March 12, 2018, 6:30 p.m.
at the New England Conservatory: Burnes Hall

Leonard Bernstein’s identity as a composer and conductor was deeply influenced by a combination of his own Jewish heritage and the place of religion in 20th-century society and culture. The panel explored, with specific musical examples (particularly the Kaddish Symphony), the impact of those formative religious experiences and the wider existentialist doubt of life in the nuclear age on the man and his music. Presented by the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Learn more about this event on the New England Conservatory’s website.


Brian McCreath, Producer of WCRB’s Boston Symphony Orchestra broadcasts


Jonathan D. Sarna, University Professor and Joseph H. and Belle R. Braun Professor of American Jewish History, Brandeis University

Joshua Jacobson, Founder & Director of Zamir Chorale, Professor of Music, Northeastern University

Boston Lyric Opera: Bernstein Concert and 'Trouble in Tahiti' Panel

April 15, 2018, Noon
Slosberg Music Center

Music by Leonard Bernstein performed by Boston Lyric Opera, followed by a discussion of his opera “Trouble in Tahiti” with Boston Lyric Opera general and artistic director Esther Nelson; David Angus, director of the Boston Lyric Opera production of “Trouble”; and musicologist Georgia Luikens, MA ’10.

Late Night with Leonard Bernstein

April 19, 2018, 8 p.m.
Slosberg Music Center

A cabaret-style concert narrated by Bernstein’s daughter, Nina Bernstein. The event featured Michael Boriskin, piano; John Musto, piano; and Amy Burton, soprano.

Happy Birthday, Lenny!

April 19, 2018, 9 p.m.
Great Lawn Tent

A celebration of the Festival of the Creative Arts founder Leonard Bernstein at 100 with cake and music under the tent. Featuring the premier performance of “Fanfare for One Hundred Blossoms” by Eric Chasalow, Irving Fine Professor of Music. 

Lydian String Quartet Concert Featuring the Premiere of a New Work by Saad Haddad

April 21, 2018, 8 p.m.
Slosberg Music Center

Premiere of a new work by Saad Haddad, the winner of the 2017 Lydian String Quartet commission prize.

Bernstein's “Mass”

April 22, 2018, at 7 p.m.
Slosberg Music Center

A concert version of Bernstein's “Mass,” performed by the Brandeis University Chorus, Brandeis-Wellesley Orchestra and guest artists.

Free and open to the public.

Opening Plenary Session: Celebrating Leonard Bernstein at 100, West Side Story at 60

Part of Brandeis Alumni Weekend: Alumni College

June 8, 2018, 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.
Spingold Theater Center

Brandeis celebrated Leonard Bernstein at 100 with a tribute session on his acclaimed work, West Side Story, still iconic 60 years later. A cultural zeitgeist, West Side Story broke new ground by bringing race, class, and love to the Broadway stage, all set to Bernstein's electrifying musical score. This panel brought together Brandeis scholars from across the disciplines to discuss the continuing relevance of West Side Story today.

All attendees are invited to join us as we celebrate the life and work of Leonard Bernstein.  

Panelists include:

  • Neal Hampton, Associate Professor of the Practice of Music and Director, Brandeis University Orchestra
  • Carina Ray,  Interim Chair and Associate Professor of African and Afro-American Studies
  • Ingrid Schorr, Director, Office of the Arts
  • Robert Walsh, Associate Professor of the Practice of Theater Arts
Brandeis Alumni and Friends: Celebrating Leonard Bernstein at 100 at the Skirball Cultural Center

June 20, 2018, 6 to 9 p.m.
Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles

A tour of the exhibition Leonard Bernstein at 100, which followed a cocktail reception and a conversation with Ingrid Schorr, director of the Office of the Arts, who discussed Bernstein’s relationship with Brandeis. Organized by the Grammy Museum, this retrospective of Leonard Bernstein's life draws from more than 150 photographs, personal items, papers, scores, correspondence, costumes, furniture and films, including Bernstein's childhood piano, on loan from Brandeis.

Online Lecture: Bernstein and the Boston Jews

June 25, 2018, Noon to 1 p.m.

Jonathan D. Sarna ’75, MA ’75, University Professor and the Joseph H. and Belle R. Braun Professor of American Jewish History, explored the early years and influences of the acclaimed American composer and conductor.

This lecture placed Leonard Bernstein within the context of the Boston Jewish community in which he was raised. It was at Boston’s Congregation Mishkan Tefila, the family’s synagogue, where Bernstein first encountered serious music. He was particularly influenced by Prof. Solomon Gregory Braslavsky, the music director and organist of Mishkan Tefila, whose influence on the young Bernstein was far greater than previously recognized. In 1973, Bernstein wrote to Braslavsky, “[I] never forget the tremendous influence you and your music made on me when I was a youngster.” Bernstein meant what he said.

Up Close and Personal: Jonathan D. Sarna '75, MA'75, & Joshua Jacobson on Leonard Bernstein

October 24, 2018, 6:30 p.m. | Reception
October 24, 2018, 7:10 p.m. | Panel Discussion
October 24, 2018, 8:30 p.m. | Self-Guided Exhibition Tour

Brandeis University, Carl and Ruth Shapiro Admissions Center

Brandeis alumni and friends discussed Leonard Bernstein’s Jewish roots in Boston and how those experiences were generally reflected in his music. The discussion was moderated by Georgia Luikens MA’10, PhD’18. Panelists included Jonathan D. Sarna ’75, MA’75, and Joshua Jacobson.

The program complimented a visiting Bernstein exhibit by the National Museum of American Jewish History in Philadelphia, located in the Dreitzer Gallery in the Spingold Theater Center, that includes artifacts and photographs of Bernstein — on loan from the composer’s family and other collections — that explore his life, Jewish identity and social activism.

Leonard Bernstein: The Power of Music

Through November 18, 2018
Dreitzer Gallery in the Spingold Theater Center

Additional materials in Slosberg Music Center and Shapiro Admissions Center.

Organized by the National Museum of American Jewish History in Philadelphia, this exhibition included artifacts and photographs — on loan from the composer’s family and other collections — that explored his life, Jewish identity and social activism.

Additional materials from the Robert D. Farber University Archives & Special Collections documented Bernstein’s time at Brandeis as a member of the music faculty and the Board of Trustees.