Daughter Finds Light in Bernstein’s Shadow
Tanglewood, Tannery Pond, Taconic Music, Sevenars Shine
By Jonathan Kirsch - Jewish Journal
On the cover of “Famous Father Girl: A Memoir of Growing Up Bernstein” (Harper), we see a photograph of two people, one of them iconic and one whom most of us have never seen before. There’s Leonard Bernstein, handsome and commanding, a conductor’s baton in his right hand, a wedding ring on his extended left hand. And then there’s a little girl seated in front of him as he puts an orchestra through its paces. She looks exquisitely bemused by all the goings-on around her.
Jamie Bernstein, her ‘Famous Father,’ and nothing to hide
By Stephen Dankner - iBerkshires
July 11, 2018
Tanglewood enters its second week of classical programming with inspiring concerts in the Shed and in Ozawa Hall. As always, excellence is the watchword: from Leonard Bernstein’s delightful and brilliant comic opera "Trouble in Tahiti" to classic symphonic works of Mozart, Schumann, Mendelssohn, Brahms and Wagner; from Bernstein's emotionally uplifting "Chichester Psalms" to a semi-staged performance of Puccini's "La bohème," Tanglewood hits all the high notes.
Daughter’s loving but unsettling portrait of Leonard Bernstein
By Zoë Madonna - Boston Globe
This centennial year has been packed with commemorations of conductor/composer Leonard Bernstein, including the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s yearlong celebration of his works. As part of that, Jamie Bernstein, his filmmaking, concert-narrating eldest daughter, is directing a semi-staged performance of her father’s one-act opera “Trouble in Tahiti” on July 12 at Tanglewood. But one of this year’s remembrances is also personal: In her new memoir, “Famous Father Girl,” Jamie dishes out the details and explores the complications of growing up with one of the most famous and charismatic musicians of his generation.
Leonard Bernstein's daughter tells Philly: My dad would love 'Hamilton' and be 'a little jealous'
By Sibbie O'Sullivan - The Washington Post
Let us now praise ordinary fathers, ones who don’t constantly smoke and drink, or French-kiss their daughters, or pound the table while yelling, “Everyone shut up but me.” An ordinary father who watches his daughter receive her diploma from Harvard instead of hanging out with the Russian cellist Mstislav Rostropovich. One who doesn’t show off “his cute teenage daughter” at discos.
Jamie Bernstein Reflects on ‘Exuberant’ Father
By Peter Dobrin - Philadelphia Inquirer
The reputation of Leonard Bernstein — the starry composer, conductor, pianist, and educator — continues to be made and remade more than two and a half decades after his death. Right now, as the world celebrates the 100th year since his birth, aspects of the Bernstein story are found in more than two dozen biographies, photo books, collections of essays, and memoirs of and by him.
Leonard Bernstein Through His Daughter’s Eyes
By Marissa Stern - Jewish Exponent
When children grow up with famous parents, inquiring minds often want to know: What was it like to grow up with [insert celebrity here]?
Jamie Bernstein has been asked this question a fair amount about her famous composer father, Leonard Bernstein, so she decided to give it a “long and juicier answer” by writing a memoir.
Leonard Bernstein’s daughter reveals composer’s bathroom jokes
By David Denby - The New Yorker
On the centenary of his birth, a memoir captures what it’s like being raised by a man with mythic successes and long-held secrets.
What happens if you are Cinderella and the prince turns out to be your father? Jamie Bernstein, Leonard Bernstein’s firstborn daughter, has written a memoir of her family, a family that her overwhelming dad—loving, inspired, and sometimes insufferable—dominated for decades. The author grew up wriggling inside a paradox, struggling to become a self when so much of her was defined by her brilliant parent. “Famous Father Girl: A Memoir of Growing Up Bernstein” (HarperCollins) is unique among classical-music memoirs for its physical intimacy, its humor and tenderness, its ambivalence toward an irrepressible family genius.
Book Review: 'Famous Father Girl': Window into a Legend
By Dalya Alberge - The Sunday Times
To the audiences who flocked to his concerts, Leonard Bernstein was one of the most brilliant composers and conductors of the 20th century, with West Side Story among his masterpieces.
To his eldest daughter, Jamie, he was “the man in the scratchy brown bathrobe who smelt of cigarettes” and loved to crack crude jokes about bodily functions.
Often Jamie would have preferred an ordinary dad. But in a memoir coinciding with the centenary of Bernstein’s 1918 birth to Ukrainian-Jewish immigrants in Massachusetts, she recalls her father as “matinee-idol handsome, madly charismatic, a superstar”.
Jamie Bernstein writes ‘Famous Father Girl’ memoir
By Erica Miner - Broadway World
Jamie Bernstein has described her newly minted book,Famous Father Girl: A Memoir of Growing Up Bernstein (Harper Collins, ISBN-13: 978-0062641359), as "a love letter to my whole family".
It is a love letter filled with candid, disarmingly frank memories: an insider's view of what it was like to grow up as the eldest daughter of the most influential American musician of the 20th century: Leonard Bernstein, or "LB," as Jamie came to call him in her young adult years.
Jamie Bernstein Part 2: Reminding the World Who Leonard Bernstein Was
By Tracee M. Herbaugh | AP - The Washington Post
“Famous Father Girl: a Memoir of Growing Up Bernstein” (Harper), by Jamie Bernstein
Private schools, a New England country home and socializing with the likes of President John F. Kennedy and family — this is what it’s like to grow up as the child of famed composer and musician Leonard Bernstein.
The maestro’s eldest daughter, Jamie Bernstein, has written a new memoir about her experience coming of age with her arguably eccentric and wealthy parents. The book, “Famous Father Girl,” is a name Jamie was given by a private school classmate.
BWW Interview Part 1: Jamie Bernstein Celebrates Remarkable Centennial
By Erica Miner - Broadway World
Erica Miner: Traveling the US narrating your Bernstein Beat concerts, you encountered many musicians who have "a personal story to tell" about your father: "a moment when they'd had a meaningful exchange...that they never forgot." For me, working with him at Tanglewood and the Met Opera were life-changing experiences. Do you still get this kind of reaction and sentiment from musicians you meet now, or are we all getting too old?
Ahead of Father's Day, Michael Chabon and Jamie Bernstein dive into the gaps between dads and their kids
By Erica Miner - Broadway World
Of the countless celebrations commemorating the 100th anniversary of this musical icon’s birth, perhaps none is more heartfelt than his oldest daughter Jamie’s newly minted memoir, Famous Father Girl: A Memoir of Growing Up Bernstein. I caught up with Jamie during her whirlwind book-related travels to discuss the birth of her book—and to reminisce a bit about old times.
Summer’s Five Best Celebrity Memoirs
By Bob Hoover - The Dallas Morning News
These new books, one by the daughter of a famous dad, the other by the well-regarded son of a little-known man, explore this abyss with a mix of regret and hope but always with love for their complicated male parent.
Jamie Bernstein, who turns 66 this year, is the oldest of three children of Leonard Bernstein, the larger-than-life figure of America's classical and Broadway musical world. It's the centennial of his birth, hence this memoir.
9 Books We Can’t Wait to Read in June
By Julia Vitale - Vanity Fair
Retta eats a cockroach, Leonard Bernstein’s daughter Jamie remembers her dad’s presence on President Nixon’s “enemies list,” David Lynch believes that artists should never get married, and more...
Seven Books to Keep on Your Summer Reading Radar
By Sarah Stiefvater - PureWow
Leonard Bernstein’s oldest daughter’s memoir is an intimate look at her father’s life and features a supporting cast including the Kennedys, Mike Nichols, John Lennon, Lauren Bacall and more.
Photo Flash: National Museum of American Jewish History Holds 2018 Only in America Gala
By Erica Dreifus - Jewish Journal
In this centennial year of Leonard Bernstein’s birth — and a year in which Jewish American Heritage Month (May) has spotlighted Jewish contributions to American music — this memoir by the eminent composer/conductor’s eldest daughter is likely to hold wide appeal. (Consider reading it before Aug. 25, when Lenny would have celebrated his 100th birthday.)
Celebrate 100 Years of Leonard Bernstein With These Festivals
By BWW News Desk - Broadway World
This past Tuesday evening, May 22, the National Museum of American Jewish History held the 2018 Only in America Gala at the Mandarin Oriental in New York City. This event celebrated the legacy of legendary Maestro and Broadway composer Leonard Bernstein during his centennial year, and honored his children Jamie Bernstein, Alexander Bernstein, and Nina Bernstein Simmons.
Celebrating the Bernstein centennial with a family album
By Shivani Vora - The New York Times
“The diversity of the events is incredible,” Jamie Bernstein said. “There are symposiums at universities, exhibits and film festivals. Opera and theater companies, ballet houses and orchestras are also participating.” She added that her and her siblings are traveling to as many of the celebrations as possible.
‘Something Develops Onstage Called Love’: Baltimore Symphony's Bernstein Centennial
By Patrick Rucker - The Washington Post
Of the centenary tributes accorded Leonard Bernstein this year, few could be more personal than the one given by his daughter, Jamie Bernstein, along with soprano Amy Burton and pianists Michael Boriskin and John Musto at the Phillips Collection Sunday afternoon.
By Scott Simon - NPR Weekend Edition
Marin Alsop invited NPR's Scott Simon to join her onstage at that event for a discussion her and with Jamie Bernstein, the composer's daughter — who is publishing a memoir in June called Famous Father Girl: A Memoir of Growing Up Bernstein. Hear their conversation at the audio link, and read an edited transcript below.