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Classical 101

Growing Up With Lenny: What It's Like When Leonard Bernstein Is Your Dad

b&w photo of the young Leonard Bernstein
The Leonard Bernstein Office Inc.
Leonard Bernstein at the piano

Leonard Bernstein was famous. Not just famous for a musician. Famous, period. As in household name, as in friends with movie stars, as in appearing frequently in sentences with the word "genius."

Bernstein the musician belonged to the world. But he was also a devoted family man.

Bernstein married Chilean actress Felicia Montealegre in 1951. They had three children, who grew up touching the hem of their father’s fame.

The Bernsteins lived in the same apartment building where John Lennon and the legendary Judy Garland lived. Top Broadway writers and producers numbered among their close friends. And Bernstein's commute to work each morning took him to the world's most vaunted concert halls.

The world has an idea of what Bernstein the musician was like, based on his work on the podium and from the expressive breadth and depth of his own musical scores. But what was he like as a father?

Watch this brief video to hear Bernstein's children, Jamie, Alexander and Nina, talk about what it as like to grow up with Lenny.

Leading up to the 100th anniversary of Leonard Bernstein's birthday on Aug. 25, 2018, Classical 101 is celebrating A Bernstein Summer on air and online.


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Jennifer Hambrick unites her extensive backgrounds in the arts and media and her deep roots in Columbus to bring inspiring music to central Ohio as Classical 101’s midday host. Jennifer performed with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Civic Orchestra of Chicago before earning a Ph.D. in musicology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.