Uncle Bardie’s Spotlight Creator of the Week: Leonard Bernstein and the Joy of Music

Once a week on Friday, Uncle Bardie celebrates the creativity in others by shining a Spotlight on a movie, a song or a creator. This week’s Spotlight Creator is Leonard Bernstein:

When I was growing up, Leonard Bernstein was the one I thought of as a classical orchestra conductor was. Thinking back to the times, I can imagine other conductors being envious. So very envious. His personality looms over the classical world of the last half of the twentieth century more than any other personality.

Leonard Bernstein & Glenn Gould

Bernstein wasn’t just a classical conductor. He was a pianist. He was an educator with his Young People’s Concerts on CBS. He was a composer for the stage. His “West Side Story” is still considered one of the best stage musicals of all time. He composed ballets, classical, opera and film scores. He crammed more into his 72 years than most would get into 200 years.

Bernstein teaching

The reason Leonard Bernstein matters is he thought, spoke, played and passionately cared about music. And he communicated music to those who might not know it the way he did. He gave us an in to the music of Mahler, of Stravinsky, and Bach. And he treated us as adults. If you go to You tube and type in the name of Leonard Bernstein, you’ll find an embarrassment of riches. Watching any of them will not be time wasted.

The Kennedy Center Honors, 1980.