Leonard Bernstein Composer


Composer, conductor, pianist, teacher, thinker, Leonard Bernstein has transformed the way spectators from the entire world hear and understand music. His successes as composer are numerous and various, from Broadway - West Side Story, On the Town, Wonderful Town and Candide – to worldwide concert halls that keep on staging his orchestral and choir music. His main concert works comprises three symphonies untitled Jeremiah (1944), The Age of Anxiety (1949) and Kaddish (1963), but also Prelude, Fugue and Riffs (1949); Serenade for violins, strings and percussions (1954); Symphonic Dances - West Side Story (1960); Chichester Psalms (1965); Mass: A Theater Piece for Singers, Players and Dancers (1971); Songfest (1977); Divertimento for orchestra (1980); Halil for solo flute solo and small orchestra (1981); Touches (1981) and Thirteen Anniversaries (1988) for solo piano; Missa Brevis for singers and percussions (1988); Concerto for orchestra: Jubilee Games (1989); and Arias and Barcarolles (1988). Leonard Bernstein also wrote the one-act opera Trouble in Tahiti in 1952, and then its sequel in three acts A Quiet Place, in 1983. He worked with the choreographer Jerome Robbins on three major ballets: Fancy Free (1944), Facsimile (1946) and Dybbuk (1975). He was an Oscar nominee in the music category for On the Waterfront (1954). As a conductor, he was famous for his dynamic presence on the greatest orchestral stages worldwide for over a half-century, building a lasting heritage with a catalog counting more than 500 recordings and filmed performances. He was Musical Director of the New York philharmonic Orchestra from 1958 to 1969. Then, after he became a resident conductor, he frequently performed with the formation. He was also a regular guest for concerts and recordings at the Vienna philharmonic Orchestra and in Israel. He won 11 Emmy Awards for his TV work, including for the series Young People's Concerts with the New-York philharmonic Orchestra. As a teacher and interpret he also played a major role with the Tanglewood Festival from its creation in 1940 until his death, but also with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Institute and the Pacific Music Festival (which co-founded) and the Schleswig Holstein Music Festival. Leonard Bernstein died on October 14, 1990.

Back to top