Leonard Bernstein Talks Aging and Emerging Dreams

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In this 1985 episode of Meet The Composer from the WNYC archives, Leonard Bernstein describes the influences his early education had upon the formation of the Young People's Concerts and feeling "cursed with this need to teach."

The composer and inimitable pedagogue reflects the impact of aging on his standards of musicianship, while at the same time admitting that, he was only beginning to really devote time to composing. He describes how it can take up to a month to transition from conducting to composing. He asserts that the better you become as a conductor, the harder it is to change back into a composer and vise versa.

During the interview, Bernstein confesses that he always knew his music was on a theatrical path. In addition to a planned series of operas, he also wants to write a Piano Sonata in memory of William Kappell.

Music heard in this interview includes: Dances from West Side Story and Kaddish to the Beloved Memory of John F. Kennedy 

From March 8-30, From the Archives streams weekdays at 7 AM and 8 PM on Q2 Music. For more information on American Mavericks, visit q2music.org/mavericks/.