Leonard Bernstein

bernstein1August 25, 1918 – October 14, 1990

“The other night I bippy nigh, blabba habba dooby die, mowt say hiddy lie, LEO-NARD BERN-STEIN!” – It’s The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine) – R.E.M. (paraphrased)

Louis “Leonard” Bernstein was and is an American musical treasure. Reaching international acclaim, Bernstein is most widely known as the long-time musical director of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra and for his many stage and screen compositions. Bernstein grew up in Massachusetts, graduated from Harvard and, by way of grad school in Philadelphia, made his way to New York. It was in New York where he joined The Revuers and began his composing and conducting career. In 1943, he filled in as the main conductor for the NYPO and became an instant success. He began composing in all styles, from ballet with Jerome Robbins to Broadway musicals with Betty Comden and Adolph Green. The successes of Fancy Free, On the Town and Wonderful Town foreshadowed what would become his crowning achievement (in popular music, anyway)…1957’s West Side Story, which he wrote with Robbins, Arthur Laurents and and young Stephen Sondheim. The story of star-crossed lovers set in 1950’s New York was a colossal hit and has gone on to be one of the most produced and beloved musicals of all time.

In addition to his stage work, Bernstein wrote for film (On The Waterfront), ballet, pop, orchestral and just about any other genre he felt compelled to. He won a Tony, 16 Grammys and a couple of philanthropic awards. After holding the baton for 47 years, he retired in October of 1990 and died five days later.

Burial

Green-Wood Cemetery – Brooklyn, NY

bernstein2

Specific Location

Section H; Enter the cemetery’s main gate and stay to the left. Follow Battle Avenue up to the monument at the top of Battle Hill. Take Battle Path up past the monument and turn right onto Liberty Path and the Bernstein plot will be on your right a little ways down behind two evergreen shrubs.

green-wood_bernstein

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