Leonard Bernstein on Symphony at 7 for his Birthday

Leonard Bernstein(Photo: Jack Marshall)
Leonard Bernstein(Photo: Jack Marshall)

A man of many facets with a glittering personality and great musical accomplishments, Leonard Bernstein is being featured on Symphony at 7 for his birthday.  Born in Lawrence, Massachusetts August 25 in 1918, he died all too soon at the age of 72 in 1990.

Just one example of Bernstein’s wide-ranging abilities:  he was named music director of the New York Philharmonic the same year he had a smash hit on Broadway for West Side Story–that was in 1957.  He went on to to create the Young People’s Concert Series that helped spread the gospel of classical music to new audiences around the world.

A brilliant speaker, great conductor, fine pianist, composer, and sometimes controversial figure, Bernstein was the first American born and educated conductor to receive world-wide acclaim.  He was even made an honorary member of the Vienna Philharmonic.  His life story makes for fascinating reading.

Bernstein often championed composers he felt had not got their due.  He really got the Mahler revival going in the 60′s with his fine recordings, and he performed and recorded Nielsen and Sibelius as well as many American composers.

One of the neglected composers Bernstein recorded was the Hungarian born Karl Goldmark.  On Symphony at 7, we’ll feature his most popular work, The Rustic Wedding Symphony.  For good measure we also have Bernstein conducting some Beethoven on an historic occasion in Berlin.