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Leonard BernsteinThe Political Life of an American Musician$
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Barry Seldes

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780520257641

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520257641.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 27 January 2022

The Forties

The Forties

Ascent and Blacklist

(p.25) Chapter Two The Forties
Leonard Bernstein

Barry Seldes

University of California Press

This chapter looks at Bernstein's rise in the classical musical world, as well as his initial steps towards being a political activist. It then discusses Bernstein's collaboration with Jerome Robbins for the ballets Fancy Free and On The Town, where he showed that he could make the transition from first-class composer to first-class conductor with ease. At the same time, his political life became closely entwined with his musical life, and he accepted invitations to perform and sponsor rallies and petitions that supported Russian refugee relief. The chapter also discusses his role in the Progressive ideological revival, his great American opera, and the seeming descent of his career in 1950.

Keywords:   classical musical world, political activist, Jerome Robbins, Progressive ideological revival, American opera

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