Leonard Bernstein at 100 celebrates the life and work of the great American composer and conductor who dedicated his life to making classical music a vibrant part of American culture. Curated by GRAMMY Museum® Founding Executive Director Robert Santelli, the exhibit is the most comprehensive retrospective of Bernstein’s life and career ever staged in a museum setting.
Blending his Jewish roots with the Western classical canon, jazz, and popular music, Bernstein crossed genre lines and wrote landmark scores for musical theater (West Side Story, Candide) and film (On the Waterfront), and produced a large body of symphonic and choral works. As a conductor, Bernstein defined the profession for decades both at home and abroad.
The first American-born principal conductor and music director of the New York Philharmonic, he dazzled the public with the passionate intensity of his performances. The exhibit, which honors his life as a musician, philanthropist, and social advocate, includes artifacts that tell the story of Bernstein’s musical life and social justice work in his own words and actions, including handwritten score sheets, photos, and other personal items.
To accommodate the scale and scope of Leonard Bernstein at 100, the exhibition is divided among two of Tulsa’s leading cultural institutions: The Sherwin Miller Museum of Jewish Art and the Woody Guthrie Center. This first-of-its-kind collaboration between the two centers presents a unique opportunity to explore the personal and professional life of one of America’s greatest 20th century artists.
“Bernstein’s work is so vast that it demands a large space, and with this collaboration, we are spreading his message from downtown to south Tulsa,” said Deana McCloud, executive director at the Woody Guthrie Center. “We look forward seeing to all the visitors that this incredible exhibition brings to Tulsa and to both of our organizations as we celebrate 100 years of Leonard Bernstein.”