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An elegant, captivating collection of significant photographs to celebrate the iconic 20th century composer/conductor’s Centennial in 2018.
Leonard Bernstein was born in Lawrence, Massachusetts, the son of Eastern European Jewish immigrants. He died 72 years later, an international superstar and American icon. He achieved a level of celebrity that few musicians, and fewer classical musicians, ever attain. The first American-born musician to become the leader of a major American orchestra, Bernstein launched a new era, still very much alive today, broadening the path for all American musicians ever since.
Bernstein’s life captivated the public, giving rise to many indelible photographs by many of the greatest photographers of the 20th Century. Whether on stage or backstage, jet-setting from country to country, partying with other celebrities or at home with his family, this book tells Bernstein’s story through the lenses of such masters as Richard Avedon, Heni Cartier-Bresson, Bruce Davidson, Alfred Eisenstaedt, Ernst Haas, Ken Heyman, Stanley Kubrick, Gjon Mili, Ralph Morse, Carl Mydans, Arnold Newman, Ruth Orkin, Gordon Parks, and Irving Penn.
Bernstein landed squarely in the public eye beginning in 1943, when his last-minute conducting debut with the New York Philharmonic, broadcast nationwide from Carnegie Hall, caused a media sensation. The dynamic young musician was barely 25 years old. Fifteen years later, as the New York Philharmonic’s Music Director, he began regularly presenting the orchestra’s Young People’s Concerts over the CBS television network. Leonard Bernstein became a household name across the nation.
But Bernstein was so much more. He was also a celebrated composer in multiple genres; from orchestral and choral music to operas and ballets, as well as several Broadway musicals, including the much beloved West Side Story.
A true renaissance man, Bernstein was above all a sharer and advocate for culture and ideas. He created a devoted, multigenerational audience of music lovers around the world; his extensive travels brought him into contact with eminent artists, thinkers, and heads of state. Through all he did, Bernstein strove to make the world a safer, more peaceful, and more compassionate place for all peoples.
Leonard Bernstein was a celebrity: a dashingly handsome and stylish man who, not surprisingly, was constantly being photographed. Not shy in front of a camera, Bernstein was also not reticent in his enthusiasms–for people, parties, and late nights. Leonard Bernstein lived every day with passion and intensity–and with every passing
year, his brash, busy life became written more clearly into the lines of his face.
This rich trove gives generations to come an unforgettable, enlightening glimpse into the life of an artist who changed the face of culture in the 20th century–a life documented by many of the most important photographic artists of that era.
Jamie Bernstein is a writer, narrator, broadcaster and film maker who has transformed a lifetime of loving music into a career of sharing her knowledge and excitement with others.
Inspired by her father Leonard Bernstein’s lifelong impulse to share and teach, Jamie has devised multiple ways of communicating her own excitement about orchestral music. Beginning 15 years ago with “The Bernstein Beat,” a family concert about her father’s music modeled after his own groundbreaking Young People’s Concerts, Jamie has gone on to design, write and narrate concerts for worldwide audiences of all ages about the music of Mozart, Copland, Stravinsky and many others. Jamie creates and narrates two educational concerts a year with the New World Symphony in Miami; these engaging, informal “Discovery Concerts” are specially designed to attract audiences of all ages who are less familiar with concertgoing.
Jamie travels the world as a concert narrator, appearing everywhere from Beijing to London to Vancouver. A frequent speaker on musical topics, Jamie has presented talks around the world, from conferences in Japan to seminars at Harvard University. In Spanish-speaking locations such as Madrid and Caracas, Jamie narrates en español – thanks to her Chilean-born mother, Felicia Montealegre, who raised her children to be bilingual.
In her role as a broadcaster, Jamie has produced and hosted shows for radio stations in the United States and Great Britain. She has presented the New York Philharmonic’s live national radio broadcasts, as well as live broadcasts from Tanglewood.
Jamie is the co-director of a film documentary, Crescendo: The Power of Music–which focuses on children in struggling urban communities who participate in youth orchestra programs for social transformation inspired by Venezuela’s groundbreaking El Sistema movement. The film has won numerous prizes on the festival circuit, and is now viewable on Netflix.
Jamie has also directed her father’s chamber opera, Trouble in Tahiti, in various locations around the country, including the Moab Music Festival and Festival del Sole in Napa, CA.
Jamie is currently at work on a memoir, title to be announced, which will be published by HarperCollins in the spring of 2018, when her father’s centennial celebrations will be well under way around the world. Jamie and her siblings, Alexander and Nina, will be racking up unprecedented mileage points!
Jamie also writes articles and poetry, which have appeared in such publications as Symphony, DoubleTake, Gourmet, Opera News, and Musical America. She also edits Prelude, Fugue & Riffs, a newsletter about issues and events pertaining to her father’s legacy.
More about Jamie’s multifaceted life can be found on her website: jamiebernstein.net