Roe v. Wade
Roe v. Wade, 410 U. S. 113, is a landmark decision issued in 1973 by the United States Supreme Court on the issue of the constitutionality of laws that criminalized or restricted access to abortions. The Court ruled 7–2 that a right to privacy under the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment extended to a woman's decision to have an abortion, but that this right must be balanced against the state's interests in regulating abortions: protecting women's health and protecting the potentiality of human life. Arguing that these state interests became stronger over the course of a pregnancy, the Court resolved this balancing test by tying state regulation of abortion to the third trimester of pregnancy. In Planned Parenthood v. Casey, the Court rejected Roe's trimester framework while affirming its central holding that a woman has a right to abortion until fetal viability; the Roe decision defined "viable" as "potentially able to live outside the mother's womb, albeit with artificial aid." Justices in Casey acknowledged that viability may occur at 23 or 24 weeks, or sometimes earlier, in light of medical advances.
In disallowing many state and federal restrictions on abortion in the United States, Roe v. Wade prompted a national debate that continues today about issues including whether, to what extent, abortion should be legal, who should decide the legality of abortion, what methods the Supreme Court should use in constitutional adjudication, what the role should be of religious and moral views in the political sphere. Roe v. Wade reshaped national politics, dividing much of the United States into pro-life and pro-choice camps, while activating grassroots movements on both sides. Roe received significant criticism in the legal community, with the decision being seen as an extreme form of judicial activism. In a cited 1973 article in the Yale Law Journal, the American legal scholar John Hart Ely criticized Roe as a decision that "is not constitutional law and gives no sense of an obligation to try to be." Ely added: "What is frightening about Roe is that this super-protected right is not inferable from the language of the Constitution, the framers’ thinking respecting the specific problem in issue, any general value derivable from the provisions they included, or the nation's governmental structure."
Professor Laurence Tribe had similar thoughts: "One of the most curious things about Roe is that, behind its own verbal smokescreen, the substantive judgment on which it rests is nowhere to be found." According to the Court, "the restrictive criminal abortion laws in effect in a majority of States today are of recent vintage." Providing a historical analysis on abortion, Justice Harry Blackmun noted that abortion was "resorted to without scruple" in Greek and Roman times. Blackmun addressed the permissive and restrictive abortion attitudes and laws throughout history, noting the disagreements among leaders in those eras and the formative laws and cases. In the United States, in 1821, Connecticut passed the first state statute criminalizing abortion; every state had abortion legislation by 1900. In the United States, abortion was sometimes considered a common law crime, though Justice Blackmun would conclude that the criminalization of abortion did not have "roots in the English common-law tradition."
Rather than arresting the women having the abortions, legal officials were more to interrogate these women to obtain evidence against the abortion provider in order to close down that provider's business. In 1971, Shirley Wheeler was charged with manslaughter after Florida hospital staff reported her illegal abortion to the police, she received a sentence of two years' probation and, under her probation, had to move back into her parents' house in North Carolina. The Boston Women's Abortion Coalition held a rally for Wheeler in Boston to raise money and awareness of her charges as well as had staff members from the Women's National Abortion Action Coalition speak at the rally. Wheeler was the first woman to be held criminally responsible for submitting to an abortion, her conviction was overturned by the Florida Supreme Court. In June 1969, 21-year-old Norma McCorvey discovered, she returned to Dallas, where friends advised her to assert falsely that she had been raped in order to obtain a legal abortion.
However, this scheme failed. In any case, the Texas statute allowed abortion only ”for the purpose of saving the life of the mother”, she attempted to obtain an Illegal abortion, but found that the unauthorized facility had been closed down by the police. She was referred to attorneys Linda Coffee and Sarah Weddington. In 1970, Coffee and Weddington filed suit in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas on behalf of McCorvey; the defendant in the case was Dallas County District Attorney Henry Wade, who represented the State of Texas. McCorvey was no longer claiming her pregnancy was a result of rape, acknowledged that she had lied about having been raped. "Rape" is not mentioned in the judicial opinions in the case. On June 17, 1970, a three-judge panel of the District Court, consisting of Northern District of Texas Judges Sarah T. Hughes, William McLaughlin Taylor Jr. and Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Irving Loeb Goldberg, unanimously declared the Texas law unconstitutional, finding that it violated the right to privacy found in the Ninth Amendment.
In addition, the court relied on Justice Arthur Go
Houston Grand Opera
Houston Grand Opera, located in Houston, was founded in 1955 by German-born impresario Walter Herbert and Houstonians Elva Lobit, Edward Bing, Charles Cockrell. HGO's inaugural season featured two performances of two operas and Madama Butterfly. David Gockley succeeded Walter Herbert as general director in 1972 and remained in the post until accepting the general directorship at San Francisco Opera in 2005. Gockley was succeeded at Houston Grand Opera by Anthony Freud the general director at Welsh National Opera; when Freud resigned his post at HGO in 2011 to take the general directorship of Lyric Opera of Chicago, he was succeeded by joint leaders Patrick Summers, music director at HGO since 1998, Perryn Leech, who joined the company in 2006 and became chief operating officer in 2010. Summers serves as Leech serves as managing director. Oversight of the HGO Association is provided by a board of directors; the company presents six to eight productions per season and has a current operating budget of $27 million.
Houston Grand Opera performances are held in the Wortham Theater Center, a venue with two performance spaces: the Alice and George Brown Theater and the smaller Roy and Lillie Cullen Theater. Their combined capacity is more than 3,300. However, HGO performed all of its 2017–18 season at the “HGO Resilience Theater,” a temporary space the company created in an exhibit hall at Houston's George R. Brown Convention Center, after the Wortham Theater Center was closed due to flooding from Hurricane Harvey in August 2017; the Wortham Theater Center is scheduled to reopen in September 2018. In 1973–74, Houston Grand Opera began commissioning and producing new works—almost from American composers—and the company continues to do so. HGO has staged seven American premieres; the Houston Grand Opera Studio, founded in 1977, was one of the earliest comprehensive young artist training programs in the United States. It provides advanced training and professional opportunities to outstanding young artists, many of whom have gone on to establish international careers.
Through its HGOco initiative, HGO partners with educational and community organizations to provide a variety of artistic experiences to the greater Houston area and the Gulf Coast region. Houston Grand Opera is supported by an active auxiliary organization, the Houston Grand Opera Guild, established in October 1955; the company has received a Tony Award, two Grammy Awards, three Emmy Awards, is the only opera company in the world to win all three honors. The Houston Grand Opera Orchestra, with more than 45 core members, plays all Houston Grand Opera performances. Patrick Summers has been the music director since 1998. No music director was appointed during the Walter Herbert years until 1971, when longtime assistant conductor and chorus master Charles Rosekrans was named. Music directors/principal conductors include Chris Nance, John DeMain, Vjekoslav Šutej. In the 2019–20 season, Eun Sun Kim will become the company's first principal guest conductor since 1993, when Šutej completed two seasons in that role.
The Houston Grand Opera Chorus has been led since 1988 by Chorus Master Richard Bado, an alumnus of HGO's young artist training program, the Houston Grand Opera Studio. Houston Grand Opera's young artist development program, the Houston Grand Opera Studio, was founded in 1977 to help young artists make the transition between their academic training and professional careers; the HGO Studio trains young singers and pianist/coaches but has trained aspiring conductors in a residency program of up to three years. An annual competition, now called the Eleanor McCollum Competition for Young Singers, was inaugurated in 1989 to help identify a pool of potential international artists for the Studio, directed by Brian Speck. Studio alumni include sopranos Ana María Martínez, Erie Mills, Albina Shagimuratova, Heidi Stober, Rachel Willis-Sørensen, Tamara Wilson. Other alumni include HGO Chorus Master Richard Bado, composer/conductor David Hanlon, former Lyric Opera of Kansas City Artistic Director Ward Holmquist, conductor/arranger/composer James Lowe, conductor/pianist Eric Melear, conductor Evan Rogister, conductor/pianist Craig Terry.
The HGO Young Artists Vocal Academy, established in 2011 and administered by the HGO Studio, is a one-week intensive program for undergraduate vocal music students. Participants selected for the program receive training that includes daily voice lessons and coachings as well as classes in characterization, movement and score preparation. HGOco offers training to high school seniors. In 2007, HGO established HGOco, an initiative designed to create partnerships between the company and the community. HGOco's first project, the ongoing Song of Houston initiative, creates new works focused on people and groups in Houston—the most culturally diverse city in the United States, according to a report of the Kinder Institute for Urban Research and the Hobby Center for the Study of Texas. For its first commissioned work in 2007, The Refuge, by Christopher Theofanidis and Leah Lax, HGOco identified seven statistically significant immigrant communities in Houston and the creators began interviewing residents of those communities.
The libretto was created from the actual words of
Radcliffe Choral Society
The Radcliffe Choral Society is a 60-voice treble choral ensemble at Harvard University. Founded in 1899, it is one of the country's oldest soprano-alto choruses and one of its most prominent collegiate choirs. With the tenor-bass Harvard Glee Club and the mixed-voice Harvard-Radcliffe Collegium Musicum, it is one of the Harvard Choruses. All three groups are led by Harvard Director of Choral Activities Andrew Clark; the RCS Resident Conductor is Meg Weckworth. RCS tours travels internationally every four years; the Radcliffe Choral Society was founded in 1899 by Elizabeth Cary Agassiz, the first President of Radcliffe College, is one of the oldest women's choirs in the nation and the oldest women's organization at Radcliffe. In 1913, under the leadership of Dr. Archibald T. Davison, the Radcliffe Choral Society began a tradition of collaboration with the Harvard Glee Club and the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Through Davison's conductorship and that of his successors, the Choral Society continued to gain prominence throughout the United States as a women's choir of distinction and excellence.
Elliot Forbes, a conductor and well-known Beethoven scholar, conducted both the Radcliffe Choral Society and the Harvard Glee Club from 1958 to 1970. In 1965, the Radcliffe Choral Society and the Harvard Glee Club were nominated for a Grammy Award for "Best Choral Performance" for their recording of Mozart's Requiem in memory of Harvard graduate and U. S. President John F. Kennedy. In the fall of 1978, Beverly Taylor became the conductor of the Radcliffe Choral Society, leading the group on four international tours to the British Isles in 1979, to Northern Europe in 1983, to Central Europe in 1987, to Sweden and Czechoslovakia in 1992. While abroad, the Radcliffe Choral Society won several international prizes, including Second Prize at the Dutch International Koorfest in The Hague and first prize in the Youth Division of the International Eisteddfod in Llangollen, Wales. Under her dynamic leadership, the group achieved tremendous acclaim. During this time, the Radcliffe Choral Society performed with the British a cappella vocal ensemble the King's Singers.
In 1995, the Radcliffe Choral Society came under the leadership of Dr. Jameson Marvin; the group's endeavors under Marvin's baton included its fifth international tour to Western Europe in the summer of 1996, performing in concerts in France, Monaco and Italy. The group performed Brahms' Ein Deutsches Requiem at Lincoln Center in New York City with the Harvard Glee Club, appeared for the fourth time at the American Choral Directors Association Convention, released of a compact disc. In 1996, Constance DeFotis joined the Radcliffe Choral Society as the Associate Director of Choral Activities at Harvard. In the spring of 1998, DeFotis led the Choral Society on tour to England. In 1999, RCS celebrated its 100th birthday with a Centennial Celebration. Among the festivities were a concert, alumnae reunion and banquet; the year ended with the performance of Beethoven's 9th Symphony at Arts First and RCS's sixth international tour to South America. The next five years included spring tours to Virginia, Northern California, New Orleans and masterworks performances with the Harvard Glee Club and the Harvard Radcliffe Collegium Musicum, including Beethoven's Missa Solemnis for the celebration of Jim Marvin's 25th Anniversary and Mozart's Requiem in D for the ACDA Eastern Division Regional Conference.
RCS made history as the first choir from Harvard to tour in Africa by traveling to South Africa for three weeks during the summer of 2004. The choir gave performances in Cape Town, as well as at several universities; the 2004-2005 season began with the Festival of Women's Choruses, which took place over two days and included workshops and three concerts. Seven high school and college women's choirs, as well as professional ensemble Tapestry, performed. Special guests included composers Hilary Tann, Caron Barnett, Libby Larsen, Patricia Van Ness, keynote speaker Ambassador Swanee Hunt. RCS toured Atlanta and surrounding areas in March and combined with the Harvard Glee Club and the Harvard-Radcliffe Collegium Musicum for the ARTS First performance of Brahms' Ein Deutsches Requiem. From 2005 to 2009, the Radcliffe Choral Society toured the UK, performing in Southwark Cathedral, the American Northwest, Costa Rica, the American South, it combined with the Holden Choruses to perform Handel's Messiah with the Orchestra of Emmanuel Music, Stravinsky's Symphony of Psalms, Beethoven's Missa Solemnis.
It attended an ACDA Convention in Hartford. In October 2007, the Radcliffe Choral Society was chosen to perform at the inauguration of the Harvard's first female president, Drew Gilpin Faust. In the fall of 2009, RCS hosted a Festival of Women's Choruses, bringing together twelve children's, high school and adult choirs from across New England; the 2009-2010 season was RCS's final season under the baton of Jameson Marvin. After a tour to the Northeastern United States, the group concluded their season with the world premier of Robert Kyr's Song of Awakening, commissioned for the occasion of Dr. Marvin's retirement by the Radcliffe Choral Society, the Harvard Glee Club, the Harvard-Radcliffe Collegium Musicum and sung by all three choirs. Andrew Clark became the Harvard University Director of Choral Activities in 2010. In the spring of 2011, Radcliffe Choral Society performed Ross Lee Finney's Pilgrim Psalms with the Harvard Glee Club and John Adams' On the Transmigration of Souls paired with Beethoven's Ninth Symphony with the Glee Club, Collegium-Musicum, Harvard-Radcliffe Orchestra.
It embarked on a tour to Southern California. That f
Ten Days That Shook the World
Ten Days That Shook the World is a book by the American journalist and socialist John Reed about the October Revolution in Russia in 1917, which Reed experienced firsthand. Reed followed many of the prominent Bolshevik leaders during his time in Russia. John Reed died in 1920, shortly after the book was finished, he is one of the few Americans buried at the Kremlin Wall Necropolis in Moscow, a site reserved only for the most prominent Soviet leaders. John Reed was on an assignment for The Masses, a magazine of socialist politics, when he was reporting the Russian Revolution. Although Reed states that he had "tried to see events with the eye of a conscientious reporter, interested in setting down the truth" during the time of the event, he stated in the preface that "in the struggle my sympathies were not neutral". Before John Reed left for Russia, the Espionage Act was passed on June 15, 1917, which fined and imprisoned anyone who interfered with the recruiting of soldiers and prohibited the mailing of any newspaper or magazine that promoted such sentiments.
The U. S. Post Office was given leave to deny any mailing that fitted these standards from further postal delivery, to disqualify a magazine because it had missed a mailing and hence was no longer considered a "regular publication." Because of this, The Masses was forced by the United States federal government to cease publication in the fall of 1917, after refusing to change the magazine's policy against the war. The Liberator, founded by Max Eastman under his and his sister's private control, published Reed's articles concerning the Russian Revolution instead. In an effort to ensure the magazine's survival, Eastman compromised and tempered its views accordingly. Upon returning from Russia during April 1918 from Kristiania in Norway, after being barred from either traveling to the United States or returning to Russia since February 23 by the State Department, Reed's trunk of notes and materials on the revolution—which included Russian handbills and speeches—were seized by custom officials, who interrogated him for four hours over his activities in Russia during the previous eight months.
Michael Gold, an eyewitness to Reed's arrival to Manhattan, recalls how "a swarm of Department of Justice men stripped him, went over every inch of his clothes and baggage, put him through the usual inquisition. Reed had been sick with ptomaine on the boat; the inquisition had been painful." Back home during mid-summer 1918, worried that "his vivid impressions on the revolution would fade," fought hard to regain his papers from the possession of the government, who refused to return them. Reed would not receive his materials until seven months in November. Max Eastman recalls a meeting with John Reed in the middle of Sheridan Square during the period of time when Reed isolated himself writing the book:...he wrote Ten Days that Shook the World—wrote it in another ten days and ten nights or little more. He was gaunt, greasy-skinned, a stark sleepless half-crazy look on his potato-like face—had come down after a night's work for a cup of coffee. "Max, don't tell anybody where I am. I'm writing the Russian revolution in a book.
I've got all the placards and papers up there in a little room and a Russian dictionary, I'm working all day and all night. I haven't shut my eyes for thirty-six hours. I'll finish the whole thing in two weeks, and I've got a name for it too -- Ten Days. Good-bye, I've got to go get some coffee. Don't for God's sake tell anybody where I am!" Do you wonder I emphasize his brains? Not so many feats can be found in American literature to surpass what he did there in those two or three weeks in that little room with those piled-up papers in a half-known tongue, piled clear up to the ceiling, a small dog-eared dictionary, a memory, a determination to get it right, a gorgeous imagination to paint it when he got it, but what I wanted to comment on now was the unqualified, concentrated joy in his mad eyes that morning. He was doing what he was made writing a great book, and he had a name for it too—Ten Days that Shook the World! Ten Days That Shook the World has received mixed responses since its publication in 1919, resulting in a wide range of critical reviews from negative to positive.
However, the book was overall positively received by critics at the time of its first publication, despite some critics’ vocal opposition to Reed’s political beliefs. George F. Kennan, an American diplomat and historian who has a strong bias against Bolshevism and is best known as “the father of containment,” praised the book: “Reed’s account of the events of that time rises above every other contemporary record for its literary power, its penetration, its command of detail” and would be “remembered when all others are forgotten.” Kennan saw it as “a reflection of blazing honesty and a purity of idealism that did unintended credit to the American society that produced him, the merits of which he himself understood so poorly.” On March 1, 1999, The New York Times reported New York University’s “Top 100 Works of Journalism” list, which placed Ten Days that Shook the World in seventh position. Project director Mitchell Stephens explains the reasoning behind the judges’ decision: Perhaps the most controversial work on our list is the seventh, John Reed’s book, “Ten Days That Shook the World,” reporting on the October revolution in Russia in 1917.
Yes, as conservative critics have noted, Reed was a partisan. Yes, historians would do better, but this was the most consequential news story of the century, Reed was there, Reed could write. The magnitude of the event being reported on and the quality of the writing were other i
Memorial Church of Harvard University
The Memorial Church of Harvard University, more known as the Harvard Memorial Church is a building on the campus of Harvard University. The first distinct building for worship at Harvard University was Holden Chapel, built in 1744; the college soon outgrew the building, replaced by a chapel inside Harvard Hall in 1766 a chapel in University Hall in 1814, by Appleton Chapel, a building dedicated to worship sited where The Memorial Church now stands. Standing for 73 years before the current building, Appleton Chapel was home to religious life at Harvard until 1932, its namesake is preserved inside Memorial Church, as the Appleton Chapel portion of the main building houses the daily service of Morning Prayer. When Appleton Chapel was built in 1858, thanks to the generosity of Samuel Appleton, Morning Prayer attendance was compulsory; when attendance became voluntary in 1886, the College was left with a building that had become too large for the Morning Prayer services and too small for the Sunday services.
Although there was talk of building a more suitable chapel for worship at Harvard, nothing was done until soon after World War I when Harvard University President Abbott Lawrence Lowell combined the idea of a war memorial with the need for a new chapel. Appleton Chapel was torn down after the 1931 Commencement; the University Architects Coolidge, Bulfinch & Abbott, were enlisted to design the new building, they planned a structure that would complement the imposing edifice of Widener Library. This created an open area known as the Tercentenary Theatre; the current Memorial Church was built in 1932 in honor of the men and women of Harvard University who died in World War I. The names of 373 alumni were engraved within alongside a sculpture named The Sacrifice by Malvina Hoffman, it was dedicated on Armistice Day on November 11, 1932. The knight's face in The Sacrifice was modelled on the British World War I flying ace, Ian Henderson. Since other memorials have been established within the building commemorating those Harvardians who died in World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War.
For seventy-five years, it has stood in Harvard Yard opposite Widener Library as a physical reminder of Harvard's spiritual heritage. Since its inception, the Harvard Memorial Church has had weekly choral music provided at its Sunday services by the Harvard University Choir, composed of both graduate and undergraduate students in the university; the Memorial Church – Home Page
France the French Republic, is a country whose territory consists of metropolitan France in Western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The metropolitan area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean, it is bordered by Belgium and Germany to the northeast and Italy to the east, Andorra and Spain to the south. The overseas territories include French Guiana in South America and several islands in the Atlantic and Indian oceans; the country's 18 integral regions span a combined area of 643,801 square kilometres and a total population of 67.3 million. France, a sovereign state, is a unitary semi-presidential republic with its capital in Paris, the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial centre. Other major urban areas include Lyon, Toulouse, Bordeaux and Nice. During the Iron Age, what is now metropolitan France was inhabited by a Celtic people. Rome annexed the area in 51 BC, holding it until the arrival of Germanic Franks in 476, who formed the Kingdom of Francia.
The Treaty of Verdun of 843 partitioned Francia into Middle Francia and West Francia. West Francia which became the Kingdom of France in 987 emerged as a major European power in the Late Middle Ages following its victory in the Hundred Years' War. During the Renaissance, French culture flourished and a global colonial empire was established, which by the 20th century would become the second largest in the world; the 16th century was dominated by religious civil wars between Protestants. France became Europe's dominant cultural and military power in the 17th century under Louis XIV. In the late 18th century, the French Revolution overthrew the absolute monarchy, established one of modern history's earliest republics, saw the drafting of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, which expresses the nation's ideals to this day. In the 19th century, Napoleon established the First French Empire, his subsequent Napoleonic Wars shaped the course of continental Europe. Following the collapse of the Empire, France endured a tumultuous succession of governments culminating with the establishment of the French Third Republic in 1870.
France was a major participant in World War I, from which it emerged victorious, was one of the Allies in World War II, but came under occupation by the Axis powers in 1940. Following liberation in 1944, a Fourth Republic was established and dissolved in the course of the Algerian War; the Fifth Republic, led by Charles de Gaulle, remains today. Algeria and nearly all the other colonies became independent in the 1960s and retained close economic and military connections with France. France has long been a global centre of art and philosophy, it hosts the world's fourth-largest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites and is the leading tourist destination, receiving around 83 million foreign visitors annually. France is a developed country with the world's sixth-largest economy by nominal GDP, tenth-largest by purchasing power parity. In terms of aggregate household wealth, it ranks fourth in the world. France performs well in international rankings of education, health care, life expectancy, human development.
France is considered a great power in global affairs, being one of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council with the power to veto and an official nuclear-weapon state. It is a leading member state of the European Union and the Eurozone, a member of the Group of 7, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the World Trade Organization, La Francophonie. Applied to the whole Frankish Empire, the name "France" comes from the Latin "Francia", or "country of the Franks". Modern France is still named today "Francia" in Italian and Spanish, "Frankreich" in German and "Frankrijk" in Dutch, all of which have more or less the same historical meaning. There are various theories as to the origin of the name Frank. Following the precedents of Edward Gibbon and Jacob Grimm, the name of the Franks has been linked with the word frank in English, it has been suggested that the meaning of "free" was adopted because, after the conquest of Gaul, only Franks were free of taxation.
Another theory is that it is derived from the Proto-Germanic word frankon, which translates as javelin or lance as the throwing axe of the Franks was known as a francisca. However, it has been determined that these weapons were named because of their use by the Franks, not the other way around; the oldest traces of human life in what is now France date from 1.8 million years ago. Over the ensuing millennia, Humans were confronted by a harsh and variable climate, marked by several glacial eras. Early hominids led a nomadic hunter-gatherer life. France has a large number of decorated caves from the upper Palaeolithic era, including one of the most famous and best preserved, Lascaux. At the end of the last glacial period, the climate became milder. After strong demographic and agricultural development between the 4th and 3rd millennia, metallurgy appeared at the end of the 3rd millennium working gold and bronze, iron. France has numerous megalithic sites from the Neolithic period, including the exceptiona
Leonard Bernstein was an American composer, author, music lecturer, pianist. He was among the first conductors educated in the US to receive worldwide acclaim. According to music critic Donal Henahan, he was "one of the most prodigiously talented and successful musicians in American history."His fame derived from his long tenure as the music director of the New York Philharmonic, from his conducting of concerts with most of the world's leading orchestras, from his music for West Side Story, Peter Pan, Wonderful Town, On the Town, On the Waterfront, his Mass, a range of other compositions, including three symphonies and many shorter chamber and solo works. Bernstein was the first conductor to give a series of television lectures on classical music, starting in 1954 and continuing until his death, he was a skilled pianist conducting piano concertos from the keyboard. He was a critical figure in the modern revival of the music of Gustav Mahler, the composer he was most passionately interested in.
As a composer he wrote in many styles encompassing symphonic and orchestral music, ballet and theatre music, choral works, chamber music and pieces for the piano. Many of his works are performed around the world, although none has matched the tremendous popular and critical success of West Side Story, he was born Louis Bernstein in Lawrence, the son of Ukrainian Jewish parents Jennie and Samuel Joseph Bernstein, a hairdressing supplies wholesaler originating from Rivne. His family spent their summers at their vacation home in Massachusetts, his grandmother insisted that his first name be Louis, but his parents always called him Leonard, which they preferred. He changed his name to Leonard when he was fifteen, shortly after his grandmother's death. To his friends and many others he was known as "Lenny", his father, Sam Bernstein, was a businessman and owner of a hair product store in downtown Lawrence on the corners of Amesbury and Essex Streets. Sam opposed young Leonard's interest in music. Despite this, the elder Bernstein took him to orchestral concerts in his teenage years and supported his music education.
At a young age, Bernstein listened to a piano performance and was captivated. Bernstein attended Boston Latin School; as a child, he was close to his younger sister Shirley, would play entire operas or Beethoven symphonies with her at the piano. He had a variety of piano teachers in his youth, including Helen Coates, who became his secretary. After graduation from Boston Latin School in 1935, Bernstein attended Harvard University, where he studied music with, among others, Edward Burlingame Hill and Walter Piston. Although he majored in music with a final year thesis entitled "The Absorption of Race Elements into American Music", Bernstein's main intellectual influence at Harvard was the aesthetics Professor David Prall, whose multidisciplinary outlook on the arts Bernstein shared for the rest of his life. One of his friends at Harvard was philosopher Donald Davidson. Bernstein wrote and conducted the musical score for the production Davidson mounted of Aristophanes' play The Birds in the original Greek.
Bernstein reused some of this music in the ballet Fancy Free. During his time at Harvard he was an accompanist for the Harvard Glee Club. Bernstein mounted a student production of The Cradle Will Rock, directing its action from the piano as the composer Marc Blitzstein had done at the premiere. Blitzstein, who heard about the production, subsequently became a influence on Bernstein. Bernstein met the conductor Dimitri Mitropoulos at the time. Although he never taught Bernstein, Mitropoulos's charisma and power as a musician were a major influence on Bernstein's eventual decision to take up conducting. Mitropoulos was not stylistically that similar to Bernstein, but he influenced some of Bernstein's habits such as his conducting from the keyboard, his initial practice of conducting without a baton and his interest in Mahler; the other important influence that Bernstein first met during his Harvard years was composer Aaron Copland, whom he met at a concert and at a party afterwards on Copland's birthday in 1938.
At the party Bernstein played Copland's Piano Variations, a thorny work Bernstein loved without knowing anything about its composer until that evening. Although he was not formally Copland's student as such, Bernstein would seek advice from Copland in the following years about his own compositions and would cite him as "his only real composition teacher". After completing his studies at Harvard in 1939, he enrolled at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. During his time at Curtis, Bernstein studied conducting with Fritz Reiner, piano with Isabelle Vengerova, orchestration with Randall Thompson, counterpoint with Richard Stöhr, score reading with Renée Longy Miquelle. Unlike his years at Harvard, Bernstein appears not to have enjoyed the formal training environment of Curtis, although in his life he would mention Reiner when discussing important mentors. After he left Curtis, Bernstein lived in New York, he shared an apartment with his friend Adolph Green and accompanied Green, Betty Comden, Judy Holliday in a comedy trou