Leonard Bernstein

(1918–1990)

Leonard Bernstein

Anecdote 1...

Bernstein’s father was criticized for not having given his talented son more encouragement when he was a child. “How was I to know he would grow up to be Leonard Bernstein?” he protested.

Anecdote 2...

Arriving at an airport one day, Bernstein was asked by a photographer if he would mind posing for a picture astride a motorcycle. Bernstein objected. “I don’t ride a motorcycle,” he said. “It would be phony.” The photographer tried to persuade him. He showed him the controls, explaining briefly how to opperate them. “I’m sure you could ride it if you tried,” he said encouragingly. Bernstein climbed onto the machine and, to the horror of his colleagues, shot off at top speed across the airfield. After a few other maneuvers he returned, grinning broadly. “Now you can take your picture,” he announced. “I’m a motorcycle rider.”

Biographical Note: 

Leonard Bernstein was a U.S. conductor, composer, and pianist. His compositions include the symphony Jeremiah (1942) and the musical West Side Story (1958).

More Information: 

Visit the official Leonard Bernstein website for a wealth of information about this musical genius. Don’t miss the lovely tribute written by his brother, Burton Bernstein.