The Kennedy Center

Jamie Bernstein



Biography

Jamie Bernstein is a writer, narrator, broadcaster, and filmmaker who has transformed a lifetime of loving music into a career of sharing her knowledge and excitement with others.
Inspired by her father Leonard Bernstein’s lifelong impulse to share and teach, Jamie has devised multiple ways of communicating her own excitement about orchestral music. Beginning 15 years ago with The Bernstein Beat, a family concert about her father’s music modeled after his own groundbreaking Young People’s Concerts, Jamie has gone on to design, write, and narrate concerts for worldwide audiences of all ages about the music of Mozart, Copland, Stravinsky, and many others. Jamie has created a series of educational concerts with the New World Symphony in Miami; these engaging, informal “Discovery Concerts” are specially designed to attract audiences of all ages who are less familiar with concert going.
Jamie travels the world as a concert narrator, appearing everywhere from Beijing to London to Vancouver. A frequent speaker on musical topics, Jamie has presented talks around the world, from conferences in Japan to seminars at Harvard University. In Spanish-speaking locations such as Madrid and Caracas, Jamie narrates en español—thanks to her Chilean-born mother, Felicia Montealegre, who raised her children to be bilingual.
In her role as a broadcaster, Jamie has produced and hosted shows for radio stations in the United States and Great Britain. She has presented the New York Philharmonic’s live national radio broadcasts, as well as live broadcasts from Tanglewood. Jamie is the co-director of a film documentary, Crescendo: the Power of Music—which focuses on children in struggling urban communities who participate in youth orchestra programs for social transformation inspired by Venezuela’s groundbreaking El Sistema movement. The film has won numerous prizes on the festival circuit, and is now viewable on Netflix.
Jamie has also directed her father’s chamber opera, Trouble in Tahiti, in various locations around the country, including the Moab Music Festival and Festival del Sole in Napa, CA, as well as this summer at Tanglewood.
Jamie’s memoir, Famous Father Girl, will be published by HarperCollins in June 2018, when the Leonard Bernstein at 100 celebrations will be well under way around the world. Jamie and her siblings, Alexander and Nina, will be racking up unprecedented mileage points as they attempt to keep up with the centennial’s global events numbering in the thousands.
Jamie also writes articles and poetry, which have appeared in such publications as Symphony, DoubleTake, Gourmet, Opera News, and Musical America. She also edits “Prelude, Fugue & Riffs,” a newsletter about issues and events pertaining to her father’s legacy.
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