Skip to page content

 

Born: 1918, Lawrence, MassachusettsDied: 1990, New YorkPeriod: Modern

Leonard Bernstein was like a force of nature – conductor, composer, pianist, lecturer, broadcaster, and writer were just a few of the hats he wore. He found success on Broadway and in the concert hall in the 1940s and ’50s with a style that mixed established old-world tradition with irrepressible New World optimism. Several of his works pose serious moral and religious questions, and, at his best, Bernstein was able to wed these concerns to music teeming with sheer physical energy and a mellifluous melodic gift.

Selected works:

Symphony No. 1 “Jeremiah” (1942)

On the Town (musical, 1944)

Trouble in Tahiti (opera, 1950)

Candide (comic operetta, 1956)

Symphonic Dances from West Side Story (1957)

Chichester Psalms (boy soprano, chorus, and orchestra, 1965)

Songfest (six singers and orchestra, 1977)