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Biography of Leonard Bernstein

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Biography of Leonard Bernstein
A Biography of Leonard Bernstein
Leonard Bernstein was born in Lawrence, Massachusetts on August 25, 1918. He was born to first generation Jewish parents from Russia. At the age of ten, he began learning to play the piano, at one point in his studies at Hebrew Union he thought of becoming a rabbi. Latter he was awarded an honorary degree, for he became a rabbi of sorts (Gottlieb.) However, he went on the major in music at Harvard University. Although, his interest at college was in becoming a concert piano, but he was also introduced to orchestration. While in college, he conducted his own incidental music to “The Birds,” and directed and performed in Marc Blitstein’s “The Cradle Will Rock” (LB, Inc). After graduation he went to study with the Boston Symphon Orchestra’s summer institute, where he was the conducting assistant to Serge Koussevitsky.
In 1943 he was placed in his first permanent conducting position with The New York Philharmonic, during his lifetime over 200 of his recordingings were made with the Philharmonic. In 1943 he was also asked to be a guest conductor at Carnegie Hall. This led to him being sought out as a guest conductor. He had his share of critics because of his dance-like style as a conductor. (Gottlieb) In 1945 he was named director of New York City Symphony. He held other positions from 1945 until 1969, conducting more concerts than any previous conductor. He spent a great deal of his time teaching and composing for non-classical gneres.
Although it was known by family and friends a great regret was not being able to compose more music, however, the music he did compose was so invigorating and memorable. He brought jazz to the concert hall and syphonies to Broadway. His concert works was said to “revel the influence of many composers – Hindmith, Britten, Shostakovich, Brahms, and Rachmaninoff, to name a few – almost everyone would agree that there is a characteristic and unmistakable “Bernstein sound” rhythmic



Cited: Bernstein, Leonard. The Joy of Music. Pompton Plains: Amadeus Press, LLC, 1959. Print. Carnegie Hall Corporation. "The "Serious" Side of Music." 2001-2008. Carnegie Hall Corporation. Web. 10 June 2010. Gottlieb, Jack. "Bernstein and Faith." 2001-2008. Bernstein: The Best of All Possible Worlds. Web. 10 Jun 2010. LB, Inc. Leornard Bernstein. 2009-2009. Web. 14 Jun 2010. Oron, Areh. "Leonard Bernstein (Conductor, Composer)." 12 Feb 2010. Bach Cantatas. Web. 19 Jun 2010. PBS - American Master 's Series. American Master 's Series - Leonard Bernstein - Reaching for the Note. 6 September 2006. Web. 10 June 2010.

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