A Year of Bernstein — A 100th-Birthday Celebration
Join us as we continue to celebrate Leonard Bernstein’s 100th Birthday with this year-long, twelve-lecture series exploring his extraordinary legacy as a composer of theater and concert music, conductor and teacher. This spring we focus on the musical theater of Leonard Bernstein.
Mass is the quintessential Leonard Bernstein score. Commissioned to honor the 1971 opening of the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC, Mass is wildly and wonderfully eclectic, serious, spiritual, entertaining, profoundly felt, both of its time and ahead of its time, pointedly political and hugely ambitious, even at the risk of excess. With a text by Bernstein based on the Roman Catholic Mass, and additional lyrics and text by Stephen Schwartz, this musical theater score comes as close as any score can to capture Bernstein the artist in all of his thrilling, sometimes contradictory glory.