Leonard Bernstein

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ISBN 9780571337934 Format Paperback
9780571337934
Paperback
Published 16/11/2017 Length 624 pages
624

About Book

A new edition of Humphrey Burton's celebrated biography of Leonard Bernstein, published to coincide with the centenary of his birth. With a new introduction by the author.

‘Humphrey Burton's biography remains the essential account of American music's dominant figure.’ Alex Ross

Composer, pianist, author, television teacher, Harvard lecturer, cultural icon, humanist and conductor without peer, Leonard Bernstein's versatility was legendary. He captivated Broadway with such hits as On the Townand West Side Story and introduced middle America to classical music with his Young People's Concerts on television. He composed three symphonies and a full-length opera, and he inspired the world's leading orchestras to give some of the most memorable performances of the twentieth century.

Humphrey Burton was given exclusive access to Bernstein's rich legacy of letters and papers, and the book draws on hundreds of interviews with family, friends and colleagues to reveal Bernstein's fascinating and complex personality. His compelling narrative captures Bernstein's high-spirited vitality on the page, providing a frank account of his homosexuality and his marriage and chronicling the lifelong conflict between the rival claims of Bernstein's conducting and composing careers.

‘Burton’s style is spare and unobtrusive: the picture he paints is a vivid one. So much energy. So much intelligence … Burton also demonstrates that behind Leonard Bernstein’s flamboyance (and the increasingly embarrassing public behaviour) there remained honesty of purpose and generosity of spirit. This biography is imbued with the same virtues. It is a book of exceptional quality.’ The Times

‘Humphrey Burton has written a book worthy of a great man.’ Daily Telegraph

‘This book brings Bernstein’s exuberant vitality to the page, showing why he became one of the most celebrated musical figures of the [twentieth] century.’ Gramophone

‘The richness of the tapestry makes all the names, dates and places a compelling read, since at every turn we are in the company of an exceedingly alive man.’ O

A new edition of Humphrey Burton's celebrated biography of Leonard Bernstein, published to coincide with the centenary of his birth. With a new introduction by the author.‘Humphrey Burton's biography remains the essential account of American music's dominant figure.’ Alex RossComposer, pianist, author, television teacher, Harvard lecturer, cultural icon, humanist and conductor without peer, Leonard Bernstein's versatility was legendary. He captivated Broadway with such hits as On the Townand West Side Story and introduced middle America to classical music with his Young People's Concerts on television. He composed three symphonies and a full-length opera, and he inspired the world's leading orchestras to give some of the most memorable performances of the twentieth century.Humphrey Burton was given exclusive access to Bernstein's rich legacy of letters and papers, and the book draws on hundreds of interviews with family, friends and colleagues to reveal Bernstein's fascinating and complex personality. His compelling narrative captures Bernstein's high-spirited vitality on the page, providing a frank account of his homosexuality and his marriage and chronicling the lifelong conflict between the rival claims of Bernstein's conducting and composing careers.‘Burton’s style is spare and unobtrusive: the picture he paints is a vivid one. So much energy. So much intelligence … Burton also demonstrates that behind Leonard Bernstein’s flamboyance (and the increasingly embarrassing public behaviour) there remained honesty of purpose and generosity of spirit. This biography is imbued with the same virtues. It is a book of exceptional quality.’ The Times‘Humphrey Burton has written a book worthy of a great man.’ Daily Telegraph‘This book brings Bernstein’s exuberant vitality to the page, showing why he became one of the most celebrated musical figures of the [twentieth] century.’ Gramophone‘The richness of the tapestry makes all the names, dates and places a compelling read, since at every turn we are in the company of an exceedingly alive man.’ O
  • About Humphrey Burton CBE

    Humphrey Burton read Music and History at Cambridge University and entered the BBC as a sound studio manager in 1955. In 1958 he joined the ground-breaking TV arts magazine, 'Monitor'. He has won many international awards, including three from the British Academy, four Emmies and the Italia Prize (for The Making of West Side Story).

    Twice in charge of Music and Arts for BBC Television, Burton was also a founder member of London Weekend Television, where he edited and presented the ITV arts series 'Aquarius'. He is still active in the fields of radio and television.

    To celebrate his seventieth birthday in March 2001 he conducted a charity gala performance of Verdi's 'Requiem' at the Royal Albert Hall in aid of prostate cancer.

    Burton worked with Yehudi Menuhin on many radio and television programmes, including a 20-part radio series for Classic FM. He was also a frequent collaborator with Leonard Bernstein, and later wrote his biography, also published by Faber. He was awarded a CBE in the Millennium honours.

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