100 Years of Bernstein
Celebrating the centennial of conductor-composer Leonard Bernstein's birth. Bernstein's close relationship with the BSO spanned a half-century, from the time he became a protégé of legendary BSO conductor Serge Koussevitzky until the final concerts he conducted with the BSO in 1990.
Bernstein purchases a BSO subscription and begins attending concerts regularly.Read more
February 12, 1947
Bernstein makes his BSO at Carnegie Hall debut on February 12th during an orchestra trip. From January 28th to February 23rd he conducted 15 concerts, including performances in Boston, Brooklyn, New York, White Plains, New Haven, and Providence.
July 27, 1947
Bernstein conducts the BSO at Tanglewood for the first time, performing Mozart’s Overture to The Magic Flute, Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring, and Schubert’s Symphony No. 9.
Click ‘Read More’ to view the program and the concert program bio for Bernstein.Read more
December 20, 1948
Bernstein rehearses Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 7 with the BSO in Symphony Hall. The rehearsal is recorded by NBC Radio for their weekly half-hour radio program entitled “Dress Rehearsal.”
Listen below to an audio clip and click ‘Read More’ to view the program.
August 12, 1949
Bernstein’s Symphony No. 2, ‘Age of Anxiety’ is repeated at Tanglewood with Bernstein as piano soloist and Serge Koussevitzky conducting the BSO. This is the first time Bernstein appeared with the BSO at Tanglewood as a piano soloist.
Click ‘Read More’ to see the full Tanglewood on Parade program.Read more
December 2, 1949
Bernstein conducts the BSO in the world premiere performance of Messiaen’s Turangalîla-Symphonie in Symphony Hall. Below is an excerpt from the rehearsal on November 28th with Bernstein speaking and conducting.
Click ‘Read More’ to view the program and concert reviews.
December 5, 1949
Bernstein rehearses Ravel’s Piano Concert in G with the BSO in Symphony Hall, with Bernstein conducting from the piano. A portion of the rehearsal is broadcast on NBC Radio as part of its “Dress Rehearsal” series. Listen to the rehearsal audio below.Read more
July 30, 1950
Bernstein conducts the BSO in a performance of Lukas Foss’ Song of Songs: Second Biblical Solo Cantata for soprano and orchestra in the Tanglewood Music Shed. Click ‘Read more’ to see the concert program.Read more
August 6, 1950
August 9, 1951
Click ‘Read More’ to view the program and a concert review.Read more
August 10, 1951
August 9, 1952
Bernstein conducts the BSO in the Koussevitzky Memorial concert at Tanglewood.Read more
August 5, 1955
Bernstein conducts the BSO in a performance of Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis at Tanglewood for the Koussevitzky Memorial Concert.
August 11, 1955
Bernstein conducts the world premiere of his Symphonic Suite from “On the Waterfront” with the BSO as part of Tanglewood on Parade. This is also the first time Bernstein performed as a pianist with the Boston Pops, performing Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue.Read more
August 12, 1961
Bernstein conducts the Koussevitzky Memorial concert at Tanglewood. The program includes Harold Shapero’s Symphony for Classical Orchestra, Stravinsky’s Symphony of Psalms, and Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5.
January 31, 1964
Charles Munch conducts the BSO in the American premiere performance of Bernstein’s Symphony No. 3, ‘Kaddish’ in Symphony Hall. The work was commissioned by the BSO and the Koussevitzky Music Foundation in conjunction with the BSO’s 75th anniversary. Listen below to an excerpt from the February 1st performance.
August 16, 1964
Bernstein attends Seiji Ozawa’s conducting debut with the BSO at Tanglewood where Ozawa conducts Bizet’s Symphony in C, Hindemith’s ‘Mathis der Maler’ Symphony, and Moussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition.
Click ‘Read More’ to view the program.Read more
April 11, 1970
Bernstein returns to conduct the BSO in Symphony Hall for the first time since the spring of 1956. He leads the BSO in a performance of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 as part of the BSO’s Beethoven Festival.
Click ‘Read More’ to view the program.Read more
July 5, 1970
Bernstein conducts the BSO in a performance of Mahler’s Symphony No. 2, ‘Resurrection’ in the Koussevitzky Music Shed.
July 22, 1972
Bernstein conducts the BSO in a performance of Brahms’ Symphony No. 4 in the Tanglewood Music Shed.Read more
December 8, 1972
Bernstein conducts Stravinsky’s Oedipus Rex with the BSO. The work is recorded later that month for Columbia (Sony) in preparation for Bernstein’s Norton lectures in 1973.
Bernstein delivers a series of six lectures at Harvard University as the Charles Eliot Norton Professor of Poetry.
Here is a video clip of Bernstein conducting members of the BSO and the Harvard Glee Club in a performance of Oedipus Rex during the sixth lecture, “The Poetry of Earth”.Read more
July 24, 1976
Bernstein records Liszt’s Faust Symphony with the BSO at Symphony Hall. Audio and video recordings were made simultaneously, with audio released by Deutsche Grammophon and video released by Amberson Video, Inc.
Watch a second clip and see the concert program by clicking on the Read More button.Read more
July 29, 1979
Bernstein conducts the BSO in a performance of Mahler’s Symphony No. 9 at Tanglewood, his only performance of this work with the BSO.Read more
September 25, 1980
Seiji Ozawa conducts the BSO in the world premiere performance of Bernstein’s Divertimento for Orchestra in Symphony Hall. The work was commissioned by the BSO for its 100th anniversary. Bernstein conducts a repeat performance at Tanglewood on July 4, 1981.
Click ‘Read More’ to view photos, score, and program pages.Read more
August 11, 1987
Leonard Bernstein conducts the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra in a performance of Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring in the Shed, August 11, 1987.Read more
August 15, 1987
Leonard Bernstein conducts the BSO in a performance of Sibelius’ Symphony No. 5 on August 15, 1987 in the Shed as part of the Tanglewood 50th anniversary.Read more