Jamie Bernstein is an author, narrator, and filmmaker who has transformed a lifetime of loving music into a career of sharing her knowledge and excitement with others.
Jamie’s memoir, Famous Father Girl, published by HarperCollins, details her youth growing up in an atmosphere bursting with music, theatre and literature. Her father, composer-conductor Leonard Bernstein, and her mother, pianist and actress Felicia Montealegre—who filled the house with a veritable who’s-who of friends in arts and letters—created an ebullient atmosphere that turned Jamie into a lifelong cultural enthusiast.
Inheriting her father’s passion for sharing and teaching, Jamie has devised several ways of communicating her own excitement about classical music. In addition to “The Bernstein Beat,” a family concert about her father modeled after his own groundbreaking Young People’s Concerts, Jamie has also written and narrated concerts for audiences of all ages about Mozart, Aaron Copland, and Stravinsky, among others.
As a concert narrator, Jamie has appeared everywhere from Beijing to London to Vancouver. In addition to her own scripted narrations, Jamie also performs standard concert narrations, such as Walton’s “Facade,” Copland’s “A Lincoln Portrait” and her father’s Symphony No. 3, “Kaddish.” A frequent speaker on musical topics, Jamie has presented talks around the world, from conferences in Japan to seminars at Harvard University. In Spanish-speaking locations such as Madrid and Caracas, Jamie narrates en español—thanks to her Chilean-born mother Felicia, who raised her three children to be bilingual.
In her role as broadcaster, Jamie has produced and hosted shows for radio stations in the United States and Great Britain. She has presented the New York Philharmonic’s live national radio broadcasts, as well as live broadcasts from Tanglewood.
Jamie is the co-director of a film documentary, Crescendo: the Power of Music—which focuses on children in struggling urban communities who participate in youth orchestra programs for social transformation inspired by Venezuela’s groundbreaking El Sistema movement. The film has won numerous prizes on the festival circuit, and is currently viewable on Netflix. More about Crescendo: the Power of Music can be found at http://www.crescendofilmdoc.com
In addition to writing her own scripts and narrations, Jamie writes articles and poetry, which have appeared in such publications as Symphony, DoubleTake, Town & Country, Gourmet, Opera News, and Musical America. She also edits “Prelude, Fugue & Riffs,” a newsletter about issues and events pertaining to her father’s legacy.
Jamie is a devoted mom to her two grown children, Frankie and Evan. She is an avid scrabble and tennis player, and makes an annual pilgrimage to the Utah desert to recharge her spiritual battery.