Leonard Bernstein

Among his accolades, pianist Jeffrey Siegel has been praised by The Washington Post for his "pianistic eloquence with a special gift for commentary." Host of Keyboard Conversations, the touring series of concerts with commentary, Siegel plays and talks about Leonard Bernstein and his music with WRTI’s Kevin Gordon in advance of his appearance at the Kimmel Center. 

The Timpanist Who Was Leonard Bernstein's Go-To Baton Expert

Aug 26, 2018
Henry Grossman; Courtesy of Bernice Horowitz

When Leonard Bernstein’s baton broke during a rehearsal of Candide in the early 1970s, who was summoned to repair it? Richard Horowitz, who at the time was principal timpanist of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra.

Jamie Bernstein can't call her childhood a typical one. On any given weekend, she might find Lauren Bacall, Isaac Stern, Richard Avedon, Mike Nichols, Stephen Sondheim, Lillian Hellman or Sidney Lumet hanging out at her house. Jamie's father was Leonard Bernstein.

There has never been an American dynamo remotely like Leonard Bernstein. The composer, conductor, pianist, creator of musicals, educator, political maven and raconteur seemed to spin on his axis faster than any normal human being.

Library of Congress, Music Division

Conceived in 1949, West Side Story has a serious message that pleads for racial tolerance, delivered in unforgettable song and dance. People have been listening to that message, and humming the songs, ever since the show premiered on Broadway in 1957 and debuted on the silver screen in 1961.


Courtesy of the Bernstein family

As a 16-year-old “musical theatre kid,” I’ve always linked the name Leonard Bernstein with West Side Story, and those familiar songs that never fail to bring a smile to my face, from "America" to "Somewhere." I love them all.

Gift of Henny Durmashkin Gurko, Museum of Jewish Heritage, NY

A 29-year-old Leonard Bernstein stands next to Holocaust survivors—members of the Ex-Concentration Camp Orchestra. They’re at a displaced persons camp in Germany in May 1948, four years after their liberation from the Nazi death camps. 

The Accidental Baton Maker

Aug 21, 2018

Richard Horowitz’s customer list read like a who’s who: Zubin Mehta, Sir Colin Davis, Seiji Ozawa, Sarah Caldwell, James Levine, Sir Charles Mackerras, Klaus Tennstedt, Daniel Barenboim, and Leonard Bernstein.  He was a percussionist, who, quite by accident, came to craft batons for some of the most famous conductors of the world.

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