Los Angeles Philharmonic / Music News & Info: Classical / Other classical music concerts and recitals (in So Cal and beyond)

Anniversary of Bernstein’s last day as NY Phil Music Director

Care of the folks at Composers Datebook at American Public Media:

On today’s date in 1969, Leonard Bernstein conducted his last concert as the Music Director of the New York Philharmonic. Bernstein had been named the orchestra’s Music Director in November of 1957, and was the first American-born and trained conductor to hold the position.

So for baseball fans, these were Bernstein’s “stats” as of May 17, 1969: He had conducted 939 concerts with the orchestra, more than any other conductor in its history. He had given 36 world premieres, 14 U.S. premieres, 15 New York City premieres, and led more than 40 works never before performed by the orchestra.

To listen to the Composers Datebook  program streaming online, click HERE.

It’s not a competition, but just for comparison, here are Esa-Pekka Salonen’s stats after his 17 year tenure as Music Director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic ended in 2009:

  • Commissioned over 54 new works
  • Conducted 120 world and U.S. premieres
  • Served as music director longer than anyone else in the orchestra’s history, leading the orchestra in 973 concerts and 23 tours.
Just to add one more parallel:  upon retirement, Mr. Bernstein was given the title of “Laureate Conductor” and is still officially listed by the NY Phil as such; Mr. Salonen was given the title of “Conductor Laureate” the last day he was the LA Phil’s Music Director.


Photo credit:  Bob Cato (www.leonardbernstein.com)

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