BSO successfully re-creates Leonard Bernstein's televised Young People's Concerts
Tucson song fest to hit the Chicago airwaves this month
By Clarence Fanto - The Berkshire Eagle
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.
Telling Bernstein's life stories
Cathalena E. Burch - Arizona Daily Star
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."
Leonard Bernstein Through a Daughter’s Eyes
By Amy Biancolli - Albany Times Union
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.
New Book: 'Famous Father Girl': Jamie Bernstein on growing up with the maestro
By Alexandra Jacobs - The New York Times
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.
Jamie Bernstein Recalls Life with ‘Lenny’ in ‘Famous Father Girl’
By Clarence Fanto - The Berkshire Eagle
In a phone conversation from her Manhattan home, she discussed her return to the Berkshires, where she spent several weeks each summer with her family until her father's death in 1990, two months after his final performances at Tanglewood. The interview has been lightly edited and condensed:
'He was high-brow, low-brow, every-brow!' – the genius of Leonard Bernstein
By Eddie Arruza - Chicago Tonight WTTW
Over the past year, the musical world has been commemorating the 100th birthday of the towering American composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein. (His actual centenary is Aug. 25.)
On Saturday, the Ravinia Festival will honor Bernstein with a performance of his monumental work entitled “Mass.” And on Friday, a much more intimate affair will take place at Bennett Gordon Hall with an evening of songs and stories called “Late Night with Leonard Bernstein,” as narrated by the conductor’s oldest daughter, Jamie.
Daughter Finds Light in Bernstein’s Shadow
Interviews by Imogen Tilden, Fiona Maddocks - The Guardian
Composer, conductor, inspiration, FBI suspect … Leonard Bernstein was born 100 years ago this August, and this summer’s Proms will celebrate his work. Musicians, critics and his own family remember an astounding talent.
Jamie Bernstein: Bernstein the father
He was an incredibly attentive and affectionate father. Of course there were many prolonged absences when he was travelling, and sometimes I found it frustrating to share him with the rest of the world, but when he was at home he was always really present. We’d have big dinners and play word games and have proper family time, my parents, my younger brother and sister and I. He loved to share anything he was excited about, and that was everything from Lewis Carroll to Gilbert and Sullivan to vaudeville routines he remembered from his childhood.
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.
"Famous Father Girl" Jamie Bernstein On Bernstein Centennial Events At Tanglewood
By Stephen Dankner - iBerkshires
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.
Jamie Bernstein, her ‘Famous Father,’ and nothing to hide
By Joe Donahue - WAMC
The composer of "On the Town" and "West Side Story," chief conductor of the New York Philharmonic, television star, humanitarian, and inveterate partygoer Leonard Bernstein was a massive celebrity during one of the headiest periods of American cultural life, and perhaps the most talented musician in American history.
To his eldest daughter, Jamie Bernstein, he was all that and more. She writes about her father in the new memoir, "Famous Father Girl."
She joins us to talk about the book, all of the international events celebrating Leonard Bernstein's Centennial this year -- including two very special events at Tanglewood in Lenox, Massachusetts. She’s directing "Trouble in Tahiti" on July 12 and hosting the Young People’s Concert on August 10.
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?
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.