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Leonard Bernstein: An American Musician Preview
September 30, 2014
360 P., 5.5" x 8.25"

Leonard Bernstein: An American Musician

by Allen Shawn

Leonard Bernstein stood at the epicenter of twentieth-century American musical life. His creative gifts knew no boundaries as he moved easily from the podium, to the piano, to television with his nationally celebrated Young People’s Concerts, which introduced an entire generation to the joy of classical music. In this fascinating new biography, the breadth of Bernstein’s musical composition is explored, through the spectacular range of music he composed—from West Side Story to Kaddish and beyond—and through his intensely public role as an internationally celebrated conductor. For the first time, the composer’s life and work receive a fully integrated analysis, offering a comprehensive appreciation of a multi-faceted musical genius who continued to grow as an artist well into his final days.

Feature Review: 

"A nearly impossible task, recording this lush life, but Shawn helps us comprehend the magic."--Kirkus Reviews

"Packed with you-are-there details drawn from a host of published accounts and audiovisual records, this highly readable biography puts us at the center of Lenny's world...Shawn's text is a page-turner."--Symphony Magazine

"I can't imagine a better biography of Leonard Bernstein. His intensity, complexity, and personal charm come across fully; so do his manifest importance to twentieth-century American culture and his intimate relation to the music he produced. Bravo!"—Wendy Lesser

"Shawn draws all these aspects of Bernstein into a full-scale and attractive human portrait, and an equally full-scale portrait of Bernstein’s music. With his knowledgeable analysis of Bernstein’s vast output, Shawn sends readers rushing back to listen, whether to West Side Story, Kaddish, Candide, or any number of other works. Well-paced and highly readable,Leonard Bernstein brings alive both the man and his music."--Maron L. Waxman, Jewish Book Council

"A few luscious slices from the massive cake that was the life of the great pianist, composer, conductor and public personality....A nearly impossible task, recording this lush life, but Shawn helps us comprehend the magic."--Kirkus Reviews

"An engrossing portrait of a gifted--and conflicted--man."--Jerusalem Post

Allen Shawn

Allen Shawn
Alex Burgess 2014

Allen Shawn is a composer, pianist, educator, and author who lives in Vermont and teaches composition and music history at Bennington College. His previous books include Arnold Schoenberg's Journey and Twin: A Memoir .

Watch author Allen Shawn discuss the life of Bernstein with his brother, actor Wallace Shawn in a lively and entertaining book trailer which includes video clips of the maestro himself. CLICK HERE

Listen to Tablet Magazine's Sara Ivry fascinating conversation with Allen Shawn about Leonard Bernstein's life and legacy. CLICK HERE