Bernstein Week

Bernstein Week in Boston
In connection with the BSO's performances in March of Leonard Bernstein's Symphonies No. 3 and No. 2, there are three related events planned in cooperation with local partners NEC and the MFA. 

[Bernstein Sitting at Piano]Leonard Bernstein: In Words and Song  

Sunday, March 18, 2-3PM
Harry and Mildred Remis Auditorium - Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Tickets can be purchased at

Mara Bonde, Soprano
Aaron Engebreth, Baritone
Alison d'Amato, Pianist
Narrated by Brian McCreath, WGBH 

In collaboration with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Boston's Museum of Fine Arts, Florestan Recital Project pays tribute to 20th-century American composer Leonard Bernstein, the legendary musician famed for his orchestral, theatrical and vocal works. This intriguing afternoon, a mix of song and spoken word, is designed to create an audio-biography of the musical prodigy who wrote his first pieces as a child, and went on to scale the highest peaks of the musical world.  You'll hear everything from his early works to his final songs, interspersed with recitations from his correspondence and other written records, which give a fuller picture of Bernstein's creative process and innovative body of work.

Leonard Bernstein-related Panel Discussions

Monday, March 12,  6:30-8:00PM - FREE
Burnes Hall at New England Conservatory
(225 St. Botolph Street, Boston)

Religion and Spirituality in the Music of Leonard Bernstein
Bernstein's identity as both 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 will explore, 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.

Moderator:  Brian McCreath, Producer of WCRB's BSO 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

Monday, March 19,  6:30-8:00PM - FREE
Burnes Hall at New England Conservatory
(225 St. Botolph Street, Boston)

Disruptor on the Podium: Politics, Race and Sexuality in the Career of Leonard Bernstein
Beginning with his time at Harvard (and his participation in a production of Marc Blitztein's The Cradle Will Rock), politics were to have an outsize influence on Bernstein's musical persona.  This panel will explore the ways Bernstein's forward-thinking political positions shaped his music and career, and the world of classical music.

Moderator: Carol Oja, William Powell Mason Professor of Music, Harvard University
Daniel Callahan, Assistant Professor of Music, Boston College
Kay Kaufman Shelemay, G. Gordon Watts Professor of Music, Harvard University