Leonard Bernstein Centenary Concert with his Daughter Jamie Bernstein Narrating


Pro Musica Concert Series
“The Life and Music of Leonard Bernstein”
Fri and Sun, Mar 13 and 15, 5pm
St Paul’s Church
Cardo 6
200, 400, and 500 pesos

By Michael Pearl

Leonard Bernstein is one of the towering figures of 20th century music whose genius as a composer and conductor appeals to people of all ages and across all cultural divides. From musicals like West Side Story and Candide to classical compositions such as his symphonies and the “Chichester Psalms,” his is a unique cannon of music that will reverberate down the ages.

He was born 100 years ago this year, and we celebrate his legacy with two unique concerts (with the same program) at St Paul’s church on March 13 and 15, Friday and Sunday, at 5pm. Our musicians, from New York’s Music At Copland House, will be joined by our honored guest, Bernstein’s daughter, Jamie Bernstein, who has agreed to come to San Miguel de Allende to narrate the concerts and share intimate memories of her father with us. The company will perform excerpts from Bernstein’s works and those of the composers he loved and conducted.

Central to Bernstein’s life was the New York Philharmonic Orchestra. His debut on November 14, 1943, is the stuff of legend—the virtually unknown assistant conductor stepping onto the Carnegie Hall podium to triumphantly conduct a live radio broadcast in place of the great and famous, but ailing, Bruno Walter, at a few hours’ notice. As music director and laureate, Bernstein’s association with the Philharmonic spanned 47 years and 1244 concerts. In a tribute to him after his death, the orchestra said, “ Mr. Bernstein will be remembered for his genius, his leadership, his humanitarianism, his ability to transmit his love of music to young and old, his dedication to our orchestra, his service to young musicians, and his unforgettable, ebullient, and caring personality.” It is only one indication of the love its current players bear Bernstein that the Philharmonic will occasionally play one of his works without a conductor.

This widely acclaimed Copland House production has enchanted audiences at sold-out venues across America. Hosted by Jamie Bernstein, this multimedia concert features soprano Amy Burton and pianists John Musto and Michael Boriskin in an affectionate portrait of the personal side of a singularly public figure. This glittering journey includes performances of the maestro’s most intimate works, along with some of his favorite compositions by Copland, Zez Confrey, Schubert, Grieg, Lecuona, Noel Coward, and others—woven together with rare archival photographs of his family, friends, and colleagues, and audio and video excerpts of the legendary maestro himself!

Tickets for the concerts at St Paul’s are a 200, 400 and 500 peso donation, and are on sale at the bookshop in the Biblioteca Pública; through our website with no booking fee, and at the concert 45 minutes before performance time. These are going to be some of the most sought after concerts of the season and we advise you to buy your tickets as soon as possible.

Details of all Pro Musica’s concerts and Patron Membership are on our website, www.promusicasma.org, or contact us at promusicasma@aol.com.