Young People's Concerts

Overview | Letters & Telegrams | Publications | Scripts



This letter was sent to Bernstein on March 10, 1958 from an elementary school student (following the New York Philharmonic Young People's Concert titled "What is Orchestration?").

Dear Mr. Bernstein:

Please play the tune of Peter and the Wolf again. I like your program and I like the tunes very much. And the next time use your baton.



This letter was written to Leonard Bernstein from a mother in Maine on February 1, 1958, the date of the second New York Philharmonic Young People's Concert broadcast (titled "What Makes Music American?").

Dear Mr. Bernstein:

...For the second time my family and I have completely enjoyed your 'Young People's Concert' - more than enjoyed it, in fact; we have been completely spell-bound - and might have watched and listened for many hours more.

I want to say that after thirty years of enjoying music I, myself, now feel I know a bit more about why music is so enjoyable and I have grown to appreciate modern American music — something a classically trained person sometimes struggles with. I am so thankful that my children — four of them — ranging in age from four to ten — can start their musical appreciation with such a real, unstereotyped, imaginative, explanation of its value. I want to thank you, so very much for all that you are giving the American people — I am so thankful that there are people like you who will open your mind to the medium of television — and hope that we will be able to see more and more of you and your orchestra in the future.



This letter was sent to Bernstein on March 8, 1958 from an eleven year-old violin student in Connecticut (following the New York Philharmonic Young People's Concert titled "What is Orchestration?").

Dear Mr. Bernstein,

...I have watched all three of the Young People's Concerts up to the present date. I like them very much and think that you did a very nice job conducting it.

I guess I am just any boy who plays and instrument that wants to get all the praise for doing it nicely without practicing. I do practice but I do it more willingly after I watch your program.

...This has nothing to do with music but one thing that we have in common at the present time is that our hair goes over our foreheads and we have to keep pushing it in place....





This telegram was sent to Leonard Bernstein from Yonkers, New York on January 18, 1958, the day he led his first New York Philharmonic Young People's Concert ("What Does Music Mean?").

INCREDIBLE. SIX YEAR OLD CHATTER BOX SON ENTRANCED FOR SOLID HOUR.
Leonard BernsteinNewsCalendarShopNewsletterPressResearch
The personThe EducatorThe ComposerThe Conductor