CCi Artists


Leonard Bernstein¹s larger-than-life personality, multi-faceted gifts, and profound impact on music making in the second half of the 20th century resonate louder than ever today. While death often results in the eclipse of an icon
¹s reputation, Bernstein¹s stock, if anything, has risen. As a composer, his so-called serious works survive (the three symphonies are very much in the repertoire), to say nothing of  landmark Broadway creations like Wonderful Town, Candide, and West Side Story. As teacher and mentor,more than two generations of young musicians benefited from Bernstein¹s encouragement and advice. Bernstein¹s Young People¹s Concerts, writings on music, and vivid film documentaries raised the music-appreciation bar for clarity and sophistication. And he could play piano with the best
of them.

As a conductor, Bernstein was to Copland as Toscanini was to Verdi. And while Mahler didn¹t lack for advocates, Bernstein¹s passionate advocacy made his music stick. Most importantly, Bernstein¹s galvanizing, charismatic
podium presence not only captured the imaginations of musicians and music lovers worldwide, but also opened the
door for other young, American born and trained conductors. While his conducting resisted pigeonholing in terms of
style or nationality (Romantic? Classicist? German school? Slavic? American Eclectic?), undeniable personality, force,
and sincerity always made itself felt. And as much as he thrived on blessed overwork,² no Bernstein concert ever
could be called routine, let alone phoned in.

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Last Update 03/15/2007