A new edition of Humphrey Burton's celebrated biography of Leonard Bernstein, published to coincide with the centenary of his birth. With a new introduction by the author.
Humphrey Burton was a friend and professional colleague of Leonard
Bernstein for thirty years. He read music and history at Cambridge
University and joined the BBC in 1955, becoming its first head of
music and arts programmes a decade later, and in 1978 founding and
hosting the BBC Young Musician of the Year competition. He retired
from management at the age of 50 and has since worked freelance as
an impresario and prize-winning director of filmed operas, concerts
and documentaries in Europe and the USA In Los Angeles he was guest
director of the Hollywood Bowl and at Tanglewood, Massachusetts he
produced Bernstein's elaborate '70th Birthday Bash'. He directed
almost two hundred music films with Bernstein: this unrivalled
closeness made him the ideal choice as biographer. He has also
written biographies of two other musician friends, Yehudi Menuhin
(Faber, 2000) and William Walton (Oxford University Press,
Burton moved to Suffolk in 2001; he is president of the Aldeburgh Music Club and lectures regularly at the festival. In the 21st century he has developed another enjoyable career as a speaker on river and ocean cruises. He remains a keen pianist, preferably as the secondo partner in duets which have been his favourite pastime since childhood.