"Without music, life would be a mistake." - Friedrich Nietzsche

Leonard Bernstein was one of the most iconic American composers and conductors of the 20th century, and was among the first American musicians who gained worldwide recognition.

He actually made his breakthrough as a conductor by chance, when he suddenly had to stand in for the ailing Bruno Walter for a concert by the New York Philharmonic in 1943. The concert, which was broadcast live on radio, received critical acclaim from the press. Bernstein would soon become a sought-after guest conductor.

From 1958 till 1969, Bernstein was principal conductor of the New York Philharmonic, with which he performed amongst others the complete symphonies of Mahler, which sparked a renewed interest in the music of the Austrian composer in the United States. He was also an advocate of the music of American composers, in particular that of his close friend Aaron Copland. Bernstein recorded nearly all of his orchestral works, and paid much attention to his music in his popular television series Young People’s Concerts, in which he introduced a young audience to classical music.

As a composer, Bernstein is primarily known for his accessible theatre works such as Wonderful Town, Candide and The West Side Story, which still is his most popular work. He also composed three symphonies and several shorter chamber works. In his music he fused elements of Jewish music, theatre music and jazz with those of composers like Copland, Stravinsky and Gershwin.

Featured on

New England Trios
Joel Pitchon
Leonard Bernstein, Piano & Chamber Music
Various Artists
Swan Songs
Christian Immler
September Songs
Thomas Allen
The Saga of Reflective Perspectives
Sandy Patton
Symphonic Psalms & Prayers
Tenebrae
Violin Concerto, Op. 35 | Serenade after Plato’s “Symposium”
Liza Ferschtman
Jazz at Berlin Philharmonic VII - Piano Night
Leszek Możdżer | Iiro Rantala | Michael Wollny
The Art of Violin 4
Jascha Heifetz
Complete Solo Works for Piano
Andrew Cooperstock
Jazz at Berlin Philharmonic VII (vinyl)
Leszek Możdżer / Iiro Rantala / Michael Wollny
some other time (vinyl)
Nils Landgren
some other time
Nils Landgren
Choral Collection
Tenebrae / The King's Singers / Gabrieli Consort / BBC Singers / Ex Cathedra / Rodolfus Choir / Huddersfield Choral Society
Brahms & Bernstein
Jaap van Zweden / George Pieterson
Piano Trios from America
Altenberg Trio Wien