Bernstein’s legacy as a conductor is unequaled. Its very beginning is now legend: on November 14, 1943, Bernstein stepped in at the last minute for ailing conductor Bruno Walter, in a nationally broadcast concert, which created a sensation that was reported on the front page of The New York Times the next morning.
Bernstein went on to conduct the great orchestras of the world for over four decades, creating a priceless trove of audio and video recordings that comprise a masterwork of the symphonic repertoire. The New York Philharmonic Leon Levy Digital Archives hosts a vast collection of Bernstein’s marked scores.
Bernstein’s voluminous, award-winning recordings for Deutsche Grammophon andColumbia Masterworks (Sony) remain landmarks to this day. Both recording companies are issuing commemorative box sets and remastered recordings. There will also be new recordings of Bernstein’s music, performed by the successive generations of musicians he inspired.
Among the many ensembles Bernstein worked with over four decades, he was especially well-known for his performances with the New York Philharmonic, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the National Symphony Orchestra in the U.S.; and overseas, with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, the London Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Santa Cecilia Orchestra, and the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra.
Leonard Bernstein influenced and taught a generation of conductors who went on to lead major orchestras of their own. Many of today’s foremost conductors will be honoring Bernstein, including Marin Alsop, John Axelrod, Gustavo Dudamel, Christoph Eschenbach, Valery Gergiev, Alan Gilbert, Kristjan Järvi, John Mauceri, Andris Nelsons, Sir Anthony Pappano, Sir Simon Rattle, Yutaka Sado, and Michael Tilson Thomas, among others.