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Leonard Bernstein: Bio

Leonard Bernstein was part performer (his earliest aspirations were as a pianist), part composer, part conductor, part lecturer and author, and part teacher. An 11-time Emmy Award winner, his Young People's Concerts with the Philharmonic spanned over 14 seasons. His debut on November 14, 1943 is the stuff of legend - the virtually unknown New York Philharmonic Assistant Conductor stepping onto the Carnegie Hall podium to conduct a live radio broadcast in place of the ailing guest conductor, Bruno Walter, on a few hours' notice.

Bernstein's association with the Philharmonic spanned 47 years, 1244 concerts, and 200-plus recordings. In a program after his death, the Orchestra remembered America's best known classical musician: "His 11 years as our Music Director [1958-1969] and 21 years as our Laureate Conductor were periods of brilliance in the Orchestra's history. Mr. Bernstein will be remembered for his genius, his leadership, his humanitarianism, his ability to transmit his love of music to young and old, his dedication to our Orchestra, his service to young musicians, and his unforgettable, ebullient and caring personality. We are grateful for his legacy." It is only one indication of the love its current players - at least one of whom played in that 1943 concert - bear Lenny that the Philharmonic will occasionally play one of his works without a conductor.

Bernstein was also closely linked to the Vienna Philharmonic; the Israel Philharmonic, the London Symphony Orchestra, and Rome's Santa Cecilia Academy. He conducted at the Metropolitan Opera, La Scala, and the Vienna State Opera, taught at Brandeis University, and headed the conducting faculty at the Berkshire Music Center.

Leonard Bernstein

Stravinsky-The Rite of Spring 1958 vers. w/NY Phil

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1 Stravinsky: Le Sacre Du Printemps/Adoration Intro
2 Stravinsky: Le Sacre Du Printemps/Augurs of Spring
3 Stravinsky: Le Sacre Du Printemps/Mock Abduction
4 Stravinsky: Le Sacre Du Printemps/Spring Round
5 Stravinsky: Le Sacre Du Printemps/Rival Tribes
6 Stravinsky: Le Sacre Du Printemps/Procession Wise
7 Stravinsky: Le Sacre Du Printemps/Adoration (Wise)
8 Stravinsky: Le Sacre Du Printemps/Dance of Earth
9 Stravinsky: Le Sacre Du Printemps/The Sacrifice
10 Stravinsky: Le Sacre Du Printemps/Mystical Circles
11 Stravinsky: Le Sacre Du Printemps/Glorification
12 Stravinsky: Le Sacre Du Printemps/Summoning
13 Stravinsky: Le Sacre Du Printemps/Ritual
14 Stravinsky:Le Sacre Du Printemps/Sacrificial Dance
Shostakovich: Symphony No. 5 / Bernstein & New York Philharmonic Orchestra

A century ago, on May 29, 1913, the premiere performance of Igor Stravinsky's ballet The Rite of Spring shocked a Paris audience that included Debussy, Ravel, Picasso, and Proust. Audience members rioted at the work's "unexpected eruption of rebarbative dissonances, off-kilter rhythms, obsessive-compulsive ostinati and agitated mood-swinging dynamics," as Jonathan Cott puts it in the album notes to This new release (with the Original Cover Artwork) of the legendary recording by Leonard Bernstein and the New York Philharmonic, celebrates the 100th Anniversary Of this historic concert event.

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