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JAMIE BERNSTEIN-Famous Father Girl
Wednesday, June 27 at 7PM
speaking & signing
Famous Father Girl
ABOUT FAMOUS FATHER GIRL
The oldest daughter of revered composer/conductor Leonard Bernstein offers a rare look at her father on the centennial of his birth in a deeply intimate and broadly evocative memoir
The composer of On the Town and West Side Story, chief conductor of the New York Philharmonic, television star, humanitarian, friend of the powerful and influential, and the life of every party, Leonard Bernstein was an enormous celebrity during one of the headiest periods of American cultural life, as well as the most protean musician in twentieth century America.
But to his eldest daughter, Jamie, he was above all the man in the scratchy brown bathrobe who smelled of cigarettes; the jokester and compulsive teacher who enthused about Beethoven and the Beatles; the insomniac whose 4 a.m. composing breaks involved spooning baby food out of the jar. He taught his daughter to love the world in all its beauty and complexity. In public and private, Lenny was larger than life.
In Famous Father Girl, Bernstein mines the emotional depths of her childhood and invites us into her family's private world. A fantastic set of characters populates the Bernsteins' lives, including: the Kennedys, Mike Nichols, John Lennon, Richard Avedon, Stephen Sondheim, Jerome Robbins, and Betty (Lauren) Bacall.
An intoxicating tale, Famous Father Girl is an intimate meditation on a complex and sometimes troubled man, the family he raised, and the music he composed that became the soundtrack to their entwined lives. Deeply moving and often hilarious, Bernstein's beautifully written memoir is a great American story about one of the greatest Americans of the modern age.
ABOUT JAMIE BERNSTEIN
Jamie Bernstein is a narrator, writer and broadcaster who has transformed a lifetime of loving music into a career of sharing her knowledge and excitement with others.
Jamie grew up in an atmosphere bursting with music, theatre and literature. Her father, composer-conductor Leonard Bernstein, together with her mother, the pianist and actress Felicia Montealegre, created a spontaneous, ebullient household that turned Jamie into a lifelong cultural enthusiast.
Replicating her father’s compulsion to share and teach, Jamie has devised several ways of communicating her own excitement about classical music. In addition to “The Bernstein Beat,” a family concert about her father modeled after his own groundbreaking Young People’s Concerts, Jamie has also written and narrated concerts about Mozart and Aaron Copland, among others.
Jamie travels the world as a concert narrator, appearing everywhere from Beijing to Caracas to Vancouver. In addition to her own scripted narrations, Jamie also performs standard concert narrations, such as Walton’s “Facade,” Copland’s “A Lincoln Portrait” and her father’s Symphony No. 3, “Kaddish.” She is a frequent speaker on musical topics, including in-depth discussions of her father’s works.
In her role as a broadcaster, Jamie has produced and hosted numerous shows for radio stations in the United States as well as for BBC Radio 3 in Great Britain. In addition to hosting several seasons of the New York Philharmonic’s live national radio broadcasts, Jamie has presented various series for New York’s classical station, 96.3 WQXR FM , including annual live broadcasts from Tanglewood.
In addition to writing her own scripts and narrations, Jamie writes articles and poetry, which have appeared in such publications as Symphony, DoubleTake, Town & Country and Gourmet.
Jamie is a devoted mom to her two children, Francisca and Evan. She is an avid scrabble and tennis player, and makes an annual pilgrimage to the Utah desert to recharge her spiritual battery.
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