Jamie Bernstein will host the concert Bernstein on Broadway in Beijing tomorrow in commemoration of her father.
It's a ridiculously busy year for Leonard Bernstein's (1918-1990) daughter Jamie Bernstein.
The world is seeking to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the birth of one of the 20th century's greatest international musicians, and so his daughter has become very much in demand.
In late September, she hosted a concert at Carnegie Hall that was part of the citywide Bernstein: The Best of All Possible Worlds festival. The gala was organized by Carnegie Hall and the New York Philharmonic to celebrate the quintessential New Yorker, honoring the 90th anniversary of his birth and the 50th anniversary of his appointment as music director of the New York Philharmonic.
Now, she's bound for the Chinese capital, revving up for the commemoration of her father that will mark the Beijing Music Festival (BMF). After Beijing, she will tour New Jersey, Philadelphia and other cities.
In a lecture at Peking University yesterday afternoon, she shared with students her father's music and told of his devotion to spreading music around the world.
Tomorrow she will host the concert Bernstein on Broadway, featuring her father's music performed by China Philharmonic Orchestra and Chinese violinist Vera Xu Weiling under the baton of Yang Yang, the orchestra's assistant artistic director.
Xu will play Serenade, and the orchestra will play Candide Overture and songs from the musicals On the Town and West Side Story. Jamie will narrate the story behind the music between programs.
BMF will make the concert into a documentary and broadcast it on New York's Times Square's giant screen on Oct 21.
"I was thrilled when maestro Yu Long came to New York last year to discuss the project with me," Jamie told China Daily on Wednesday afternoon.
"My father loves New York, and he even wrote a piece, Times Square, in his musical On the Town. So it's perfect to broadcast such a concert at Times Square."
As a narrator, writer and broadcaster, Jamie has transformed a lifetime devoted to music into a career of sharing with others her knowledge and enthusiasm.
It is the second time BMF has invited her to host educational programs.
In 2000, she hosted a concert for children and lectured about Bernstein's musicals at Peking University.
"I remember the students listened to me very attentively and asked many challenging questions," she says.
"I was surprised that the Chinese students know much about my father and his music, and I felt so happy that they showed great interest in his music.
"It's great that BMF holds many educational programs every year.
"It is always important to get young audiences into concert halls; they are the audience of classic music in the future.
"I watched as my father did education work all his life, and it is what I work hard to do now, so I appreciate BMF's effort in educating new audience very much."
Jamie grew up in a home defined by music, theater and literature. Her father and mother, pianist and actress Felicia Montealegre, and their legions of friends from the world of the arts, created a spontaneous, ebullient household that shaped Jamie into a dyed-in-the-wool cultural enthusiast.
Following up on her father's lifelong drive to share and teach, Jamie has written and produced several concerts for families and young people on the music of Copland, Mozart, Bernstein and others.