Effects from Bernstein’s workroom head to Indiana

Posted on: March 10, 2009

In Monday’s (3/9) New York Times, Daniel J. Wakin reports, “Leonard Bernstein‘s children have donated the carefully preserved contents of his main composing studio to Indiana University, which has promised to recreate the space. The items run from the deeply meaningful to the banal. They include Bernstein’s stand-up composing table; a conducting stool that may have been used by Brahms, given as a gift by the Vienna Philharmonic; an electric pencil sharpener; a telephone; an ashtray and disposable lighters; 39 Grammy-nomination plaques; and a piece of the Berlin Wall. (Bernstein conducted an international orchestra in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony near site of the wall shortly after it was taken down.) … The objects come from a small building constructed from a kit on the grounds of the Bernstein family’s country house in Fairfield, Conn. Bernstein, who died in 1990, composed much of the music from the last three decades of his life there, including the ‘Kaddish’ Symphony; ‘Arias and Barcarolles’; the theater piece ‘Mass’; the ballet ‘Dybbuk’; and the opera ‘A Quiet Place.’ … Some objects will go on temporary display soon at the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University in Bloomington. … The university hopes the full display will be open next year.”
Posted March 10, 2009