Saturday January 20, 2018 8:20 pm

FanFaire celebrates LEONARD BERNSTEIN

Hitting Big Time in the Big Apple and the Rest of the World

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1943 bernstein-century-cd2-copland-100Successfully performed Copland’s new piano sonata at Town Hall, performed his clarinet sonata at the radio station WNYC and later at a League of Composers New York Public Library concert

Made his NY conducting debut with Paul Bowles’ opera The Wind Remains at the Museum of Modern Art

Appointed assistant conductor of the New York Philharmonic by Artur Rodzinski; substituted, to great popular and critical acclaim, for an ill Bruno Walter at a Carnegie Hall concert on November 14 that was also broadcast on radio – the youngest ever to conduct a Philharmonic subscription concert, an American "wunderkind" in a field dominated by old European men

Burton Bernstein recalls brother Leonard’s Carnegie Hall debut

Leonard Bernstein's Carnegie Hall Debut

1944 bernstein-century-anxiety-100Jeremiah premiered in Pittsburgh, followed by performances in in Boston (his first concert at Symphony Hall) and the New York Philharmonic; the symphony was voted outstanding new classical work of the season by the New York Music Critics Circle and broadcast nationwide on 70 radio stations by the NBC Symphony Orchestra

Conducted his first concert outside the US, substituting for another ill conductor in Montreal

Completed his first composition for ballet in collaboration with choreographer Jerome Robbins – Fancy Free premiered April 14 with Bernstein conducting, a huge success

Composed music, hailed as "epoch-making" for the Broadway musical On the Town, which had a 10-day try-out performance in Boston before opening at the Adelphi Theater on Broadwaythe first American musical composed by a recognized composer of "serious" music;

Met the conductor Arturo Toscanini for the first time

1945 Guest conducted fourteen orchestras across the US

Was appointed music director of the New York City Symphony Orchestra at City Center, conducting all concerts of the 1946 and 1947 seasons; was interviewed and photographed by print and broadcast media

1946 Made his first European conducting appearances at the Prague Spring Festival with the Czech Philharmonic, then in a concert tour in England with the London Philharmonic

Made his debut recording as a concert pianist playing the Ravel piano concerto with the Philharmonia Orchestra, conducted Fancy Free at the gala opening of the Royal Opera House

Conducted pianist Claudio Arrau in a performance at City Center of Brahms’ piano concerto, and the US premiere of Britten’s Peter Grimes at Tanglewood

Scored Jerome Robbins ballet Facsimile which premiered October 24

1947 Conducted a 3-week season with the Boston Symphony

Made his first visit to Israel where he guest conducted the Palestine Symphony Orchestra in in jampacked halls in Tel Aviv, Haifa and Jerusalem

Conducted the Czech Philharmonic in the first performance of Copland’s Third Symphony, his Jeremiah Symphony with the French Radio Orchestra in Paris, concerts of American music with the Belgium Radio Orchestra and two popular concerts at The Hague in Holland

Conducted the New York Philharmonic at the Lewisohn Stadium

bernstein-mahler-100At City Center, conducted Mahler’s Symphony No.2 Resurrection, his first interpretation of Mahler, in a season that included Mozart, operatic arias with Jeannie Tourel, Stravinsky, and the world premiere of the staged concert version of The Cradle Will Rock, which was taken to Broadway where it had a less than successful run

1948 Resigned from the New York City Symphony

Signed a contract with G. Schirmer for the publication of four works: his Second Symphony The Age of Anxiety – inspired by W.H. Auden’s poem and commissioned by Koussevitzky, Four Anniversaries – four short piano pieces, La Bonne Cuisine – a group of songs dedicated to Jennie Tourel, and Fanfare for Bima – pieces for brass intruments commisioned for the Juilliard School

Served as artistic director (later changed to musical adviser) of the Palestine Orchestra (later changed to Israel Philharmonic Orchestra)

Made his first appearances as conductor in Munich with the Bavarian State Orchestra – the first American to conduct in Munich after the war where the crowd "carried him on their shoulders through the street and the critics hailed him for his "astounding, demonic gifts", in Milan with the Teatro Nuovo Chamber Orchestra – where he was called the other Leonardo" , in Budapest with the Metropolitan Orchestra where the performance was called "one of the miracles of our century", in Vienna with the Vienna Symphony where the "house came down" but the orchestra displayed some hostility, and in Rome with the Orchestra dell’Academia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia.

1949 Conducted a seven-week season with the Pittsburgh Symphony while completing the orchestration of his Second Symphony

Performed the piano solo in the Boston Symphony premiere of The Age of Anxiety conducted by Koussevitzky

1950 Conducted the Philadelphia Orchestra in three outdoor concerts which included a concert version of Tristan und Isolde, served as assistant to Koussevitzky at Tanglewood

Guest conducted the Boston Symphony in Boston in the world premiere of Messiaen’s Turangalila Symphony, at Carnegie Hall in the BSO’s first telecast, the Philadelphia Orchestra at Carnegie Hall playing excerpts from Berlioz’ Romeo and Juliet

Composed the incidental music for Peter Pan which opened on Broadway on April 24

Conducted in Pittsburgh, Detroit, Los Angeles and San Francisco

1951 Signed his first contract with Columbia Records – the first recordings included Ravel’s Sheherazade, Mussorgsky’s Songs and Dances of Death,and The Age of Anxiety – which he also conducted at Carnegie Hall

Conducted a three-week season in Italy and a series of concerts in Israel where he conducted several perfromances of The Age of Anxiety from the keyboard

Embarked on a conducting tour of Europe: at the Edinburgh International Festival with the French Radio Orchestra, in Holland for his debut with the Concertgebouw Orchestra, in Milan where he conducted the Orchestra of La Scala for the first time

Co-conducted the Israel Philharmonic on their first visit to America, the Chicago Symphony in a performance of Stravinsky’s Le Sacre du Printemps, the New York Philharmonic in the world premiere of Charles Ives’ Second Symphony

Began work on his opera Trouble in Tahiti while on sabbatical in Mexico

Was appointed head of conducting studies at Tanglewood following Koussevitzky’s death

bernstein-family-cropped-100Married the Chilean-American actress Felicia Cohn Montealegre with whom he had three children

1952 Served as Visiting Professor and Artistic Director of the Festival of Creative Arts at Brandeis University, completed Trouble in Tahiti in time for a first performance at the Festival which was not very well received

Rewrote final scene of Trouble in Tahiti in Tanglewood where it was again performed and well received by the public; the opera was telecast in the fall

Composed the score for the musical A Wonderful Town

1953 Won a Tony for the music of A Wonderful Town which had a successful run on Broadway, winning a Tony award for Best Musical in the 1952-53 season

Named first holder of the Sylvia and Frederic Mann Chair of Music at Brandeis University but later withdrew from both teaching and the Festival, though he continued to teach at Tanglewood in the summer

Conducted the Orquestra Sinfonica Brasileira in Rio, returned to Israel for a series of concerts with the Israel Philharmonic, conducted Maria Callas in Medea at La Scala, Milan

1954 Wrote the score for the film On the Waterfront which established his reputation as a major composer of film music

Completed Serenade for Solo Violin, Strings, Harp and Percussion, which had a first performance in Venice which he conducted with Isaac Stern as violinist to mixed reviews

Delivered an absorbing television essay on the CBS culture magazine Omnibus in a program about Beethoven’s notebooks based on sketches discarded from the Fifth symphony

Conducted Maria Callas a second time in La Sonnambula at La Scala; also conduced La Boheme

Began work on the operetta Candide and on East Side Story in collaboration with Jerome Robbins and Arthur Laurents, completed Symphonic Suite from On the Waterfront which premiered at Tanglewood

Appeared on Omnibus in a program entitled The World of Jazz, a primer on the genre, the program concluding with his own Prelude, Fugue and Riffs, followed by another program on the art of conducting

1955 Conducted Symphony of the Air season in New York

Began work on West omnibus program in Boston about life in Harvard during which he struck a friendship with co-host John F. Kennedy

Began work with Stephen Sondheim on West Side Story (a title change from East Side Story as the East side tenements had been torn down)

1956 bernstein-candide-broadway-100Completed Candide and after try-outs in Boston, premiered on Broadway to mixed reviews

Guest conducted the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, was appointed joint principal conductor (with Dimitri Mitropoulos) of the New York Philharmonic for the 1957-58 season, and took over artistic control of the Philharmonic’s "Young People’s Concerts"

Hosted Omnibus programs: “An Introduction to Modern Music” and a program on the grandeur of Bach

Became the first American conductor to appear on the cover of Time Magazine

1957 bernstein-westside-100 Premiered West Side Story, after run-throughs in New York and in Washington

Conducted inaugural concert of the Frederic Mann Auditorium in Tel Aviv

Was appointed Music Director of the New York Philharmonic, succeeding Dimitri Mitropoulos;

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