The Guardian festival blog: ‘He was high-brow, low-brow, every-brow!’ – the genius of Leonard Bernstein | Music

Marin Alsop: Bernstein the inspiration

Bernstein was impossibly brilliant in so many different areas: a genius conductor, composer, author, pianist, thinker, activist, educator and entertainer. But for me, his genius was in connecting the dots between all of these. Everything he read and experienced influenced everything he thought and did. I think he once said that he didn’t know whether he loved music or people more.

He had passion, enthusiasm and intense and boundless curiosity about our world. Bernstein did not think about education and music as being separate entities; for him, they were part of a systemic, organic, whole-person educational approach. He was at the forefront of interdisciplinary learning – both a radical new concept and a harkening back to the Greeks. Education as a whole was important to him: details as food, nutrition, a source of power and, most importantly, possibility.

When I was growing up in New…


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Straight from The Guardian
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