Many Americans were inspired by Leonard Bernstein's Young People's Concerts to pursue musical dreams: to become performers, conductors or teachers. He also inspired a love of classical music in countless people across the world. But that's only part of his legacy as a music teacher.
Charlie Harmon worked for several years as an assistant to Leonard Bernstein. In his new book On the Road and Off the Record With Leonard Bernstein and in his interview with Fred Child, Harmon describes vividly the October day in 1990 he was called to visit Bernstein and realized it was the last time they would see each other.
In so many ways, Leonard Bernstein was extraordinary. Talented, charismatic and handsome to boot, it was if a magic wand tapped his head at birth. His daughter Jamie Bernstein in her new book Famous Father Girl describes what the public didn't see: the doubt and guilt that nagged his conscience AND fueled his music.
Orin O'Brien was the first woman hired to perform full-time with the New York Philharmonic. Watching Leonard Bernstein conduct was certainly exciting for the audience, but this double bassist says it was exhilarating and terrifying to face the conductor as a member of his orchestra. O'Brien calls working with Bernstein "one of the best experiences of my professional life."
Leonard Bernstein took a keen interest in helping many of his fellow musicians. He launched dozens of careers, including that of pianist Andre Watts. Less than a week after Watts debuted on stage with Bernstein and the NY Philharmonic, they made what became a best-selling recording. Hear it on Tuesday's Performance Today.
Those of us who knew Leonard Bernstein through his recordings loved his work. But what did Bernstein's colleagues and fellow composers think about his career? Composer Philip Glass says that, in considering Bernstein's legacy, there is a lot that he did right. But there was one thing he thinks Bernstein could have done differently.
As a kid, Marin Alsop had two posters on the wall of her bedroom: The Beatles and Leonard Bernstein. She was so nervous to meet Bernstein as a young adult that she almost backed out, but she found out he was even greater in person that she could have imagined. The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra music director shares her memories of Bernstein.
Leonard Bernstein didn't impress just Americans. He impressed the world. Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra's Music Director JoAnn Falletta remembers the music lessons and cigarette ashes Bernstein left in her Juilliard School conducting classes.