水曜日は、Heroes and Giants
Leonard Bernstein, the American conductor, and composer was one of the most talented artists of the 20th century.
You may know him because he wrote the famous musical ‘Westside story’.
But did you know that he was also a pianist and educator?
Bernstein was not for a family of musicians.
He began taking piano lessons when he was 10 years old.
But he learned quickly and surprised his teachers.
He was also a very good student.
After high school, he studied music at Harvard University.
One day, Bernstein went to a symphony concert in Boston led by a Gleark conductor named Dimitris Mitropoulos.
Bernstein loved his powerful way of conducting and decided to learn how to become a conductor.
After graduating from Harvard, Bernstein went to a music school to study conducting.
A few years after finishing, he started working as the assistant conductor for the New York Philharmonic.
He got his big chance on November 14th, 1943, when the guest conductor of the day became sick.
Bernstein took his place and did so well that he suddenly became famous.
He was only 25 years old.
He soon became the first American conductor to work with many famous orchestras around the world.
Bernstein became famous as a conductor worldwide.
But he wanted to do more than just conducting.
He started writing classical music such as symphonies, ballets, and operas.
Some people said this was a not good idea.
They thought he should only work on conducting.
Luckily, he didn’t listen to them and wrote his greatest success, the musical ‘Westside Story’.
Even with all his success, he never stopped working.
He continued to write many more pieces of music, especially classical music.
Bernstein was also passionate about music education.
In the 1950s, he became a TV personality.
Many people liked his fun way of talking about famous classical pieces and his show became a big success.
He also held teaching events for young musicians in different parts of the world.
In Japan, he created the Pacific Music Festival in 1990.
This is an educational program for young musicians held every summer in Sapporo.
Many people from around the world join in this festival.
At the opening ceremony in 1990, Berstein said “I will support music education for the rest of my life.”
But he died in October of that same year.
It is now over 100 years since this multi-talented artist was born.
As a conductor and composer, he left many pieces of work for us to enjoy.
But his work as a music educator will continue to influence many young musicians in Japan and around the world.