PERFORMANCE AND LICENSING INFORMATION
The Leonard Bernstein Office, Inc., primarily through its agents, issues a wide variety of licenses for the use of Leonard Bernstein's Broadway works, concert compositions, audio and video recordings, books, lectures, and other writings. The use of Bernstein's works is governed by existing contracts, commitments, and artistic policy, so you should inquire about the availability of rights early in your planning.
Most licenses for the live performance of Leonard Bernstein's music may be obtained directly from the music publisher, performing rights society, or the theatrical agent. Other license requests must be submitted by our agents to us for approval: these include all arrangements, changes, or cuts to his compositions or theater works, concerts consisting entirely of music from his Broadway shows, the use of choreography, the use of individual songs in theatrical productions, and all uses of his compositions in TV, film, and video.
Below you will find guidelines for specific types of uses. You will also find contact information listed with the particular in the composition catalog. Please note that these are guidelines only, and it is always best to inquire early to avoid any chance of having to cancel a project after you have invested time or money.
LEONARD BERNSTEIN'S COMPOSITIONS AND THEATER WORKS
Grand Rights Performances (Theatrical and Orchestral)
Broadway Musicals: for a staged performance of a musical, contact the theatrical agent listed in the composition catalog. Grand rights performances of Bernstein's Broadway musicals are also available for concert performances and semi-staged concert performances through the same theatrical agent.
Orchestral performances of concert works or individual numbers from a theater work: contact Boosey & Hawkes.
Reviews or concerts of Bernstein's theatrical songs: contact Boosey & Hawkes. As a general guideline, you may not use more than three songs from any one show or put the songs in a dramatic context without permission.
Recitals from commercially printed music: in the United States, recitals are licensed through ASCAP. Elsewhere, they are licensed through the performing rights society of the country in which they occur. Contact Boosey & Hawkes if you have any questions.
Arrangements: for permission to make an arrangement, contact Boosey & Hawkes.
The Leonard Bernstein Office encourages new choreography to most of his concert compositions. As there are restrictions on choreography, particularly for certain dramatic works, we urge choreographers to contact Boosey & Hawkes for permission before undertaking new choreography. To perform choreography by Jerome Robbins, please contact The Robbins Rights Trust. For a partial list of choreographies of Leonard Bernstein’s works, click here.
Making Audio Recordings
In order to use Bernstein's compositions in an audio recording, you must obtain a mechanical license. For recordings manufactured within the United States, mechanical licenses can be obtained through the Harry Fox Agency. HFA has established Songfile for those wishing to manufacture audio recordings in small, limited quantities. In the United States, mechanical license fees are based on the length of the song and the number of recordings manufactured. Outside the United States, mechanical licenses are usually available from the country's mechanical rights society. Universal Music Publishing administers the vast majority of Bernstein's compositions (on behalf of the Leonard Bernstein Music Publishing Company), and should be contacted if any clarification is needed for your mechanical license application.
If you are performing music using materials rented from Boosey & Hawkes, or if you are making an orchestral recording of any kind, you must obtain their permission for the use of the orchestral materials in the audio recording.
To make an archival audio recording of a live concert performance, contact Boosey & Hawkes. Contact the theatrical agent for permission to make archival recordings of Broadway shows. Permission to make archival recordings of Broadway shows may NOT be available.
For use of audio recordings on the internet, contact Universal Music Publishing Group.
Making Video Recordings
In order to use Bernstein's compositions in a video recording, whether for film, television, documentary, home video or internet use, you must obtain a synchronization license. Universal Music Publishing Group administers synchronization licenses for the vast majority of Bernstein's compositions. In the US, contact UMPG's Film and Television Licensing Department for information on application procedures. Outside the US, contact the local office as listed on their website.
If you are performing music using materials rented from Boosey and Hawkes, or if you are making an orchestral recording of any kind, you must obtain their permission for the use of the orchestral materials in the video recording.
To make an archival video recording of a live concert performance, contact Boosey & Hawkes. Permission to make archival recordings of Broadway shows may NOT be available. Contact the theatrical agent.
LEONARD BERNSTEIN'S PERFORMANCES ON AUDIO AND VIDEO RECORDINGS
Use of an audio recording involves two categories of rights: the master rights for the recording itself and the music publishing rights for any copyrighted compositions included in the recording. For recordings that have been commercially released, please first contact the record company for the master rights. You will find the record company listed in the discography on this website. Please note that the discography may reflect the original record company name. In particular, CBS Records and Sony Records are now Sony Music Entertainment. Most of Leonard Bernstein's recordings are distributed by two labels: Sony Music Entertainment and Deutsche Grammophon.
If the music on the recording is copyrighted, you must obtain a license from the music publisher. The record company will not be able to provide that to you. Depending on the type of use you wish to make, the record company may also require you to obtain our permission directly for Leonard Bernstein's performing rights and/or the permission of other performers or orchestras who participated in the recording.
Permission for the use of excerpts from existing videos can be complicated to secure and involve obtaining permisson from multiple parties, even those videos for which we give a single contact below. Please note that The Leonard Bernstein Office retains rights to Leonard Bernstein's performance in almost all video performances he made. Be aware that there are many film libraries that offer material for which they do not own the rights of the performers.
For serious inquiries and additional information, please contact:
- Young People's Concert Series: The Leonard Bernstein Office
- The Unanswered Question: The Leonard Bernstein Office
- Ford and Lincoln Series: The Leonard Bernstein Office
- Omnibus Series: Global ImageWorks
Concert Programs not in the series above produced after 1971: please contact Unitel.
All other programs, please contact The Leonard Bernstein Office for information.
SHEET MUSIC PURCHASES
Printed music is distributed by Hal Leonard. To see their catalog of Bernstein compositions, please click here.
LEONARD BERNSTEIN'S WRITINGS
To quote from Leonard Bernstein writings – books, lectures, letters, essays etc. – please contact The Leonard Bernstein Office. For a complete list of licensing agents and rights holders discussed above, as well as their contact information, please see the righthand column.
For all licensing inquiries regarding Leonard Bernstein that are not covered above, please contact The Leonard Bernstein Office.