Leonard Bernstein: The Power of Music exhibition; Leonard Bernstein’s Steinway piano that was a gift from his piano teacher, Helen Coates. On loan from Alexander Bernstein. Credit: Jessi Melcer (photo taken at National Museum of American Jewish History)

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CLEVELAND—The Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage in Beachwood announces Leonard Bernstein: The Power of Music, the first large-scale museum exhibition to illustrate the famed conductor and composer’s life, Jewish identity, and social activism. Created by the National Museum of American Jewish History (NMAJH) in Philadelphia to coincide with the maestro’s 100th birthday, the exhibition will be on view at the Maltz Museum starting September 25, 2019.

To celebrate the opening, admission price is only $5 from September 25 to 29. (Located at 2929 Richmond Rd, Beachwood; 216-593-0575)
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The exhibition brings together approximately 100 original artifacts and photographs, some never-before-exhibited in public. Artifact highlights include Bernstein’s piano, an annotated copy of Romeo and Juliet used for the development of West Side Story (originally imagined as East Side Story), the program for his Carnegie Hall debut, his conducting suit, his easel used for studying scores and composing, and much more.

A state-of-the-art multimedia interactive invites visitors to explore the many layers to Bernstein’s original compositions, including how Bernstein the composer wove elements of synagogue music and his own family’s history into his works for film, Broadway, and orchestra.

Bernstein’s Jewish heritage, so deeply ingrained in him by his parents and so intricately woven through his life and work, is conveyed through a number of artifacts, including the mezuzah that hung in his studio, the Hebrew prayer book he carried with him when he traveled, his ketubah (Jewish marriage contact), his family’s Passover seder plate, and the Talmud (book of Jewish law) given to Bernstein by his father.


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Leonard Bernstein: The Power of Music is presented in Cleveland by: Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage; Orchestrated by the National Museum of American Jewish History in Philadelphia and made possible in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor. Key support provided by The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation. Major support provided by The Asper Foundation; CHG Charitable Trust as recommended by Carole Haas Gravagno; The Harvey Goodstein Charitable Foundation; Lindy Communities; The Leslie Miller and Richard Worley Family Foundation; and Cheryl and Philip Milstein. Additional support provided by Judith Creed and Robert Schwartz; Jill and Mark Fishman; Robert and Marjie Kargman; David G. and Sandra G. Marshall; Robin and Mark Rubenstein; and The Savitz Family Foundation. Special thanks to The Leonard Bernstein Office; the Bernstein Family; Jacobs Music; and the Milken Archive of Jewish Music, and USC Shoah Foundation; With local support from: Jules and Fran Belkin, Cleveland Foundation, Key Bank, John P. Murphy Foundation, Richard and Emily Smucker Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this exhibition, do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

The Maltz Museum is generous supported by: Cuyahoga Arts & Culture, Ohio Arts Council, Jewish Federation of Cleveland