Q&A: Jamie Bernstein Leonard Bernstein's daughter talks about her father's centennary and appearing with the Dallas Symphony this weekend.

By Keith Mankin - Theater Jones
November 8, 2018

Dallas — One of the outstanding passions of Leonard Bernstein’s life was his dedication to popularizing classical music. Nowhere was this more evident in his work on the NY Philharmonic’s Young People’s Concerts. These regular Saturday afternoon lectures dissected both large and fine points of music from specific composers to basics of rhythm and harmony. Although they began before the great conductor’s tenure and continue to this day, almost a quarter century after his death, they are intrinsically woven into Bernstein’s legacy.

The legacy of teaching and popularization has been carried forth by another Bernstein, his daughter, Jamie, who is a musician, author and teacher in her own right and, along with her siblings, a director of the Bernstein Foundation. She has developed programs for the younger generation that are similar in scope and tone to her father’s, with the added benefit of being able to use his prodigious catalogue of music as their subject. One such program, The Bernstein Beat, will be presented on as part of the DSO’s weekend long Bernstein Festival during the continued celebration of the composer’s Centenary.

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Jamie Bernstein
Grabbing the Narrative for Yourself: An Interview with Jamie Bernstein

By Joy Horowitz - Los Angeles Review of Books
October 18, 2018

THE CENTENNIAL OF Leonard Bernstein’s birth has inspired lavish, seemingly unending celebrations around the world — concerts, museum exhibits, and competing biopics starring Bradley Cooper and Jake Gyllenhaal extolling the musical genius of the great conductor, composer, and showman. But there is one clear-eyed insider’s view that should not be missed: a new memoir from the maestro’s first-born daughter, Jamie Bernstein. Famous Father Girl: A Memoir of Growing Up Bernstein is a remarkable tribute, not simply because the author reveals deeply intimate aspects of her family history but because she does so with an abiding love and honesty.

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Jamie Bernstein
CU hosts Leonard Bernstein-inspired Young People's Concert

By Cassa Niedringhaus - Daily Camera CU News
September 28, 2018

The chatter of hundreds of local third-graders filled the University of Colorado's Macky Auditorium on Friday as they awaited a Young People's Concert celebrating the late composer Leonard Bernstein.

After the CU Symphony Orchestra led with a performance of "Overture to Candide," Jamie Bernstein came on stage. Jamie Bernstein, one of Leonard Bernstein's three children, is an author and filmmaker and hosted the concert. It was one of dozens of events the CU College of Music organized during September and October to celebrate what would have been Leonard Bernstein's 100th birthday.

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Jamie Bernstein
Leonard Bernstein at 100

Produced by Mark Hudspeth - CBS News
September 23, 2018

He remains one of music's indisputable legends, and this year marks the centennial of Leonard Bernstein's birth. Among the celebrants is our Mo Rocca:

Jamie Bernstein, the first-born of Bernstein's three children, took Rocca through the Grammy Museum exhibit now touring the country in honor of her father's 100th birthday – part of a worldwide celebration of his life and work.

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Author’s humor marks remembrance of famous father

By Winston Skinner - The Newnan Times-Herald
September 20, 2018

When Cathe Nixon introduced Jamie Bernstein to the audience at the Nixon Centre on Tuesday, she asked how people thought Bernstein’s last name should be pronounced.

Someone correctly suggested the last syllable should be pronounced “stine.” Nixon, who directs the local arts center, said she was remembering the correct pronunciation because of “Steinway,” the premiere piano brand.

“Or Einstein,” Bernstein piped up in response, eliciting laughter from the group of about 75 gathered on the stage at the center.

Bernstein spent just under an hour remembering growing up in a home that included her father, famed musician Leonard Bernstein, and his talented actress wife, Felicia Montealegre. She also read two selections from her new book, “Famous Father Girl.”

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Prominent guests come to CU to join Leonard Bernstein celebration

By Peter Alexander - Boulder Weekly
September 20, 2018

The University of Colorado College of Music has joined the rest of the musical world to celebrate the centennial of the unique American composer, conductor, teacher, writer, lecturer and humanitarian Leonard Bernstein.

Just about the entire College of Music is represented in the months-long festival, from individual faculty members to the University Symphony, the Eklund Opera Program and even the Marching Band.

The celebration gains an extra dimension starting Monday, Sept. 24, with the arrival on campus of three prominent guests: Jamie Bernstein, the composer’s daughter and author of the recently released memoir Famous Father Girl; violinist Glenn Dicterow, concertmaster of the New York Philharmonic for 34 years who played many performances Bernstein conducted; and Carol Oja, William Powell Mason Professor of Music at Harvard University and one of the leading Bernstein scholars.

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No one throws a party like the Utah Symphony, especially if it's for a 100-year-old composer

By Lottie Peterson Johnson - Deseret News
September 10, 2018

If anything, the party has only gotten bigger in Utah since that late summer day. It’s the reason the composer’s firstborn, Jamie Bernstein, traveled from New York to the Beehive State just two days after her father would’ve turned 100 years old. On Aug. 27, a few of Leonard Bernstein’s family and friends — including the conductor’s last student before passing away — kicked off the 26th annual Moab Music Festival.

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Jamie Bernstein
Memoir depicts iconic composer

By Rachel Fixsen - Moab Sun News
August 30, 2018

Last week, on Aug. 25, Google’s jazzy, animated banner doodle featured a young musician mastering his art and achieving notoriety and success. That musician is world-renowned American composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein, who died in 1990 — the cartoon commemorated his 100th birthday. Events across the world are likewise paying tribute to Bernstein this month, including the release of a memoir by Bernstein’s oldest daughter, Jamie Bernstein. She will be giving a reading from her book, Famous Father Girl, at Back of Beyond Books on Wednesday, Sept. 5. 

“[It’s] extremely well written,” said Andy Nettell, owner of Back of Beyond Books, of the memoir. “Its a very intimate portrait of who her father was... On one hand you hear the very personal stories of when they would go out as a family and go dancing and attending the family parties with all these literati and notables. And then on the other hand, seeing her dad on the world stage, whether in Berlin when the wall was coming down, or in New York, or wherever he was performing.

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Famous Father Girl: A Memoir of Growing Up Bernstein

By Fred Cohn - Opera News
September 1, 2018

“WHY DID DADDY always have to make everything so squirm-worthy?” asks Jamie Bernstein in her riveting memoir of life with her celebrated father. It may be a universal truth that parents will embarrass their children, but as Famous Father Girl makes clear, Leonard Bernstein, in his perpetual self-aggrandizement, subjected Jamie and her siblings to all-but-unimaginable tribulations. 

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Life With Leonard Bernstein - The composer's daughter talks frankly about her new memoir

By Tom Huizenga - NPR Deceptive Cadence
August 25, 2018

Jamie Bernstein can't call her childhood a typical one. On any given weekend, she might find Lauren Bacall, Isaac Stern, Richard Avedon, Mike Nichols, Stephen Sondheim, Lillian Hellman or Sidney Lumet hanging out at her house. Jamie's father was Leonard Bernstein.

The celebrated conductor, composer of West Side Story and host of television's Young People's Concerts was born 100 years ago, Aug. 25, 1918. To mark the centennial, Jamie Bernstein has published Famous Father Girl: A Memoir of Growing Up Bernstein, a frank recollection of family life and the struggle to find herself amid the "blinding light" that was Leonard Bernstein, who died in 1990.

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Jamie Bernstein
Copland House Launches 10th Season At Merestead

Broadway World
August 23, 2018

Copland House's 2018-19 mainstage season will offer celebrations aplenty! Ranging widely across more than a century of American music, the popular series is Copland House's 10th at Westchester County's majestic Merestead estate in Mount Kisco, NY. Hailed by The New York Times for "all the richness of its offerings, first-rate fare, and reputation for quality," the series has become a destination for an enthusiastic and growing audience of musical adventurers seeking discoveries of the new, old, and unexpected.

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College collaborates to present CU Bernstein at 100

By Jesse Bauters - College of Music, University of Colorado Boulder
August 22, 2018

CU Bernstein at 100 brings together the College of Music, the Program in Jewish Studies and the Department of Cinema Studies & Moving Image Arts for several weeks of concerts, panel discussions and film screenings. Headlining the event are three visitors with unique perspectives on the composer’s life: Bernstein scholar and Harvard University musicologist Carol Oja, former New York Philharmonic concertmaster Glenn Dicterow and Bernstein’s daughter, Jamie.

“The events at CU Boulder perfectly demonstrate how the Leonard Bernstein at 100 festivities are bringing Bernstein right into the student community,” says Jamie Bernstein, who recently published a book, “Famous Father Girl: A Memoir of Growing Up Bernstein.”

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BSO successfully re-creates Leonard Bernstein's televised Young People's Concerts

By Clarence Fanto - The Berkshire Eagle
August 13, 2018

Could Tanglewood stage a fitting re-creation of Leonard Bernstein's televised Young People's Concerts on CBS with the New York Philharmonic? Nearly half of the 53 shows from 1958 to 1972 were in prime time — amazing, considering how marginalized classical music has become in our mainstream culture.

The answer is an emphatic yes, thanks to the Boston Symphony, its impassioned, committed music director Andris Nelsons and the maestro's eldest daughter, Jamie. Fortunately, she has inherited some of her father's communication skills, particularly directed toward young people. The key is to avoid condescension, to respect the listeners as well as the music being performed.

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Jamie Bernstein
Tucson song fest to hit the Chicago airwaves this month

Cathalena E. Burch - Arizona Daily Star
August 10, 2018

Tucson Desert Song Festival will star in two of the five programs Chicago classical behemoth WFMT is airing next week as part of its celebration of Leonard Bernstein's 100th birthday.

And excerpts and interviews of the festival will be sprinkled in the rest of the WFMT "Exploring Music" with Bill McGlaughlin Bernstein week series Aug. 20-24.

The series kicks off with the Tucson Symphony Orchestra's performance of Bernstein's "Kaddish" Symphony at 7 p.m. Aug. 20 on 90.5 FM KUAT. That show also includes an interview with Bernstein's daughter Jamie, who narrated the "Kaddish" and was the artist in residence for the song festival's "Bernstein At 100."

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Jamie Bernstein
Telling Bernstein's life stories

By Amy Biancolli - Albany Times Union
Aug 10, 2018

Saturday, Aug. 25, will mark 100 years since the birth of Leonard Bernstein, who was one of a kind. Only there wasn't just one of him. There were two. No, wait. Four. At least.

Just ask his daughter.

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Jamie Bernstein
Leonard Bernstein Through a Daughter’s Eyes

By Alexandra Jacobs - The New York Times
August 9, 2018

Though devoted to his legacy, his family felt the fallout of this celebrity. Having settled on oration and documentary filmmaking after an abortive musical career of her own, Jamie is in print a warm but unsparing eyewitness: peeking poignantly from the wings as her progenitor glories, sifting through the jumbo pillbox when he starts to fall apart.

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