Completed in the summer of 1954, Leonard Bernstein's violin concerto became the five-movement Serenade, satisfying two commitments: a much delayed commission for the Koussevitzky Foundation (1951), and the promise of a piece for violin and orchestra forhis friend, the eminent violinist, Isaac Stern. Composed in less than a year from late 1953 through August 1954, Bernstein dedicated the Serenade to the memory of his mentor, Serge Koussevitzky, and to Koussevitzky’s first wife, Natalie. Scored for solo violin, harp, string orchestra, and percussion, Serenade remains one of Bernstein’s most lyrical orchestral works.
The Leonard Bernstein Office Mission
The Leonard Bernstein Office (LBO) sustains and strengthens Leonard Bernstein’s legacy by inspiring global engagement with his work as a composer, conductor, educator, and humanitarian. Through licensing, promotion, music editing, and publishing, the LBO strives to communicate his lifelong devotion to the transformative power and joy of music.
Thus Spake Leonard Bernstein:
“And what have teachers got to do with music? The answer is: everything.
We can all think of a self-taught painter or writer, but it is almost impossible to imagine a professional musician who doesn't owe something to one teacher or another. The trouble is that we don't always realize how important teachers are, in music or in anything else. Teaching is probably the noblest profession in the world — the most unselfish, difficult, and honorable profession. It is also the most unappreciated, underrated, underpaid, and underpraised profession in the world.”
-Leonard Bernstein, 1983
“A Tribute to Teachers”
Young People’s Concert
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