6 October 2017 Kennedy Center

    



The Kennedy Center is a magnificent living memorial to President Kennedy and honors him with endless exhibitions of the performing arts. 



We've been fortunate to have attended 3 performances during our visit here, the most recent, a celebration of Leonard Bernstein’s 100th birthday, with a NSO tribute. 






To enhance that, we visited an exhibition with displays of more than 150 personal artifacts, including personal items, photographs, scores, correspondence, furniture, and films. Among the items is his first piano, the desk on which he composed West Side Story, handwritten score sheets for songs from WWS; his Harvard diploma, and so many more interesting artifacts.


There are interactive displays with listening bars for private enjoyment of some of his most noted works. There’s a booth that allowed me to sing the lead in WWS w/o assaulting anyone’s auditory senses.



                 Extraordinary views from Kennedy Center's roof top


                                               Potomac River


     One of our favorites was a video of Bernstein standing on the podium while the orchestra played without him conducting but close-ups reveal his expressions, facial twitches, smiles—he was conducting with his face.


  Arlington Memorial Bridge
Neoclassical stone arch bridge crosses Potomac near Lincoln Memorial

     There’s a clip of a young Asian boy about 6 and his sister, a couple years older, who played for Bernstein—she the piano and he, the cello. The surprise is that it was Yo Yo Ma.

     Bernstein entered Harvard in 1935 to study piano and pursue his dream of being a concert pianist. He accomplished that and more as a world renown pianist AND conductor, the composer of WWS, Candide, and On the Town. He was an educator and lifelong humanitarian who spoke out whenever he witnessed injustice. 22 honorary doctorate degrees were bestowed upon him during his lifetime in addition to numerous other honors.  Visit leonardbernstein.com/about


Bill and Laura
Washington, DC

    

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