Released on 28 Mar 2013
Dinner With Lenny
Bernstein on popular music, composers, politics and more
Leonard Bernstein was arguably the most highly esteemed, influential, and charismatic American classical music personality of the twentieth century. Conductor, composer, pianist, writer, educator, and human rights activist, he truly led a life of Byronic intensity – passionate, risk-taking, and convention-breaking.
In November 1989, just a year before his death, Bernstein invited writer Jonathan Cott to his country home in Fairfield, Connecticut for what turned out to be his last major interview – an unprecedented and astonishingly frank twelve-hour conversation. Now, in Dinner with Lenny, Cott provides a complete account of this remarkable dialogue in which Bernstein discourses with disarming frankness, humour, and intensity on matters musical, pedagogical, political, psychological, spiritual, and the unabashedly personal.
After Rolling Stone magazine published an abridged version of the conversation in 1990, the Chicago Tribune praised it as “an extraordinary interview” filled with “passion, wit, and acute analysis.” Studs Terkel called the interview “astonishing and revelatory.” Now, this full-length version provides the reader with a unique, you-are-there perspective on what it was like to converse with this gregarious, witty, candid, and inspiring American dynamo.
Jonathan Cott is the author of sixteen previous books, including Conversations with Glenn Gould, Stockhausen: Conversations with the Composer, Dylan (A Biography), and Back to a Shadow in the Night: Music Writings and Interviews – 1968-2001. A contributing editor at Rolling Stone since the magazine’s inception, Cott has also written for The New York Times and The New Yorker. He lives in New York City.
978-0-19-985844-6 | £16.99 in hardback | 28 March 2013
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