Leonard Bernstein

Leonard Bernstein

by Humphrey Burton CBE


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Composer, pianist, author, television teacher, Harvard lecturer, cultural icon, humanist and conductor without peer, Leonard Bernstein's versatility was legendary. He captivated Broadway with such hits as On the Town and West Side Story and introduced middle America to classical music with his Young People's Concerts on television. He composed three symphonies and a full-length opera, and he inspired the world's leading orchestras to give some of the most memorable performances of the twentieth century.

Humphrey Burton was given exclusive access to Bernstein's rich legacy of letters and papers, and the book draws on hundreds of interviews with family, friends and colleagues to reveal Bernstein's fascinating and complex personality. His compelling narrative captures Bernstein's high-spirited vitality on the page, providing a frank account of his homosexuality and his marriage and chronicling the lifelong conflict between the rival claims of Bernstein's conducting and composing careers.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780571337934
Publisher: Faber and Faber
Publication date: 01/02/2018
Edition description: Reissue
Pages: 608
Sales rank: 1,107,146
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 2.00(d)

About the Author

Humphrey Burton was a friend and professional colleague of Leonard Bernstein for thirty years. He read music and history at Cambridge University and joined the BBC in 1955, becoming its first head of music and arts programs a decade later, and in 1978 founding and hosting the BBC Young Musician of the Year competition. He retired from management at the age of 50 and has since worked freelance as an impresario and prize-winning director of filmed operas, concerts, and documentaries in Europe and the USA In Los Angeles he was guest director of the Hollywood Bowl and at Tanglewood, Massachusetts he produced Bernstein’s elaborate “70th Birthday Bash”. He directed almost two hundred music films with Bernstein: this unrivaled closeness made him the ideal choice as biographer. Burton lives in Suffolk in 2001.

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