When most people think of Leonard Bernstein they think ‘West Side Story.’
I would hope that people who come to my lecture will come away with a much broader appreciation of his diverse and varied talents.
♫ He was a composer. Many of us are familiar with his scores to ‘On the Town’ “Candide’ and of course ‘West Side Story.’ But aside from composing for Broadway he also wrote symphonies, ballet scores, film soundtracks, chamber pieces, choral music and religious works. Unfortunately many of his most significant compositions and other achievements are hardly known to the general public.
♫ He was a world renown orchestral conductor. He was the music director of the New York Philharmonic and the first American to ever lead a major American orchestra and to be invited to conduct the major orchestras of the world.
♫ He was a virtuosic concert pianist.
♫ He was a lecturer and educator. His ‘Young People's Concerts’ educated and entertained millions for almost 20 years and were instrumental in the development of television as an educational media.
♫ He was charismatic, articulate and a natural communicator.
Most significantly however is how he combined all these talents to become an advocate for great music and to increase the importance of American music and all music of artistic quality and integrity on the world stage. The world of symphonic music, but particularly American music and American musicians owe him a great debt. His recent 100th birthday gives us the ideal opportunity to recognize his accomplishments.
My presentation highlights each of his talents. I start with a brief biography and then discuss, explain and demonstrate his skills as an educator, conductor, composer and advocate. I make every effort to keep my talk to approximately one hour, however as there is so much to Mr. Bernstein, I have yet to actually end on time.
About Ken Korn
For over 35 years Kenneth Korn has been a music teacher in the New Jersey schools, mostly in Paramus. He has a diverse and broad knowledge of music and music education as at various times during his long career he had opportunity to teach all areas of the music curriculum. He directed band, orchestra and vocal music to children from Kindergarten through high school. He is a graduate of the Crane School of Music and had a masters degree in music education. Currently Ken is the music activities director at the Care One rehabilitation center.