The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music: Private letters reveal Leonard Bernstein the Man and the Maestro, the gay husband and the insecure, lonely celebrity.

November 10, 2013
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By Jacob Stockinger

Ever since Leonard Bernstein (below) died at 72 in 1990, the world of classical music world has seemed to me a smaller and sadder, less joyful and playful place.

bernstein-new-york-city-nightlife-rmc-image-1001-bw

Lenny was the Real Deal.

Such talent and genius!

What energy and enthusiasm!

What a talker and bon vivant!

What a conductor and composer, pianist and educator! Just listen to Bernstein at the bottom conduct his own exuberant and lyrical music — the Overture to “Candide” — in a YouTube video that has over 1 million hits.

But who would have guessed at some of his personal demons and deep insecurities, or his awareness of his own faults and shortcomings?

Leonard Bernstein 1971

Now you can find out through a newly published collection of his letters.

They reveal the private side of Leonard Bernstein The Man and not just The Maestro.

Here is a story from NPR that includes excerpts and background and contexts, interpretations and assessments, by Bernstein’s daughter Jamie.

I found it fascinating reading and listening, and expect you will too.

http://www.npr.org/2013/10/27/240742186/energetic-intimate-letters-reveal-private-leonard-bernstein


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