portrait of Leonard Bernstein
In rehearsal, photo by Marion S. Trikosko, U.S. News & World Report staff (1 September 1971)

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Quotes of the Day for 25 August 2003 – Leonard Bernstein

Leonard Bernstein was born at Lawrence, Massachusetts on this day in 1918. By age 25 he had brought new glory to the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, he composed symphonic works, was a major social figure in New York, and even found time to write the scores for popular musicals such as West Side Story. Here are some of his thoughts on music and art.

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You will find an expanded profile, photo, additional biographical links, and all quotes from this author on the author's Notable Quotable page.


The quotes:

[It was] an initiation into the love of learning, of learning how to learn, that was revealed to me by my BLS (Boston Latin School) masters as a matter of interdisciplinary cognition - that is, learning to know something by its relation to something else.

The key to the mystery of a great artist is that for reasons unknown, he will give away his energies and his life just to make sure that one note follows another ... and leaves us with the feeling that something is right in the world.

Mozart's music is constantly escaping from its frame, because it cannot be contained in it.

Mozart combines serenity, melancholy, and tragic intensity into one great lyric improvisation. Over it all hovers the greater spirit that is Mozart's - the spirit of compassion, of universal love, even of suffering - a spirit that knows no age, that belongs to all ages.

Music, of all the arts, stands in a special region, unlit by any star but its own, and utterly without meaning ... except its own.
     - The Joy of Music, 1959

Technique is communication: the two words are synonymous in conductors.
     - All from Leonard Bernstein, 1918 - 1990


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