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Leonard Bernstein Bio, Biography, Children, Cause of Death, Net Worth, Philanthropy, Google Doodle, Wife (Felicia Montealegre)

25 August 2018, Google Celebrates Leonard Bernstein 100th Birthday with a Doodle

Leonard Bernstein Bio

Leonard Bernstein was born on 25 August 1918 inLawrence, Massachusetts, United States and died on October 14, 1990, in Dakota, New York City, New York, United States. He was an American composer, conductor, author, music lecturer, and pianist. He was among the first conductors born and educated in the US to receive worldwide acclaim. Donal Henahan, a music critic, quoted saying ” he was one of the most prodigiously talented and successful musicians in American history.”
Born 25 August 1918 in Lawrence, Massachusetts, United States
Died 14 October 1990 (aged 72) in Dakota, New York City, New York, United States
Cause of Death Pneumonia
Occupation Composer, conductor, author, lecturer, pianist
Years active 1940–1990
Works List of compositions
Felicia Montealegre (m. 1951; d. 1978)
Children Alexander Bernstein – Son,  Nina Maria Felicia Bernstein – Daughter and Jamie Anne Maria Bernstein – daughter
Net Worth $5 million at the time of his death in 1990.
Google Doodle On 25 August 2018 Goolge marks what would have been Leonard Bernstein 100th Birthday with a doodle. Happy 100th birthday to American music icon Leonard Bernstein!

Leonard Bernstein Biography

Leonard Bernstein was born Louis Bernstein in Lawrence, Massachusetts, to his Ukranian and Jewish parents Jennie (née Resnick), his mother and Samuel Joseph Bernstein, his father, a hairdressing supplies wholesaler originating from Rovno (now Ukraine)

His fame is attributable to his long tenure as the music director of the New York Philharmonic, from his conducting of concerts with most of the world’s leading orchestras. Some of his renown music include; for West Side Story, Peter Pan, Candide, Wonderful Town, On the Town, On the Waterfront, his Mass, and a range of other compositions, including three symphonies and many shorter chamber and other solo works.

Leonard Bernstein Family

Bernstein had three children; Alexander Bernstein – Son,  Nina Maria Felicia Bernstein – Daughter and Jamie Anne Maria Bernstein – daughter. He was married to his wife Felicia Montealegre in 1951 and later divorced 1978.

Leonard Bernstein WIfe (Felicia Montealegre)

A significant period of upheaval in Bernstein’s personal life began in 1976 when he decided that he could no longer conceal his homosexuality and he left his wife Felicia for a period to live with the musical director of the classical music radio station KKHI-FM in San Francisco, Tom Cothran. The next year Felicia Montealegre was diagnosed with lung cancer and eventually, Bernstein moved back in with her and cared for her until she died on June 16, 1978. Bernstein is reported to have often spoken of his terrible guilt over his wife’s death. Bernstein lifestyle became more excessive and his behaviour sometimes cruder after her death. However, his public standing and many of his close friendships appear to have remained unaffected, and he resumed his busy schedule of musical activity.

Leonard Bernstein Cause of Death

Bernstein announced his retirement from conducting on October 9, 1990, and died at his apartment at The Dakota of a heart attack five days later, brought on by mesothelioma and ultimately died from pneumonia. He was 72 years old. A longtime heavy smoker, he had battled emphysema from his mid-50s. On the day of his funeral procession through the streets of Manhattan, construction workers removed their hats and waved, calling out “Goodbye, Lenny.” Bernstein is buried in Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn, New York, next to his wife and with a copy of Mahler’s Fifth Symphony lying across his heart.

Leonard Bernstein Google Doodle

On 25 August 2018 Goolge marks what would have been Leonard Bernstein 100th Birthday with a doodle. Happy 100th birthday to American music icon Leonard Bernstein!

Leonard Bernstein Philanthropy

Among the many awards and recognitions earned by Bernstein throughout his life one allowed him to make one of his philanthropic dreams a reality. He had for a long time yearned to develop an international school to help promote the integration of arts into education. When he won the Japan Arts Association award for lifetime achievement in 1990, he used the $100,000 that came with the award to build such a school in Nashville, that would strive to teach teachers how to better integrate music, dance, and theater into the school system which was “not working.” Unfortunately, the school was not able to open until shortly after Bernstein’s death.

Leonard Bernstein Artful Learning

Bernstein’s philosophical believed that Artful Learning s could strengthen learning and be incorporated in all academic subjects. The principality of the program is based on “units of study,” which each consist of four core elements: experience, inquire, create, and reflect. After two decades of research and implementation across the United States, Artful Learning Schools demonstrate that Units of Study that utilize rigor, cognitive complexity, and deep understanding through a commitment to collaborative and independent learning show high levels of student engagement and academic achievement.

Leonard Bernstein Influence and characteristics as a composer

Bernstein was an eclectic composer whose music fused elements of jazz, Jewish music, theatre music and the work of earlier composers like Aaron Copland, Igor Stravinsky, Darius Milhaud, George Gershwin, and Marc Blitzstein. His score for West Side Story, helped bridge the gap between classical and popular music. His music was rooted in tonality but in some works like his Kaddish Symphony and the opera A Quiet Place he mixed in 12-tone elements. Bernstein is quted saying that his motivation for composing was “to communicate” and that all his pieces, including his symphonies and concert works, “could in some sense be thought of as ‘theatre’ pieces.” He was the second most frequently performed American composer by U.S. orchestras in 2008–09 behind Copland, and he was the 16th most frequently performed composer overall by U.S. orchestras. (Some performances were probably due to the 2008 90th anniversary of his birth.) His most famous pieces were the Overture to Candide, the Symphonic Dances from West Side Story, the Serenade for Violin, Strings, Harp and Percussion and the Three Dance Episodes from On the Town. His shows West Side Story, On the Town, Wonderful Town and Candide are regularly performed, and his symphonies and concert works are programmed from time to time by orchestras around the world. Since his death, many of his works have been commercially recorded by artists other than himself. The Serenade, which has been recorded more than ten times, is probably his most recorded work not taken from an actual theatre piece.

Even though he was a popular success as a composer, Bernstein himself is reported to have been disillusioned that some of his more serious works were not rated more highly by critics and that he had not been able to devote more time to composing because of his personal activities.Professional criticism of Bernstein’s music often involves discussing the degree to which he created something new as art versus simple skills of borrowing and fusing together elements from others. In the late 1960s, Bernstein himself reflected that his eclecticism was in part due to his lack of lengthy periods devoted to composition and that he was still seeking to enrich his musical language in the manner of the great composers of the past, all of whom had borrowed elements from others. Perhaps the harshest criticism he received from some critics in his lifetime though was directed at works like his Kaddish Symphony, his MASS and the opera A Quiet Place, where they found the underlying message of the piece or the text as either mildly embarrassing, clichéd or offensive. Despite this, all these pieces have been performed, discussed and reconsidered since his death.

Bernstein’s works were performed several times for Pope John Paul II, including at World Youth Day in Denver on August 14, 1993 (excerpts from MASS), and at the Papal Concert to Commemorate the Shoah on April 7, 1994, with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (Chichester Psalms and Symphony No. 3, Kaddish in the Sala Nervi at the Vatican. Gilbert Levine conducted both performances.

Although he taught conducting, Bernstein was not a teacher of composition as such, and he has no direct composing heirs. Perhaps the closest are composers like John Adams, who from the 1970s onwards indirectly adopted elements of his eclectic, theatrical style.


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