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Something’s Coming: Bernstein’s Philharmonic: A Centennial Festival

Posted September 06, 2017

Calling all Bernstein lovers! The Philharmonic is celebrating Lenny’s 100th birthday with Bernstein’s Philharmonic: A Centennial Festival (October 25–November 14) plus other events throughout the season — concerts, education activities, a Mahler marathon, and more — befitting the renowned composer, conductor, pianist, and educator who served as our Music Director (1958–69) and then Laureate Conductor.

Festival highlights include:
Bernstein-successor Alan Gilbert and Bernstein-protégé Leonard Slatkin leading Bernstein’s complete symphonies, with Jeremy Irons as speaker in the Kaddish Symphony, plus music by Gershwin and more (details here for the first program, second program, and third program)
An all-Bernstein Young People’s Concert — the series that Bernstein famously brought to national attention through the TV broadcasts 
Harvard and University of Michigan students studying Bernstein as an educator and conductor, and interviewing Philharmonic audience members who attended Bernstein’s Young People’s Concerts as children
Leonard Bernstein: The Philharmonic’s First American Voice, an archival exhibit featuring original material from the Philharmonic Archives
The free Insights at the Atrium event “Inside the Orchestra: Working with Bernstein,” featuring Philharmonic musicians past and present reflecting on Bernstein as conductor and colleague

Later in the season, the tributes include performances plus the free event “Bernstein’s Mahler Marathon: The Sony Recordings,” 13 hours of Bernstein’s performances of his Philharmonic predecessor’s complete symphonies, and collaborations with the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts.

To quote the man himself: “It’s been a family association in many ways, and even though faces change, the entity, the totality of the New York Philharmonic remains solid, and I remain bound to it by mysterious cords which tie me to the orchestra as long as I live. In some funny, spiritual sense, they will always be my orchestra, no matter who else’s orchestra they may be.”