Leonard Bernstein 100: The Masters Photograph the Maestro

By Judith Reveal - New York Journal of Books
January 2019

“This is a book that is read once, and then once again, and again—each time gaining new insight into a true maestro.”

Leonard Bernstein 100 by Steve J. Sherman with Jamie Bernstein, is a love affair between Leonard Bernstein and the camera, with invaluable information about the maestro’s life and career.

Sherman’s preface gives the reader insight into Bernstein as his life joined forces with the camera and the various people who were fortunate enough to make the connection between the two as Sherman explains, “In what would have been Leonard Bernstein’s 100th birthday year, this book commemorates the excellent photography that documented his life.”

The book is limited to 100 frames; so many people are left out in order to focus attention on Bernstein as he progressed through his life and career. Sherman’s respect and admiration for Bernstein is clear: “Lenny surely had his flaws, but somehow he never disappointed.”

This sense is brought to light through a “trialogue” between Alexander, Jamie, and Nina Bernstein and Steve Sherman, as they discuss everything from lobster to anxiety, (Bernstein as) a composer, enjoying fame . . . even through activism and education. This book opens the door to the maestro as nothing else can.

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Jamie Bernstein