Symphony No. 3: Eroica.

On November 14, 1943, Leonard Bernstein stepped onto the stage of Carnegie Hall for the first time, substituting at the last minute for the ailing Bruno Walter and making his historic New York Philharmonic debut. On November 14, 2008, the 65th anniversary of that special occasion will be celebrated with an unusual occurrence: The New York Philharmonic will travel back to its old residence, Carnegie Hall, for an all-Bernstein program led by Music Director Designate Alan Gilbert. The concert will feature Bernstein's music for the concert hall, theater and film, including the two suites from West Side Story.

Among other exciting musical festival highlights are a semi-staged production of the Bernstein/Robbins/ Comden and Green musical, On The Town, as part of New York City Center's Encores! series (November 19–23); performances of Bernstein's Mass with Marin Alsop and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (October 24–25); and a one-night-only concert with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, featuring the rarely heard Concerto For Orchestra, led by Gustavo Dudamel at Carnegie Hall (November 16).

A number of New York cultural partners will broaden the reach of the festival, presenting Bernstein-themed performances, film screenings and panel discussions. Joining Carnegie Hall and the New York Philharmonic in these special festivities are Absolutely Live Entertainment, The Jewish Museum, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, New York City Center and The Paley Center for Media.

To Our Readers

by Jamie Bernstein

We were pretty sure people weren't forgetting who Leonard Bernstein was, but now, as his 90th birthday year gets underway, the veritable cavalcade of events being prepared in his honor is making us feel like Bernstein is more on the map than ever.


The 90th Worldwide

by Craig Urquhart

New York City is certainly not the only place in the world that is celebrating Leonard Bernstein in 2008.


Spring Break in Snow Proves To Be Education

by Cynthia Reynaud

During March the Leonard Bernstein Center for Learning at Gettysburg College was featured in the Des Moines Register. Ten education majors from the Gettysburg College spent their spring break observing teachers and students in the West Des Moines school district using the Leonard Bernstein Artful Learning method in their classrooms.


Teachers Reflect on The Bernstein Model

The Bernstein Model has changed the way I teach. It has made me think outside the box.


Harry J. Kraut:
April 11, 1933 – December 11, 2007

by Nina Bernstein Simmons

When Harry Kraut came into our lives in 1971 with the founding of Amberson Productions, I felt a mixture of pride and relief: at last, Daddy would have an office to go to, like normal dads! To my disappointment, however, I soon learned that Daddy was as allergic to the office as ever; the REAL power in the swivel chair belonged to Harry Kraut.


Diminished Ranks

by Jamie Bernstein

It is bad enough to lose longtime loved ones – but it's far worse when you lose several of them at the same time. In addition to the incalculable loss of Harry Kraut, the Bernstein crew lost four important members over the past year.


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.


A Jewish Legacy

As part of the city-wide Bernstein celebration this fall, the Jewish Museum will present a concert of mostly unknown works on Jewish themes that will shed new light on some of Bernstein's more celebrated pieces.


In the News

Gustavo Dudamel Receives Award; Candide Everywhere; A White House Cantata; New West Side Story Publications


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