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Leonard Bernstein's Something's Coming from West Side Story Essay Example

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Leonard Bernstein's Something's Coming from West Side Story

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However, there are two notable influences on Leonard Bernstein’s music career, both in conducting and composing, which gave him a lifeline of success in both these two musical aspects. First, it is the influence of the music conductor Dimitri Mitropoulos, who never taught Bernstein any music lessons, but his music power and charisma influenced Bernstein’s decision to take up music conducting as a career, most especially regarding his interests to conduct from the keyboard and conducting without a keyboard (Secrest, 22).Secondly, the music composer Aaron Copland became an influential figure in Leonard Bernstein’s music career, although he did not teach him music composition formally. Bernstein always sought the advice of Copland in relations to the formation of his own music compositions, and he later cited him as the only real composition teacher that he ever had (Secrest, 24). His skills in music were also advanced through formal training, both in the Curtis Institute of Music and the Boston Symphony Orchestras Institute, where he learnt conducting music formally, meeting Serge Koussevitzky in the later institution, who influenced him majorly in the emotional style of interpreting music (Rozen, 18). Koussevitzky developed a close relationship with Bernstein, and eventually picked him as his assistant in conducting music in the institution.Nevertheless, his rise into the limelight as a success story came when he was appointed the assistant conductor of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, by making a sudden but major conducting debut after the main conductor during the concert on November 1943 went down with flu (Secrest, 44). Therefore, Leonard Bernstein stepped up to conduct the orchestra concert that was being broadcast nationally, and his impressive performance during the concert immediately saw him rise to the hall of fame, simply because he was granted the conducting role in the orchestra in a sudden notice, and without ant rehearsal (Secrest, 44). This success story was carried by the The New York Times the next day, and ever since, he started appearing as guest conductor in different orchestras in the USA.His career started flourishing internationally after the end of Second World War. He eventually rose to the position of a visiting music professor at Brandeis University between 1951 and

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Works Cited

BBC. “Music in the 20th Century: Something’s Coming - West Side Story”, 2009. Retrieved April 19, 2014, from http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/music/music_20th_century/music_theatre2.shtml

Burton, Humphrey. Leonard Bernstein. New York: Doubleday, 1994. Print.

Davenant Performing Arts.org.uk. “Something’s Coming” from west side story (Leonard Bernstein, 1958). 1-70. Print.

Rozen, Brian. The Contributions of Leonard Bernstein to Music Education: An Analysis of his 53 Young Peoples Concerts. Thesis (PhD). Rochester, New York: University of Rochester, 1997. Print.

Secrest,Meryle. Leonard Bernstein A Life. Alfred A. Knopf, 1994. Print.

Simeone, Nigel. Leonard Bernstein, West Side Story. Farnham, Surrey: Ashgate, 2009. Print.

Squidoo, LLC. “Leonard Bernstein: ‘Something’s Coming’ from West Side Story (1958)”, 2014. Retrieved April 19, 2014, from http://www.squidoo.com/leonard-bernstein-something-s-coming-from-west-side-story-1958

Wells, Elizabeth A. West Side Story: Cultural Perspectives on an American Musical. Lanham, Md: Scarecrow Press, 2011. 44-123. Print.

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preview essay on Leonard Bernstein's Something's Coming from West Side Story
  • Pages: 6 (1500 words)
  • Document Type: Essay
  • Subject: Music
  • Level: Masters
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