For some, Leonard Bernstein was the person who opened up the world of classical music for the first time. Others played in his orchestras. One man remembers hearing of Bernstein’s death as a 9-year-old.
Composer, conductor and teacher, Bernstein touched the lives of millions of people around the world during his 50-year career, and now they have a chance to tell their stories for generations to come.
“There were so many people that were moved and inspired by Leonard Bernstein, not only in a public way but in a very personal way,” said the conductor’s longtime personal assistant, Craig Urquhart.
The Leonard Bernstein Memory Project invites fans, friends or just people who were influenced by his work to contribute brief anecdotes, photos or videos online.
The project is part of a two-year centenary celebration of the musician’s life and work called Leonard Bernstein at 100 that starts in September and will feature more than 1,000 concerts and celebrations around the world.
“We hope to hear from people who studied with him, musicians who performed with him in orchestras,” Urquhart said.
Bernstein, the longtime director of the New York Philharmonic, was known for the emotion he brought to his conducting and interpretation of classical works. He died in 1990, leaving a legacy that includes popular musicals like “West Side Story,” television lectures and hundreds of recordings.—Reuters