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Leonard Bernstein: Celebrating The Man And The Music

Leonard Bernstein seated at piano, making annotations to musical score
Al Ravenna, World Telegram staff photographer
ce Library of Congress. New York World-Telegram & Sun Collection.
Leonard Bernstein seated at piano, making annotations to musical score

Leonard Bernstein is remembered as an exceptionally talented conductor, composer and teacher. His “Young People’s Concerts” television series exposed millions of American children to classical music, and his message that music is for everyone struck a chord with many communities. 

Bernstein’s legacy lives on in his music and in those he inspired, including his son Alexander Bernstein and accomplished pianist Lara Downes. Downes has embarked on a project called “Sounds Like America” to collect and increase exposure to American music. She also created a tribute called “Anniversaries for Lenny,” which pays homage to Leonard Bernstein in what would have been his centennial year.  

Downes will presents his music and newly commissioned pieces with Alexander Bernstein on Sunday, Sept. 17 at 2 p.m. at the North Carolina Museum of Art, and on Sept. 18 at 7 p.m. at the North Carolina State Capitol building in Raleigh. Host Frank Stasio talks with Alexander Bernstein, Chamber Music Raleigh Executive Director Jackson Cooper, and Lara Downes about Leonard Bernstein’s inspiring legacy.

Jennifer Brookland is the American Homefront Project Veterans Reporting Fellow. She covers stories about the military and veterans as well as issues affecting the people and places of North Carolina.
Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.
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