Los Angeles Master Chorale

Leonard Bernstein at 100: Why the music world is making this the Year of Lenny

Leonard Bernstein at 100: Why the music world is making this the Year of Lenny

On the first day of 2018, a dozen cities in Germany, from Augsburg to Wiesbaden, celebrated a new year with concerts that included music by Leonard Bernstein. No matter America’s fraught relationship with Iran, Bernstein’s piano music happened to be played in Tehran on Jan. 1. Thus has begun — with nearly 2,500 events around the globe — Anno Leonardo, or the Year of Lenny.

Aug. 25 is the 100th anniversary of Bernstein’s birth in Lawrence, Mass., 30 miles north of Boston. He was the son of Jewish émigrés from Ukraine. His father ran a beauty supply business that Leonard was expected to take over. Instead, he became the most celebrated, most multitalented and most...

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