American Masters: Season 13, Episode 1

Leonard Bernstein: Reaching for the Note (28 Oct. 1998)

TV Episode  -   -  Documentary | Biography | History
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 8.0/10 from 63 users  
Reviews: 1 user

Add a Plot



0Check in

Editors' Spotlight

IMDb Exclusive Trailer

View the Foxcatcher Exclusive trailer with Steve Carell and Channing Tatum

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 72 titles
created 31 Aug 2011
a list of 2049 titles
created 30 Nov 2011
a list of 125 titles
created 10 Mar 2012
a list of 22 titles
created 06 Aug 2012
list image
a list of 125 titles
created 09 Aug 2012

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: Leonard Bernstein: Reaching for the Note (28 Oct 1998)

Leonard Bernstein: Reaching for the Note (28 Oct 1998) on IMDb 8/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of American Masters.
« Previous Episode | 71 of 187 Episodes | Next Episode »
Nominated for 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »




Episode credited cast:
Alexander Bernstein
Himself (archive footage)
Nina Bernstein ...
John Corigliano ...
Jon Deak ...
Stanley Drucker ...
Martha Gellhorn ...
Jerry Hadley ...
Harry J. Kraut ...
Himself (as Harry Kraut)
John Mauceri ...
Seiji Ozawa ...
Edward Seckerson ...


Add Full Plot | Add Synopsis





Release Date:

28 October 1998 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs



See  »

Did You Know?


Features On the Town (1949) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

The unvarnished Lenny
7 September 2006 | by (New York, NY) – See all my reviews

This documentary begins with the funeral cortège to Brooklyn's Green Wood cemetery from the Dakota Apartments on 72nd Street Manhattan, where Bernstein lived, and then goes through his life chronologically, more or less.

As Mr. Bernstein's life was extremely eventful, there is a lot of life to get through, from his childhood in Lawrence, Massachusetts (He was born in 1918. His parents' unstable marriage is well-documented in his early mini-opera "Trouble in Tahiti".) to his death in 1990, presumably from a heart attack. A major highlight of his career was his last-minute substitution for Bruno Walter at a New York Philharmonic concert in 1943 which turned him into a major celebrity.

The Broadway shows of course are given their due, especially "West Side Story" but, rather like Sir Arthur Sullivan in England, he wanted to be remembered for his serious compositions and that wish was not granted; this was a source of great unhappiness for Bernstein.

He married early on and had three children who all comment in this documentary but his homosexuality was an open secret throughout his life. He was never able to reconcile these two parts of his life, let alone his compositional and conducting careers.

This documentary does a good job of showing his many facets as well as his personality traits and blemishes and there are many comments by friends and colleagues. Overall a good and even-handed job of showing the life of this important musical figure of the twentieth century.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Where can I find this? Hkykix38
None Without Sin jumpinjosh49
A Duke Named Ellington DVD marlisda
Who was the narrator on the Gershwin documentary??? richmond-4
Atlantic Records PACman66
Marilyn Monroe jillgarnett

Contribute to This Page