Just a reminder – this program should be listened to by anyone who loves music, is a musician and especially an American musician.

from WNYC

Leonard Bernstein: An American Life
WNYC is sole New York City broadcast venue of 11-Part Documentary. Series Begins Sunday, October 10
Narrated by Susan Sarandon

Leonard Bernstein – An American Life


Airs 11 Sundays from October 10 – December 19 at 4PM on 93.9 FM and 8PM on AM 820

Leonard Bernstein: An American Life is an 11-part radio documentary series presenting a personal portrait of Bernstein, the composer, conductor, and one of the great public figures of our era. The series includes interviews with over 100 people who knew him, including Steven Sondheim, Marin Alsop, and Betty Comden.

Few if any American personalities have received this in-depth treatment in the mass media; nothing quite like it has been aired on radio in this country.

Virtually every aspect of Bernstein’s career and life will be explored through the words of Bernstein’s own correspondence, as well as interviews with more than one hundred people who knew and worked with him. These luminaries include John Adams, Marin Alsop, Betty Comden, John Corigliano, Adolph Green, Bobby McFerrin, Hal Prince, Mary Rodgers, Mstislav Rostropovich, Stephen Sondheim, among many others. Bernstein’s family also participated in this production. His brother Burton, son Alexander, and daughters Nina and Jamie all appear through their thought-provoking interviews and readings.

Alec Baldwin will voice the majority of the correspondence written by men; Broadway star Donna Murphy (currently performing in Bernstein’s Wonderful Town) will read the female letters; daughter Jamie Bernstein will voice Bernstein’s own letters; and Schuyler Chapin, NYC’s Cultural Commissioner and Bernstein’s record producer and longtime friend, will voice the letters of European composers. These excerpts were compiled from some 17,000 pieces of correspondence held by the Library of Congress.

The eleven programs are:

(1) Bernstein: The Early Years
(2) Twelve Gates to The City (Meeting the Mentors)
(3) New York, New York
(4) Tonight
(5) A New Frontier/The Philharmonic Years
(6 and 7) Bernstein: The Conductor
(8) Crossroads
(9 and 10) Bernstein: The Composer
(11) A Candle Burned At Both Ends


i had the good fortune and privilege of being at Tanglewood during his last summer with the Conducting Fellows – along with Marin Alsop among others. this was the year before his death – i believe it was the last year he participated in the Fellows Program. more later after the program is over. GO LISTEN!

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