Remembering Bernstein

Leonard Bernstein (left) rehearses at Brandeis for the Festival of the Arts with members of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, 1952.

'A Quantum Coup'

In 1951, when Brandeis University was 3 years old, founding President Abram Sachar “dared a quantum coup,” as he wrote in “Brandeis: A Host at Last,” his memoir of the university’s early years. Would it be presumptuous to invite composer Leonard Bernstein to join the Brandeis faculty?

Read more from Sachar's memoir

Leonard Bernstein talking to a student

What Bernstein Taught Brandeis

by Georgia Luikens, MA’10

Bernstein gave Brandeis access to the best of America’s artistic landscape. For Bernstein, the festival was one big educational opportunity. For Brandeis, it ushered in a new era of dedication to the creative arts.

Read more from Georgia Luikens

Bernstein talking to two musicians

Learning from Bernstein the Conductor

by Neal Hampton, Associate Professor of the Practice of Music and Conductor, Brandeis-Wellesley Orchestra

As I reflect on my own experience and continue to consider his enormous impact on the world of music, I cherish more and more the brief time I had to see this musical genius at work in person as a teacher and conductor.

Read more from Neal Hampton

Leonard Bernstein receiving applause

How Bernstein Came to 'MASS'

by Robert Duff, Associate Professor of the Practice and Director of Choral Programs

How did Leonard Bernstein, raised in the Jewish faith, come to write a monumental work based on the Roman Catholic Tridentine Mass?

Read more from Robert Duff

Leonard Bernstein with Cantor David Putterman and Max Helfman

Leonard Bernstein and the Music of Boston’s Congregation Mishkan Tefila

by Jonathan D. Sarna ’75, MA’75, University Professor and Joseph H. and Belle R. Braun Professor of American Jewish History

From a young age, Leonard Bernstein attended religious services at Congregation Mishkan Tefila, the first synagogue in Boston to align itself with Conservative Judaism. It introduced Leonard Bernstein to the power of great music.

READ MORE FROM JONATHAN SARNA

Leonard Bernstein with arm around Seiji Ozawa

Three Maestros on a Summer Day

by Wolfgang Rueckner ’69, MA’74, PhD’78

On July 26, 1976, my young photography students and I learned that the Tanglewood Chorus were to perform that day at the adjacent Church on the Hill, in a celebration of Serge Koussevitzky's 102nd birthday. We decided that this would be a fun photography field trip, not knowing we were in for a wonderful surprise.

Read more from Wolfgang Rueckner