Leonard Bernstein and American Music

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Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Ava Ehde
The volumes in the Modern Music Masters series provide great photos, timelines, and informative biographical overviews of the lives of masters of modern music. Louis "Leonard" Bernstein earned fame as a conductor in a period when all the important orchestra leaders came from Europe. Leonard Bernstein And American Music is the biography of the man who is referred to as the modern face of classical music. Bernstein had a lifelong love for music and his performances, both as a conductor and pianist, were moving and passionate. He was also a civil rights, Israeli, and world peace advocate. Other titles in the series include Proud: The Story Of James Brown; Uh Huh!:The Story Of Ray Charles; Reggae Poet: The Story Of Bob Marley; and Spin: The Story Of Michael Jackson. Although written by several authors, the books maintain a consistent, straightforward writing style. The content is well organized chronologically culminating with a timeline. The photos not only support the biographical information, but also offer a glimpse into the time period. The text is interesting, accurate, educational, and helpful to students with research projects, as well as engaging to casual readers. (Modern Music Masters) Reviewer: Ava Ehde
School Library Journal
Gr 5–8—A gifted musician and an intense and energetic man, Bernstein was immersed in music as a performer, conductor, composer, and teacher. Reef zips through his multifaceted life, writing with facility and economy in this engaging biography. Through a blend of musical and descriptive language, evocative passages on music provide an important context for understanding the man. Readers will appreciate Bernstein's tenacity as a teen and young adult despite his father's conflicting skepticism and support. He would eventually earn his father's respect when he made his Carnegie Hall debut conducting the New York Philharmonic. Later, Bernstein would become the orchestra's first American-born and -trained leader. Those who are only vaguely aware of Bernstein, and even those who have read Susan Goldman Rubin's Music Was It (Charlesbridge, 2011), will marvel at his diverse musical accomplishments, but they will also admire his efforts to promote racial equality and peace through music. Reef uses quotes and photos well and carefully notes their sources in the back matter, which also includes lists of useful websites and Bernstein's major works. There is no discography or filmography. Of particular interest for this book's audience are Bernstein's Young People's Concerts, available on DVD, and the Bernstein Century CD comprising recordings of Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf, Saint-Saëns's Carnival of the Animals, and Britten's Young People's Guide to the Orchestra, performed by Bernstein and the New York Philharmonic.—Joy Piedmont, LREI, New York City
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781599351254
  • Publisher: Morgan Reynolds, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 4/28/2013
  • Series: Modern Music Masters Series
  • Pages: 128
  • Age range: 12 - 15 Years
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.50 (d)

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