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.
Jamie Bernstein calls her father "a handful" who could be obnoxious. But she also remembers his warmth, genius, quick wit and the power of his sometimes misunderstood music. From her Manhattan home, Jamie Bernstein spoke openly about her book, why she chose talking about music rather than making it herself, and about her life growing up the child of one of America's most recognizable personalities.