Long-unknown Bernstein string quartet to get first performance at Tanglewood

Posted on: November 5, 2021

“Lisa Benson Pickett was driving her mother, Clara, to Tanglewood about 12 years ago when her mom mentioned that she had a string quartet written by an 18-year-old Leonard Bernstein that had never been publicly performed,” writes Alexander Stevens in Thursday’s (11/4) Boston Globe. Pickett contacted “her friend John Perkel, former librarian for the Boston Symphony Orchestra…. Said Perkel … ‘I started thinking it would be great if the piece could have its world premiere at Tanglewood.’ It’s hard to imagine a more fitting venue. Although Bernstein’s career took him all over the world, the Massachusetts-born and -bred musician returned to Tanglewood almost every summer to conduct and teach…. For Perkel … after years of authenticating, negotiating, scheduling, and … waiting, his persistence was rewarded. Leonard Bernstein’s ‘Music for String Quartet’ will have its world premiere on Nov. 6 at the Linde Center at Tanglewood…. In 1936 … Lenny Bernstein, a student at Harvard University, wrote his first and only string quartet…. Bernstein assembled four accomplished musicians to play the piece, and after the performance, he gave the score to violinist Stanley Benson, Lisa’s father and Clara’s husband…. Stanley Benson became a violinist for the Boston Symphony Orchestra.”