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Leonard Bernstein: Peace and Harmony



Leonard Bernstein: Peace and Harmony
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 9 to 12
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   10.44

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    full-scale, recognition, ceremonial, pianist, world-wide, legacy, estate, impact, contribution, assistant, teaching, fund, classical, conduct, founded, cooperation
     content words:    West Side Story, Leonard Bernstein, Curtis Institute, Boston Symphony Orchestra, New York Philharmonic Orchestra, Bruno Walter, Pittsburg Symphony, New York Music Critics Award, Music Director, New York Symphony Orchestra


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Leonard Bernstein: Peace and Harmony
By Beth Beutler
  

1     If you've ever heard songs from the musical, West Side Story, you've heard music created by a man known and appreciated by many American music lovers. Leonard Bernstein, born August 25, 1918, in Lawrence, Massachusetts, received world-wide recognition for his classical and show music, and is known in particular for performances of Haydn, Beethoven, Brahms, Schumann, Sibelius and Mahler as well as his work on Broadway. Much of his work is still being enjoyed past the time of his death on October 14, 1990, at 72 years old.
 
2     Bernstein was educated at Harvard and the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. He spent some time at Tanglewood, an estate used for various musical endeavors including being the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
 
3     In 1943, Bernstein became assistant conductor of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra. This was his first position as a permanent conductor. In that same year, he substituted for another conductor, Bruno Walter, at the last minute, with no practice. Bernstein did such a good job that he began to receive praise and recognition. His first full-scale work, Jeremiah, was performed with the Pittsburg Symphony in 1944, received the New York Music Critics Award, and Bernstein became the Music Director of the New York Symphony Orchestra in 1945.

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