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.

Spring 1932

Bernstein sets foot in Symphony Hall for the first time to attend a Boston Pops concert with his father. The program features Arthur Fiedler conducting several works including Ravel’s Bolero and Rossini’s The Barber of Seville.

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July 11, 1941

Bernstein makes his debut performance with a professional orchestra, conducting the Boston Pops at the Hatch Shell on Boston’s Esplanade before an audience of 22,000 people. After entering a music quiz organized by the Boston Herald, he was awarded an extra prize – the opportunity to conduct the Boston Pops in a performance of Wagner’s Prelude to Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg.

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May 7, 1944

Bernstein appears as a guest artist with the Boston Pops. The program includes a performance of Ravel’s Piano Concerto with Bernstein as piano soloist and Louis Speyer conducting.

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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.

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June 8, 1964

Bernstein shares conducting duties with Arthur Fiedler at Harvard Night at the Pops in conjunction with the 25th Harvard Reunion of Bernstein’s Class of 1939. Listen below to Bernstein addressing the audience:

Click ‘Read More’ to hear Bernstein conducting Rossini’s Overture to the Barber of Seville.

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June 1985

John Williams and the Boston Pops record works by Leonard Bernstein for a recording released in 1986 on the Philips label titled Bernstein by Boston.

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June 6, 1989

Bernstein conducts the Boston Pops as part of Harvard Night at Symphony Hall in honor of his 50th Class Reunion. Listen below to the third movement of Bernstein’s Divertimento, March – The BSO Forever.

Click ‘Read More’ to see the concert program.


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