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Leonard Bernstein: An Album of Family and Friends Now Available

Posted July 9, 2015

TurningPointPress has recently published a collection of photographs and quotes entitled Leonard Bernstein: An Album of Family & Friends: From the Archive of Personal Photos by John Jonas Gruen, by John Jonas Gruen, with Foreword by Jamie Bernstein and Introduction by Sam Swasey.

In his book, Gruen, author of The Private World of Leonard Bernstein (Viking, 1968) and longtime friend of the Bernsteins, offers an archive of unique images that provide glimpses into the personal life of Leonard Bernstein, his wife Felicia, and their children Jamie, Alexander, and Nina, at home in New York and Connecticut and on vacation in Italy in the years surrounding the Maestro’s 50th birthday. Also sharing these moments are his siblings Shirley Bernstein and Burton Bernstein, and friends including Thomas Schippers, Betty Comden, Adolph and Phyllis Newman Green, Helen Coates, and Charlie and Oona O’Neill Chaplin.

In her Foreword, Jamie Bernstein captures with great insight and candor the essence of this priceless visual document.

What was it like, people always ask, growing up in that high-energy environment? I look at the pictures and try to go back, all those decades ago. Really: what was it like to live amongst grownups who had such exciting, glamorous and -- let’s face it – rather un-grownup lives? To be a sulky, uncertain teenager amid all of that... no, it was not easy, and the photographs do remind me. I often felt like I had one pinky’s worth of grip on a vehicle that was flying way too fast for me. Looking back on it now, I realize, of course, that most of the grownups in those pictures must have felt the same way. Everyone was hanging on by their pinkies – but what a ride.

For more information on the book and to purchase one for yourself, go to Turning Point Press's website: