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Oct 29, 2017 3:00 PM

Bernstein, Dvorak and American Music

"Does This Music Look Like the New World to You?" Lecture by Professor Michael Beckerman, The Leonard Bernstein Scholar-in-Residence at the New York Philharmonic.


Leonard Bernstein was both a great champion of the "New World" Symphony, and in some ways, one of its harshest critics.  In a series of performances, lectures and both musical and speech recordings over the years he advanced the notion that the symphony was not really "American" in any way. Further, echoing Brahms, he states that despite the composer's use of beautiful melodies, the work does not have the requisite development of themes representative of the greatest symphonies. This talk, presented by noted musicologist Michael Beckerman, looks closely at Bernstein's arguments and their context, takes them on their own terms, and tests their main premises.


Michael Beckerman is Carroll and Milton Petrie Chair and Collegiate Professor of Music at New York University and The Leonard Bernstein Scholar-in-Residence at the New York Philharmonic for the 2017-18 season, serving in that position for the second year. He is author of New Worlds of Dvorak (W.W. Norton, 2003), Dvorak and His World (Princeton University Press, 1993), Janacek and His World (Princeton University Press, 2004), Janacek as Theorist (Pendragon Press, 1994), and Martinu’s Mysterious Accident. He is a recipient of Dvorak and Janacek Medals from the Czech Ministry of Culture, and is also a Laureate of the Czech Music Council; he has twice received the Deems Taylor Award. He received an honorary doctorate from Palacky University in the Czech Republic in 2015. Professor Beckerman is Vice-President of the Dvorak American Heritage Association.


BBLA at Bohemian National Hall
321 East 73rd Street, 3rd Floor, New York, NY 10021

Pay at door $20; Seniors, Students, Czech Center Club Members $10.

Presented by the Dvorak American Heritage Association (DAHA) in celebration of the New York Philharmonic's "New World Initiative" (2016-17) and the centenary of Leonard Bernstein’s birth, with support of BBLA.


Images: (left) New York Philharmonic Archive; (right) Antonin Dvorak, circa 1893, DAHA Archive.


Bohemian National Hall, 321 East 73rd Street
NY 10021 New York
United States


Oct 29, 2017 3:00 PM


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