The event was the first of its kind at the NYPL for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center
In celebration of the centenary of Leonard Bernstein's birth, the New York Public Library has an excellent exhibit featuring many of Bernstein's artifacts and belongings, and has a series of events dedicated to his musical legacy. Michael was thrilled to lead one of these events, a public discussion, Q&A, and play-along of the fourth movement of Mahler's 5th Symphony.
Long heralded as Gustav Mahler's "love poem" to his wife Alma, the event was perfectly set for Valentine's Day. The discussion centered around Leonard Bernstein's specific (and evolving) interpretation of the movement and of Mahler in general, as well as his relationship to Mahler and his music throughout his lifetime. Bernstein, of course, was one of Mahler's champions, and is one of the primary reasons that his music is played so often today.
Community members, students, adults, and professional musicians all joined together after the discussion to read and rehearse the movement in an attempt to match Bernstein's interpretations, even using Bernstein's personal score and parts, courtesy of the New York Philharmonic!