Leonard Bernstein and Washington, DC: Works, Politics, Performances

Leonard Bernstein and Washington, DC: Works, Politics, Performances


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Composer, conductor, activist, and icon of twentieth-century America, Leonard Bernstein (1918-90) had a rich association with Washington, DC. Although he never lived there, the US capital was the site of some of the most importantmoments in his life and work, as he engaged with the nation's struggles and triumphs. By examining Bernstein through the lens of Washington, DC, this book offers new insights into his life and music from the 1940s through the 1980s, including his role in building the city's artistic landscape, his political-diplomatic aims, his works that received premieres and other early performances in Washington, and his relationships with the nation's liberal and conservative political elites. The collection also contributes new perspectives on twentieth-century American history, government, and culture, helping to elucidate the political function of music in American democracy.

The essays in Leonard Bernstein and Washington, DC, all newly written by leading authorities, situate this important American cultural figure in the seat of United States government. The result is a fresh new angle on Leonard Bernstein, American politics, and American culture in the second half of the twentieth century.

Daniel Abraham is Professor of Music at American University, Alicia Kopfstein-Penk is Adjunct Professorial Lecturer at American University, and Andrew H. Weaver is Professor of Musicology at The Catholic University of America.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781580469739
Publisher: Boydell & Brewer, Limited
Publication date: 03/15/2020
Series: Eastman Studies in Music Series , #167
Pages: 328
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction - Alicia Kopfstein-Penk and Andrew H. Weaver
Part One. Bernstein, Politics, and the White House
Bernstein and Washington, DC: Introductory Reflections - Carol Oja
Bernstein and the White House - Alicia Kopfstein-Penk
Bernstein and Mc Carthyism - Barry Seldes
The New York Philharmonic European Tour of 1959 and Bernstein as Eisenhower's American Cultural Ambassador - Sarah Elaine Neill
Part Two. Bernstein's Works in the Nation's Capital
West Side Stories: Washington, DC - Elizabeth A. Wells
Bernstein's Politics of Style: Listening for "Radical Chic" in Mass - Katherine Baber
"Screaming Gets You Nowhere": Bernstein's Mass and the Politics of Peace - Robert C. Lagueux
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue: Bernstein and Alan Jay Lerner's Musical History of the White House - Elissa Harbert
Songfest: Bernstein's Monument to American Diversity - Paul Laird
Political Expression and American Identity in Bernstein's 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Songfest, and Slava! A Political Overture - Lars Helgert
A Quiet Place in a Not-So-Quiet Nation: Gender, Sexuality, and Family in Bernstein's "American Opera" - Mari Yoshihara
Selected Bibliography
List of Contributors

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