Happy Birthday, Lenny!

The Judenplatz Museum and the House of Music join the ranks of well-wishers by putting on two special exhibitions to celebrate the 100th birthday and exceptional talent of Leonard Bernstein.

Leonard Bernstein was considered to be one of the greatest conductors of the 20th century. As the music director of the New York Philharmonic, he shaped the musical self-confidence of the USA. His own compositions encompassed every genre and ranged from the musical "West Side Story" to the opera "A Quiet Place". The charismatic unconventional thinker, who was born the son of Russian immigrants in Massachusetts in 1918, would have turned 100 years old this year. To mark the occasion, the Judenplatz Museum focuses on his relationship with Vienna as the city of music in its exhibition "Leonard Bernstein. A New Yorker in Vienna", looks at his Jewish roots, and also honors him as a political person. Presented alongside one of the maestro's original tailcoats are photographs, video clips and acoustic contributions. And the House of Music dedicates the new cabinet exhibition "Embracing Music - Leonard Bernstein at 100" to the exceptional artist.

Leonard Bernstein had a lifelong relationship with Vienna. He came here repeatedly from 1966 until his death in 1990, mostly for his collaboration with the Vienna Philharmonic. As a Jew, Bernstein had an ambivalent relationship with this city. In a letter to his parents in March 1966, 21 years after the end of the Shoa, he wrote, "I am enjoying Vienna enormously - as much as a Jew can. The place is full of sad memories and one has to deal with so many ex-Nazis (and possibly those who are still Nazis); and you can never be sure whether one of those shouting bravo wouldn't have simply shot you dead 25 years ago. But it is better to forgive and, if possible, even to forget. […] Your Wiener Schnitzel Lenny."

Leonard Bernstein. A New Yorker in Vienna, October 17, 2018 - April 28, 2019


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