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Classical 101

Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Leonard Bernstein

black-and-white photo of a young Leonard Bernstein at a piano, marking a score
Al Ravenna
Library of Congress
Leonard Bernstein in 1955

If all you know of Leonard Bernstein is the thrilling music from West Side Story, you’re in for an eye-opening summer.

Bernstein was a groundbreaking composer, conductor, mentor and educator. At a time when classical music was often spoken of in measured, reverent tones, Bernstein was passionate, outspoken and sometimes controversial.

Aug. 25, 2018, marks the 100th anniversary of Bernstein’s birth, and Classical 101 is celebrating with A Bernstein Summer. We're creating special programs and content to pay tribute to the many contributions of this important American figure.

All through summer, our local programs will highlight Bernstein. The American Sound is highlighting some of the many conductors Bernstein mentored at Tanglewood and elsewhere. And Aug. 25 will be an all-Bernstein The American Sound.

Symphony Showcase spent the month of June with Bernstein's wonderful recordings of the Schumann symphonies with the New York Philharmonic. Later programs will feature performances by Bernstein and the orchestras with which he was closely associated, wrapping up with "Bernstein conducts Bernstein."

On the eve of Bernstein's 100th birthday, Front Row Center will feature opera recordings with Bernstein conducting, finishing with selections from Bernstein's Candide.

And in August, leading up to the big day, we're airing a series of Bernstein Minutes weekdays at noon. Each of these short features, created by our hosts, highlights an interesting fact, reminiscence or colorful story about the great conductor.

Here's the lineup of Bernstein Minutes — some expanded versions of what will air in August. We'll continue adding to the full list of Bernstein Minutes, so keep checking back and spend your summer steeped in Bernstein!

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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Classical 101 Program Director Cheryl Dring moved to Columbus in 2016, having worked in public radio since college. With stops in Austin, Madison, Dayton, Sacramento, New Orleans, Baton Rouge and Shreveport, Louisiana, she has seen much of the country through the lens of public radio and local arts.