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Musical Icon: Leonard Bernstein

Signature Events

Event Details

In honor of his hundredth birthday, MIM is commemorating one of the most accomplished and versatile American musicians and composers: Leonard Bernstein! Join us for an exciting look into “Lenny’s” life through performances of his music, talks, workshops, film screenings, and more.

In conjunction with Leonard Bernstein at 100
Sponsored by Phoenix Councilwoman Kate Gallego and her parents, Julie Neerken and James Widland, and Online Trading Academy

Gifts Available for Purchase
9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
Bernstein fans, rejoice! The Museum Store will offer journals and clocks made with vintage vinyl LPs of Bernstein’s recordings, as well as new books and remastered CDs and LPs commemorating the maestro’s centennial.

Craft: Conductor’s Baton
9:30 a.m.–4:00 p.m.
The conductor’s baton is an instrument unique to the musical world. While it makes no sound itself, it has the power to stir a hundred-piece orchestra into a brilliant swell of movement and music when wielded with energy and passion. Come make your own baton and then learn to use it at the conducting workshop in the afternoon.

Photo Booth
9:30 a.m.–4:00 p.m.
Have your photo taken with fun costumes and props at MIM’s custom photo booth, and instantly get your own copy to take home as a souvenir!

Film Screening: West Side Story
10:15 a.m.–12:45 p.m. (Saturday)
Don’t miss the chance to hear Bernstein’s landmark musical score for West Side Story, and see the iconic film based on the book by Arthur Laurents and inspired by Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet on the big screen. Bernstein’s score for this film blended genres and helped bridge the gap between classical and popular music. The original 1957 Broadway production was nominated for six Tony Awards, and the 1961 film adaptation won ten Academy Awards, including Best Picture. Join us for a screening of this momentous film in the MIM Music Theater.

Screening: Young People’s Concerts
10:15 a.m.–11:15 p.m. (Sunday)
Drop by the MIM Music Theater to catch an episode of the most influential series of music appreciation programs ever produced for television. The Young People’s Concerts at the New York Philharmonic are the longest-running series of family concerts of classical music in the world. Shortly after his tenure began as principal conductor of the New York Philharmonic, Bernstein began his series of fifty-three televised Young People’s Concerts for CBS, which played a key role in his journey to becoming an American musical luminary. Join us for a screening of the fifty-second episode, “Liszt and the Devil,” in which Bernstein discusses composer Franz Listz and his Faust Symphony.

Special Lunch Menu Available for Purchase
11:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m.
Enjoy a special menu at Café Allegro highlighting New York flavors that were popular during Bernstein’s time with the New York Philharmonic, including dishes such as “Fancy Free” French onion soup and “New York, New York” cheesecake.

Pop-Up Musical Performances
12:30, 1:45, and 3:30 p.m. (Saturday)
12:30, 1:45, 2:30, and 3:30 p.m. (Sunday)
Bernstein’s music comes to life at MIM! Throughout the weekend, enjoy several short, fifteen-minute performances of the maestro’s compositions for voice and piano by talented local musicians.

Dr. Lauren Berman and Juliana Witt will celebrate Bernstein through performances of both his iconic and lesser-known compositions, including “Glitter and Be Gay” from Candide (1956), and pieces from his song-cycle I Hate Music! (1943). Dr. Berman is a classically trained vocalist who has performed throughout the state and with various performing arts organizations, such as Resonanz Opera, Mesa Encore Theatre, and Arizona Opera. Juliana Witt, founder of the Teaching Artist Collective of Arizona and head of Piano Studies at Arizona Christian University, has given workshops all over the United States and Europe. Don’t miss the chance to hear these two talented local artists perform.

Josef Tapia is an accomplished pianist, both as soloist and as chamber musician. He has performed with major orchestras across the country, including the Phoenix Symphony, and in prestigious concert halls, such as the Kennedy Center with the Washington Ballet. Stop by El Río to hear Tapia’s masterful rendition of Bernstein’s Four Anniversaries (1948) to celebrate the composition’s own seventieth anniversary.

Conducting Workshop
1:00–1:30 p.m.
Dr. Jason Caslor is an assistant professor of music and associate director of bands and orchestras at Arizona State University (ASU). Join Dr. Caslor in this interactive session to trace Leonard Bernstein’s extraordinary work on the podium and learn the basics of conducting.

Scholar Talk: “The Jewish Music of Leonard Bernstein”
2:30–3:30 p.m. (Saturday)
11:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m. (Sunday)
Throughout his entire composing career, Leonard Bernstein steadily produced several Jewish-inspired works. Judaism always permeated his life and work, and he even wrote music for the Shabbat service. However, his connection with Israel started before the foundation of the Israeli state, when he conducted his first concert with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra in 1947 (the orchestra was still called the Palestine Philharmonic Orchestra). From that time on, he conducted the orchestra yearly until his death in 1990.

Join Flávio Chamis, generous lender of the Bernstein objects in MIM’s Artist Gallery, for this unique presentation of archival footage, images, and personal stories related to the maestro and his Jewish works. Bernstein’s former conducting assistant and longtime personal friend, Chamis studied music at the Tel Aviv University and earned an orchestral conducting degree from Detmold Music Academy in Germany. He served as principal conductor of a Brazilian orchestra, and his CD Especiaria was nominated for a 2007 Latin Grammy Award.

Café Allegro Lunch Menu Highlights

“Fancy Free” French Onion Soup

Reuben Sandwich with Ensembles of Corned Beef, Swiss Cheese, Russian Dressing, and Rye Bread

Symphony Orchestra of “Chicken à la King” with Strings, Wind, Brass, and Percussion

Broadway Shrimp Cocktail and a Wedge Salad Composition

“New York, New York” Cheesecake with “Loving Harmony” Summer Berries

In conjunction with

  • Leonard Bernstein at 100 Logo

Sponsored by

  • Kate Gallego
  • Online Trading Academy Logo