Dinner with Lenny: Music Book Discussion in Partnership with SWFL Symphony Society
March 15 @ 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
The Friends join the SW Florida Symphony Society for a second book discussion.
This year marks the 100th birthday of Leonard Bernstein, arguably the most highly esteemed, influential and charismatic American classical music personality of the 20th century. On April 14th the symphony’s Masterworks program will feature his work.
Conductor, composer, pianist, writer, educator, and human rights activist, Bernstein led a life of Byronic intensity–passionate, risk-taking and convention breaking.
In November 1989, just a year before his death, Bernstein invited writer Jonathan Cott to his country home in Fairfield, Connecticut for what turned out to be his last major interview–an unprecedented and astonishingly frank twelve-hour conversation. In Dinner with Lenny, Cott provides this remarkable dialogue.
Bernstein discourses with disarming frankness, humor, and intensity on matters musical, pedagogical, political, psychological, spiritual, and the unabashedly personal. He comes alive again, vodka glass in hand, singing, humming and making pointed comments on a wide array of topics from popular music (“the Beatles were the best songwriters since Gershwin”), to great composers (“Wagner was always in a psychotic frenzy. He was a madman, a megalomaniac”), and politics (lamenting “the brainlessness, the mindlessness, the carelessness and the heedlessness of the Reagans of the world”).
Of course he speaks of conducting, advising students “to look at the score and make it come alive as if they were the composer. If you can do that, you’re a conductor, and if you can’t you’re not. If I don’t become Brahms or Tchaikovsky or Stravinsky when I’m conducting their works, then it won’t be a great performance.”
Only 165 easy to read pages available new and used on Amazon and (a few) in the library.
Light refreshments will be served following the discussion.
Make new friends sharing your reading experience!